As production people in a world of ever-growing capabilities in entertainment, I think we all know that experience is what makes the difference. The Instagram-able moments that are captured and distributed are a result of people having an emotional and immersive moment.

As the USITT show manager for the past seven years, I’ve embraced the challenge of trying to inspire those who create those special moments. It takes a lot of creative, outside-the-box thinking, and many exhibitors who are willing to help create these moments.

Here’s a comprehensive list of what you can expect to see in Louisville at USITT19. Please make sure to recognize these exhibitors and ask them about the technologies that will be enveloping them.

Stage Expo Entrance

This is your first exposure to what you can expect to see on the Stage Expo floor. We’ve brought the technology out into the lobby areas over the past few years and this year have taken it to a new level. Lighting and video equipment will be provided by Elation Lighting and an audio system will be provided by D.A.S. Audio.

The Main Stage

If you think the USITT stages have been impressive in the past, just wait until you see this in person. The Main Stage, as it’s been dubbed, beginning in 2018 (because of the growth of all the stages around the event) will have more of everything you’ve come to know and expect at USITT.

This year, with the launch of the Digital Media Commission, you’ll find projection mapping and imaging with projectors, provided by Panasonic. You’ll find more than 100 lighting fixtures from Chauvet Professional, Vari-Lite, GLP, ETC, and Apollo; scenic elements from Rose Brand, InCord, Gerri, and Atomic Design; and world-class sound systems from L-Acoustics, DiGiCo, Lectrosonics, and Point Source Audio.

Because we’re production professionals, we must respect the communications from Clear-Comm. Last but certainly not least, we have special effects from local Louisville residents ZFX and Ultratec. This amazing structure will be built, teched, produced on, and torn down all within a week for you!

Five Stages

In 2018, we had an outdoor stage, a Costume Stage, and an Innovation Stage. This year, we’re up to five themed stages around the Stage Expo floor. Lighting and Digital Media, Tech Production, Costume, Scene Design, all sponsored by Rose Brand with Sound Design sponsored by Shure. These stages will host Conference sessions, short 20-minute micro sessions, and 30-minute product demonstrations throughout the event.

These spaces are intended to give you more education and connection to the exhibiting companies on the show floor. Rose Brand, Shure, D.A.S. Audio, RCF, Alcons Audio, and Mega Systems are helping us create these spaces.

Backdrops Everywhere

Not to be outdone, the Backdrop Showcase will make its return to the Stage Expo floor. These backdrops have become the crown jewel of our show floor designs. Scenic drops from Backdrops Beautiful, Grosh Scenic Rentals, and Theatre World Backdrops will be on display and lit by Altman and A.C. Lighting. A projection wall from Scribe Entertainment provided by the University of Kentucky will make its debut this year and will project backdrops with only a 5-foot throw distance.

The goal is simple: immerse yourself in the world of theatre technology. USITT’s job is to bring these spaces to life. We can’t wait to see you in Louisville and watch for your Instagram-able moments at #USITT19.