Entry, intermediate, and advanced level Jay O. Glerum Rigging Masterclasses will all be available this summer. These offerings provide the opportunity to expand your rigging toolkit and earn ETCP credits simultaneously.

The Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theatre in Washington, D.C. will open its doors to professional and non-professional riggers on June 17-18 covering everything from rigging basics for ENTRY LEVEL participants to more in-depth topics for the INTERMEDIATE LEVEL.

Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis will host the August 19-20, ENTRY LEVEL Glerum class while the across the street, the State Theatre will host the ADVANCED LEVEL on the same dates.

ETCP Certified Riggers return year after year to instruct these important and educational classes. Bill Sapsis of Sapsis Rigging Inc. extends Jay Glerum’s teachings through his work with the Jay O. Glerum Masterclasses.

“Jay Glerum’s influence on safety and education in stage rigging is incalculable,” Sapsis said. “Through his books and training classes he has helped literally thousands of technicians learn their craft and stay safe on the job. It’s an honor and a privilege for me to continue Jay’s legacy through the USITT Jay O. Glerum Masterclasses.”

Brian Phillips, Ohio Northern University Technical Director, encourages everyone from educators to those already familiar with rigging equipment to attend these masterclasses even when on a budget.

“I am proud and excited to be a part of the Institute’s commitment to providing affordable rigging instruction through the Jay O. Glerum Rigging Masterclasses — a fitting way to honor his passion and dedication to safety and education,” Phillips said. “The entry level class is an excellent first step on the path to learning for educators or students working with or around stage rigging equipment.”

Entry Level [washington, d.c. & MinneAPOLIS]

The entry level track is designed to help classroom theatre teachers and non-professional technicians maintain a safe working environment in schools and community theatres using counterweight systems for rigging. This track will cover fundamental topics, terminology, hardware, systems, tools and safe practices, as well as both counterweight and automated rigging safety and operations.

Attendees are issued the Jay O. Glerum Stage Rigging Handbook and will become familiar with it as a reference under the guide of their ETCP Certified Rigging instructor.

In association with CSUSM Extended Learning Glerum Rigging, has been approved for 1 Unit Credit for an additional $99. Certificates will be issued in partnership with Educational Theatre Association so that attendees may apply for recognition of continuing education credit.

Intermediate Level [washington, d.c.]

*Qualifies for 14 ETCP Renewal Credits*

This track is designed to advance the skills of those who have familiarized themselves with the basics of rigging and the safe operation of a counterweight system or those who have taken the Entry Level course.

ETCP Certified Instructors will cover:

  • Review of Breaking Strength, Design Factor, Working Load Limit
  • Physics of Loads and Forces
  • Beam Loading and Cantilevers
  • Truss Basics – inspection and general principles
  • Mechanical Advantage
  • Bridle Rigging
  • Overview of basic automation controls
  • Out of balance loading situations for counterweight systems

Advanced Level [minnesota]

*Qualifies for 14 ETCP Renewal Credits*

Advanced track will be taught for ETCP renewal credit and include training on the latest innovations in rigging as well as advanced safety such as life rescue and other topics. This class qualifies for 14 ETCP renewal credits.

The two-day curriculum: Understanding Fall Protection, Arrest, and Rescue Plans

ETCP Certified Instructors will cover:

  • Fall Protection basics
  • Fall protection equipment
  • Current regulations and codes
  • Limiting fall hazards, restraint, protection, arrest
  • Fall rescue plans
  • Considerations for creation of fall arrest system – structure, planning, etc.
  • Concerns and considerations once someone has fallen/loads involved
  • Simulating a fall

Attendees are issued a handbook guided by a PowerPoint presentation and are instructed by ETCP Certified Riggers.

glerum intructors

Washington D.C. ENTRY LEVEL

  • Shane Kelly – Chair of Design and Technology, Head of Theatre Technology, Head of Projection Design ETCP Certified Rigger – Arena & Theatre, ETCP Recognized Trainer
  • Brian Phillips – Technical Director, Ohio Northern University, ECTP Certified Theatrical Rigger
  • Christopher Morris – Technical Director, Salem State University


  • Ed Leahy – Head Trainer and Cruise Ship Division Manager, Chicago Flyhouse, Inc.
    ETCP Certified Rigger – Arena & Theatre, ETCP Recognized Trainer
  • Mark Rapach – Technical Director, The Clarice Smith PAC, University of Maryland
    ETCP Certified Rigger – Theatre

Minneapolis ENTRY LEVEL

  • Patrick Finn – Performing Arts Product Manager, J.R. Clancy
  • Jerry Dougherty – Production Manager, Central Washington University ECTP Certified Rigger – Theatre
  • Mary Black – Director, School of Theatre and Dance, Millikin University


  • Eric Rouse – ETCP Recognized Trainer, ETCP Certified Rigger – Theatre, Chicago Flyhouse
  • Bill Sapsis – ETCP Recognized Trainer, ETCP Certified Rigger – Arena & Theatre, Sapsis Rigging Inc.
  • Patrick Stewart – ETCP Recognized Trainer, ETCP Certified Rigger – Arena, ETC, IATSE Local 251

Jay O. Glerum Rigging Masterclasses are sponsored by JR Clancy, H&H Specialties, ETC, and in-kind sponsor Chicago Flyhouse.