By: Todd Proffitt, USITT Lighting Commission

The United States Institute for Theatre Technology is excited to announce the inaugural Mainstage Collaboration Project (not to be confused with the Mainstage Volunteer Program). With the creation of the Mainstage space at the USITT annual Conference, an opportunity for a unique and powerful project has been created. The Lighting, Sound, and newly formed Media and Projection Commissions are teaming up to collaborate on a project for students and early career members of the institute. The Mainstage Collaboration Project is a joint design project for teams of designers to present their work in the Mainstage space at the USITT19 in Louisville, Ky.

USITT is looking for teams of college students, graduate school students, and Early Career Members consisting of one lighting designer, one sound designer, one media/projections designer. Incomplete groups or solo designers are welcome to sign up as well, and we will try to construct as many teams from those applications as we can. Each team will work to create a collaborative design for a theme and environment provided them. The groups will then submit their research and concepts to the organizers of the project. The submissions will be reviewed, and groups will continue on to the second phase of the project.

In the second phase, students will work in their teams to turn their concepts into a realized design. Those designs will be submitted to the project organizers, who will review the submissions. From these designs, three teams will be chosen to install and present their designs in the Mainstage space at the USITT Annual Conference in Louisville, Ky. The three teams will also receive some support from the Institute, as well as free registration to the Conference.

This project ushers in a new idea in programming in the institute. With the creation of the Mainstage space, the Lighting, Sound, and Media/Projections Commissions enter into a unique opportunity to share a space that allows for the execution of sessions that require a larger format system. By sharing the space, all three commissions gain the benefit of the large systems in the room, as well as the opportunity to provide a one of a kind collaborative project to students and early career members.

For more information, email Erik Alberg (; Todd Proffitt (; or Joe Payne (

To register a team or individual, please contact Erik Alberg (

Please submit your team of three designers (lighting, sound, and projection) or indicate your interest in joining a team by Jan. 18.