The Gateway Program

Participate as a Gateway mentee or mentor at USITT 2018 through the Gateway Program. The Gateway Program provides professional mentoring to students and early-career professionals from underrepresented populations involved in theatre production.

Twelve mentees will be selected to receive Conference registration, travel and housing support to USITT 2018, and will be paired with a mentor working professionally in a similar field. In addition, Gateway mentees take part in special receptions and sessions on diversity and inclusion in the production industry.

“The Gateway Program gave me the skills to be confident in who I am and let my work speak for me,” said Gateway mentee, Alex Cooper. “The program opened my world to people who look like me and enjoy their work.”

The deadline to nominate is November 24, 2017. Learn more.

Rising Star Award

The Rising Star Award recognizes excellence and artistic achievement in these design disciplines: scenic, lighting, sound, video, or a convergence of these disciplines.

The Rising Star Award, sponsored by LDI/Live Design, is presented annually to a young designer in the first five years of their career, after completing their graduate or undergraduate degree.

The deadline to nominate is November 30, 2017. Learn more.

Mainstage Volunteer Program

The USITT Conference Mainstage Volunteer Program offers educational opportunities to learn from and work next to professionals representing disciplines from throughout the Institute. Under the leadership of faculty and other industry professionals, volunteers will work to plan, produce, and create a home for several Conference events and Sound Lab as well as Conference sessions and celebrations.

Opportunities for leadership and planning include production design, technical management, and coordination between vendors, presenters, and honorees.

All volunteers need to be registered as Student or Early Career members and commit to working approximately 20 hours during the week of the Conference. Leadership and pre-production positions will require a much larger time commitment for preparation and meetings leading up to the Conference.

The deadline to apply is December 1, 2017. Learn more.


The Young Designers’ Forum (YDF) brings together talented students with established designers and directors for a review and discussion of the students’ work. Participation is by juried selection and is limited to 12 students.

The Young Technicians’ Forum (YTF) brings together talented students with established shop heads, technicians/artisans, and designers for a review and discussion of the students’ work. Participation is by juried selection and is limited to 12 students.

Both the Young Designers’ and Young Technicians’ Forums begin Friday, March 16, with set-up at 8 a.m., and run-through Saturday, March 17.

The deadline to apply is January 6, 2018.

Early Career Mentoring

Develop a lasting connection with a seasoned professional in your field by participating in the Early Career Mentoring Program at USITT 2018.

Developed by USITT Fellows, this opportunity brings together mentors and Early Career members to discuss career opportunities and future goals, provide career guidance, and introduce mentees to other USITT members and exhibitors.

“From the moment I met my mentors, I knew that they were greatly interested in my career and wanting to help me in any way possible,” said USITT 2017 Early Career Mentoring Program mentee, Korey Lamb. “I know that as I progress in my career, they will both help me with any roadblocks or barriers I encounter.”

The deadline to apply is January 15, 2018. Learn more.

Student Ambassador Program

Discover the technical theatre industry from an international perspective through the Student Ambassador Program.

The Student Ambassador Program provides an opportunity for students to network and interact with well-known international designers and technicians who will be attending the Conference.

“I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in learning more about what it’s like to make theatre in another country or different social culture,” said USITT 2017 Student Ambassador mentee, Andrew Hunt. “I learned a great deal about lighting design in China and learned a few things that will help me in my own work.”

Three student members will pair with three international guests with similar areas of focus. This encourages one-on-one networking between student designers and technicians and global colleagues.

This opportunity is available for those who are USITT Student or Early Career members.

The deadline to apply is January 15, 2018. Learn more.