Yale University School of Drama student Dan Perez accepted the 2013 Frederick A. Buerki "Golden Hammer" Scenic Technology Award from sponsor Dr. Bernhard Works on Wednesday night, March 20, opening night of the 2013 United States Institute for Theatre Technology Annual Conference & Stage Expo in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Dan won the award for his design of Katy Perry's flying pink cloud and his work on the Billy Elliott tour, among other efforts. He received a $1,000 prize and free registration to the four-day USITT Conference, which draws 5,000 people from the world of theatre design and technology. The conference runs through Saturday, March 23.
Over 5,000 theatrical designers and technicians will assemble at Milwaukee's Delta Center March 20-23 for the United States Institute for Theatre Technology's 53rd Annual Conference & Stage Expo.
The four-day USITT Conference brings many of the brightest stars behind the scenes of American theatre together to share ideas, inspiration and innovations in the field of entertainment design and technology.
Celebrity highlights include a March 23 appearance by 2012 Tony Award-winning scenic designer Donyale Werle and her campaign for "green theatre," and several winners of 2013 USITT Distinguished Achievement Awards -- including world-famous set and costume designer Desmond Heeley, who became the first designer to win Tonys for both set and costume design in 1968 and took home his most recent Tony in 2011 for costuming "The Importance of Being Earnest."
This will be the first time USITT has held its Conference in Milwaukee since 1990. The event has grown significantly since, and 2013 will be the biggest ever, with over 175 workshops and special events and over 200 companies represented on the largest theatre tradeshow floor in America.
USITT has filled 5,000 rooms in three Milwaukee hotels with attendees from all over - from designers for Disney, Cirque du Soleil and the Prague Quadrennial to university performing arts programs such as Yale School of Drama, Carnegie Mellon University, and even small Viterbo University in LaCrosse, Wis., which is sending 25 students and faculty to what it calls "the Super Bowl of theatre technology and design."
USITT's Annual Conference & Stage Expo is the performing arts industry 's leading event for education, networking and resourcing of theatre products and services. Besides the Conference, USITT provides year-round networking, education and awards opportunities to 4,000 members of the performing arts and entertainment technology industry.
For more information about the USITT Conference, visit www.usitt.org/2013.