Dan Fredell, student of the Department of Theatre & Dance at USITT.

The Winona State University Department of Theatre & Dance (THAD) attended the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) March 20-23 in Milwaukee, Wis.

The USITT conference is a national exposition of stage professionals, manufacturers and equipment, and is also a meeting of professional and educational theatre practitioners.

WSU attendees included THAD theatre technician Jim Danneker, associate professor Peggy Sannerud, and students Dan Fredell, Holly Anderson and Miranda Zuffa.

While at the conference, Danneker attended sessions on theatre safety, fall protection and theatre restoration. Sannerud attended sessions on creativity and risk taking, teaching scenic painting, Broadway lighting techniques, and toured Milwaukee’s Masonic Temple to view their historic drops and learn about restoration possibilities.

The students met theatre professionals from around the country and attended various sessions from new makeup materials to exploring career paths in technical theatre with employers like Cirque du Soleil, Disney and United Tours.

The Winona Warrior Wombats competed in the National Tech Olympics. Although the team did not finish among the top schools, Fredell took second place individually in the prop-setting event, placing him in the top students in the country for technical proficiency. Fredell’s award is significant because he is a theatre minor and a computer science major.

Fredell also entered two projects in the “Cover the Walls Design and Tech Expo” and received feedback from theatre professionals on his work involving the creation of a portable dimmer to be used on scenery, and a software application that simplifies complicated audition processes.

For more information, visit www.USITT.org or email Sannerud.