Events & Highlights

Join us for insightful speeches, fascinating conversations, adrenaline-inducing competitions, and the excitement of hearing the loudspeaker demos up close and personal. From keynotes to catching swag at the new products showcase, these events and highlights are sure to be jam-packed with luminaries and demo experiences galore.

USITT Keynote Speaker

Jackie Taylor, founder, and CEO of Chicago’s Black Ensemble Theater will provide the keynote address at the 59th Annual Conference & Stage Expo. Taylor is a distinguished director, producer, actress, educator, singer, playwright, who has written and produced more than 100 plays and musical biographies.

Learn more about Jackie here >>

Early Career Honors Keynote Speaker

Visual artist Tupac Martir will deliver remarks at the Early Career Honors, marking his return to USITT as a speaker for the first time since he delivered the Keynote address in Salt Lake City in 2016. He will bring his presentation “1 to 24: The Journey of A Studio” to attendees of the Early Career Honor awards with his vibrant nature as a backbone.

Learn more about Tupac here >>

Distinguished Achievement Award Winners in Conversation

The Distinguished Achievement Awards honor an individual who has established a meritorious career record in a specific field of expertise in any area of design or technology in the performing arts or entertainment industry.

Winners will converse Friday morning and star in individual sessions highlighting their achievements

Opening Night & New Products Showcase

Who doesn’t love a freebie? Get free swag from fan-favorite companies at the new products showcase. Get exclusive looks at what companies have been working on since the last conference before Stage Expo opens. This night of fun wouldn’t be complete without you, so make sure to fit it into your schedule! 

Wednesday, March 20
7:00pm - 10:00pm 


Sponsored By

Wenger | J.R. ClancyDisney Parks Live Entertainment


Live Sound Loudspeaker Demo

Live Sound International and ProSoundWeb are teaming up with USITT to present the latest Loudspeaker Demos!

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to evaluate a mixture of eight large, small, compact, and portable systems from leading manufacturers. Oh yeah, did we mention it’s FREE?

Learn More

USITT Tech Olympics

Where students come to compete. Gather your best technical team for a chance to win top of the line gear, equipment, and swag from our exhibitors. Challenges in costume, lighting, knot-tying, and more will determine who comes out on top.

Learn More

"I look forward to Tech olympics every year. As a judge, its so much fun seeing the talent and enthusiasm the participants bring each year."

- Todd Proffitt, Tech Olympics Judge

Think you can do a costume quick change better than your competition? Let’s see!

Friendly competition is fun, but we’ve added great prizes to sweeten the deal and up the stakes

Awards & Recognition

Celebrate achievements of emerging careers and distinguished careers.  USITT is proud to honor the people in our industry that often go unnoticed.

Be inspired by the work and wisdom of these individuals.  From Early Career Honors to Distinguished Achievement Winners in Conversation, the Awards and Recognition offered at USITT give us all a time to celebrate and be inspired.

2019 Rising Star

The Rising Star Award, established by LDI/LiveDesign magazine, is given annually to a young professional at the beginning of his or her career. The award recognizes excellence and artistic achievement in the areas of scenic, lighting, sound, and projection design, or the convergence of these design disciplines. Recipients must be in the first four years of professional work following the completion of his or her highest degree.

Young Designers, Managers, and Technicians Awards

The Awards for Young Designers, Managers, and Technicians in the Performing Arts, known throughout USITT as the YDMT Awards, bring recognition and support to young designers and technicians at the beginning of their careers. They are made possible by generous gifts to USITT from their sponsors.

Closing Night Reception

USITT Closing Night
USITT Closing Night
USITT Closing Night
USITT Closing Night

4th Street Live! | 400 S 4th St.
Saturday, March 23 | 6:00pm - 9:00pm

Get ready for a night on the town ... or should we say street! Join us on closing night to celebrate a successful USITT19 at the fully rented out upper level of 4th Street Live! (with elevator access!)

4th Street Live! is a mecca of dining and entertainment in the heart of downtown Louisville. Just steps away from the Kentucky International Convention Center, official Conference hotels, and other Louisville landmarks, this entertainment destination oozes fun and food in a laid back, all-under-one-roof atmosphere.