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Apply by March 28 for USITT Elite Training at Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas May 19-21

Wednesday, March 23, 2016   (0 Comments)
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USITT is accepting applications for its Elite Training weekend for emerging technical theatre professionals May 19-21 in Las Vegas. The deadline to apply is March 28. Apply here.

The Elite program provides three days of intensive, hands-on training FREE to a total of 40 participants in sound, rigging, automation, projection, and stage management at the Cirque du Soleil Training Center in Vegas.

Eight students per discipline train with USITT partners Cirque du Soleil, Meyer Sound, CM Entertainment Technology, Theatrical Concepts Inc., Silver State Wire Rope & Rigging Inc., Tait Stage Technologies, and Nicopress. They also get backstage tours of Cirque shows and one-on-one interaction with industry professionals and production staff.

Those selected only pay for their transportation to Vegas, hotel housing, and some meals. Hotel housing is $100 per night for Elite participants, $50 if willing to share with a roommate.

Elite Training has been described as “life-changing” by many past participants, some of whom have come back to train in more than one discipline.

Garron RodgersGarron Rodgers, a theatre technology student at Chapman University in Orange, CA, participated in Elite Training in automation last year. He called it “an experience that I will treasure for the rest of my career in the entertainment industry.”

“It was a privilege to learn about the growing industry and be trained on all of TAIT’s automation equipment and control systems,” he said. “I am now determined to pursue a career in the field of automation.”

Chris Rybitski, a 2012 graduate of Radford University now teaching scenic technology at the University of Virginia, took Elite Training in rigging in 2015.

“The unique part of this training is that the president of Silver State Wire Rope and Rigging stopped what he was doing to personally teach the class,” Rybitski wrote.

“The best part is that it is offered free of charge. All we had to do was show up and soak up all the information,” he added. “It felt like USITT had convinced the entertainment companies of Vegas to unlock their doors and let us wander around inside.” He offered the headline, “Best hands-on training of your life – AND it’s free.”

The program is open to USITT Student and Early Career members of college and early professional ages. Those who apply as non-members must be prepared to join USITT if accepted into the program. (Rates are $67 per year for Student and $78 for Early Career, and include many benefits.)

Applying for Elite is free. Learn more at

USITT, the United States Institute for Theatre Technology, is the national non-profit association for live entertainment production professionals. It provides year-round, life-long learning opportunities for students and working professionals in the backstage arts. For more info, visit

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