We've been writing a lot about our Broadway Lighting and Sound Master Classes in the last several months, in these pages and on our websites and e-newsletters. Quite frankly, we've made it almost impossible for you to avoid. And if you've been paying attention, you know that two industry legends were the faculty chairs for each event: lighting designer Jules Fisher and sound designer Abe Jacob. Each designer had put together a stellar faculty for their events: Don Holder, Ken Billington, and Wendall Harrington among the lighting staff; Tom Clark, John Leonard, and John Kilgore among the sound staff.
I'm writing this on the morning of the first day of classes — a hot, muggy summer day in New York City — and it looks like we have a hit on our hands. The response among designers, technicians, distributors, and manufacturers was tremendous. Now in its ninth year, the lighting classes attracted record attendees and sponsors. And the sound classes far exceeded our expectations for a first-year event. Smack dab in the middle of it all is our annual EDDY Awards, and it looks like we're going to have record attendance there, too.
I'd like to think that all of us who helped pull off these events — publisher Jackie Tien, editorial director David Barbour, technical editor Michael Eddy and his wife, production manager Kathleen Eddy, marketing coordinator Christina Heil, senior editor Ellen Lampert-Gréaux, sales reps Aimee Eckert, Adrienne Gurman, and Holly O'Hair, art director John Scott — were really smart, that we pulled off a great event all on our own and that we have every right to brag about it. And I'm sure that once it's all over, if you find me at some industry event with a couple of beers in my belly, I'd be happy to brag 'til the cows come home.
But fact is this industry has always had an insatiable thirst for knowledge. There will always be new gear, new techniques, new ideas, and new frontiers in theatre design and technology, and, by extension, the rest of live entertainment. Education continues to be a top priority, obviously for all the schools, teachers, and students around the country, but also for working designers, manufacturers, technicians, and everyone else involved in making a show come together.
That's why education is our top priority too. You can see it in our coverage, from our monthly columnists to the two issues we devote to education each year. You can see it in our close involvement with the annual LDI trade show. And you can certainly see it in the Master Classes. And we're not finished either; look for more educational programs and coverage from us in the months to come. Hopefully I'll have more bragging to do.
PS: It's now the Monday after all the above events, and I'm afraid I'm just going to have to start bragging now: They were all a spectacular success. We'll be writing about all of them in the next issue of the magazine, but I just wanted to comment on the amazing hunger for education exhibited by the both the lighting and sound students, who traveled from all over the country and the world to attend these events. They listened intently to each speaker, asked numerous questions afterwards, spent quality time with each exhibitor and learned all about their gear, and then also talked amongst themselves, comparing notes. These last five days have been among the most gratifying of my career. And also the most exhausting. I'm going to bed.