The 38th annual United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) Conference and Stage Expo will be held at the Long Beach, CA, Convention and Entertainment Center, March 18-21. The event kicks off with the presentation of the Thomas DeGaetani Award, named after USITT's first president. Martin Benson, artistic director, and David Emmes, producing artistic director of the South Coast Repertory Theatre in Costa Mesa, CA, are the recipients.

Two longtime USITT members will receive the USITT Award, given annually to theatre professionals to recognize lifetime contributions to the performing arts community. They are Elden Elder, who has designed sets, lighting, and costumes for more than 200 Broadway, Off Broadway, opera, and regional theatre projects in the US, London, Johannesburg, and Berlin; and William Warfel, professor emeritus of stage lighting at Yale.

The 1998 USITT Special Citations will be presented to Normand Bouchard and the Entertainment Services & Technology Association (ESTA). Bouchard is being honored for his service as an officer of USITT's Alberta section and liaison to CITT; ESTA's citation is for its development of industry standards.

The newly established 1998 USITT Distinguished Achievement Award will be given to Richard L. Hay, who has been principal scenic designer for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival since 1969, and was a member of the US delegation to the Prague Quadrennial in 1983 and 1987.

Further information about the USITT Conference and Stage Expo can be found at the organization's website at