Jon Jory, founder of the Humana Festival of New American Plays and former Artistic Director of Actors Theatre of Louisville, will deliver the Keynote address which kicks off USITT's 46th Annual Conference & Stage Expo March 29 in Louisville, KY. Jory will speak at 10 am Wednesday, March 29 at the Kentucky Center for the Arts in Louisville, examining the interaction between designers and artistic directors.

Actors Theatre of Louisville, along with Jory and current artistic director Marc Masterson, will receive USITT's Thomas DeGaetani Award for 2006 honoring contributions to the performing arts community in a particular region of the country.

Jory is currently Professor of Acting and Directing at the University of Washington. His published works include Tips: Ideas for Actors; Tips: Ideas for Directors and, in 2005, Tips II for Actors. In addition to his work in Louisville, Jory is well known as the founding artistic director of the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, CT. He has directed productions at 15 regional theatres including Washington's Arena Stage, San Francisco's American Conservatory Theatre, Hartford Stage, and the Guthrie Theatre. Recent directing credits include Omnium Gatherum, The Game of Love and Chance, The Underpants, and Good Boys. Jory's energies have been devoted to regional repertory and excellence in all facets of production, but especially to encouraging new writers and the production of new American plays.

While the majority of USITT Conference & Stage Expo sessions and exhibitions will be held at the Kentucky International Convention Center, several major Conference events will be held at the Kentucky Center for the Arts, including the renowned Opening Night party. Conference sessions, seminars, and meetings begin on March 29 and continue until Saturday evening, April 1. Day-long and multi-day Professional Development Workshops and regional events, including a multi-performance package of plays from the Humana Fest, begin on Monday, March 27.

Other professionals who will receive awards at the USITT Conference include Rosemary Ingham, costume design; Ming Cho Lee, education; James Moody, lighting design; Don and Carolyn Davis, sound design and technology; Marjorie Bradley Kellogg, scene design; and Frazier Marsh, management.

USITT's Annual Conference & Stage Expo is expected to draw more than 4,000 designers and technicians in the performing arts and entertainment industry to Louisville, one of the largest gatherings of technical performance professionals in the world. Stage Expo, which will be held March 30 to April 1, is expected to break records as USITT's largest trade show ever.

Extensive information about the Conference, including sessions listed by date, time and interest area, plus registration information, is available at www.usitt.org/Louisville or by calling 800-93USITT.