The costume designer for the Closing Ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the lighting designer for both the Opening and Closing ceremonies will be part of the upcoming USITT Annual Conference & Stage Expo.

Award-winning costume designer Han Chuenqi, who has extensive experience designing for large-scale venues, including the opening ceremonies for several international sporting events in China as well as operas, such as Aida, Dream of Dunhuang, and The Butterfly.

Lighting designer Sha Xiaolan has been called the most influential lighting designer in China and has won numerous awards. He has designed many national events in China as well as lighting for theatre, opera, dance, and television.

The Early registration deadline is February 12 for USITT’s Annual Conference & Stage Expo, which will be held March 18 to 21, 2009 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Save money by completing a registration by February 12.

USITT is planning more than 200 sessions from topics as diverse as engineering problems, knot usage, props creation, design solutions with lights, costume or sound, to a day of focus on sound playback. The USITT Stage Expo features 150 exhibitors with innovative products, services, and programs along with special exhibitions of technical solutions to production challenges, the Cover the Walls design exhibit, and more.

The USITT Rising Star Award, sponsored by LDI and Live Design, will be presented to this year’s winner, Sean Savoie, at the USITT Banquet on March 21, 2009