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USITT to Explore New Entertainment Technology at Spark! Symposium Sept. 7-9 in N.C.

USITT’s first Spark! symposium on using new technologies to enhance live performance is slated for Sept. 7-9 at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Spark! will bring together artists and engineers, designers and technicians to “spark” ideas for applying innovations like 3D holographics, new audio and visual software, and products like Google Glass in the entertainment industry.

USITT has recruited visual designer Tupac Martir of London’s Satore Studio to help lead the entertainment innovation symposium, said USITT Executive Director David Grindle.

“Tupac Martir’s lighting and visual design work has been seen throughout the US and Europe, bringing new perspectives to performance art,” Grindle said. “His work with Alexander McQueen helped redefine the fashion show.”

Other presenters include Cirque du Soleil, whose Michael Jackson One show features a 3D hologram of the 'King of Pop', and researchers field-testing Google Glass at live performances. Additional presenters, as well as attendance fees, will be announced as determined at

Spark! attendees will participate in two types of sessions. Exploration Sessions will let people “get their hands on new and developing products and explore creative ways to incorporate these different technologies into live entertainment,” Grindle said.

“Attendees will break into groups for Spark! Sessions to brainstorm imaginative solutions to entertainment industry problems, needs, and ideas.

“USITT has arranged for affordable hotel housing for attendees at the historic Brookstown Inn in Winston-Salem,” Grindle said.

“We are designing Spark! to attract high-end innovators, researchers, and entertainment engineers as well as problem-solvers and open thinkers in all disciplines,” he said. “We anticipate people from across the nation and around the globe coming together the weekend after Labor Day for some creative thinking.”

Spark! is one of several new programs being launched by USITT, the United States Institute for Theatre Technology. USITT is the national non-profit providing networking, continuing education, safety training, product resourcing, and promotion opportunities in entertainment design and technology.

9th May 2014

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