Tuesday, September 17, 2013

USITT Invites Applications for Free Stage Inspections

The United States Institute for Theatre Technology, offers free inspections and stage crew safety training through its Rigging Safety Initiative.

The program, launched in 2011 with a $25,000 donation from J.R. Clancy, invites applications from schools twice a year, in spring and fall. So far, USITT has approved free stage rigging inspections and training for 52 schools in 21 states.

USITT’s Rigging Safety Initiative was created to fund inspections of theatrical rigging in secondary schools across America. In addition, schools receive 4 hours of training regarding the proper care and operation of the particular system in their facility.

This program is open to all secondary schools, public and private, nationwide. The cost to the schools is only that of the travel and housing of the inspector (if necessary) and any special equipment required (such as a lift or other item to access the system).

With a network of inspectors nationwide that are participating, many schools will find that their actual cost is nothing. Schools that apply and receive the inspection will get to choose from a list of participating inspectors in their area. USITT pays the inspector directly, so there is no paperwork or processing for administrators.

What does the school receive? A detailed report in layman’s terms regarding the safety and health of their rigging. Presented in a clear language by professional inspectors, schools will see what is working properly and what potential problems may arise and be eliminated with routine care. Should there be a major issue of safety, the inspector may address the issue by taking that part of the rigging out of service, but these instances should be rare.

In addition to the inspection, schools receive four hours of training for up to eight faculty, staff, and students, on the safe operation and maintenance of the specific system in their school. This will insure that the people supervising and operating the system have the most current knowledge on safe operation of a complex system.

So what’s the catch? There really isn’t one. This program is available through the generosity of founding sponsor J.R. Clancy of Syracuse, New York, three other companies who have contributed to the program this year -- ETC of Middleton, Wisconsin, Shepard Exposition Services of Atlanta, Georgia, and H&H Specialties of South El Monte, California.

To find out more about the program check out USITT's info page at http://www.usitt.org/content.asp?contentid=330