On the last day of the conference, I had the feeling that I absolutely had to see everything I could before I left. The first session I went to was called “Choreographing Scenery”, and although it was apparently officially canceled, so many people showed up, that it turned into a roundtable discussion for everyone there. Interestingly, it evolved into a debate about how to train students to manage their time in an academic setting.

Should a student be allowed to stay at school all night during tech week to finish everything? Or should time restraints similar to union time regulations in the “real world” be imposed at universities, as well? Should students get used to time not equaling money? Or should they be allowed to learn time management skills through the experience of being forced to pull an all-nighter and learning first-hand how stressful and exhausting it is?

Although no general consensus was reached, it is an interesting topic to think about—is it fair to have a director to tell a student designer throughout the rehearsal process that all the odds and ends will be resolved during tech week, and then to tell that student during tech week that they are not allowed to stay past midnight, even if it means some things are left to chance on opening night?

At the Young Designers on View, I had the opportunity to see the best of the best student portfolios on display. As I have to make my own portfolio this semester, it was an invaluable asset to be able to see what techniques others are using to present their works. From abstract renderings to model sets with fluorescent lighting, almost every student had a creative solution in order to showcase their talents.

Overall, the conference was one of the most eye-opening experiences I have had in my very young theatre career since my Intro to Tech Theatre course. The atmosphere of openness and willingness to share is absolutely overwhelming. I have never had more of a sense of people wanting to share their immense knowledge with both each other as well as the students in attendance. I am very glad that I was able to attend this conference, and would also like to thank CURCA for their funding, without which this opportunity would not have been a reality for me.