Rick Earl serves as expert panelist for 2022 New World Rigging Symposium

Earl, production manager for cultural and special programs, was an expert panelist at New World Rigging Symposium for the session "Hosting Road Shows at a University"

Rick Earl, production manager for cultural and special programs, was honored to be a panelist for the 2022 New World Rigging Symposium (NWRS) which ran from April 5 to April 7.

The symposium was produced by The Entertainment Services and Technology Association (ESTA) and The United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT). Earl was one of three subject-matter experts for the session, “Hosting Road Shows at a University.”

Other panel members were Dan Sonnen, technical director for Binghamton University in New York, and Tracy Kathleen Stark, safety engineer from the University of California, Riverside. Their discussion included the unique challenges and advantages of producing events in a university setting versus in a commercial, for-profit performing arts facility. The panelists discussed issues of funding, labor, safety, leadership experience and training. A Q&A session followed the presentation.

The NWRS brings together professional riggers, engineers, manufacturers, venue managers, educators and students to further their rigging knowledge and learn about challenging projects. Participants get up to speed on new technologies, discuss current industry challenges and have their questions answered by a host of experts. The symposium carries nine education renewal credits for re-certification in the Entertainment Technician Certification Program (ETCP). This rigorous program certifying professional technicians was created by a group of industry organizations, businesses and experts. It focuses on the health and safety of crews, performers, and audiences.

Certifications are in the following disciplines: Arena Riggers, Theatre Riggers, Entertainment Electricians and Portable Power Distribution Technicians. This year there were 275 participants registered for the symposium, representing the U.S., Canada, Australia, New South Wales, New Zealand, Israel and South Korea.

ESTA is a non-profit trade association for the entertainment technology industries. ESTA’s members are responsible for creating some of the most important programs in the industry including ETCP and the Technical Standards Program, the only ANSI-accredited standards program dedicated to the needs of the entertainment technology industry.

USITT was founded in 1960 as an organization to promote dialogue, research, and learning among practitioners of theatre design and technology. USITT is dedicated to the professional development of those who are an integral part of the performing arts and entertainment industry.