CIRQUE DU SOLEIL Resident Shows Division Receives USITT Award
The Resident Shows Division of Cirque du Soleil received the Institute's highest honor, the USITT Award, at USITT 2017.
The award recognizes a lifetime contribution to the performing arts and entertainment communities. It was presented at the 2017 Annual Conference & Stage Expo on March 8 in St. Louis, MO.
Cirque du Soleil is an entertainment company based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The name translates from French to "circus of the sun." A leader in live entertainment, Cirque du Soleil's shows are known for their combination of powerful athleticism, high energy acrobatics, inspiring imagery and cutting-edge theatrical technology, and have been seen by more than 160 million people in 60 countries on six continents.
"We understand we are a leader in the industry and to remain a leader in the industry we need to ensure that we are developing the entertainment technicians of tomorrow," said Kim Scott, Company Manager for The Beatles LOVE by Cirque du Soleil. "The only way to do that is to be involved in the development of those technicians by providing high level education at a cost to students so that they can get these opportunities without breaking the bank."
Jerry Nadal, Senior Vice President of the Resident Show Division of Cirque du Soleil, played an integral part in supporting USITT training, education, and mentoring initiatives. Nadal has been assembling teams that launched these initiatives under his direction and leadership. Nadal has supported the people on the ground and allowed them to have the resources and the leadership support that Cirque du Soleil needed to make these programs successful for the membership.
"If we can at least touch one member and make a positive difference in their career, then everything that we're doing is worthwhile," Scott said. "To have the institute recognize our company for the time and effort and resources that we give, it means that we've been a responsible member of the entertainment industry. We've paid it forward; it hasn't just been for us."
The Elite program has since become a highly popular event providing students and early career professionals with an opportunity to engage industry leading professionals from Cirque du Soleil, through three days of intensive, hands-on training in sound, rigging, automation, projection, and stage management. The Elite program is free to participants, and available exclusively to USITT members.
"As much as we want Cirque du Soleil to be the employer of choice, we also want to be a supporter of the entertainment industry as a whole and develop our next generation of colleagues -no matter what company they choose to work for," Scott said. "That's the overarching reason why we continue to stay involved with USITT."
USITT, the United States Institute for Theatre Technology, is a national non-profit association for the live entertainment production industry. It provides hands-on learning, mentorship, and networking opportunities for emerging and working professionals in the backstage arts. Its Annual Conference and Stage Expo is the only complete production event in North America, featuring over 250 training sessions and 280 exhibitors of the latest tools and resources for creating live entertainment. More information is available at usitt.org.