Laura Lee Everett* – Executive Director, USITT
Laura Lee Everett joins USITT in March 2023. Previously she served asChief Programs Officer for OPERA America.
Joining OPERA America in 2012, she facilitated the creation and opening of the National Opera Center in New York City. She created the public programming series Onstage at the Opera Center and established the curating cycles for the production design galleries featuring the work of celebrated scenic, costume, lighting, projection, wig, and production designers’ work in opera. Additionally, she produced professional development programs at the National Opera Center to facilitate composers and librettists, singers and pianists, and leadership training for future leaders in non-profit arts administration. She produced all programming and content for the bi-annual New Works Forum, gatherings of up to 400 producers, presenters, creators and collaborators of new music.
For OPERA America, she executive produced the Opera America Songbook (a collection of 50 commissioned songs for the opening of the National Opera Center), and Fierce Grace: Jeannette Rankin, a commissioned song cycle about the first U.S. congresswoman, written by an all-woman team of composers and librettists. In 2015 she launched the Women’s Opera Network and in 2022, produced the inaugural Awards for Digital Excellence in Opera, recognizing the best work created for digital platforms by artists and producers across the U.S. and Canada.
Everett spent 10 years as the managing director at the Maryland Opera Studio at the University of Maryland and eight seasons with the Aspen Opera Theater Center. In both positions, she cultivated support for programs developing new work, training the next generation of performers, directors, designers, and technicians, and giving students in the performing arts the essential opportunity to gain experience in classic repertoire and contemporary work.
She spent more than 20 years of her career as a stage and production manager specializing in opera and in this capacity has overseen productions and worked with many of the leading companies across the U.S.
As the program officer for all of OPERA America’s granting programs, annually funding more than $2M for new work creation and development, innovation in programming and production, and civic practice initiatives, Everett was instrumental in the 2014 creation of the Opera Grants for Women Composers programs, awarding more than $1M to 98 composers, and to companies producing their work. She was essential in cultivating the funding and creation of the 2019 and 2020 IDEA grant programs offering developmental grants for work and residencies by BIPOC composers and librettists.
David Grindle* – Former Executive Director, USITT
David Grindle served as USITT’s Executive Director from 2010 to 2022. As part of his tenure he worked to grow the international partnership of USITT including work on four PQ exhibitions.
As an ardent supporter of an inclusive USITT he aided in the efforts to bring more designers to the table in the 2023 exhibition through expanded calls for submission and greater inclusion among the exhibition jury. He led the call to help make a more “tour friendly” version of the exhibition starting in 2019 and continues today.
Grindle came to USITT after a career in opera stage management where he worked not only on classic repertory, but on American premieres and even wrote an English language libretto for Renzo Rosselini’s Le Campane as part of his graduate thesis American premiere production. He managed productions from jewel box theatres to hockey arenas. His first visit to Prague was in 2000 as part of an exchange between the staff of the Atlanta Opera and the National Opera House in Prague.
He also spent 9 years teaching stage and production management at the university level. He is a frequent speaker on management globally.
Joseph King* – EDI Liaison
Bio Coming Soon
Jim Lile* – Technical Director, FSU
Jim Lile is an Associate Professor and Co-Program Director of the Technical Production Program for the School of Theatre at Florida State University. He earned his MFA from the Yale School of Drama in Technical Design and Production and a BA from Iowa State University. He served as Production Manager and Technical Director for Des Moines Metro Opera for over twelve seasons.
Over the years, he has served as Production Manager, Technical Director, Stage Manager, and Lighting Designer for various theatrical and dance companies. A few companies he has worked with are Des Moines Metro Opera, Nashville Opera, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Utah Shakespeare Festival, and Pensacola Opera. He was a member of IATSE Local 174 in
He served as Technical Director for Iowa State University Theatre for six years. Before arriving at FSU, Jim was the Production Manager for Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. He is ETCP Certified Rigger-Theatre and a rigging consultant with Associated Controls + Design.
Joshua Wickham* – Production Manager, FSU
Bio Coming Soon
Jonathan Shimon* – Technical Advisor
Jonathan Shimon is an Associate Professor of Theatre Technology in the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University at Buffalo. What started as building scenery after class in middle school has led Jon to a career as a Technical Director whose research finds ways of utilizing technology in the aid of storytelling while maintaining artistic vision, safety, and efficiency. He is a certified theatrical rigger and recognized trainer through the Entertainment Technician Certification Program. Jon was honored to be selected as the Technical Director for the US entries in the 2019 Prague Quadrennial.