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The History of the Northern Boundary Section

The Northern Boundary Section began organizing in Minnesota in 1979 under the leadership of Dick Durst.   An election for officers was held November 6, 1979, with the expectation that the USITT Board of Directors would approve our Section status at the December 8, 1979, meeting in Kansas City (which it did).  The Section received its Charter from USITT on November 7, 1979 – so we actually had the Charter before the BOD approved the Section status --- hmmm.  During a Section Executive Board meeting it was unanimously approved to include North and South Dakota in our Section and to name it the Northern Boundary Section (verified in a letter of inquiry from Susan Lassman Smith, Secretary of the Section, to Herb Greggs, Administrative Secretary USITT, dated January 4, 1980). 

The first annual business meeting of the Section was held during the ACTF January 24, 1980, at St. Catherine’s in St. Paul, MN.

The first conference we attended as a Section was in 1980 in Kansas City. 

The Section was officially incorporated as a non-profit corporation in the state of Minnesota on January 19, 1983.

Officers (boldface indicates founding officers):

Chair: Dick Durst (1979-1982), Ed Krehl (1982-86), Lance Brockman (1986-92), Steve Griffith (1992-1995), Mary Beth Gagner (1995-95), Treva Reimer (1995-2003), Rooth Varland (2003-----)

Senior Vice-Chair:Tom Bliese (1979-84), Lance Brockman (1984-86), Steve Griffith (1986-92), Peg Murphy (1992-93), Treva Reimer (1995-95), Jim Casey (1995-98), Greg Gillette (1998-01),  Jim Trenberth (2001-03), Kathy Stewart (2003----)

Junior Vice-Chair: Ed Krehl (1979-82), Fred Lange (1982-86), Pat Dennis (1986-95), Brian Bjorklund (1995----)

Secretary:Susan Lassman Smith (1979-1982), Jean Montgomery (1982-92, pro tem 2001-03), Bill Wallace (1992-01), Esther Iverson (2003-06)

Treasurer: Fred Lange (1979-1982), Tim Kudalis (1982-86), John Justad (1986-88), Jean Montgomery (1988 ----)

Members-at-Large:      

Tim Kudalis (1981-82)

Jeff Taylor (1982-88)

Larry Hill (1982-8x)

Lance Brockman (1982-86)

Peg Murphy (1988-92)

Bill Wallace (1988-92)

Tom Bliese (1984-88)

Arden Weaver (1992-95)

Vance Gerchak (1992-95)

Tim Case (1992-98)

Paul Sannerud (1992-95)

Kim LaFontaine  (1992-97)

Adrian Durlester  (1995-01)

Kelly Allison (1995-97)

Linda Pisano (2001-03)

Ron Stoffregren  (2001-03)

Dave Borron  (2001-03)         

Arden Weaver (1995-03)

Greg Gillette (2001-03)

Todd Johnson (2003-06)

David Griffith (2003-06)

Sheila Tabaka (2003-06)

Jim Trenberth (1998-01, 2003-06)

Dan Keyser (2003-06)

(Board membership changed to regional representation following 1988-90 term of office: North, West, South, East, and Metro.)                                  

Appointed Commissioners:

Architecture
Kevin Sullivan (1981-1982), Kerry Lafferty (1992-95), Dan Keyser (1988---)

Architecture
Co-Commissioner
Ed Krehl (1988-92)

Costume
Pat Dennis (1981-1982), Joy Erickson (1988-92), Mary Beth Gagner (1992-95), Kathleen Gossman (1995-2006)

Costume
Co-Commissioner 
Chris Vesper (1988-92) 

Scene Design/TD
Dennis Chandler  (1981-1982 ), Don Larew (1988-92), Dan Keyser (1992-95)

Scene Design
Co-Commissioner 
Paul Sannerud (1988-92)

Lighting & Sound
Brian Bjorklund  (1982-88 ), Dick Borgen (1982-88 ). Dave Johnson (1988-95), Jim Trenberth (1995-01), Randy Susevich (2001-2003)

Lighting & Sound
Co-Commissioner
Dennis Chandler (1988-92), Peggy Sannerud (1992-95)

Sound Design & Tech Production
Martin Gwinup (1996-2006)

Publications/Newsltr
Lee Adey (1981-1982), Steve Griffith (1982-88), Brian Bjorklund (1988-95).  Responsibility went under Junior Vice-Chair in 1995.

Membership 
Dick Durst (1982-xx)

Education
Amy Rohrberg (1998-2006)

Int’l Liaison
Dan Keyser (1996-2006)

Student Liaison
Rachel Mero (2003-2006)

Lighting and Sound split in 1995; Education began in 1995; Int’l Liaison began in 1995; Student Liaison began in 1995.

The Section combined with the ACTF-Region V North in January 1982 to form the first Annual Festivention.  Over the 27 years the Section has existed we have generally held at least two workshops a year – one in fall and one in January/February.  The latter were often held in conjunction with the ACTF.   Information on Section Workshops – now called Section Conferences, may be found at another location on this website (under Workshop History).

The 1987 USITT Conference in Minneapolis was a defining moment for this section.  We gathered as a group, put on a conference that is still remembered to this day by many USITT members, and retained extremely strong section ties to this day among our members following the conference.  Many members of the section moved into positions with the national organization as a result of the work accomplished on the ’87 conference.   By 2003 when the USITT Annual Conference and Stage Expo returned to the Twin Cites,  the process of doing a national conference had changed quite a bit.  No longer was the Section in charge – all program planning, and operations were now housed out of the National Office and a national Conference Committee.  Two members of the Section played key roles in the liaison between the Conference Committee, the Office, and local arrangements: Sherry Wagner (Publicity Regional Contact) and Kathy Stewart (Program Regional Contact).

In March of 1993 we ended our 10-year formal Section association with ACTF when Region V North and South merged into one humongous area that also included Colorado.  We voted to stay closer to home and concentrate programming within our own boundaries.  Sioux Falls in 1992 and Minneapolis in 1993 marked our last Festiventions.  HOA continues the tradition when the ACTF location is within its reach.

The Section has continuously published a Newsletter four times a year since 1981.  Originally entitled Des/Tech News, it was changed in December of 2001 to Northern Boundary News.  In 2009, it went electronic only, thereby allowing section resources to provide additional support for student scholarships sponsored by the Section to the national conference and the Prague Quadrennial.

We created our website in the summer of 1997, thanks to Cat Nelson.  The first major renovation came in the summer of 2002 when it changed from its then predominantly pink scheme to its current maroon and cream colors.  A few things were changed; the emphasis was changed from a dynamic site to a more static site, with pages of information that didn't need lots of attention.  The first membership application printed from the website was received in September of 2002.  The management of the website has now passed from being under Cat’s website to being under the National website and the job of webmeister has passed to Corey Shelsta.

The NBS Section has a long history of generous support from our membership and corporate sponsors in the form of scholarships to assist member students in attending the USITT Annual Conference & Stage Expo.   We began this initiative in 1999 when we provided the registration fee for three students to attend the Toronto Conference.  The amount of support continued to rise as did the number of scholarships provided.  In 2003 SECOA began supporting two $500 scholarships which continues through this day.  And in 2004, Stage Technology, Inc. began a similar scholarship to honor John Mullen, one of their founders.  This scholarship now receives support from NORCOSTCO.  In 2007, for the first time, the Section and its members supported a student traveling to PQ.  All we ask in return is that students take full advantage of the conference and report their adventures in the section Newsletter the following year.  As of 2013, the Section supports six $500 scholarships (3 corporate, 3 section members) to attend the annual USITT conference.  One of the Section scholarships is known as the “Doughnut Scholarship” – rather than spending our money on coffee/doughnuts at the annual conference meeting, we decided to put it to better use!

March 20, 2014