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Registration is now open for USITT's Annual Conference & Stage Expo which will be held March 28 to 31, 2012 at the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center in Long Beach, California.

Luis Valdez, founder of El Teatro Campesino, will give the Keynote. Mr. Valdez, who is credited as the founder of modern Chicano theatre and film, is the perfect person to open USITT's 52nd Annual Conference in Long Beach, California said President Joe Aldridge. Mr. Valdez may be best known for both writing and directing La Bamba in 1987 and Zoot Suit in 1981. He has extensive writing and directing credits, and has received numerous honors including many LA Drama Critic Awards, and a prestigious Rockefeller fellowship.

The Keynote is just one of more than 200 sessions, workshops, tours, and seminars that will be part of USITT's four-day run. A complete list is available at .

Stage Expo will open on Thursday, March 29 at 11 a.m. and be open for three days before concluding at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 31. More than 150 exhibitors have already committed, and are making plans to introduce new products and services at the event.

A new feature of the 2012 Annual Conference will be a special session bringing together recipients of USITT's Distinguished Achievement Awards for a discussion of their work. Winners include Michael Devine, scene design; Howard Brandston, lighting; Dana Nye, makeup; Tom Hall, management, and Judy Adamson, education. Kevin Rigdon will moderate the Friday morning All-Conference session. On Saturday, Friends, Masters, Countrymen - will highlight Richard Pilbrow and Tony Walton, sharing the stage and their views on collaboration, art, theatre, and friendship. USITT's latest Monograph publication, on Tony Walton, will debut at the Annual Conference.

The Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center is easily accessible from three different airports. Special hotel rates have been negotiated at three nearby hotels, including the recently refurbished Hyatt Long Beach, the Renaissance, and the Westin.

For details on USITT's sessions, exhibitors, special exhibits, international presenters, and specialty programs, visit where links can be found to registration, how to exhibit, and hotel reservations.

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