2017 OISTAT World Congress Minutes

Sep 20, 2017
OISTAT World Congress 2017 
Day 1

July 3, 2017

International Conference Hall, Taipei National University of the Arts, Taipei, Taiwan

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Executive Committee (EC)
Louis Janssen (President), Aby Cohen (Vice President), Duncan Ei-Eu Chang (Vice President), Michael Ramsaur (Treasurer), Sean Crowley (Secretary/EC Member), Marina Raytchinova (EC Member), Miljana Zeković (EC Member), Bert Determann (EC Member)

Governing Board (GB)
Tim Foster (OISTAT Architecture), William Kenyon (OISTAT Education), Markéta Fantová (OISTAT Performance Design), Carl Walling (OISTAT Publication & Communication)

Headquarters (HQ)
Wan-Jung Wei, Cynthia Chiang, Wei-Ping Chen, Szu-Yun Yu

OISTAT Members
Candidates of EC/GB, Voting Delegates from Centres, Associate, and Individuals with approximately 100 attendants.

Louis Janssen, President of OISTAT

Minutes Taking:
Szu-Yun Yu, HQ Secretary

[1.0]    Opening Remarks
Louis Janssen (President) welcomed everyone and applauded WSD2017 team for all the efforts and hard works behind what they have organized. The agenda of World Congress was announced, including reports from the President, Headquarters, Treasurer, and speeches from EC&GB Candidates.

Louis urged people to sign in for the upcoming Theatre Architecture tour if interested in the newly constructed theatres in Taiwan. OISTAT Awards was introduced as it will be given to people who have done outstanding works in OISTAT. OISTAT goodies including bandanas, umbrellas and publications were promoted, Louis encouraged attendees to stop by the OISTAT Table, stressed that any support is essential to the organization.

[2.0]    President Report
Louis took the stage and noted that this would be the absolute last report as he concluded the end of two four-year terms as OISTAT President. Louis expressed his sincere gratitude to the members of EC, GB, leaders of Working Groups, Headquarters, and all OISTAT members. Thanking the WSD2017 team with special note to projects leaders and Taiwanese Government support.

To incorporate better and direct communication between OISTAT leadership, the proposal for new Statutes includes the structural change of working groups to Sub-commissions. Louis concluded the report to thank everybody whom he had the pleasure to work with and wished OISTAT all the best.

[3.0]     Headquarters Report
Wanjung Wei, the Executive Director presented the HQ report starting with the introduction of the HQ team, stated that this is the youngest team ever in OISTAT history. Wanjung emphasized the achievements were made with the four goals in mind, which were 1) to promote international and cross-commissions collaborations with the focus of geographical balance; 2) to promote a stream of knowledge between different disciplines and age groups; 3) to draw young blood to OISTAT and 4) to brand OISTAT as the most influential global network for theatre makers.

Members are the most important assets of OISTAT. Currently there are more than 20,000 members in 48 countries across 5 continents. OISTAT currently has 30 Centres, 21 Associate Members and 53 Individual Members. Over the past two years, membership growth took place in 21 countries, with 5 new members from South Africa, Tunisia, Kazakhstan, Croatia and Ireland.

Media exposure is another aspect that contributes greatly in HQ daily operation. To create a sense of “OISTATness” is one of the most important missions of HQ. HQ made OISTAT goodies such as OISTAT umbrella, bandanas, bottle openers and many more.

Apart from beautiful projects and social interactions, HQ also would like to brand OISTAT as the first stop for people who are interested in knowing more about theatre. To brand OISTAT as the Google of theatre is our goal. In the future we would like to hear people say “Question about theatre? Don’t google it, ‘OISTAT it’”, Wanjung said.

The brand new OISTAT promo video https://youtu.be/eg4VW_71p4U (4m43s) premiered at World Congress. The video received massive positive feedback from members and many expressed interests in using the video to promote OISTAT in their own countries.

[4.0]     Financial Report
Treasurer Michael Ramsaur first thanked the leadership of Louis for the past 8 years and the HQ’s direct supervision. Michael briefed the current financial status of the organization. The basic picture is that the organization is in a sound position. Even with the increased amount of activities, all were accomplished within the budget of OISTAT. The main sources of income are Ministry of Culture, from Taiwanese government, membership dues and some merchandise sales. It is suggested that in the future to include the balance sheet in the Congress meeting book.

[5.0]      Introduction of President and EC Candidates
Louis invited the candidates (in alphabetical order) on stage to present themselves.

President Candidates
[5.1]      Sean Crowley (UK)
Sean gave a short background of himself, implied that he began his career as a designer, later on an educator and found the joy in working together with students.

Sean believed working in OISTAT is all about bringing people together and he loved making things happen. Sean invited members to Cardiff in 2018 for a celebratory event of OISTAT 50 Year.

[5.2]      Bert Determann (Netherlands)
Bert had been on the EC for a long time and believed being a multilingual with the personality of diplomatic characteristic, he would be capable of bringing people together. With many EC members stepping down, Bert saw himself to be the one who would know how things are and how they all came through.

[5.3]      Ivo Kersmaekers (Belgium)
Ivo expressed that he saw himself as the facilitator if elected as the President. OISTAT is about individuals taking actions. Ivo had been the Chair of OISTAT Technology for 8 years. Ivo valued greatly the communication between EC, GB and every member. The main goal would be to contact all OISTAT Centres if elected.

 Executive Committee Candidates
*Bert, Sean and Ivo were also EC Candidates

[5.4]      Duncan Chang (Taiwan)
Duncan introduced his background and his company. He was the funding President of TATT-Taiwan Association of Theatre Technology (OISTAT Taiwanese OISTAT Centre). He expressed the desire to continue his service to OISTAT members and as well as local people.

[5.5]      John Mayberry (Canada)
John expressed finding joy in teaching and noted that he had been Chair of OISTAT Technology for 8 years. John believed that there are two different kinds of organizations, one is people join for what they get out of it, and there are another kind people who join because they see opportunity to give and participate. John believed that the latter is what OISTAT is and he would like to be part of it.

[5.6]       Marina Raytchinova (Bulgaria)
Marina is a scenographer, performance designer and educator who has affiliated with OISTAT since 1995. She shared her experience in OISTAT as the Chair of Education from 2004-2012, leading more than 8 meetings in different countries with symposium, workshops and presentations. Elected as EC in 2013, the position gave Marina a whole picture of the organization. Being the only female candidate, Marina encouraged more women to get actively involved.

[5.7]      Kevin Rigdon (USA)
Kevin spent 44 years as scenic, lighting and costume designer, currently hold the position as Vice President of international activity for USITT and Head of USITT for US OISTAT Centre. Kevin expressed that he enjoyed spending time with people at OISTAT as it felt like home to him. As politics becomes more polarized in today’s world, he believed an organization like OISTAT becomes more vital.

[5.8]       Jan K. Rolník (Czech Republic)
Jan works in the theatre as a producer and manager. He studied financial management and philosophy. Jan believed OISTAT is about human relationships, both professional and personal. These face to face relationships are real, and this is the great potential of OISTAT and that is something he wanted to promote and spread.

[5.9]       Hazem Shebl (Egypt)
As a set and light designer, Hazem has known OISTAT since 2003, joined the organization as individual member in 2005. In 2012, he organized the EC meeting held in Cairo, connecting Arab world with OISTAT.

Louis thanked every candidate for presenting themselves and announced the Congress will reconvene after a break until 15:00.

[6.0]      Statutes Revision & Vote
Louis explained the reasons behind changing the current Statutes. The proposal received was the result of the discussion between EC, GB and Working Group leaders. Today, Congress would respond the revision with either a Yes or No. Some changes in the Statutes were directed towards the inclusiveness of OISTAT, such as the introduction of Student Membership. Also, for the reason of inclusiveness, all members have right to vote as everybody’s voice should be heard. Different weight of vote is given to different member, voting delegate of OISTAT Centre gets a full vote while students, individuals and associate members get fractional votes. To better incorporate communication in the organization, the new structure of Sub-commission was introduced.

Louis asked the floor to raise questions and give any remarks. David Grindle (USA) inquired the definition of “region” in the Statutes. Louis suggested that the EC would define what the region is, formally all decisions will be made by the EC as they are accountable to the Congress, with advices provided by the GB.

Louis asked the Congress to vote on the Statutes revision. All in favor, the proposal was accepted unanimously.

[7.0]      Reports of OISTAT Chairs: OISTAT Education
William Kenyon talked about in former Chair Ian Evan’s tenure, the meetings would have a session discussing how theatres were taught in different countries. William planned to continue this practices in the future. In addition to that, there will be opportunity to do workshop in the meeting host country. For future meeting, USITT invited OISTAT Education to Orlando in March, more information will be released. William would like to talk to other Chairs of commissions regarding the possibility of co-meetings.

[7.1]      Reports of OISTAT Chairs: OISTAT Performance Design
Markéta Fantová believed the new model of Sub-commission would bring better facilitation to the activities in the commission. The introduction of Cloud Project came from the idea of Working Group. Official voting will take place in the upcoming meeting to decide the name of this commission, which many requested to define the identity. Hopefully, this would be the final step to ease the lasting conflict as Markéta concluded her report.

[7.2]      Reports of OISTAT Chairs: OISTAT Technology
Ivo Kersmaekers reported on behalf of Chair Romana Bosković. Ivo summarized topics discussed in past meetings. In May 2017, Technology meeting took place in Serbia. Over 100 international guests attended the meeting, the main goal of the commission is to share experiences and knowledge. Ivo also gave brief explanation to the development of Technical Invention Prize (TIP). Another project is International Standard Project (ISP), comparing standards on an international basis.

[7.3]      Reports of OISTAT Chairs: OISTAT Publication and Communication (PCC)
Carl Walling summarized highlights for the last four years. Carl mentioned the importance of Core Strategy Project as it will be continued, particularly as it connects with young generation and further it influences how OISTAT brands itself and how it shapes its public relations. Future project would be bibliography project on the OISTAT website, a project that looks at hallmark texts throughout the theatre community, ranging from theatre architecture, criticism, history, design, texts that are recommended by the OISTAT members.

Carl mentioned that the commission has been working closely with HQ to set up membership database on Basecamp. PCC is now trying to bring journals back, Carl urged if any of the people who would like to submit, please use the opportunity to share the knowledge.

[7.4]      Reports of OISTAT Chairs: OISTAT Architecture
Tim Foster started by briefing the 10th Theatre Architecture Competition (TAC), 102 entries from 22 countries. The 25 top entries were to be exhibited in this World Stage Design, Tim felt encouraging for receiving many submissions from Asia. Tim also thanked everyone along the project who made this competition possible. There was a joint meeting with OISTAT Research, the conference took place in London on May 19-20, 2017 which people had the opportunity to visit theatre architecture of 19 Century. Future meeting tentatively scheduled in Chicago, USA 2018.

[7.5]      Reports of OISTAT Chairs: OISTAT Research
Carl Walling gave the report on behalf of Chair David Wilmore. In the past few years, Research commission had been working on the development of theatre research in terms of history and theory. Bridging with other commissions was also one of its important tasks. Carl expressed that Research meeting will be opened to everyone, projects will be discussed more in details at the commission meeting.

[8.0]     Presentation of Candidate Centre & Vote- Associação Portuguesa de Cenografia/Portuguese Association of Scenography-APCEN (Portugal)
José Capela, Chair of APCEN, gave the presentation to the Congress. José started by introducing the geographical location of Portugal. APCEN is consisted of professional and student designers, technicians, architects and so on. José’s colleague Sara Franqueira introduced APCEN’s project in PQ. The project was a political act, located in an ancient building in Prague to represent several identities. A similar room was assembled in Portugal, to represent an identity box. Involving space and body, the interchangeable subject and space reveal inconsistent meanings, just like identities are never fixed. Scenography creates meanings and forms, APCEN is about finding new ways to make sense, produce relations that sustain beauty for the world. Within the dynamics of perceiving cultures, APCEN is a platform where these cultures can develop and consolidate.

[8.1]     Presentation of Candidate Centre & Vote- Asociación OISTAT España/Association OISTAT Spain-AOS (Spain)
José Luis Ferrera thanked everybody for the opportunity to make this presentation possible. José Luis began his presentation with history of Association OISTAT Spain 2013-2017. In December 2013, the Association was registered by José Luis Ferrera, Dino Ibanez and Tano Astiaso. In April 2014, the Associate was approved as Candidate Centre by OISTAT EC. The first international participation was at the Conference Wood & Canvas in the Modern World in Antwerp. In June 2015, the Association OISTAT Spain had its booth held in Stage|Set|Scenery in Berlin promoting Sevilla 16. Later in October 2016, the Association invited EC and GB to attended meetings in Sevilla, Spain, held in the Riberas del Guadaira Auditorium. Apart from the meetings, a 3-day conference on Theatre Architecture in Andalucia attracted more than 100 participants from over 25 different countries. José Luis concluded the presentation stated that in the Association’s three years of existence, OISTAT Spain has achieved 22 Individual Members, 6 Associate Members, Agreements with 2 National Associations of Spain and Agreement with RESAD, Royal School of Dramatic Arts. Finally, José Luis urged the Congress to support the Association OISTAT Spain to become an official OISTAT Centre to continue to extend the principles and objectives of OISTAT internationally and in particular throughout Spain and Latin America. 

The Congress applauded to accept the official membership to both candidate Centres, APCEN and AOS were now official OISTAT Centres. 

# Congress Day 1 adjourned #

OISTAT World Congress 2017
Day 2

July 4, 2017

International Conference Hall, Taipei National University of the Arts, Taipei, Taiwan

President Louis Janssen opened the floor, went over the agenda for day 2 of the World Congress. Louis reminded the attendants to stay for a series of photo taking after the election of President and Executive Committee was finished. Louis explained the procedure of WSD2021 presentations, stating that the Congress will hear the proposals today while the discussion will take place during the upcoming EC meeting scheduled in October 2017 at Budapest, Hungary. In Spring 2018, the EC will decide where WSD2021 will be held.

[9.0]     WSD2021 Proposals: CITT- Canadian Institute for Theatre Technology
April Viczko presented the proposal to host World Stage Design 2021 (WSD2021) at the School of Creative and Performing Arts (SCPA)-Drama at the University of Calgary, Canada. April started by introducing the geographical and historical background of Calgary. The campus occupies a view of Rocky Mountains, and has extensive facilities to host large events with residences as well as theatres, performance spaces, teaching studios and exhibition spaces. While there is no desire to impose a theme on the exhibition entries to WSD2021, they will use the exhibit as a place to begin conversation with artists about how land and their relationship with its fragility, strength, borders, politics and human inhabitation have influenced their work.

Several performance/workshop spaces, conference rooms, outdoor spaces and theatres featured in the university were given detailed introduction in terms of size and facilities. Hosting accommodation includes Hotel Alma which located in the heart of campus, off campus accommodation is also available which located in downtown Calgary, 5 stops away on the LRT with a number of hotel options.

[9.1]     WSD2021 Proposals: ESTTC-The Egyptian Scenographers & Theatre Technicians Centre
Hazem Shebl, President of the OISTAT Egyptian Centre presented the proposal to host WSD2021 in Cairo Opera House area from 8 August to 18 August, 2018.

The Egyptian Ministry of Culture expressed huge interest in supporting the event, the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Youth and Sport will also be collaborative partners. The Cairo Opera House area is surrounded with many different accommodation ranging from 5 stars hotels to hostels. By having WSD2021 in Egypt, access to Africa and Arab World will be more opened.

[10.0]     Election of President and Executive Committee
Delegates from Centres, Associate members and Individuals members were waiting in cues to receive their ballots. All Centres delegates will each have a full vote. Associate members and Individual members have 1/10 of vote.

[10.1]     Result
President & Executive Committee 2017-2021
President: Bert Determann (Netherlands)*
Executive Committee Members: Duncan Chang (Taiwan), Sean Crowley (UK). Ivo Kersmaekers (Belgium), Marina Raytchinova (Bulgaria), Kevin Rigdon (USA). Jan K. Rolnik (Czech Republic), Hazem Shebl (Egypt)

 * The first round of president election, the candidate with the highest votes did not get the majority, hence the 2nd round took place, and Bert Determann was elected with the majority votes.

 # End of OISTAT Congress 2017 #

Download the Minutes in PDF