2014 Report from the OISTAT Executive Committee

Apr 23, 2014

Dear OISTAT members,

Since the Congress at WSD2013 the Executive Committee (EC) of OISTAT has met on two occasions. The first meeting was in Taipei in November 2013, this was for many of us the first time we truly began to understand the dynamics of the EC meetings, and indeed the daily working routine the OISTAT headquarters. The second happened in March, during the USITT at Dallas Fort Worth, when we also met with the Governing Board (GB) in which we identified that as members of OISTAT you should be presented with a report after our meetings, to provide a transparent process to all of the membership of OISTAT.

The meetings were very productive and have promoted an environment, which encourages debate and creative dialogue. It is clear that the new OISTAT EC in collaboration with the GB is representative of a combined body with multiple voices and different ways of thinking. The participation of members gathered there resulted in productive discussions that converged to the common interest: the preservation and development of OISTAT.
What became visible during the EC meetings is that we can be an active body; alive with motivation to bring up issues that are not only the responsibility of the Executive, but are fruitful and healthy ways of thinking for the development of the organization.

The EC is responsible for adapting and implementing mechanisms, which try to identify the best possible ways to support and promote relevant projects and events that celebrate OISTAT; hopefully that have the potential to return profit for the maintenance and development of another OISTAT projects. In addition to this, we can also work together, embedded by productive discussions, to create and develop projects in dialogue with the GB and with individual members of OISTAT. The EC is also a committee that works to ensure that OISTAT membership can and will grow, that aspires to support projects in as many ways as possible across all proposals.

The organization’s real wealth lies strongly in its members, their creativity, imagination and their hard working commitment. 

Report Fort Worth, Texas
The meeting of EC at USITT, Fort Worth, Texas, was intensive and effective. As is now clearly the pattern of EC meetings, the priority of the meeting is to work through a carefully constructed agenda, addressing administrative, structural and financial aspects of the organisation. A crucial section of the meeting deals with updating the membership status of centres, associate and individual members. The headquarters (HQ) has been in contact with the OISTAT Centers to require for updating information as such as the list of official delegates, status, memberships, among others, and over the coming weeks the HQ and EC will carry on contacting inactive members and centres for further updates. Since November we have received membership applications from one organisation and four individuals. More active communication from the centres is needed for to keep commissions’ members’ lists up to date. The need for better communication between OISTAT centres commission chairs and OISTAT HQ was confirmed at the joint GB – EC meeting. (Sharing distribution lists and identifying individuals within centres who should be the primary contact)

Statutes: EC began to plan for proposals for amendments to the statutes, specific consideration for the rights and benefits for various types of membership. EC has set a working group to carefully consider proposals for changes in order to bring more precision and clarity to the voting procedures. The outcomes of this brainstorming group will be put to the OISTAT membership for consideration and voting at the next congress in Taipei in 2017.

OISTAT Profile and OISTAT at PQ
The EC acknowledged and discussed ways of improving the public profile and visibility of OISTAT and reaching more organisations, as well as the individual members. Actively engaging with more artists and practitioners was a strong focus of the discussion. OISTAT’s presence at PQ 2015 is vitally important to ensure we are still seen as an active organisation and to attract new membership: There will be no Congress in Prague. Instead, we will have an OISTAT Day with an exciting programme of events to promote and celebrate the organisation and allow new attendees at PQ to meet established international OISTAT members present at the PQ.

The Czech OISTAT Center in collaboration with PQ will provide space for OISTAT Day and Ian Evans (Chair of Education Commission) was nominated as the project leader. OISTAT commissions may hold meetings. Chairs of commissions willing to have meeting during PQ should contact Ms. Martina Černá, Secretary of Czech OISTAT Centre.

The OISTAT headquarters presented a review of their work. The new website is finally becoming something befitting the organisation and a continued effort to ensure it is a sustainable and appropriate digital face for the organization is a priority.
They have been completing the OISTAT monograph (an obligation to the Taiwanese government), which will eventually become a very useful reference document to all of OISTAT; it is a substantial bilingual document that charts the history of OISTAT, the HQ are working to complete this in the very near future. OISTAT headquarters has done great work on both.

OISTAT Finance
Detailed financial report covering the last 4 years showed that OISTAT finances are in a sustainable, but delicate state. However, more effort is needed to respond to the growing requirements of the increasing number of creative projects proposed within the organisation. Collaboration with educational, professional and commercial institutions (OISTAT current and potential future associate members), is desirable and important in fulfilling our shared ambition. A long-standing proposal within the EC, which includes international arts & business courses and OISTAT leaders “The Core Strategy Student Project”, needs further effort and development from its proposers or other interested members.

Schedule of Meetings
The annual meetings’ schedule for OISTAT commissions and working groups were reviewed through to 2016: Most commissions and working groups have already planned meetings for 2014 and 2015. However 2016 is still open. Your ideas and proposals for hosting OISTAT commissions’ seminars and activities in 2016 and beyond are very welcome. Please, send them to the commission chairs and the HQ.

Commissions’ status was also addressed in the light of the coming changes in the leadership of the Technology (TC) and the Publication & Communication (PCC) commissions. Current PCC Chair Austin Wang will step aside this year. We need motivated candidates for the chair position of the Publication & Communication commission to ensure continuity and activity in this important part of OISTAT. Call for Chair nomination is now extended to July 18, 2014. Elections will be held at the meeting in Taipei, in October, 3 – 8.

Project Proposals
Grant proposals for OISTAT projects, including World Stage Design (WSD), Scenofest, Theatre Architecture Competition (TAC) and Technical Invention Prize (TIP) were reviewed and approved. The discussion continued during the joined sessions of EC and GB with the chairs of the commissions. Mr. Samuel Wang, WSD2017 Project Leader, updated EC and GB members on the preparation work for WSD and Scenofest 2017 in Taipei.
Fort Worth EC and GB meetings were well prepared. Many thanks to Executive Director Kathy Hong and to the entire HQ team for their excellent work. Most of all a sincere THANK YOU to USITT for the generous and thoughtful hospitality. Finally and most importantly, please feel you can communicate with the members of the EC, if there are any ideas, proposals and recommendations, which you would like to share with us.

Submitted on behalf of EC by
Marina Raytchinova
Sean Crowley
Aby Cohen
Miljana Zeković