Publication & Communication

2016 OISTAT PCC Meeting Minutes:15-17 October, 2016, Rotterdam & Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Oct 31, 2016

Saturday, October 15th - Monday, October 17th
Rotterdam, the Netherlands & Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Download the minutes in pdf

Chair: Carl Walling

Members & Guests Present: Gerbrand Borgdorff, Bert Determann, Henk van der Geest,  
                                                        Ivo Kersmaekers, Tien Ling, Jerôme Maekelbergh, Johan Mansfeldt,
                                                        Kamelia Nikolova, Evcimen Perçin, Wan-Jung Wei & Faiz Zahir

Journal Representatives: Jan Decalf, Inge Fraters & Eric de Ruijter
(Saturday afternoon only)

[1.0]       Welcome & Opening Remarks from the Chair
Carl Walling called the Publication & Communication Commission (PCC) meeting to order. Carl welcomed everyone to the meeting and outlined the commission’s agenda for the next three days. In addition, he gave a brief overview of commission progress since the Prague 2015 meeting.

[2.0]       Introductions
On Saturday afternoon, commission members and academic journal editors introduced themselves and their connections with publication. Carl distributed paper copies of the meeting’s electronic document packet to those in attendance.

[3.0]       Approval of the Meeting Agenda
There were two additional agenda items for the commission meetings. There was a request to discuss the current status of the World Scenography publication (which was placed in new business). Also, a second request was made to leave time for open discussion about Digital Theatre Words (expanded time in old business).  With these revisions, the agenda was approved.

[4.0]       Approval of the June 2015 Meeting Minutes (Prague)
A motion was made to approve the minutes as distributed. Motion seconded. The meeting minutes were approved. A request was made for a secretary for the meeting. Without a volunteer to record the weekend’s meeting minutes, Carl will compile meetings from the meeting’s discussions during discussions.

[5.0]       Old Business: World Stage Design 2017 Commission Projects
There was interest in developing a new relationship between IFTR and OISTAT. Commission members expressed concern about the lack of connections between IFTR and theatre practitioners.

Ivo suggested a future joint meeting between the Publication & Communication Commission and the technology commission.

Kamelia suggested we incorporate mutual interests between OISTAT and IFTR. Perhaps a working meeting about ‘how to define what we want to collect as researchers’ and ‘how do we find our visual research today’. It might be beneficial to investigate how museums investigate these questions (such as the Victoria and Albert Museum).

[5.1]       Old Business: OISTAT Core Strategy Project
Carl gave an overview of the OISTAT Core Strategy Project for the assembled guests.

Bert asked about what the core strategy project should be in the future. He drew a parallel to the concept of OISTAT being similar to a router – a networking organization (particularly geared towards the younger generation). PCC should function as a gateway for branding and marketing. As an extension of this, the commission agreed that the website has improved (English and Chinese versions) and there should be continued development of website.

Wan-Jung noted that there will be a video project in the near future. Video short clips featuring OISTAT members discussing ‘how we connect.’ This may lead to an OISTAT organization video.

[6.0]       Ongoing Projects: World Scenography
Carl gave an update about the recent sales of World Scenography and Digital Theatre Words.

Wan-Jung provided additional information about other OISTAT publications. Understanding OISTAT had a print run of 500 copies. Of these printed copies, 100 were sent out to OISTAT centres. This publication seems to function well as a gift. There are about 25 left in Taipei bookstores in Taipei.

[6.1]       Ongoing Projects: Digital Theatre Words
Jerome started a discussion about Digital Theatre Words after his presentation. Jerome offered that there are many things to discuss: the lack of illustrations and the paper-copy version, New Theatre Words, which is still available in Sweden.

There seemed to be two key questions for group consideration: How to support the project’s database (the technology) and how to generate content across multiple languages? In the case of the digital platform, OISTAT would like individuals to purchase the app and then be satisfied by its functionality.

In the end, the commission needs to consider the project’s long-term future and the commission’s participation with DTW. Are there commission members willing to continue this project? Johan volunteered to help with the project’s future. The floor opened for practical questions about the project’s future. These included:
.Is it necessary to expand the project?
.What is the ‘right’ number of words?
.If the project is on a digital platform – do these questions need a final answer? (In essence, can the project expand when needed?)
.What is the current interest level by the current DTW editors for project continuation? Is there interest to ‘step-up’ into a leadership role or does OISTAT need to identify new volunteers?
There was sense that these questions would need to be resolved by the OISTAT members continuing the project in partnership. OISTAT should identify these individuals first.

The commission continued discussion about the Digital Theatre Words project.

There was a sense from the group that it would be benefit to include words in technology and stage technology. Especially, if drawings are expanded in future versions.

A commission member mentioned that there needs to be a transition of leadership for this project. Jerome will be stepping back from the project’s day-to-day leadership (but will continue to be involved on selected aspects of the project). It was suggested that a cross-commission group of OISTAT members should be found – specifically identifying those individuals who really want to work on this project.

A question came up about the transition point. When does the “new” or “reorganized” team start their work? (In order to establish a smooth transition). It seemed that World Stage Design 2017 would be a key moment to identify new participants and organizers.

[6.2]       Bibliography of Theatre Arts & Publications Promotion
Carl gave an overview of this project which was originated in the Research Commission and encouraged PCC members to submit recommended texts through the OISTAT webform. The webpage can be found at: /Item/Show.asp?m=1&d=1694. In the past few months, Wan-Jung distributed information about the project through the newsletter.

[7.0]       New Business: OISTAT Communications (Information Sharing and Publicity)
Carl gave an overview of several OISTAT communication projects for the Governing Board/Executive Committee. These include the following: a social media directory of OISTAT centres, an international activities calendar on the website and commission membership list of delegates and non-delegates (for incoming chairs/vice chairs).

[7.1]       Social Media & Website Goals
Carl opened discussion about OISTAT’s social media and website goals. Commission members provided positive feedback of the ongoing improvements with social media and the website.

Kamelia asked if OISTAT could connect more with international festivals – perhaps even listing important festivals in the OISTAT Newsletter and the new website calendar.

There was discussion about creating a Youtube channel and incorporate elements from the CORE Strategy Project’s goals. Several discussions ensued about content parameters (should the project focus on OISTAT information? Designer interviews? Current OISTAT projects?). If this idea moves forward, several questions need resolution: Who will serve as copy-editor for the content? What are the strategies for engaging OISTAT with this media content? How will this social media approach provide a

supplemental vehicle for information? Further discussion will be needed in the future. If there is interest, the commission will need to identify people to support this project.

Bert highlighted that social media news usually moves quickly – which might contrast OISTAT newsletters (information shared at a different pace).

Johan discussed the potential for Instagram. A discussion followed about the parameters of this social media channel. Some consideration was given towards creating a ‘floating’ management of the account across OISTAT (commissions, chairs, OISTAT centres, etc.). Each week would bring a new vantage point to OISTAT.

[7.2]       Strategic Planning Project – OISTAT 2018
A discussion occurred about the next iteration of the OISTAT Core Strategy Project (OISTAT 2018-2019).

Gerbrand suggested that the project could focus on the question ‘what is OISTAT for you?’ Overall, the project should have a publicity focus (instead of marketing). How does OISTAT as an organization realistically reach people? How do we address the question ‘what is in it for me?’ In the end, the answer should be becoming part of the community.

Kamelia asked about the methods we use to present ourselves? A discussion followed. What would be the result of people joining OISTAT? If you are a member, there are benefits to attending festivals and workshops. If the organization identifies and publicizes the practical benefits, it would be beneficial.

Wan-Jung asked about the commission’s expectations of OISTAT. A discussion followed about PCC members expectations and how these relate to future publicity and marketing.

[7.3]       OISTAT Archive Restoration
A brief discussion occurred about the OISTAT archives. At the moment, there is a lack of archival material available on the OISTAT website and at Headquarters. As OISTAT celebrates its 50 year anniversary in 2018, it would be beneficial to fill-in the information gaps for any archival studies, OISTAT publications and other OISTAT projects. Gerbrand offered to investigate the VPT archives for additional archive information from the 1990s (when Headquarters was based in the Netherlands). Carl mentioned that a few OISTAT members have offered to investigate their records as well.

[7.4]       OISTAT Seed Money Projects
Carl gave a brief overview about OISTAT Seed Money Project. In particular, he encouraged PCC members to participate in the grant program as all grant applications need to be supported by an OISTAT commission or working group. The application deadline is March 31st each year. Additional information can be found on the OISTAT website.

[8.0]       Future Commission Meetings
In the immediate future, PCC will meet in Taipei during World Stage Design 2017. If there is additional interest by the commission for another 2017 meeting, please contact Carl. There will be an open call for

commission meetings in 2017-2018. Carl will investigate additional options during the EC/GB meeting in Seville next week.

[9.0]       Announcements
No additional announcements were shared at this time.

[10.0]   Adjournment
The meeting adjourned on Monday, October 17th after the afternoon presentations and commission proposals.