2015 OISTAT Education Meeting Minutes, Prague, Czech Republic

Jun 30, 2015

Clam-Gallas Palace– 2F Small Lecture Hall, Prague, Czech Republic
June 23rd, 2015

Ian Evans United Kingdom, Chair of OISTAT Education, Convener
William Kenyon United States , Vice-Chair of OISTAT Education, Scribe
Aby Cohen Brazil, Executive Committee Representative
Kathy Hong Taiwan, OISTAT Headquarters Representative
Joseph Mercurio Australia
Jerome Maeckelbergh Belgium
Chris van Goethem Belgium
Felipe Da Silva Costa Rica
Mohamed Saad Eqypt
Tamar Bokuchava Georgia
Stephen Rolphes Germany
Jacobus Lam Hong Kong
Mikio Ogawa Japan
Pawel Dobrzycki Poland
Maciej Wojciechowski Poland
Daves de Caruslho Portugal
Jorge Palinhos Portugal
Jose Luis Ferrera Spain
Anders Larsson Sweden
Yu-Hua Chang Taiwan
Shae-Yi Feng Taiwan
Linz Huang Taiwan
Hung-Ling Lan Taiwan
Shannon Fox United Kingdom
Alessia Carpoca United States
Matt Kizer United States
Fereshteh Rostampour United States
Wan-Jung Wei OISTAT Headquarters


  1. Welcome & Introductions by Chair Ian Evans.
    1. Meeting began at 10:10am to accommodate the security delays at the entrance.
      • A microphone was passed around to allow all attendees to make introductions.
    2. Acceptance of the agenda. Accepted by acclimation.
    3. Call for additional items. 2 items added to end of meeting agenda.
  2. Review of past meetings & activities.
    1. Commission Meeting in Sao Paulo, Brazil in August 2014. (Details of the meeting are found in the minutes available at the OISTAT website.)
      • Aby Cohen spoke about the generation of the ideas for the event, and gave a brief review of the success of the event. Of particular note, OISTAT Education began a policy of including an introductory session about the local politics and how they influence how theatre is done in the host country. The E-Scapes website is still available, found here.
      • Ian Evans spoke about his work at the new performing arts center in the favela Cidade Tiradentes.
      • There was very little training available, but those who took training with him were very enthusiastic to work with Ian. This is what OISTAT is about, connecting up eager students (even older students) with those who have the knowledge.
      • There is a challenge with doing Education meetings at Prague Quadrennial or World Stage Design. Multicultural aspect gets lost, because we don’t truly experience local culture, and we want to develop more normal meetings and local workshops to allow for sharing of knowledge.
    2. 3rd Beijing International Biennale, in Beijing, China, October 2014.
      • Ian Evans reviewed BIB event. This event was again hosted by the Central Academy of Drama in Beijing. It was great to see very different teaching styles and learning styles.
      • Basically this is a smaller version of WSD for students.
      • Next one should be in Fall 2016 and news will be sent out on OISTAT website when it’s decided.
    3. Prague Quadrennial 2015.
      • Since the event has moved from the Industrial Palace to the National Gallery, and now to multiple locations in the central part of city, some challenges have cropped up, but most things seem to be running relatively well, with a few notable exceptions.
      • To raise awareness of OISTAT, a special event called OISTAT Day was held at PQ ’15 on June 20th, 2015. The idea behind Changing Perspectives event at the Náprstkovo museum was to make OISTAT more public and spread the word about what we do and how we impact the industry. There were over 1000 attendees through the day, including general public, OISTAT members, and other PQ attendees. Ian thanked Aby Cohen for her support to make the event happen, and thanked Shannon Fox for her help in managing the event itself.
      • Unfortunately, the event was cut short at 8pm. Ian Evans had arranged for 3 days with the museum in early Fall. The budget was provided by OISTAT, plans were clearly explained to the museum folks and accepted by them. In December, PQ asked to use the space as well for Tribes. OISTAT and PQ have had a long-standing relationship. Scenofest was born at PQ, but after relations were strained, OISTAT absorbed Scenofest into WSD. Ian Evans agreed in the spirit of friendship to share the space as long as the single day of the 20th would be left open. PQ added a new production person to manage the space, who proceeded to be very obstructive, and interfered with the communications between Ian, OISTAT, PQ, and the museum. As a result, the director of the museum shut the event down early. A letter has been written expressing the issues, and the EC will discuss future communications with the PQ at the meeting in Serbia in the Fall.
      • Education Booth at OISTAT Day.
        • William Kenyon gave a brief report on the success of OISTAT Education activity held at the museum during the event.
        • Fereshteh Rostampour reflected on the success of the overall event, which led to a significant discussion from those in attendance.
  3. Discussion of next meetings & events. – Georgia has had to bow out due to extreme flooding and financial concerns.
    1. New invitations for future meetings. – Ian Evans asked for anyone who would like to extend a meeting invitation.
    2. Ian Evans will be speaking with Mexico as a possible host in July 2016.
      • The meeting in 2017 will be held along with WSD, but 2016 is still wide open. Who is being invited to USITT SLC from OISTAT? (Performance Design will be…ed.)
      • Possible hosts need to sell the idea that 30-40 extremely talented folks will come and share their expertise. The host needs to find funding. Host can specify targeted workshops that will occur 3-4 days before meeting, then results can be shared as part of the commission meeting.
      • Development of manual as guide for how to host a commission meeting.
        • Markku Uimonen started this, but has stepped down. Does anyone want to help take this over?
        • Biggest challenge is costs and raising the funds.
      • Are there other versions of this guide available?
      • Sao Paulo revisions will be incorporated.
      • Where does this overall project stand?
    3. Jerome Maeckelbergh mentioned possible meeting in May in Barcelona. Will know if that can be an invitation in a few weeks.
    4. William Kenyon will investigate a 2018 invite from USITT to Ft. Lauderdale, FL in conjunction with USITT Expo.
  4. Membership.
    1. Discussion of outreach to under-represented OISTAT Centres. We need to identify people in neighboring countries and get them involved. We should identify countries that are members but don’t have a delegate to Education and reach out to them.
    2. Now we have individual membership regardless of whether their countries have OISTAT centres or not.
      • Helps with political situations or Centre focus issues. Also associate memberships for schools are available and their faculty can be members.
      • Chris van Goethem asked if there is a way to spread the news to all the schools that might not hear from the OISTAT Centre. There is some competition between schools, but we should work to help them transcend those issues and connect up for the greater good.
  5. Chair’s Report on Executive Committee meetings since Aug. 2014.
    1. No minutes are currently available from April EC meeting, but those will be available soon.
  6. OISTAT Education Project Reports:
    1. Tempus project – Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Belgrade, Novi Sad, Tusla and others.
      • This project started at Novi Sad Education meeting in 2013. The local university approached the Commission to create a partnership, which developed into relations between, UK, Belgium, and Sweden. Project involved helping them form the training needed for their technicians. The students/trainers/faculty have been hosted in the various colleges, giving them suggested curriculum and training program structures.
      • Funding is available for other countries, even outside Europe, to apply for creating these partnerships. Must be 5 partners and 3 must be European partners. Tempus received 500,000 euros to run it. Much discussion about challenges and benefits of this project and possibility of doing this project in other places in the world.
    2. Chris van Goethem reported on the strategic partnership between Germany, Sweden, Holland, and Belgium (which started in a pub in Cardiff).
      • Students travelling around Europe are not allowed on stage in other countries, even if their degrees are considered the same. Project was developed to make sure that all have same training in safety skills. Much focus was on making sure that all understand the same thing re: safety. The 2nd phase is creating a common textbook, and then the 3rd phase will be creating common assessments that can be offered in local languages in each country that yields a certificate that would be useful and recognized across all countries.
    3. WSD & Scenofest 2017 awarded to Taipei: July 1 – July 9, 2017.
      • 270 events, 40 performances were held at WSD 2013.
      • June 19th event was official handoff from Cardiff to Taipei for 2017.
      • Ian Evans discussed funding of 2013 WSD and success of event.
      • Aby Cohen is one of team organizing WSD 2017, and spoke about early development of the event. 6 directors are on board to develop the event, schedules, budget, etc.
      • Opening might be June 30th.
      • The website is www.wsd2017.com. Keep an eye on website for open call for activities and submission deadlines.
      • Commissions will be given slots to decide on use (meeting, activity?) Also the OISTAT World Congress will occur during the time.
      • Student volunteers will be sought as in Cardiff.
      • Ian Evans found that 1/3rd of volunteers didn’t show, plus many left early, leading to a late call for additional help from OISTAT members. So wrangling them is difficult. Much discussion of volunteer funding and usefulness, commitment, what they got out of it, etc. The Blue Army becomes the Pink Army for 2017.
      • Scenofest started in 1999 with Pamela Howard, OBE based on an event from Michael Ramsaur in 1995. It then occurred in 2003 and 2007 (Marina Raytchinova, Ian Evans, Anders Larsson, Chris van Goethem , et al), then Jessica Bowles ran it in 2011 more in conjunction with PQ 2011. Now this event pulled out and was added to WSD in 2013. PQ continues idea with SpaceLab. Scenofest has outgrown Education and is now an OISTAT project.
  7. New Projects & Reports.
    1. Ideas for future projects involving students at meetings.
  8. Miscellaneous.
    1. Exchange of national magazines.
      • Mikio Ogawa suggested exchange of publications made by OISTAT Centres.
      • Next month on OISTAT website there will be a list of publications from OISTAT Centres.
      • Jerome Maeckelbergh suggested an English abstract of each article so members can decide if they want to have it translated.
        • Cleaning-house for translated articles?
        • USITT TD&T made available?
    2. Core Strategy.
      • From Publications: Invite 3 schools from 3 continents. What is OISTAT’s image in publication, social media?
      • University of Malmo, University of Wisconsin, National Taiwan University
  9. Conclusion.
  10. Thanks to Jerome Maeckelbergh for serving as the Master of Ceremonies for OISTAT Day.

The meeting concluded at 12:04pm.

After the meeting, a suggestion was made to create a paper agenda to pass out along with a multimedia presentation with pictures from all events/meetings and all websites/references on screen.  Ian Evans & William Kenyon will work on this for the next meeting.

Respectfully Submitted by Vice-Chair William Kenyon. 

Please direct any comments or corrections to Prof. Kenyon at wck10@psu.edu