I am pleased to report on the activities of the Education Commission.
During the last four years we met five times. The commission meeting for 2001 in Long Beach, USA was reported already at the Congress in Berlin.
In 2002 the Taiwanese Association of Theatre Technicians invited the commission to Taipei, Taiwan. Along with the commission meeting we organized Taipei Theatre Design Workshop with speakers from OISTAT and Taiwan.
During the Prague Quadrennial in 2003 we had an unofficial meeting of the Education Commission open to all teachers attending PQ.
The meeting of the commission in Barcelona, Spain, in 2003, was hosted by the Institute del Theatre and the Association of the Scenographers of Catalunia.
In November 2004 we met in Istanbul, Turkey, by invitation from the Stage Designers Association of Turkey and the Turkish Center of OISTAT. The program of the meeting included two days of presentations on topics:
“Stage Design Education in Turkey and the World” and “Lighting Design and Lighting Design Education” with presenters from Turkey and OISTAT.
The agendas of our meetings embraced two major items: working commission sessions and open workshops and presentations on topics of interest for our hosts. The meetings created opportunities for the host countries to present their educational institutions internationally. Visits to design schools studios and scenography exhibits provided additional forums for students and educators to meet and discuss issues of interest. Minutes of all our meetings are posted on the web.
On our present agenda is to continue to actively seek new venues, forms and content for international seminars and workshops at the time of our regular meetings.
In 2003 The Education Commission created and presented Scenofest, a festival of scenography, held in conjunction with the Prague Quadrennial 2003. The program of Scenofest included special exhibits, lectures, presentations, workshops at the Prague Quadrennial and tours of Prague theatres. The aim was to enhance the students’ experience at the PQ' with an exciting daily program which was equally appropriate for theater professionals.
Daily at 2:30 pm, a prestigious program of guest speakers gave Scenofest Lectures as well as Great Partnership and Design Excellence presentations. These sessions inspired and influenced the many young theatre makers who came to Prague. A specially curated exhibition, A Lear For Our Times, looked particularly at site-specific venues, challenged theatre-design students to present new concepts for this play. Daily debates and critiques were organized from many visiting scenographers.
Each day on the Scenofest stage, and sometimes off the stage, students from schools from all over the world presented Design as Performance - designer led and performed short pieces, that emphasized the integration of scenography, light, sound and performers.
The Scenofest Stage also served as sound and light laboratory for the many presentations and workshops focused on lighting and sound design. These workshops complemented the special lighting and sound exhibitions as well as the model theatre workshops where students from different countries worked together on a quarter-size model theater on group design assignments. And finally we presented Puppet days which included puppet performances, lectures, workshops, and visits to puppet artists ateliers. Scenofest concluded with a special Catalonian performance and celebration of Fire for St. John Baptist day.
I would like to thank all participants and especially the Scenofest Organizing Team for their dedicated work. There are two people, whose incredible enthusiasm and commitment contributed greatly to the success of this project: Michael Ramsaur, Scenofest main organizer, and Pamela Howard, Scenofest concept originator.
Over 1000 students from over 200 schools from over 40 countries participated over the 14 days of Scenofest - An extremely successful event which we plan to organize again for the next PQ in 2007. To this end the working group has been formed already and we are progressing with discussions with the PQ organizers. Sean Crowley (UK), leader of the working group, will provide more information on plans for Scenofest 2007 during the Luncheon.
Lastly I would like to report that at the meeting in Istanbul, in November 2004, Michael Ramsaur, who served very successfully as commission chairman over the last eight years, stepped aside and I was elected as the new Chair of the Commission.
Chair, Education Commission.
Scenofest at PQ’03
In 2003 the Education Commission organized Scenofest 2003, a festival of scenography, held concurrently with Prague Quadrennial’03.
“GREAT PARTNERSHIPS” - conversations with world renown designers and directors
“DESIGN EXELENCE” - presentations by outstanding designers
“KING LEAR” - students exhibit and critiques
“DESIGN AS PERFORMANCE” - design students led performances
“TRANSNATIONAL CO-OPERATION “ exhibit
“ LIGHTING DESIGN LABORATORY” workshops and exhibit
“ SOUND DESIGN LABORATORY” workshops and exhibit
“PUPPET DAYS” presentations and workshops
PRAGUE THEATRE TOURS
Organizer - Michael Ramsaur, U.S.A.; Content & Exhibitions - Pamela Howard, U.K.; Puppet Days - Marina Raytchinova, Bulgaria; Sound Design - Richard Thomas, U.S.A.; Lighting Design - Markku Uimonen, Finland and Henk van der Geest, The Netherlands; and Technical Director - Chris van Goethem, Belgium.
Ada Gadomski, U.K. - Assisting Pamela Howard; Leah Gaffen, Czech Republic - Prague Local Coordination; Kimmo Karjunen, Finland - Moving Light Rig Designer; Pavel Dautovsk, Czech Republic - Backstage Tours; Aluminium, Czech Republic- Administrative Support Group; Jessica Kaltman, U.S.A.- Assisting Michael Ramsaur; Veronika Vorel, U.S.A.- General Assistance; Steven Brown, U.K., Scenofest Stage Sound Designer; Eileen Smitheimer, U.S.A.- Sound Exhibition Sound Designer.
Frits van den Haspel, The Netherlands - Technical Assistance; Polly Ellis, U.S.A. - Ticket work & Information Booth Staffing; Ien Verbaenen, Belgium - Ticket work & Information Booth Staffing; Sabrina Hamilton, U.S.A. - Ticket work & Information Booth Staffing; Gustaf Kull, Sweden and Mandy Khoshnevisan U.S.A. - Web pages; Jerome Maeckelbergh, Belgium - Catalogue Publisher; and Christa Dans, Belgium – Photographer