Newsletter August 2005

Aug 19, 2005

This is the first newsletter of the new website, if you would like to receive it via email you can subscribe here: mailing list

Due to the change over to the new website and the fast and furious developments in the last period this newsletter is later, and longer than usual. The new website is providing an exciting and active working place for OISTAT members.  Please visit the website regularly, it is still in development, more resources will come online, but the news is always current.

The OISTAT World Congress in Toronto in March 2005 was a great success, and with it came many exciting changes for the organisation.

Words from Presidents Past and Present
Michael Ramsaur, United States Institute for Theatre Technology was elected as the new President of OISTAT. It was a close race between him and Maija Pekkanen, the sitting president of OISTAT: Ramsaur received 10.2 votes, Pekkanen 9.1.
I asked them both to write words to inform and inspire our members, which you can read by clicking on the links below:

News from the Congress
New Executive Committee
The OISTAT Congress Elected a new Executive Committee, together with the Chairs of the OISTAT-commissions the Executive Committee serves as the Governing Board of OISTAT. The new EC consists of Leon Brauner (USITT), Wei-Wen Chang (TATT), Henk van der Geest (OISTAT.NL), Martin Godfrey (ABTT), Jerome Maeckelbergh (BASTT), Peter McKinnon (CITT) and Simona Rybakova (Czech OISTAT Centre).

New OISTAT Statues
The Congress voted to ratify new OISTAT Statutes for the organisation.  The most notable change was a new category of membership: Associate Member.  This category is an opportunity for those organisations, businesses, and institutions who are interested in and support the work of OISTAT to participate and contribute to the organisation.  Click here to read the new statutes.

State of the Organisation Address
If you were not at the Congress to hear Leon Brauner's State of the Organisation address, I would encourage you to read it.  It gives an excellent overview of the organisation and its development and success over the last four years. Click here to read the speech.

OISTAT Secretariat receives funding from the Taiwan Council for Cultural Affairs.
One of the most exciting announcements of the Congress was that the OISTAT Secretariat has received funding from the Taiwan Council for Cultural Affairs. Click here to read the details.

OISTAT Korea KTAA announces plans to host the 2009 World Stage Design and World Congress
OISTAT Korea (KTAA) Jeong Hyun Yang made a dramatic announcement that OISTAT Korean was working hard to confirm they plan to host the 2009 World Stage Design and World Congress.  Since the Congress has confirmed they will host the events and have elected former EC member SungChul Kim as the Executive Director for both events.  Eric Fielding, Director of the WSD05 has confirmed he will actively support the 2009 WSD.
The results of WSD05

Photo gallery of the Congress
Photographer and Designer Richard Finkelstein graciously shared his excellent photo record of the OISTAT Congress. A collection of the photos.

Reports from the Chairs
Commission Chairs reported to the Congress on their Commission's activities.

Secretariat Transfer
Preparations for the move of OISTAT's Secretariat from Amsterdam, the Netherlands to Taipei, Taiwan have been underway for some time. In 2003, the EC received news that OISTAT's subsidy from the Dutch Ministry of Culture would end in 2004 (after twelve years of funding).  The EC started exploring alternate funding sources and redefining and strengthening the network of OISTAT.   During the OISTAT Governing Board (GB) Meeting in Yi-Lan County, Taiwan in October 2004, Taiwan Association of Theatre Technology (TATT) approached the GB with the idea of working together to secure funding in Taiwan.  The GB reacted positively and, before leaving Taipei, representatives of OISTAT and TATT met with two Ministries of the Taiwanese Government, and the outlook was bright.

In January 2005, the EC held an extra meeting in Amsterdam to begin working with TATT on a plan for the proposed transfer.

TATT formed a Preparatory Committee headed by OISTAT Vice President Ms. Wei-Wen Chang to work on realizing the proposal.  In addition to Mrs. Chang, the Committee is composed of Duncan Chang (former president of TATT and the originator of the relocation idea); Keh-Hua Lin (renowned lighting designer and key figure in winning CCA support); Austin Wang (president of TATT); and Samuel Wang (key advisor).  The Preparatory Committee received staff support from the Executive Secretary Jane Liu. The work of the work of the Committee led to the announcement at the World Congress in Toronto that the Taiwan Council for Cultural Affairs (CCA) would fund the Secretariat for up to 10 years.  OISTAT immediately created a transition committee of President Michael Ramsaur along with Executive Committee members Leon Brauner (USA), Peter McKinnon (Canada) and Martin Godfrey (UK).  OISTAT received staff support from Administrative Director Jennifer Walker.

April 2005 Transfer Team in Taipei
In April 2005 the transfer team met in Taipei, Taiwan. These working meetings were very successful, and also provided the opportunity for the transfer team to meet with Dr. Chi-Nan Chen Minister of CCA and Shiuan-Chyn Yang Director, Third Department.

June 2005 Signing of Memorandum of Understanding in Prague
In June 2005, the EC and members of the Taiwan Preparatory Committee met in Prague.  A ceremony was held to sign the Memorandum of Understanding with the CCA, and an impressive group of dignitaries and press attended. The signing ceremony took place at the original home of OISTAT-- the Theatre Institute of Prague. OISTAT's first Secretary General Jarmila Gabrielova (from OISTAT’s founding in 1968 through 1992 before the Secretariat moved to The Netherlands) attended the ceremony and presented the CCA with the original charter and founding documents of the organisation.  More.

Signing of the Final Agreement
The major challenge facing Taiwan right now is the legal registration of OISTAT. Since Legal registration of an international organization is a first-time ever experience in Taiwan, and consequently will take time to resolve. The Taiwanese Preparatory Committee is hard at work now arranging the details to allow for the Final Agreement to be signed, and the transfer is tentatively to begin January 2006.  A ceremony in conjunction with an OISTAT Governing Board and Technology Commission meetings will be held in Taipei to commemorate the occasion.

A Bright Future
The transfer of Secretariat will be an advantage for both Taiwan and OISTAT.  The relocation of the Secretariat to Taiwan will open a new chapter in OISTAT’s history. Situated in Asia OISTAT will better serve as a meeting place for the West and the East. With the secured finance from CCA, the Secretariat will play a more proactive role in furthering the goals of internationalism and of celebrating cultural differences in Theatre Design and Stage Technology worldwide.

Secretariat News
New Theatre Words order before October 31, 2005 and save!

Sales of New Theatre Words the lexicon of theatre words continues to be brisk.  There are three versions available: World Edition, Central Europe and Northern Europe, in total 25 languages.  OISTAT Centres may purchase the books from the Secretariat until October 31, 2005 at their current US dollar prices.  Beginning November 1, 2005 the prices will be increasing (changed to Euros!).

Take advantage and order your books before October 31, 2005!  Books are for sale to the broader public via the centre in their country, or via the OISTAT Secretariat if there is no centre.  Email Jennifer Walker for information and orders.

Expanding the Network of OISTAT
OISTAT's Administrative Director Jennifer Walker is enjoying the challenges of working with the transition team to define the process, and execute the transfer of the secretariat.  The exciting part is OISTAT's network is growing and the move of the Secretariat from Amsterdam to Taipei does not bring Jennifer's role in OISTAT to an end, instead it allows OISTAT to go after more funding for projects and provide more support to the work of the Commissions.  To that end, Jennifer is already working with the Scenofest team, and the Architecture Competition Team on their projects.  In August she will attend the course: "Innovative Strategies in International Cultural Co-operation", at the Amsterdam-Maastricht Summer University- further developing her knowledge for her changing role in the organisation.

Scenofest team unveils its exciting plans for PQ 07
Sean Crowley, Scenofest Project Leader and Marina Raytchinova, Education Commission Chair have unveiled their exciting plans for the 2007 Scenofest.  With the support of President Michael Ramsaur (Scenofest 03 organiser) and an extraordinary team of international theatre professionals the Scenofest 2007 will be an event not to be missed. 

The collaboration with the PQ has become central to their work.  The PQ recognised the success and importance of Scenofest by placing it at the heart of the exhibition in the Výstaviště Central Hall. In addition, venues within the City will provide evening performances and presentations.

Jean Guy Lecat will be designing the main performance venue and will form a core part of the Scenofest team, preparing and delivering performance workshops for participants across all OISTAT disciplines.
To see the plan.

Coming Meetings
Education Commission, London and Nottingham, November 29th- Dec 4, 2005 Programme
Technology Commission, Taipei, Taiwan, October 13-16, 2005 UNCONFIRMED
Governing Board, Taipei, Taiwan, October 13-16, 2005 UNCONFIRMED
Architecture Commission, Antwerp (Dark Night), Belgium, May 2006
Education Commission, Japan, 2006, Date and programme TBA