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For the Record

OISTAT representatives were able to spend part of their time viewing the offerings of the Belgrade International Theatre Festival.

Photos/Leon I. Brauner

by Leon I. Brauner
OISTAT Executive Committee


OISTAT Commissions

The OISTAT Publications and Communications Commission (PCC) met in Belgrade, Serbia on September 16 to 18. The Commission meeting was held in conjunction with the Belgrade International Theatre Festival (BITEF). Held at the same time was the OISTAT Technology Commission (TC). Both were hosted by YUSTAT, the Serbian OISTAT Centre.

During the three days of meetings, half were held jointly with the OISTAT Technology Commission and the remaining meetings focused on the work of the PCC. The opening session was held at the British Council video conference room and included presentations by:
-Martin Tschermak (DTHG), on the evolutionary changes in the German Repertory system of production caused by recent economic changes in Germany;
-Bert Determann (VPT) discussing the need, plan, and proposed implementation of a set of European theatre safety standards;
-Andrzej Sosnowski (Polish Centre) providing information and insight on the technology and advantages of the sinus dimmer for theatre and television studio use; and
-John Mayberry (CITT) talking about the status of the move-in and initial use of a new educational theatre facility at York University, Ontario, Canada.

Of the seven topics on the PCC agenda, the three most critical were New Theatre Words - Electronic version, the OISTAT website and its use and limitations, and the election of a new PCC chair. Other important topics included how the PCC might work with the Scenofest (Education Commission), the development of an OISTAT graphic identity, working with the TC to develop a document for their new Code of Practice (EU Theatre Safety Standards), and the publication of an OISTAT electronic journal.

Olle Soderberg of the Swedish OISTAT Centre brought a proposal to both the OISTAT EC and PCC seeking support (both financial and editorial) for a new, expanded version of New Theatre Words for publication on the Web. This new version would include several Asian and Arabic language sets, revised and probably expanded word-sets for all languages, and a careful editorial vetting of the existing text and images. The proposed electronic version of NTW would be available as a pay-per-use and/or sponsored-use dictionary.

Mr. Soderberg and PCC Chair Eric de Ruijter have begun developing a list of editors interested and able to work with the dictionary. The electronic version of NTW has a two-year implemented timeline.

The recently revised OISTAT website is a Content Management System (CMS, as opposed to html). This allows multiple users and multiple publishers. Each Commission can publish its own materials, discussions, lists of events, and links for its members. The Secretariat, Wei-Wen Chang, is collecting appropriate and useful links with other sister organizations. Contact Ms Chang at with any suggestions.

The election of a new PCC Chair took place at the final PCC session. The candidates, Irena Sentevska (YUSTAT-Serbia) and Eric de Ruijter (VPT-Netherlands), have both been vital members of the Commission. Mr. de Ruijter was elected to a four year term and just as quickly Ms Sentevska was unanimously appointed as the new vice-chair of the PCC.

Marina Raytchinova of the Bulgarian Centre, currently chair of the OISTAT Education Commission and representing the Scenofest Committee, provided a list of Scenofest projects in need of PCC collaboration including:

  • An automated message board showing Scenofest activity information
  • A digital exhibition of student design work
  • Streaming video broadcast of lectures, performances, and other Scenofest activities of interest
  • Streaming sound broadcast of sound performances
  • A digital daily newspaper which might include upcoming activities, interviews, reviews and announcements of interest to Scenofest participants.
  • Cataloging and archiving of workshops, lectures, performances, and exhibitions.
  • Publishing the outcome of these archival products in CD/DVD or other digital format for distribution to participants and other interested individuals and/or institutions.
  • Recording and archiving the oral history of significant theatre artists, technicians, and architects attending PQ and/or Scenofest.

Ms. Chang asked members of the PCC to assist the OISTAT Secretariat in developing an OISTAT graphic identity which is a project of the OISTAT office in Taipei.

Mr. Soderberg noted the significant new EU Theatre Safety Standards project of the TC needs the collaborative efforts of the PCC to help develop the text, drawings, and document design for the completed Code of Practice.

The OISTAT PCC is exploring the possibility of publishing an electronic journal. It would include articles previously publishing in OISTAT Centre publications. The articles used for the OISTAT journal would be of interest to a worldwide audience. The OISTAT Secretariat is collecting OISTAT Centre Journal information and will assist in developing the protocol for the republishing, translation, and collecting of rights.

While at least one "old" project (NTW) is being brought up to date and potentially finding a new audience, there are many new projects that are able to tap the resources of the two Working Groups within the PCC -- The Website Working Group and the Publications Working Group.

The PCC expects to meet in conjunction with the 2007 Prague Quadrennial in June.

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YUSTAT, the Serbian OISTAT Centre, hosted meetings of the Technology Commission and the Publications and Communications Commission.