Next Story in this issue
News & Notices
News From:
Conference & Stage Expo
For the Record

Newly elected OISTAT officers gathered in Seoul, South Korea as part of the 2009 World Congress and World Stage Design 2009.

Photo/Courtesy Sandy Bonds

OISTAT Events in Korea

Sandy Bonds
VP-International Activities

Members of OISTAT met in Seoul, South Korea September 18 to 20 for a World Congress and the second quadrennial World Stage Design Exhibition.

During the three days of meetings and events, the Commissions and Working Groups met, and members attended a variety of sessions, seminars, and performances. The keynote speaker was Stan Lai, noted Taiwanese playwright and director, who had recently staged the opening and closing ceremonies for the 2009 Summer Deaflympics in Taipei. Two performances created as a part of the OISTAT sponsored “From Ritual to Theatre Workshop” in Taiwan last year were revived and revised for a showing in Seoul. Another highlight of the gathering was an exhibit of small-scale costumes designed by Rien Bekkers, proclaimed one of the Honorable Scenographers from The Netherlands at PQ 2007. Chris Lievaart, also from the Netherlands, introduced his new book celebrating the first 40 years of OISTAT.

USITT was represented by several delegates to OISTAT including Michael Ramsaur, OISTAT President; Sandy Bonds, USITT Vice President for International Activities; Laura Crow, head of the Costume Working Group; Fritz Schwentker, Technology Commission; Bobbi Owen, Publications and Communications Commission; and Rick Thomas, alternate for the Sound Commission.

The World Stage Design Exhibit showcased scenic, costume, lighting, and sound designs. The catalog presented all of the 247 selected entrants, while the gallery exhibit featured the work of the designers in attendance. The winners of each category were announced in last month’s Sightlines.

A new event for this WSD was the on-site creation of interpretations of The Selfish Giant by international teams of students. Ms. Crow and Frank W. Ballard brought a group of 10 students from the University of Connecticut to collaborate with a team of students from Sangmyung University in Seoul to present a charming puppet/live action version of this tale. Eight of those students worked with students from Sangmyung Unversity on the performance. There were 17 dancers from Seoul, including one who played the Giant, and three puppeteers from UConn, as well as the rest of the designers who performed. Jung Ae Yoo, a Korean graduate student from the University of Connecticut who had returned to Korea after gaining her MFA degree, acted as co-coordinator and associate scenic designer. The scenery was built at Kaywon School of Art & Design outside of Seoul. After just two weeks of rehearsal, a performance was held on the night of the World Stage Design Awards.

Elections were held as a part of the World Congress with 20 countries present to vote. The newly elected OISTAT officers. Louis Janssen, The Netherlands, was elected president. Elected to the executive committee were: Richard Bauer, Sweden; Duncan Chang, Taiwan; Al Cushing, Canada; Bert Determann, The Netherlands; Sarka Havlickova, Czech Republic; Jerome Maeckelbergh, Belgium; and Mr. Ramsaur, United States. Mr. Ramsaur completed his term as OISTAT President, and Leon Brauner ended his service as Secretary to the Executive Committee as well as the OISTAT Center for the United States. Mr. Ramsaur is now head of the USA OISTAT Center, working together with Alexandra Bonds to coordinate the international participation of USITT.

All members of USITT are automatically members of OISTAT and are welcome to attend all OISTAT gatherings. The Commissions and Working Groups generally meet once a year in a different country each time. Along with the business meetings, they often plan innovative workshops and collaborative challenges. Details of upcoming events are announced in Sightlines or available on the OISTAT webpage.

To Top