OISTAT Technology Commission Meeting
National Chiang Kai Shek Cultural Center, Taipei City, Taiwan
17 November 2005
John Mayberry CITT, Canada [Chair]
Sándor Böröcz OPAKFI, Hungary
Fritz Schwentker USITT, USA [minutes]
Bert Determann VPT, Netherlands
Christe (Joey) Nombres PATDAT, Philippines
Pavel Dautovský COSDAT, Czech Republic
Kelvin TSANG Man-Tung HKATTS, Hong Kong
Martin Tschermak DTHG, Germany
Pu Lin TATT, Taiwan
Louis Janssen, VPT Netherlands [vice-chair][non-voting]
--Welcome and Opening Remarks--
The chair welcomed the delegates and thanked Pu Lin and our local hosts for
their hard work in organizing the event. He further stressed the importance
of such face-to-face meetings for the successful functioning of the
A brief and informative discussion followed, primarily for the benefit of
the newer members of the group, on the background and history of the
Commission. Salient points included the beginnings of the OISTAT during the
cold war period as a way to share between eastern and western European
colleagues. Technology Commission members helped provide material support to
their counterparts who had less access to technology and supplies. During
and between the meetings from 1993 through about 1998, the commission
experienced a change toward a deeper working relationship amongst its
members as well as an expansion from its primarily European roots. Questions
on the representation from the continents of South America and Africa
followed demonstrating the desire of those on the commission to continue
--Attendance and Voting Rules--
A new election for commission chair is scheduled for the afternoon meetings.
OISTAT's voting rules as previously distributed were reviewed by the group
for clarity. It was noted that the statutes do not require any minimum
number of delegates to be present to conduct such an election.
Greetings and regrets for not being able to attend the meeting were read
from Ivo Kersmaekers of Belgium, Dino Ibańez of Spain, and Jose Antonio of
--Approval of Minutes and Agenda--
The group approved unanimously the minutes from the previous commission
meeting (2 December 2004) in Antwerp. The agenda for the current meeting was
also reviewed; additions included a discussion of the website, and a "new
--Items Arising from the Minutes--
Update delivered on the Netherlands SICA project to train EEC citizens in
technical theatre and theatre management. Martin Tschermak reports
skepticism, as a project such as this is unusual for the EEC funding
organization mentioned. The commission's recommendation is that this be
pursued solely as a European-based project or that it be forwarded to the
Education Commission. John Mayberry will write to the Education Commission
and to Fritz van den Haspel from whom the proposal originated.
The Chair opened discussion by restating the Commission's role as being a
venue for assembling information. It was noted by the group that this role
has narrowed as technology has increased access to information for
participants in our field.
The following topics were shared as part of a discussion of the role of the
Commission and of possible projects that could be pursued in the future:
--An interest in the need for risk assessment planning in production
situations. Specifically, if individuals are required to do this in their
facilities and venues, how is this done, and are there forms available for
others to use? Could the Commission assist in collecting these and allowing
web access? A similar interest was voiced for costing forms.
--Practitioners in economically challenged and emerging countries were
identified as potentially valuable colleagues whom the Commission could and
should support. This might material support such as equipment and supplies,
but also in offering extended exchange of expertise.
--Martin Tschermak asked what are the responsibilities of technologists as
the economics of theatre have changed? As an example, consider the lessening
in state support of theatre in some western European communities. How does
this require us to reinvent our way of working? Are technologists, due to
their problem solving skills well positioned to help lead organizations to
new economic structures? How are these new structures modeled worldwide?
--It was generally agreed that the Commission should increase its visibility
and its commitment to host communities for educational purposes. A goal was
agreed establish a practice that the Commission share its collective
knowledge in a formal fashion whenever possible. A suggestion was forwarded
that EACH Commission member should be prepared to present a paper of
workshop whenever Commission meetings were held. All agreed that this would
assist in increasing the visibility and relevance of the Commission
--Sándor Böröcz noted that he is interested in access to a database of
sample solutions for theatre design. By having information that could be
forwarded to funders and government agencies, it could be possible to help
define how performing arts facilities are specified, equipped, and used in
different countries. The value would be as an informational/educational tool
for those entities who are unfamiliar with theatrical practice, but must
have a sense of the costs and range of use of performance facilities.
Commission participants felt there were a variety of sources for such
information that could be gathered.
--Election of Chair--
Governing Board members Maija Pekkanen and Simona Rybáková supervised the
election of a new chair of the technology Commission. Two candidates had
been nominated: John Mayberry and Ivo Kersmaekers.
Louis Janssen read a candidate's statement from Ivo Kersmaekers who was
unable to attend the meeting in Taipei. John Mayberry presented a statement
on his own behalf.
Mr. Kersmaekers was elected with a majority of six votes to three.
The Commission delegates agreed to nominate John Mayberry as vice-chair, and
to ask Ivo Kersmaekers to appoint a second individual at a later date.
Discussion of the OISTAT website included the following three items: (1)
concerns about the ease of navigation of the new site; (2) availability and
access to information from the old site, specific to both the Commission and
the Institute as whole; and (3) procedures for adding (primarily Commission
specific) information to the site.
John Mayberry agreed to investigate these concerns and report his findings.
The group as a whole agreed that in light of previous discussions during the
day, that it would be wise to establish a presence on the OISTAT website. At
a minimum, the following material would be useful to see:
--conference proceedings and papers
--a history of Commission projects and the results or products of
--an annotated list of resources
Concern was expressed over the lack of possibilities for an invitation in
September 2006 for a meeting to be held.
A possible invitation for later include PQ in 2007.
John Mayberry discussed the use of CITT's Callboard as an excellent model
for group collaboration, discussion, business, and presentations. It may be
possible to utilize this or a similar device for international work as well.
--Special Presentation by Teleconference from Olle Söderberg of Sweden--
A PowerPoint presentation was given on:
The Proposed Business Plan for a CEN (European Committee for
Standardization) Workshop on "Lifting equipment for stages within the
entertainment industry" by Mr. Olle Söderberg on behalf of SIS, the Swedish
Standards Institute. Question and answer on the particular workings of the
Mr. Söderberg stressed that support from a non-governmental organization of
experts like OISTAT was both required and vital to the official process.
The membership agreed that they would offer nominations of individuals,
particularly of the relevant European nations, who would be qualified to
serve on the committee during this process. Also needed are groups from
these countries who can assist with the required funding. It was reported
that commitments had already been received from:
The next day's seminars by John Mayberry, Hsien-hui Lee, Louis Janssen, and
Reinhold Daberto were announced. The meeting was adjourned after the
participants thanked our hosts for their assistance with the meeting, and
then congratulating John Mayberry on his leadership of the meeting and of
the Commission over the past several years.