The Theatres Trust: Conference 07
On 12 June 2007 The Theatres Trust hosts its first annual conference, Performing Theatres? at the Young Vic in London. The conference takes a fresh look at the design of theatres, drawing in the views of people who work in these unique buildings, including front-of-house and backstage staff, production designers, technicians, producers, actors, stage managers, directors and executives. Chairs, Ian Brown from West Yorkshire Playhouse, Genista McIntosh, and Venu Dhupa from the Southbank Centre, will guide contributors and delegates from the theatre industry in discussion, drawing out participants practical experiences of working in theatres and performing arts spaces. Theyll be finding out which designs have worked, which have proved more challenging, and what design features the theatre sector considers would make theatres perform better. The aim of the conference is to identify design principles that are fundamental to meeting the needs of the professionals who use theatre buildings. These principles will then be the starting point for The Theatres Trust to develop further work to help inform the process of theatre design, helping to create better planned theatres and more sustainable and better protected theatres.
Conference 07 runs over four sessions each looking at a different area of theatre design. Jonathan Church from Chichester Theatre, Duncan Hendry from Aberdeen Performing Arts, and Judith Isherwood from Wales Millennium Centre start the day by looking at the way facilities need to be designed to meet the expectations of the theatre sector and its audiences. The second morning session takes the form of a debate on whether auditoria design should be led by seats or senses. Rosemary Squire of Ambassador Theatre Group and Peter Wilson of Norwich Theatre Royal lead the debate against the motion The actor-audience relationship should be the starting point for the design of auditoria. Actress, director and writer, Cindy Oswin and Gregory Nash from The Point, Eastleigh make the case for the motion.
After lunch, Venu Dhupa interviews production manager Stewart Crosbie, designer William Dudley and director Kully Thiarai, former Artistic Director at Leicester Theatre Trust, on staging work. The final session of the day focuses on what is inspiring about working in theatre buildings and performance spaces with speeches from Garfield Allen from the greenroom in Manchester, Kate Cross from the egg at Theatre Royal Bath, David Rosenberg from Shunt Collective and David Lan from the Young Vic. Ian Brown concludes Conference 07 by pulling together design principles and recommendations for future activity.
After the conference delegates have free passes to the End-to-End Party at the Jerwood Space, offering a chance for some mixing and mingling with exhibitors from the ABTT Theatre Show.
Special discounts for theatre organisations
The Theatres Trust is keen to see representatives from different departments of theatres attending so that the combined design needs of artistic, management and technical teams are all covered. Discounts are available if booking places for two or more delegates from the same theatre or venue.