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ITEAC 2018: First Programme Announcement

UK – TED Talk style presentations, rapid fire petitions, debates, live voting, stimulations, provocations and long-table dialogues alongside critical questioning, interviews, micro sessions and trusted panel deliberations will form the framework by which this year’s International Theatre Engineering and Architecture Conference will receive the Programme content.

Approaching the end of the 21st century’s second decade with culture and taste more and more defined by the millennial generation, Places for Performance: New Directions will seek to divine the needs of the future and what balance of new technologies and traditional techniques will be required to meet them.

‘This House Believes: Old Theatres Should be Knocked Down’ will see speakers debate the merits of conservation against demolition for surviving and often much loved historic theatres.

Conference will be able to support the most persuasive argument in a live ballot and in a second poll cast a vote for the most significant theatre completed between 1950-2010 drawing to a conclusion consideration of “the good, the bad and the ugly” in ‘Lessons from the 20th century’.

How can Brutalist buildings be brought back to life will be discussed in ‘Mid-Century Masterpieces’, alongside the economic and artistic justification in the early 21st century for the idea of ‘Transformable Floors & Flexible Theatres’.

Looking forward, new trends in ‘Concert Hall Design & Acoustics’ will be explored in conjunction with ‘Acoustics, Amplification & Theatre Design’: is there an emerging problem for actors unable to make themselves heard without amplification in theatres designed for the unassisted spoken word?

Having considered the Far East at ITEAC 2014, what developments will there be in the Middle East in the next couple of decades? ‘New Cities, Countries and Opportunities’ looks at this developing axis for arts and entertainment and the solutions required of architects, engineers and service providers.

‘Stage Systems – Renewal & Replacement’ recognises the challenges that project teams face when physical engineering systems in working buildings need to be upgraded and refurbished.

By contrast the potential of ‘Virtual & Augmented Reality’ to inform not only on what’s happening now but also what’s to come will be examined with a hands-on ‘petting zoo’ available to sample some of the equipment by which we might experience this brave new world.

‘Digital Interaction in Public Spaces’ will scrutinise how technology and the built environment can inform one another, contrasting neatly with ‘Theatre by Candlelight’, reminding us of an early example of theatre’s reliance upon technology to create magic.

Delegates will be asked to consider how do we measure the value of formal theatre buildings in ‘Are Theatres an Opportunity or a Burden?’, particularly in light of where some of today’s artists choose to perform; ‘Core Values in Theatre Architecture’ will attempt to distil what it is about the theatre space itself that we truly value going forward.

As a counterpoint, temporary theatres have been a striking part of the recent theatre scene and ‘Theatre on the Move’ candidly examines this escape from the purpose built, whilst ‘Opening the Doors’ investigates how to attract diverse new audiences into a building.

Topping off the three days, ‘New Directions into the 21st century’ will close ITEAC 2018, speculating on what we might expect the future to hold and whether our current obsessions will form a lasting legacy. Members of the newest generation of theatre people will be given the chance to hold the conference to account and give their impressions and final thoughts as delegates return to the business of making places of performance across the globe.

Further information about sessions and speakers will be published shortly.

As previously announced, keynote speakers include Dutch architect Francine Houben, creative director of mecanoo architecten, Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports, with responsibility for the operation and development of Dubai International (DXB) as well as Dubai World Central (DWC), and senior partner at Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron, Ascan Mergenthaler. The conference will be opened by Louise Jeffreys, artistic director of one of the world’s largest arts centre, the Barbican, London.

29th March 2018

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