By Stephen Curtis, Live Performance Committee Chair and this year’s Cameron Creswell Award Winner
After a number of very busy years putting together The APDG Live Performance Standard Agreement for Design this year has been an opportunity for reaching out and taking stock. We had the great pleasure of hearing back from our Live Performance membership through the Live Performance Survey, which an inspiring number of APDG members contributed to. The insights gained on how designers work with the companies that employ us will be very useful in shaping future strategies. We have also had the opportunity to hear from designers at three gatherings: designer drinks at the Sydney Theatre Company wharf – where 30 or so set, costume and lighting designers representing most sectors of the live performance industry swapped notes; a second ‘Think Tank’ forum of emerging Fresh Blood designers – where ideas were offered and explored on how the APDG can better support and develop our younger Live Performance members; and a meeting of Victorian designers to work through local industry issues. All of these opportunities for feedback have confirmed that while there is much more to do, Live Performance design is alive and well, and that we should get together more often.
The Live Performance Committee meets every six weeks or so, with continuing involvement in the APDG Awards and MENTORAPDG programme, the APDG Constitution review, the Live Performance Australia policy on preventing sexual harassment, discrimination and bullying, Prague Quadrennial and meetings with CAST Producers and Production Managers. We extend our thanks to NIDA for continuing to provide rooms and resources for our meetings. NIDA also collaborated with us earlier this year to present a public forum on designing the stage/screen musical adaptation, where a panel of live performance and screen designers, producers and directors discussed the similarities and differences of stage and screen design.
Work has recently begun on a couple of new initiatives: a ‘Working Smarter’ online resource for younger designers to help them set up a sustainable design practice, and an exhibition of design. Your input is most welcome. I encourage you to fill out your online profile so that our Live Performance member mail list includes you in future invitations.
My heartfelt thanks to the members of the Live Performance Committee, who find time in their busy work lives to contribute to the APDG Live Performance programme: Anna Cordingley, Eamon D’Arcy, Jennifer Irwin APDG, Julie Lynch APDG, Paul Matthews, Imogen Ross, Tobhi Stone Feller and Anna Tregloan.