Live Performance Update 2023

Live Performance Committee Update – 2023

Over 2023 the Live Performance Committee met 5 times by Zoom. The committee has evolved into a more expanded format, with all live performance members invited to join the regular group. Discussions are always lively and informative, with a very collegial exchange of perspectives on how our practice is changing – what makes it easier or more challenging, and how the guild can support set, costume, lighting and video designers for live performance. Something that has come up quite regularly has been a lack of awareness of the fabulous Live Performance resources on the APDG website. If you are looking for tax advice, career management strategies or wellbeing resources (and much more) click on the resources tab and open up Working Smarter. If you don’t find the information you are looking for, let me know and we’ll include it!

This year we have been focused on revising the Live Performance Guidelines. The Live Performance Guidelines has been an invaluable resource since it was first published in 2015 – used by many designers to equitably benchmark our fees and conditions. The new edition of the Guidelines now includes Lighting and Video Designers, updated fee tables, a very useful expanded set of defining factors for assessing a production’s complexity, an expanded set of conditions determining when a designer should be reemployed for a transfer or remount of a production and a new section dealing with equality, taking into account broader concerns of equity. We have written personally to the CEO and Artistic Director of 60 live performance companies to share the revised Guidelines and to urge them towards best practice with the designers they employ.

We have also met personally with the artistic and management teams of three of the ‘majors’ – ballet and opera companies – to advocate for the employment of Australian designers in their seasons. Too often overseas designers are engaged for these productions. We also made the case for the engagement of Australian designers in associate roles when companies use a non-Australian designer. There is still a lot to do in this area.

The committee was also very engaged in the drafting of the guild’s Constitution, Rules and Code of Conduct, in writing the guild’s submission to the Create Australia arts policy and in putting together the Sustainable Design survey. We also continue to actively support all of the APDG initiatives: the Awards, MENTORAPDG, APDGreen and Dialogues in Design, and continue to provide one-to-one support for our members when they are working through a challenging professional situation.

I thank all of the regular committee members and those that have been able to join our meetings from time to time: Anna Cordingley, Anna Tregloan, Ben Hughes, Christina Smith, Christopher Baldwin, Eamon D’Arcy, Imogen Ross, Isabel Hudson, Geoff Cobham, Jenny Irwin, Madeleine Barlow, Tobhi Stone Feller, Paul Matthews, Fausto Brusamolino, Craig Wilkinson, Bronwyn Pringle and Chloe Greaves.

In 2024 the live performance committee we will be meeting by Zoom at our usual time of 7:30 – 9:30 on the following dates:

  • February 20
  • May 21
  • August 20
  • November 19

Please contact us if you are interested in joining the live performance committee.

Looking forward to seeing you in the new year.

Stephen Curtis APDG – Live Performance National Executive Representative

Credit: Holding Achilles.
Photo by Dean Hanson
Lighting Designer Ben Hughes
Costume Designer Anna Cordingley
Set Designers Anna Cordingley & David Morton