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Formation 1968
Type NGO
Official language English
Status Active
Headquarters Taipei, Taiwan
Website Oistat.org

The International Organisation of Scenographers, Theatre Architects and Technicians (OISTAT) is a non-governmental organization (NGO) founded in 1968 in Prague, Czech Republic. According to its founding name, the organization is mainly a network for theatre designers, theatre architects and theatre technicians around the world, made up of people associated with creating or studying live performances, including educators, researchers and practitioners. The organization has members from 53 countries,[citation needed] in the membership categories: Centre Member, Associate Member and Individual Member.


The predecessor of the organization was the scenography section of the International Theatre Institute (ITI), founded in 1948. This institute was expected to form an international co-operation of all artistic fields and establish leading publishing and educational direction from the drama sections. The project failed, but interest in the visual elements of theatre grew.[citation needed] Shortly after, in 1958, the International Association of Theatre Technicians (IATT) was formed in Paris. This association also faltered due to lack of direction, programming, organizational structure, administrative and financial provisions.[citation needed]

The representatives sought ITI to take up the activities again, and the ITI Secretary General Jean Darcante went to Prague in 1967 to discuss with representatives of the Czechoslovak National ITI Center, the Theatre Institute and the Institute of Scenography, the possibility of establishing an organization with a general secretariat in Prague. Czechoslovak scenographers, including professional workers and theatre specialists from both institutions, prepared a draft program for the activity of the new organization with the Czechoslovak Ministry of Culture. Darcante travelled to Prague again in early 1968 to obtain a binding promise from the Czechoslovak official authorities and agree the final details with the Theatre Institute and the Institute of Scenography. On 7 and 8 June 1968, the foundation committee met to establish the new International Organization of Scenographers and Theatre Technicians (French: Organisation Internationale des Scénographes et technicians de Théatre; OISTT). The founding membership consisted of representatives from Czechoslovakia, Canada, Israel, Hungary, the German Democratic Republic, the Federal Republic of Germany and the United States.[citation needed]

Organizational structure[edit]

The World Congress[edit]

OISTAT is composed of members in regions around the world, known as OISTAT Centres, Associate members and Individual members. As defined in the Statutes, "the directing body of OISTAT is the Congress, which is formed when the delegates of the OISTAT Centres, Associate Members and Individual Members are assembled in plenary session". Every four years, the delegates of the World Congress elect the President and the members of Executive Committee. They also decide on changes in the Statutes and other arising issues of the organization.

Executive Committee and Governing Board[edit]

OISTAT affairs are coordinated by the Governing Board and its Executive Committee. The Executive Committee consists of eight elected members including the President, elected at the congress. The Governing Board consists of the elected chairs of the six commissions.


The Headquarters, known as the Secretariat until 2011, are the only constant office of the organization in charge of daily communications, and serve as the central network for its members and commissions. The Headquarters has moved twice since its foundation; it was in Prague from 1968-1993, in the Netherlands from 1993-2005, and since 2006 it is in Taipei, Taiwan.


Six commissions lead various projects in their field of studies:

  • Architecture: The Architecture commission was composed mainly of architects, theatre designers and technicians. The commission initiated the quadrennial Theatre Architecture Competition (TAC) in 1978 and the finalist designs are exhibited at the Prague Quadrennial.
  • Education: This commission is the main facilitator of OISTAT Scenofest and International Stage Design Students' Works Exchange (ISDSWE) in Beijing, China.
  • Research: The Research commission focuses on the theoretical and historical aspects of theatre scenography, architecture, and technologies. The Theatre Timeline Sub-commission is a recent establishment by the commission focusing on archiving theatre technologies, recording and preservation.
  • Performance design: Performance Design includes four sub-commissions: Costume Design, Lighting Design, Sound Design and Space Design.
  • Publication and communication: This commission's recent projects include Core Strategy, World Scenography, the Digital Theatre Words and the Bibliography of Theatre Arts.
  • Technology: OISTAT Technology facilitates exchange of ideas in the field of theatre technology, develops research projects, and examines standards and safety issues. The commission offers technical advice and support for theatre technicians worldwide. The Theatre Invention Prize (TIP) is a competition initiated since 2011 by the commission.

OISTAT projects[edit]

Theatre Architecture Competition (TAC)[edit]

Theatre Architecture Competition is an international ideas competition, aimed at students and emerging practitioners, which is organized every four years by the Architecture commission. The sites of the competition have been in these cities:

  • 1978, Paris, France
  • 1983, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 1990, Moscow, Russia
  • 1999, Prague, Czech Republic
  • 2003, Hengelo, Netherlands
  • 2007, Prague, Czech Republic
  • 2011, Prague, Czech Republic [1]
  • 2015, Berlin, Germany
  • 2017, Hsinchu, Taiwan [2]

In 2011, the competition theme was to design a theatre for a specific performance. The theatre can be in 'found' spaces which were not previously or presently a performing space or create a temporary installation.

In 2015, the theme was to construct a 'floating theatre' on Spree River in Berlin, Germany. The competition has moved from Prague Quadrennial to Berlin's Stage|Set|Scenery.[3]

In 2017, the theme is 'Theatre as Public Space'. The aim of the competition is to challenge the conventional typology of the theatre and to focus on the design of a temporary theatre (or theatres) in The Public Activity Center, a disused sports stadium in Hsinchu City in Taiwan. The 25 selected entries of TAC 2017 were exhibited and awarded during 2017 World Stage Design on July 1–9, 2017 in Taipei, Taiwan.

World Stage Design[edit]

World Stage Design is an international exhibition of performance design from theatre, dance, music, and opera, as well as a showcase for cross-disciplinary performances and installations in non-conventional theatre spaces since 2005. It is held every four years on different continents, to purposely show the latest designs in theatre performances. Different from the Prague Quadrennial which presents designs curated by each country, World Stage Design allows every individual designer to submit design works directly to the curatorial panel for the grand exhibition. It has been in these cities:

  • 2005, Toronto, Canada
  • 2009, Seoul, South Korea
  • 2013, Cardiff, UK
  • 2017, Taipei, Taiwan

WSD2005 winner list[edit]

Medal Winners in Sound Design

  • Gold: Joe Pino (USA) for Bell & Clock: The Dead Media Project
  • Silver: Martin John Gallagher (USA) for Fahrenheit 451
  • Bronze: Ross Brown (England/UK) for Bartleby: A Story of Wall Street

Medal Winners in Lighting Design

  • Gold: Philippe Amand (Mexico) for two designs: Stones in his Pockets, St. Joan of the Stockyards
  • Silver: Madeleine Sobota (USA) for 3 designs: Hamletmachine, Women of Troy, Saint Joan
  • Bronze: Rick Fisher (England/UK) for Wozzeck

Medal Winners in Costume Design

  • Gold: Mónica Raya Mejía (Mexico) for two designs: King Lear, The Marriage of Heaven & Hell
  • Silver: Karin Chiu (Hong Kong) for two designs: Pinocchio, Journey to the West
  • Bronze: Teresa Snider-Stein (USA) for Drowning

Medal Winners in Set Design

  • Honorable Mention: Howard C. Jones (USA) for Hedda Gabbler
  • Gold: Jorge Ballina (Mexico) for 4 designs: The Italian Girl, Copenhagen, The Magic Flute, Rheingold
  • Silver: Roni Toren (Israel) for Don Giovanni
  • Bronze: Gino Gonzales (Philippines) for Spolarium

WSD2009 winner list[edit]

Outstanding Scenographer

  • Monica Raya (Mexico) for The Skin (set and costume), Rappaccini’s Daughter (set, costume and lighting), Twelfth Night (set and light), Autopsy to a Snowflake (set and costume), and AUTOPSIA (lighting)

Medal Winners in Set Design

  • Gold Award: Liu Xinglin (China), Tangwan
  • Silver Award: Judit Csanadi (Hungary), Peer Gynt, The Ambitious and The Flighty; and Dorita Hannah (New Zealand), Aarero Stone and Her Topia
  • Honorable Mention: Tsang Man-Tung (Hong Kong, China), No End and Ubu Roi

Medal Winners in Costume Design

  • Gold Award: Dorita Hannah (New Zealand), Aarero Stone and Her Topia; and Heng-Cheng Lin (Taiwan), Lysistrata and Endgame
  • Silver Award: Edyta Rzewuska (Mexico), Nezahualcóyotl; and Hye-sook Chang (Korea), The Dance of the Four Flying Gods in the Sky

Medal Winners in Light Design

  • Gold Award: Beto Bruel (Brazil), Not About Love
  • Silver Award: Lee-Zen Michael Chien (Taiwan), Like Shadows
  • Honorable Mention: Vinny Jones (the Netherlands), tobetonotbe and de Monant

Medal Winners in Sound Design

The Awards Jury was unable to come to a unanimous decision so it decided to divide the prize money among all contributors in the category.

  • Jude Edgard C Balsamo (Philippines), Amihan
  • Curtis Craig (USA), Pentecost
  • Igor Drevalev (Russia), The Black Monk
  • Gregg R Fisher (UK), Sarajevo Story
  • Elisheba Itoop (USA), Bent
  • Jethro Joaquin (Philippines), Hamlet
  • Karen Lauke (UK), The Odyssey
  • Richard Malone (USA), Female Transport
  • Matthew Suttor (USA), The Trial of the Cannibal Dog Opera
  • Richard K Thomas (USA), Henry V
  • Bradlee Ward (USA), The Methuselah Tree
  • Claire Windsor (UK), Palace of the End
  • Chien Feng Wu (Taiwan), Love Letters

WSD2013 winner list[edit]

Exceptional Achievement across all categories

  • Gold Medal: Sophie Jump
  • Silver Medal: Ulla Kassius
  • Bronze Medal: Conor Murphy

Set Design Award

  • Jamie Vartan

Shortlist: Lukas Noll, Xinglin Liu

Costume Design Award

  • Simona Rybáková

Shortlist: Marja Uusitalo, Natalya Kolosowsky

Lighting Design Award

  • Xóchitl González Quintanilla

Shortlist: I-Hua Kao, Madeleine Sobota

Sound Design Award Dedicated to the memory of Steven Brown

  • Igor Drevalev

Shortlist: Karen Lauke, Marcelo Pellegrini

Interactive & New Media Award

  • Tung-Yen Chou

Shortlist: Fereshteh Rostampour, Yei-Sheng Wang

Performance Design Award

  • Ulla Kassius

Shortlist: Ciaran Omelia, Louise Ann Wilson

Installation Design Award

  • David Shearing

Shortlist: Ariane Harrison, Jan Strobbe

Temporary Sustainable Theatre Winning Design

  • Brad Steinmetz and Tim Lai

WSD2017 Winner List[edit]

Winners in Set Design - Emerging Designer

  • Gold: Josafath Reynoso (Mexico) for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
  • Silver: Tina Torbey (Lebanon) for Cabaret
  • Bronze: David Molina Garza (Mexico) for Dialogues des Carmélites

Winners in Space Design - Emerging Designer

  • Awards Kept from Jury

Winners in Lighting Design - Emerging Designer

  • Gold: Chin-Ting Lan (Taiwan) for Six Characters in Search of an Author
  • Silver: Chao-Yu Tsai (Taiwan) for Rhinoceros
  • Bronze: Hsia-Ning Wu (Taiwan) for All He Said to Him

Winners in Costume Design - Emerging Designer

  • Gold: Yu-Jung Shen (Taiwan) for Pool (no water)
  • Silver: Daphne Karstens (the Netherlands) for Ping
  • Bronze: Andrea Pacheco (Mexico) for Blue Bird
  • Bronze: Zepur Agopyan (Armenia) for Contendō

Winners in Performance Design - Emerging Designer

  • Gold: Rodrigo Cortes (Mexico) for 3 Catastrophes I Happily Survived
  • Silver: Zsofia Berczi (Hungary) for Becoming Butterfly - Conspiracy
  • Bronze: Clare Mcgarrigle (United Kingdom) for Two Truths Are Told

Winners in Set Design - Professional Design

  • Gold: Uta Gruber-Ballehr (Germany) for Così Fan Tutte
  • Silver: Man-Tung Tsang (Hong Kong) for Storm Clouds
  • Bronze: Lukas Noll (Germany) for By The Bog Of Cats

Winners in Space Design - Professional Design

  • Gold: Jesus Hernandez (Mexico) for Psicoembutidos
  • Silver: Becky Minto (United Kingdom) for The 306: Dawn
  • Bronze: Shizuka Hariu (Japan) for Solid Traces

Winners in Lighting Design - Professional Design

  • Gold: Cheng-Wei Teng (Taiwan) for Serenade
  • Silver: Zhengping Zhou (China) for The Peony Pavilion
  • Bronze: Chihheng Chuang (Taiwan) for Visible and Invisible

Winners in Costume Design - Professional Design

  • Gold: Wen Bao Qin (China) for Xiuqiuji
  • Silver: Gino Gonzales (Philippines) for Hakbang sa Hakbang (Measure for Measure)
  • Bronze: Simona Rybakova (Czech Republic) for 3+1 Love

Winners in Sound Design - Professional Design

  • Gold: Pao Shan Liu, Qing Hua Wu, Shih Chi Wang, Sze Nung Huang, Tao Chiang, Ting Wei Huang, Yen Ting Tseng, Yin Chen Cheng, Wen Chun Chang, Yuan Wen Huang (Taiwan) for Götterdämmerung
  • Silver: Curtis Craig (United States of America) for All the Way
  • Bronze: Yung-Ta Chang (Taiwan) for W.A.V.E.

Winners in Projection and Multi-Media Design - Professional Design

  • Gold: Zhigang Wang (China) for Luxor in Reflection
  • Silver: Yei-Sheng Wang (Taiwan) for 13 Tongues
  • Bronze: Daniel Belton (New Zealand) for Oneone

Winners in Alternative - Professional Design

  • Gold: Yung-Ta Chang, Wen Chi Su (Taiwan) for W.A.V.E.
  • Silver: David Shearing (United Kingdom) for The Weather Machine
  • Bronze: Gloria Carrasco A (Mexico) for Chinese Box

Winners in Performance Design - Professional Design

  • Gold: Agata Skwarczyńska (Poland) for The Leper. A Melodrama
  • Silver: Zeen Tan (China) for A Wonderful Day
  • Bronze: Conor Murphy (Ireland) for Orphée et Eurydice


OISTAT Scenofest has been held in conjunction with Prague Quadrennial since 2003. It provides seminars, workshops, thematic exhibitions, performances, and presentations, with the aim of engaging students and professionals in the field of theatre design. Since 2013, Scenofest has formed new connections with World Stage Design.

Technical Invention Prize (TIP)[edit]

Technical Invention Prize (TIP) is a global competition organized by OISTAT Technology commission. TIP awards technicians who come up with simple and smart solutions to the works in theatre or entertainment industry. Those clever ideas are mostly realized by inexpensive means and materials. The first Technical Invention Prize was initiated in 2011. In 2017, the second TIP was held along with the World Stage Design 2017 in Taipei, Taiwan. The selected entries for the competition are published in the TIP catalogue for the reference of theatre professionals.

OISTAT publications[edit]

  • World Scenography is a three-volume series which aims to gather significant scenographic works of theatre set, costume, and lighting designs from 1975 to 2015. The first volume World Scenography 1975-1990, published in 2012, documented 430 designs from 61 countries and was awarded the United States Institute for Theatre Technology Golden Pen Award in March 2014. The second volume World Scenography 1990-2005 was published in 2014.
  • Digital Theatre Words is an ongoing digital publication project launched by OISTAT Publication and Communication to edit the most common theatre terms into a multi-language dictionary. The project comprises 2,000 theatre terms in 24 languages, along with descriptions, photos, and pronunciations. The Digital Theatre Words mobile application was launched on 15 June 2014.
  • New Theatre Words is an illustrated multi-lingual theatre dictionary and reference first published in 1975. There are currently three editions: Northern Europe, Central Europe, and World Edition, comprising 25 languages in total.


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-11-03. Retrieved 2014-11-03.
  2. ^ "10th OISTAT Theatre Architecture Brief.final. Hsinchu City_rev.pdf" (PDF). Dropbox.com. Retrieved 10 September 2017.
  3. ^ "TAC Info & Schedule". Oistat.org. Retrieved 10 September 2017.

External links[edit]