Artscape Theatre Design Awards


The Artscape Theatre Centre has agreed to support an initiative by a group of local theatre designers who wish to create a peer platform to recognise and award work of excellence in the different fields of Theatre Design.

Over the past year the group of designers met various times to formulate the judging criteria to best evaluate each design category for excellence in set design, costume design, lighting design, sound design and puppetry. This resulted in the establishment of the Artscape Theatre Design Awards. The panel of judges for each category will comprise of experienced designers in their field and will adjudicate entries from nominated designers who designed for productions having a run at any venue in the Cape Town metropolitan area.

Designs for productions which open in 2013 will be eligible for entry. The finalists in each category will be announced in January 2014. The winning designers will be announced at an awards event in March 2014, coinciding with Cape Town being the World Design Capital that year. Each category winner will receive a cash prize of R10 000. The winning designs will be exhibited at the Artscape Theatre Centre.

Aim:

To award excellence in the theatre design categories of set, costume, lighting, puppetry and sound.

Mission:

To annually evaluate designs by means of established criteria formulated by experienced designers in each design category. Entries will be adjudicated by a panel of experienced designers and theatre practitioners in each category by means of the predetermined criteria.

The Adjudicating Panel:

Each design category will be adjudicated by a panel of no less than three judges with experience as indicated by the Adjudicating Panel Requirements of each field.

Members of the adjudicating panel undertake to execute their duties with integrity, honesty and fairness. They agree to complete the relevant adjudicating paperwork in order to ensure accountability of the final result.

A design by members of the adjudicating panel is not eligible for entry in the category that the member will be adjudicating.

Eligible Designs:

Designs presented as part of a public performance within the Cape Town Metro may be entered. The designer, producer or any other member of the creative team may enter a design for the award. The design should answer to all requirements outlined in the adjudicating criteria of the particular design field. Designers must agree to submit the required documentation and be available to answer to all requirements in the adjudicating criteria.

A design for productions which opens to the public between the 1st of January and the 31st of December of that year is eligible for entry.

Designers must be a South African Citizen or have received residency status.


Criteria

Lighting Design

Adjudicating Panel:

Two of the three judges must have experience in lighting design of no less than 10 years. The third adjudicator may be from any other creative or construction field within the theatre industry and must have at least 10 years experience in that field.

  1. The lighting designer must submit a lighting plan indicating lamp positions and jell allocation. The plan should have a "Plan Key" and indication of all relevant information and additional requirements.
  2. The Lighting Designer must in writing or orally explain the design concept and intention. Reference to the style of lighting in relation to the various demands of the script/story-line as well as the staging/set design, direction and venue specifications must be made. The lighting designer may elaborate on particular time and production challenges.
  3. The lighting designer/nominator must arrange for the panel to view a performance of the production and if required be available for a panel discussion afterwards. The lighting designer/nominator must allow for at least 14 days from submitting the lighting plan to the first possible viewing of the production.

Costume Design

Adjudicating Panel:

Two of these judges must have experience in costume design of no less than 10 years. The third adjudicator may be from any other creative or construction field within the theatre industry and must have at least 10 years experience in that field.

  1. The person who nominates the entry must send in a short written justification as to why this particular design should be considered for an award.
  2. The designer may nominate ONE Specialist Technical Contribution Award relating to this particular design. This award is in recognition of excellent service or skills contributing to the success of the design. This award may be for an individual or for a work team. The nominee for this Specialist Technical Contribution Award will automatically win if the designer who nominated him/her/the group wins the Best Costume Design Award.
  3. Assessment: The following sections will make up the accumulated evidence of the designer's work. This will form the judging criteria by which the designer's work will be assessed. It is the responsibility of the nominated designer to present these elements in any format for the consideration of the judges:
  4. 3.1  Section A. All of these elements must be evidenced:

    3.1.1   A short design brief written by the director which includes the themes the director wished to highlight in his/her version of this particular production. The director's program notes may also be added here.

    3.1.2   A synopsis of the play/a storyline.

    3.1.3   Specify whether the production was conceived in a workshop process or not.

    3.1.4   In the case of a workshop process, the details of the collaboration must be clearly outlined.

    3.1.5   The designer must in brief outline his/her conceptual ideas.

    3.2  Section B. The designer must present at least TWO of the following options as evidence of his/her role as designer.

    3.2.1   Rough process/preliminary sketches outlining his/her initial visual ideas /visual thoughts during rehearsal and/or during conversations with the director.

    3.2.2   A collage of Visual references and a selection of Swatches.

    3.2.3   A concept board which indicates the ideas of the designer and the themes s/he wished to expand on.

    3.2.4   All original costume designs of all characters with technical drawings and swatches as the designs were presented at the time of going into production.

    3.2.5   Artworks must be the originals.


Set Design

Adjudicating Panel:

Two of these judges must have experience in the Set design of no less than 10 years. The third adjudicator may be from any other creative or construction field within the Theatre Industry and must have at least 10 years experience in that field.

  1. The person who nominates the entry must send in a short written justification as to why this particular design should be considered for an award.
  2. The designer may nominate ONE Specialist Technical Contribution Award relating to this design. This award is in recognition of excellent service or skills contributing to the success of the design. This award may go to an individual or a work team. The nominee for this Specialist Technical Contribution Award will automatically win if the designer, who nominated him/her/the group, wins the Best Set Design Award.
  3. Assessment: The following sections will make up the accumulated evidence of the designers contribution to the final outcome of the production.
    This will form the judging criteria from which the work will be assessed.
    It is the responsibility of the nominated designer to present these elements in any format for the consideration of the judges:
  4. 3.1   Section A. ALL of these elements must be evidenced:

    3.1.1   A short design brief written by the director which includes the themes the director wished to highlight in his/her version of this particular production. The director's program notes may also be added here.

    3.1.2   A synopsis of the play/a storyline.

    3.1.3   Specify whether the production was conceived in a workshop process or not.

    3.1.4   In the case of a workshop process, the details of the collaboration must be clearly outlined.

    3.1.5   The designer must in brief outline his/her conceptual ideas.

    3.2  Section B. The designer must present at least TWO of the following options as evidence of his/her role as designer.

    3.2.1   Rough process / preliminary sketches outlining his/her initial spatial visual ideas/thoughts during rehearsal and/or during conversations with the director. A collage of photographic references can be incorporated here.

    3.2.2   A concept board which indicates the visual metaphoric ideas of the designer and the themes s/he wished to expand on.

    3.2.3   A ground-plan to scale.

    3.2.4   Working drawings: These are relevant in the case of a set being built from 'scratch'.

    3.2.5   The model of the set to scale.

    3.2.6   These artworks must be the originals.


Puppetry:

Adjudicating Panel:

Two of these judges must have design experience in puppetry of no less than 10 years. The third adjudicator may be from any other creative or construction field within the Theatre Industry and must have at least 10 years experience in that field.

Excellence in puppetry design to be adjudicated on the following bases:

  1. Comprehensive and excellent design brief and concept development
  2. Excellent technical functioning – appropriate to movement required
  3. Appropriate material choice – in relation to performance concept
  4. Aesthetic excellence – in production concept
  5. Coherence/Unity – across production design
  6. Puppets function excellently in the space
  7. The puppetry design is innovative
  8. The puppets are designed with dynamic use of scale in relation to the performance to concept

Sound Design:

Adjudicating Panel:

At least two of these judges must have proven experience, either in number of work years and/or production credits in sound design. The third adjudicator may be from any other creative or construction field within the theatre industry and must have at least 10 years experience in that field.

  1. The nomination must include a short written motivation.
  2. The nominee may in turn nominate 'Specialist Contributors' as to acknowledge key collaborations and input e.g. a composer or sound recorders who created material for the sound design.
  3. The nominee to provide the following evidence before the end of the first week of the production run:
  4. 3.1   a director's brief

    3.2   a synopsis of the production

    3.3   an initial sound design plan including any original supporting material e.g. images, drawings, sound ideas; and any proposals for implementation egg. time frames, logistics, materials, possible collaborators

    3.4   rationale/intention statement for sound design (rationale can be verbal ie. by interview)

    3.5   anything else that the nominee regards as important to an understanding of the design process especially in the case of non recorded/real time sound e.g. surround sound plans, scripts, interactive devices, instruments, sound reinforcement, live foley strategies


If the production is the result of a workshop process, then details of the collaboration must be described.

For more information Contact: Kobus Rossouw at kobusr@artscape.co.za

Click here to download the entry form.


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