2017 IOT Conference
October 17-19, 2017
Hosted by Serenbe Playhouse
Thanks to everyone who attended the first Institute of Outdoor Theatre Conference organized by SETC! We had a fabulous time with our hosts from Serenbe Playhouse and all the familiar and new faces who joined us. We hope to see you again next year.
This year’s multi-day conference and networking event began with a Southern Barbeque Welcome Dinner and our traditional Company Exchange, and it concluded with a causal wind-down discussion over dinner.
In between, we delved into the topic for this year’s Paul Green Seminar – site-specific theatre – with the help of our host Serenbe Playhouse. We toured Serenbe’s theatre sites and enjoyed The Sleepy Hollow Experience — one of American Theatre’s ‘Top Five Halloween Plays in the Country.’ In addition to learning Serenbe Playhouse’s secrets to success, we heard from other experts with diverse perspectives on what “site-specific” means and how this broad and exciting category of theatre can translate into the work we do.
We rounded out the conference with sessions that explored alternate revenue sources, innovative partnerships, board sustainability and more. These few days offered an atmosphere of camaraderie in which leaders from a wide range of theatres networked, swapped insights, and walked away with new ideas to bolster their own theatre communities.
Conference Registration ($285) Included:
- The Sleepy Hollow Experience, Wednesday Night
- All Tours, Seminars and Workshops
- Southern Barbeque, Tuesday Evening
- Lunch & Awards Dinner, Wednesday
- Lunch & Light Dinner, Thursday
- Transportation to and from Conference Hotel and Serenbe Community
- Swag Bag
2017 IOT Conference Program
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
- 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM | WELCOME, INTRODUCTION & DINNER
Welcome: Betsey Horth, SETC/IOT Executive Director; Brandon Smith, IOT Chair
- 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM | ROLL CALL & COMPANY EXCHANGE
Traditional sharing of successes and challenges from the past year.
Facilitator: John Russell, Montford Park Players Managing Director and CEO
- 9:00 PM | IOT TRIBUTE
“How the IOD Began”
A video featuring Mark Sumner. Remembering Mark Sumner & Hazel Robinson.
Presenter: Susan Phillips, Assistant to the Director of SRAPAS the performing arts series at East Carolina University
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
- 8:45 AM – 9:00 AM | AGENDA CHECK-IN
Morning focus on finances. Afternoon delves into creating theatre on location.
Check in: Betsey Horth
- 9:00 AM – 10:20 AM | ALTERNATIVE REVENUE SOURCES
Whether front-of-house sales, off-site sales, or adding “value” to the experience, we’ll discuss what’s hot now and what income generators have stood the test of time.
Presenters: Brandon Smith, Tecumseh CEO; David Thomas, ART Station President and Artistic Director
- 10:20 AM – 10:35 PM | GOOGLE GRANTS MINI SESSION
Making Google work for your theatre: grant paid advertising.
Presenter: Clay Thornton, SETC Marketing Manager
- 10:45 AM – 11:45 PM | DATA IS THE NEW CREATIVE
How to best report the numbers for grants; Where to get those numbers; How not to lose your mission while seeking grants.
Presenter: John Tissue, Cherokee Historical Association Executive Director, Unto These Hills Producer
Introduction: Philenia Walkingstick, Unto These Hills Associate Artistic Director
- 12:00 PM – 12:30 PM | Travel to Serenbe Community
Serenbe General Store, 10642 Serenbe Ln, Palmetto, GA 30268
- 12:45 PM – 1:45 PM | LUNCH & DIALOGUE TABLES
Serenbe General Store, Pre-ordered
IOT leaders host table conversations to continue discussion on topics chosen from the previous evening’s Company Exchange.
Table Hosts: Lance Culpepper, The Lost Colony; John Russell, Montford Park Players; Marina Hunley-Graham, Unto These Hills
- 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM | DESIGNING FOR SITE-SPECIFIC THEATRE
Outdoor workshop presented on location where the artist has blended the art of theatre to fit the environment.
Presenter: Joel Coady, Serenbe Playhouse Designer and Production Manager, Atlanta Jewish Academy Technical Director, Actor, Director
Introduction: Ryan Oliveti, Serenbe Playhouse Artistic Associate
- 3:00 PM – 4:45 PM | CARAVAN TOUR OF SERENBE PLAYHOUSE
Founder and Executive Artistic Director Brian Clowdus and Artistic Associate Ryan Oliveti present the history and evolution of Serenbe Playhouse on a Caravan Tour of its theatre sites. Don’t forget to dress comfortably and in layers for this walking journey.
- 4:45 PM – 5:30 PM | HAPPY HOUR
The Inn at Serenbe, Cash Bar
- 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM | AWARDS DINNER
The Inn at Serenbe
The prestigious Mark R. Sumner Award will be presented to an individual who has made major contributions to the field of outdoor theatre. It is a highly guarded secret until the announcement!
The Scott Parker Award will recognize an exceptional volunteer within the Serenbe Playhouse outdoor theatre community.
Welcome: Betsey Horth
Introductions: Tiza Garland, SETC President
Presenters: Lance Culpepper; John Russell; Brandon Smith
- 7:00 PM – 7:15 PM | Travel to Theatre Location
- 8:00 PM | THE SLEEPY HOLLOW EXPERIENCE
Enjoy Serenbe Playhouse’s popular Halloween play.
Thursday, October 19, 2017
- 8:00 AM – 8:45 AM | BREAKFAST & DISCUSSION
Dig deep into The Sleepy Hollow Experience with a casual Q&A with Brian Clowdus and Ryan Oliveti.
Facilitator: Tiza Garland
- 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM | 2017 PAUL GREEN SEMINAR: SITE-SPECIFIC THEATRE
Panelists: J.J. Cobb, Professor at Eastern Connecticut State University and Specialist in Site-Specific/Environmental Theatre Methodologies; Brian Clowdus, Founder of Serenbe Playhouse; Neeley Gossett, and Nichole Palmietto, Cofounders of Found Stages, a site-specific theatre located in Atlanta, GA
Facilitator: David Wohl, Author of “Site-Specific Theatre,” Southern Theatre (2014)
- 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM | VISUAL BRANDING FOR THEATRE
The use of photographs to both brand and promote your theatre. How to create those photos and work with a graphic designer and an artistic concept to produce the best images for your show.
Presenter: BreeAnne Clowdus, Photographer
Introduction: April Marshall, SETC Professional Services Manager
- 12:00 PM – 12:30 PM | Travel to Serenbe Community
- 12:30 PM – 1:45 PM | LUNCH
The Inn at Serenbe, 10950 Hutchesons Ferry Rd, Palmetto, GA 30268
- 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM | INNOVATIVE PARTNERSHIPS
Charlottes’s Web location
Merging the Arts, Agriculture and Business. A conversation with the founders of Serenbe.
Introduction: Ryan Oliveti
- 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM | BUILDING & MAINTAINING YOUR BOARD
The make-or-break scenario for sustaining theatre into the next decade.
Presenter: Jamie Clements, Alliance Theatre Director of Development
Introduction: Betsey Horth
- 4:30 PM – 5:00 PM | Travel to Country Inn
- 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM | ESTABLISHING THE IOT ENDOWMENT
Facilitator: Lance Culpepper, The Lost Colony Associate Producer
REFLECTION, DE-BRIEF & “TAKEAWAYS”
Facilitators: Betsey Horth; Brandon Smith
Fortify with pizza and a beer for the final wind down.
- 8:00 PM | AFTER HOURS…
Something Special About Serenbe Playhouse
One of the most innovative theatre companies in the entire country. – Fox News
Situated outside Atlanta within the New Urban Village of Serenbe in Chattahoochee Hills, GA is Serenbe Playhouse. It is the performing arts theatre and professional theatre company for this growing hamlet, though not in the traditional sense. Every performance is site-specific and takes place outdoors in locations throughout the Serenbe community. Some of the shows even ask audience members to walk within the site.
Founded in 2009, Serenbe Playhouse’s mission states that they strive to produce “…bold new works and reinvented classics that connect art, nature and community.” Their model expressly focuses to use theatre as an artistic educational tool for both artists and audiences.
Established under their parent organization, The Serenbe Institute for Art, Culture and the Environment, a non-profit organization, Serenbe Playhouse is driven by a diverse board of directors and community volunteers. Their collective vision has made them integral to the fabric of Serenbe and the region.