In this milestone year in the history of the Trust, the conference will examine the state of our nation's theatres and discuss their future. The event will consider the past and present influences on theatre architecture and design; the provision of existing and new theatres in response to city and government devolution; changing demographics; housing delivery and community and audience demand.
The Trust will then look to the future, and the potential for the next 40 years, and ask: What kinds of theatres will we need to build, and how will we find the resources to do so? How should we be asking existing buildings to adapt and change? What impact will the popularity of digital distribution of live theatre have? How will we ensure that the right spaces are available in the right locations for the next generations of theatre makers?
Protecting Theatres will also examine the wider cultural landscape, including the role of theatres in stimulating cultural and economic development, and the increasing technical demands being placed on theatre buildings.
Interested parties are welcome to attend the conference to discuss these topics and more with top theatre producers, designers and architects at Protecting Theatres on 21 June at the New London Theatre.
Mark Shenton, Conference 16 Chair, associate editor and joint chief theatre critic for The Stage, says: "This is the perfect opportunity not just to look to the past and the heritage of our wonderful theatre buildings that the Trust helps to preserve, but also to the future needs and provision as different theatremakers expand where and how they work. I am delighted to chair a conference that will allow us to take the pulse of where we've been, where we are now, and what we need to think about for the future."
Contributors confirmed for Protecting Theatres reflect the significance of this year's event, from renowned designers Richard Pilbrow and Tom Piper MBE, to producers Rachel Tackley (ETT/Chichester Festival Theatre), Madani Younis (Bush Theatre), and also including Lord Bob Kerslake (Chair of Sheffield Theatres), Neil Darlison, (Arts Council England) and Julia Potts (Ambassador Theatre Group).
All registration prices are held at their 2015 levels. There are discounts for Corporate Supporters of the Theatres Trust, and further offers for students.
"We are delighted that many leading theatre industry organisations and product manufacturers have chosen to sponsor the Conference - recognising the importance they place on this opportunity for debate, networking and learning," say the organisers.
Mark White, regional sales manager for UK and Ireland at ETC, as Grand Circle Sponsor, says: "Protecting theatres in these days of arts funding cuts has become very important and ETC congratulate the Trust on bringing together everyone involved in running, designing, building and equipping theatres to think about the theatres of the future.
We look forward to exploring what works and what doesn't, why decisions were made and to discover the extent to which central government currently can and cannot help."
Steve Tompkins, director at Haworth Tompkins, as Balcony Sponsor, says: "The next 40 years will transform the ways in which we experience, design or even define theatre. Conference 16 is a timely opportunity to imagine the cultural, social and political landscapes in which we will be working over the coming generation, and to debate the extent to which theatre architecture will need to adapt and evolve to keep pace."
The Theatres Trust is also very grateful for the invaluable support of: Stage Electrics, Charcoalblue, Northern Light, BuroHappold Engineering, EM Acoustics, GDS, Green Hippo, Unusual, Harlequin Floors, Hawthorn, Plann Limited, ShowTex, Theatre Projects Consultants, Philips Entertainment, Aedas Arts Team, Lighting&Sound International Magazine, ABTT, Page\Park Architects and Really Useful Theatres Group.
Protecting Theatres takes place the day before the ABTT Theatre Show (Alexandra Palace, 22-23 June) and will provide all delegates, contributors and sponsors with an additional networking opportunity during this busy week.
Tim Eyles, chair of the Theatres Trust, says: "We are delighted to have a prestigious line up of speakers already confirmed for the Conference, with more to follow. In our 40th year we're asking for your help and engagement in the national conversation about the kinds of theatre buildings we need. It's important to do this if we're to ensure live theatre continues to have a home it can call its own, and is to thrive over the next 40 years." Click here to register for Protecting Theatres.