Hello! My name is Sophie Jump and I am a Joint Honorary Secretary of the Society of British Theatre Designers. The SBTD exists to support designers in their working lives. Being a theatre designer can be quite an isolated job and you hardly ever meet any other designers, so it is hard to know if your experiences are ‘normal’, or who to ask for advice. We provide links with other designers, through events, exhibitions and through our quarterly journal The Blue Pages. We also have links with international companies and designers through being an OISTAT centre, (International Organization of Scenographers, Theatre Architects and Technicians). OISTAT hold regular meetings around the world.
Members have access to our Guides and Directories. The Guides are to do with things we all need to know about – Tax, Contracts, Agents, Finding work etc. The Directories list useful suppliers – costume hire, props and furniture, armourers, model suppliers etc.
We also organise an open exhibition of UK design for performance every four years. The next one is in January 2011. These are a great opportunity to get some exposure for your work, to find out what has been going on in design over the past four years, and to meet and talk with other designers. It is from these exhibitions that the UK exhibit is chosen for the Prague Quadrennial (next PQ in June 2011).
We have various categories of membership – students, graduates, professionals, retired (or associate for those interested in design but not necessarily a designer themselves). Have a look at www.theatredesign.org.uk to see more of what we are about.