More than 40 theatre sound designers from around the world will be gathering in mid-June for the London Theatre Sound Design Colloquium, to discuss the artistic underpinnings of sound design and its rapidly increasing importance in modern theatre production. The event will take place at the Royal National Theatre, Southbank, on June 13-14 June, and at The Central School of Speech and Drama, Swiss Cottage, on June 15.

"Few people outside of the profession understand the unique combination of technical expertise and creative artistry required to conceptualize, realize and execute a quality sound design," explains Ross Brown, sound designer, Theatre sound design is, or should be, on a par professionally and artistically with the other creative design disciplines" says Ross Brown, sound designer, Sound Design Tutor at The Central School of Speech and Drama, and lead organizer of the Colloquium. "This is the first time that an international group of professional sound designers will assemble to discuss these important issues."

The Colloquium, co-sponsored by The Royal National Theatre and The Central School of Speech and Drama, will focus on the creative and aesthetic issues of theatre sound design through exploration of the broad topics of Sound as Scenography and The Dramaturgy of Sound. In addition, The Organization of International Scenographers, Technicians and Architects for the Theatre (OISTAT) will be holding the inaugural meeting of its newly formed "Sound Design Working Group" during the conference.

Richard K. Thomas, Chair of the OISTAT Sound Design Working Group, is excited about the Colloquium. "Up until now, there has been no professional body or organized forum for sharing models of practice in theatre sound design, which is a bone fide, discreet specialty in 21st century dramaturgy. We will be discussing issues of training and pedagogy, theory and research, and the professional status of Theatre Sound practice. This is a truly unique gathering, focusing on the dramaturgy rather than the technology of sound design, and it is an important step in raising the prominence of theatre sound design within the industry, in academia and with audiences."

Ross Brown is equally enthusiastic. "Theatre sound has been the most rapidly developing area of theatre design and production since the mid 1980's. New technology, new writing and new directorial approaches have demanded new specialist understanding and knowledge. I think it is significant and encouraging that the Royal National Theatre and some of the most exciting and internationally recognised practitioners working in the field have thrown their weight behind this event."

For more information, contact G.R. Fisher at soundwise@aol.com.