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Re: [xmca] Re: Events: Assistance requested


One form of "event planning," which I assume includes everything from
kid's birthday parties to a ride at Disneyland to political conventions,
is theater production. From the job description point of view, the person
listed as "producer" for a play is responsible for everything from raising
the money, writing the budget, choosing the play and publicizing it,
hiring the director and other technical staff and shaping how it is
interpreted by the media and finally deciding when it closes and paying
off (or apologizing) to the investors. As Jim Mackenzie, who was Producer
at ACT in San Francisco once said, "Sometimes all you have to do is say
'Let's do it' and sometimes you're sewing on the zippers."

When I googled "theater production", however, I saw that theater
departments who teach production focus on what goes on backstage --
costumes, wigs, makeup, set design, lighting. That's much narrower than
what a producer does. No useful book showed up.

Nonetheless, theater might be a good way to talk about event planning
because of a key feature of  both: they are both bounded by the audience's
or the participant's, encounter with them. They require taking the
audience's perspective from the first awareness (pre-publicity) all the
way through to the memory of the event.

I found this perspective useful when producing the annual conferences for
labor educators, which were very successful and drew increasing numbers of
participants over the four years I was doing it.

Helena Worthen

On 2/12/13 3:57 PM, "mike cole" <lchcmike@gmail.com> wrote:

>Ah! Well, I started to send this note to all of you, then decided to send
>to daughter, but ended up sending to all of you after all, so here is the
>problem. Delete if this is an intrusion on your time.
>I am teaching a class where students are interest in an activity called
>"event planning" for which people are sometime paid enough to make a
>living. The difficulty is that the students do not
>appear to have been taught anything they can remember about
>events and this is a senior class. So I am doing some digging with them,
>and now with you.
>The dictionary is of limited use:
>* *
>*a. * Something that takes place; an occurrence.
>*b. * A significant occurrence or happening. See Synonyms at
>*c. * A social gathering or activity.
>A philosophical dictionary lays out the problem territory in greater
>detail: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/events/#EveVsObj
>For events of type c, which the students are most concerned with of
>my thought was to turn to the work of Turner, Goffman..... but I cannot
>an entire book.
>I would appreciate suggestions for sources that would help me and my
>students to think about events, especially as they relate
>to a process called communication.
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