iSTAN Board Members

The new iSTAN board members are:

Tobias Biancone

President of the International Stage Art Network iSTAN, Director General of International Theatre Institute ITI, poet, playwright. Tobias Biancone was born in Bern, Switzerland, 1951. He worked as a board member for the Swiss Centre of ITI, was president and founder of ITI’s International Playwrights’ Forum, and was a member of ITI’s Executive Council, before being elected Director General of the ITI in 2008. The mission of Tobias Biancone for ITI is to modernise the organization, make it active worldwide and lobby for the performing arts internationally through its 100 Centres across the globe. In 2012 he took the initiative to create a new Network for Higher Education in the Performing Arts, together with 21 Higher Education Institutions, created under the UNITWIN programme of UNESCO. In 2015, ITI and the Central Academy of Drama jointly formed the International Stage Art Network iSTAN. Tobias Biancone was elected as the president of the new Network. Tobias Biancone is also a famous poet and playwright. His poems have been translated and published in English, Bangla, Russian, Hiligaynon, Tagalog and Arabic.

Zhang Qingshan

Vice-president of International Stage Art Network iSTAN. Professor at the Stage Design Department of Central Academy of Drama. Mr. Zhang has been engaged in stage design and scenic art for decades. He has a comprehensive and systematic knowledge of European classical scenery techniques and also has a good reputation for his achievements in contemporary scenic art. He has completed stage sceneries for more than one hundred productions with several world famous directors and designers. His works include operas such as; La Boheme, Tosca, Un Ballo in Maschera, La Traviata, Il Trovatore, theatre works, like; White Deer Plain, Orphan of Zhao, and Xiqu work The Peony Pavilion, The Dream of the Red Chamber, etc.

Hamadou Mande

As well as being a stage director, director of a theatre company, and president of the ITI Centre in Burkina Faso, Dr Hamadou Mande is also research professor of theatre studies at a University. He is Pedagogical Director of the Training and Research Centre in Performing Arts (CFRAV) for the Espace Culturel Gambidi, and Artistic Director of the International Festival of Theatre and Puppets of Ouagadougou (FITMO). Internationally he holds important positions, including those of Vice President of the Regional Council for ITI Africa, and Member of the Executive Board/Global Vice President of the International Theatre Institute (ITI). Dr Hamadou Mande is a member of the Technical Council, and is considered the main focal point for Burkina Faso’s Observatory of Cultural Policies in Africa (OCPA).

Carlos Celdran

An all-important personality in Cuban contemporary theatre, Carlos Celdran is a past winner of the Cuban National Theatre Award. In addition to his work as a professor, he has authored various books on the theme of stage direction. Celdran directs one of the most famous Cuban theatre companies, the prestigious Argos Teatro, with which he has received awards and critical distinctions at festivals, both in Cuba and abroad. Carlos Celdran’s productions are distinguished by his use of only the bare essentials on the stage to create minimalistic dramas. Celdran has staged a wide range of productions, from classics of universal theatre, to works by international contemporary authors and young Cuban creators, which are perennially well received by audiences and critics alike. He is President of the Cuban Centre of the International Theatre Institute (ITI).

Latefa Ahrrare

Actress, cultural activist, stage director, and Professor of body language in the Higher Institute of Dramatic Art, Latefa Ahrrare has appeared with distinction Moroccan on TV and in international cinema productions, as well as on stage. She directs the Cont'N'Art, a multidisciplinary arts space which serves as an accessible platform for artists, granting them exposure in order to democratise the content and distribution of culture. Latefa Ahrrare has received several awards of distinction both in her native Morocco and all over the world. Latefa Ahrrare has founded and directed several festivals in Morocco, and coordinates many of Morocco's multi-cultural events abroad. Latefa Ahrrare is a founder and active member of several NGOs working for human rights and individual freedoms.

Miao Peiru / China

Miao Peiru is a stage art designer of CCAT (China Children's Art Theatre), and beneficiary of the State Council Special Allowance. He is a well-known visiting professor at the Central Academy of Drama and vice-chairman of China’s Institute of Stage Design. He has acted as a judge in all kinds of activities besides those implicated in the Ministry of Culture, such as national level technical post selections, exhibition performances etc. As a professor, he gives lessons in the Cultural Academy of Cultural Administration.
He had held the post of overall designer of the closing ceremony of the 29th Olympic Games held in Beijing in 2008, and the opening and closing ceremony of 16th Asian Games held in Guangzhou in 2010. Moreover, he participated in the designing of national unity columns in Tiananmen Square for the 60th anniversary of PRC.
His work has been exhibited at the WSD (World Stage Design) Exhibition held in Seoul. On behalf of China, Mr. Miao took part in PQ Exhibition in 2011 and 2015. He has been awarded national level specialty of fine arts on multiple occasions and has made contributions in the State Council.

Tatjana Ažman

A Graduate in Dramaturgy at the Academy for Theatre, Radio, Film and TV (University of Ljubljana), Tatjana Ažman has worked as the in-house dramaturge of the Slovene National Opera Theatre and Ballet in Ljubljana since 1995. She has a wealth of experience in contacting and networking with Slovene theatres and stage directors, having worked with them as a production dramaturge since 1988. She is a board member of the Slovenian Association of Dramatic Artists (2008 - ), Vice-president of the Maribor Theatre Festival Borstnikovo srečanje Artistic Board (2010 - ), member of the Expert Working Group for cooperation with NGOs in the city of Ljubljana (2010 - 2015), member of the Mladinsko Theatre Artistic Board (2014 - ), and board member of the Cankarjev Dom Cultural and Congress Centre (2014 - ). Tatjana is the president of Slovenia Centre of ITI, and she is also a member of Executive Council of ITI.

Vanarase Vidyanidhee

Vidyanidhee Vanarase, also known as Prasad, is a stage designer, director, theatre educator, play translator, and active international cultural events coordinator. He has won several awards, including the Award for the Best Director on Experimental Stage, presented by Natya Darpana in Mumbai, and Best Director Award, presented by Kala Gaurav Pratishthan in Pune, to name but a few. He has been involved in the development of a new university, FLAME, since 2005, where he initially worked as an Associate Dean for the School of Liberal Education - the first liberal education programme in India. Later, he worked as Dean of the School of Performing Arts for four years. He is a Founder Director of International Association for Performing Arts and Research (IAPAR), the only Indian Member Institution of the ITI/UNESCO-UNITWIN Network for Higher Education in Performing Arts. He is the Secretary of the Indian National Centre of ITI.