ITEAC 2023 announce First Keynote Speakers and Sessions

13 June 2023

ITEAC, the International Theatre Engineering and Architecture Conference presented by the ABTT, has announced details of the first keynote speakers – Rufus Norris and Lisa Burger – together with session information for its sixth edition taking place over 19th – 20th September 2023.

Engaging for the first time with participants across global time zones, combining online connectivity with Hubs in London, Brisbane, São Paulo, Hong Kong and beyond, ITEAC will for the first time achieve a truly worldwide conversation,

Theatres across the world are engaging with the event’s three themes of

  • Environmental Sustainability
  • The Digital Revolution
  • Serving Communities


Keynote speakers:

Joining from London, UK, will be keynote speakers Rufus Norris and Lisa Burger whose session will explore all three of ITEAC 2023’s themes through their work at the UK’s National Theatre.

Together they led the theatre through a transformation that engaged with new communities, explored digital ways of connecting with audiences and developing theatrical language, and spearheaded the green transition to sustainable theatre.

Rufus Norris joined the National Theatre as Director in April 2015. Under his leadership the NT has expanded its reach far beyond the South Bank theatre, making it more accessible than ever before – reaching audiences though work on tour, in cinemas, streaming in classrooms and at home. A key priority for him has been to increase the range of voices and stories told at the National Theatre.

At the start of his NT tenure Rufus established the New Work department, ensuring that artists are supported and nurtured to create new work at scale for the NT’s stages, which has resulted in a significant increase in the number of productions staged by living writers while he has been Director.

In 2016, Rufus collaborated with Turner Prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller on we’re here because we’re here – a modern memorial to mark the centenary of the Battle of the Somme. It was a UK-wide event, delivered in collaboration with 26 organisations, and with over 1400 volunteers involved. The project reached a collective audience of 30 million through live and digital engagements. It has led to the establishment of Public Acts, a nationwide programme to create extraordinary acts of theatre and community.

Lisa Burger stepped down as Executive Director of the National Theatre in 2022. During her 20-year career, key achievements included the development and launch of NT Live, broadcasting work from leading UK theatres into cinemas around the world; creating NT at Home as a response to COVID, a free on-line product reaching a worldwide audience of 10m and turning this into a commercial subscriber service and leading the refurbishment of the NT. Lisa has spent her professional life working in theatre, opera, ballet and museums building a career as a strategic leader specialising in renewal of organisations through a focus on resilience, commercial exploitation and sustainable growth and is now co-founder and Director of Renew Culture Ltd.


Sessions announced to date include international contributions from Hong Kong to Brazil, the debate drawing on global experience and a broad and diverse range of perspectives to focus on the Conference’s three core themes. Highlights include:

The Theatre Green Book
To face the challenge of making theatres, and theatres sustainable, theatre-makers across the world have come together around the Theatre Green Book initiative, developing standards, guidance and a shared framework for sustainable productions, buildings and operations. Green Book contributors from across Europe and Japan contribute to a session about its development and current use.

Theatre Venues for the Digital Era
Theatre venues from Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea are ramping up their digital equipment and capabilities to encourage innovative theatricals and productions, and as lessons learnt from the pandemic. Through Hong Kong’s East Kowloon Cultural Centre, Singapore’s Esplanade Theatres on the Bay, and South Korea’s Asia Cultural Centre, we catch a glimpse of how theatres in Asia are embracing the digital.

Are We Building the Right Theatres?
Theatre is a dynamic, fast-moving art form, but theatres are fixed and hard to change. Are we building the right theatres at a time of rapid and radical change in theatre? Can they support theatre-makers facing the climate emergency, the challenge of engaging with new communities, and the digital revolution?

ITEAC’s partner in Sao Paulo, Brazil, run theatres and cultural programmes to engage with communities on multiple levels, including at SESC Pompeia, a former factory adopted by the community for theatre and social use and converted by Brazilian-Italian architect Lina Bo Bardi.

Further information:

Tickets for the in-person London event are now on sale for both individuals and groups, with payment for group bookings welcome via BACs. 

Delegate benefits include the following:

  • Attendance at the state-of-the-art Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) Savoy Place on 19th & 20th September.
  • Access to the seminars over both days,
  • Networking lunch on both days of the event,
  • Rooftop drinks on the evening of the first day
  • Access to the recorded sessions via online platform during and for up to 12 months after the event.


Tickets can be booked: 

For further information about group bookings or sponsorship of the event please contact:

More information about ITEAC 2023 can be found on the ITEAC website here:

You may also be interested in...