Theatre Symposium

The Conference: Theatre Symposium is an annual weekend conference focusing on a single scholarly topic. International attendees gather to present papers and to discuss and explore the topic as a group, thus creating an intimate opportunity for the sharing of ideas, concepts and opinions. The annual event is held in various locations throughout the Southeast and is organized by the individual who will act as the editor for the ensuing journal.

The Journal: Selected papers presented at the conference are reviewed by the editorial board, further edited, and published for the next volume of Theatre Symposium, a scholarly journal published annually by Alabama Press and available on EBSCO. Individual members of SETC receive a copy of Theatre Symposium as a benefit of membership.

28th Annual Theatre Symposium

Conference Dates: April 12-14, 2019
Location: Agnes Scott College | Decatur, GA
Topic: Theatre and Citizenship

Early-Bird Online Registration ($150): Feb. 1 – April 7, 2019
Late Online & On-Site Registration ($165):
April 8-12, 2019

Check-In/Registration is at the Teasley Science Center lower lobby on the Agnes Scott campus from 3-4 p.m. on Friday, April 12. Late and on-site registrants who pay online should bring their receipt. On-site registration may also be paid in person by check.

Theatre and Citizenship

The theme for the 28th annual Theatre Symposium is “Theatre and Citizenship.” What is the place of theatre in discussions of citizenship? How does thinking about citizenship shape our understanding of theatre’s past, and our ideas about what theatre should be in the future? With the ultimate aim of strong papers to publish in Theatre Symposium 28, the organizers of the 2019 Theatre Symposium invite the contributions of scholars, artists, and educators who wish to address the complex questions surrounding theatre and citizenship. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • How has theatre played a part in defining citizenship?
  • How do we perform citizenship?
  • What has been the role of theatre in times when citizenship is debated?
  • How have extra-theatrical attempts to shape discourses of citizenship (election campaigns, protests, rallies, etc.) borrowed from the forms and techniques of theatre?
  • How have theatrical representations reflected and affected racial, gendered, classed, and sexualized definitions of citizenship?
  • How has the historical inclusion of some and exclusion of others in production arrangements dictated what theatre has to say about citizenship?
  • How has citizenship status affected the ability of theatre artists to do their work?
  • What does it mean to be a good citizen of the theatre (as either an artist or an audience member) and how do we respond to those who don’t perform theatrical citizenship according to our standards?

2019 Keynote Speaker: Dr. Charlotte Canning

Keynote speaker Dr. Charlotte Canning will present a central address on the topic and provide a conference response. Dr. Canning is the Frank C. Erwin, Jr. Centennial Professor in Drama at the University of Texas at Austin, where she also serves as the Director of the Oscar G. Brockett Center for Theatre History and Criticism. Her books include On the Performance Front: US Theatre and Internationalism (Palgrave, 2015), winner of the Joe A. Calloway Prize; Representing the Past: Essays in Performance Historiography (Iowa, 2010); The Most American Thing in America: Circuit Chautauqua as Performance (Iowa, 2005), recipient of the Barnard Hewitt Award for Outstanding Research in Theatre History; and Feminist Theaters in the USA: Staging Women’s Experience (Routledge, 1996). She has published in a number of academic journals, and her op-eds have appeared in The Conversation, The Washington Post, Truthout, and American Theatre Magazine.

Call for Papers ~ Submissions Closed

Abstract Submission Deadline (Call for Papers): Jan. 4, 2019 Jan. 18, 2019

Selected papers presented at the conference will be published in Volume 28 of the SETC’s annual Theatre Symposium journal.

Recap: Theatre Symposium 27

Thanks to everyone who attended our 27th Theatre Symposium conference, held April 13-15, 2018 at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, GA.

Keynote Rhonda Blair addresses the group.
Boone J. Hopkins delivers "Conditioning Bodies: Anticipation as a Moving Act in Sarah DeLappe's The Wolves."
Participants listen to paper presentations on the topic of Theatre and Embodiment.

Theatre and Embodiment

The theme for the 27th annual Theatre Symposium was “Theatre and Embodiment.” At the heart of the theatrical act is the simultaneous live presence of the actor and the audience. Given primacy of bodies in and to the theatrical act, how do we understand those bodies as communicating meaning? How do bodies understand themselves as operating within the theatrical or performative context?

2018 Keynote Speaker: Dr. Rhonda Blair

Keynote speaker Dr. Rhonda Blair presented a central address on the topic and provided a conference response. Dr. Blair is a Professor of Theatre at Southern Methodist University; her work includes 2016’s Theatre, Performance and Cognition: Languages, Bodies and Ecologies, and has appeared in Theatre Topics, TDR, and The Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism, among others.

Past Events & Publications

Did you miss an issue? Want to buy additional copies? Books may be purchased directly from the University of Alabama Press via their website.

Past Issues of Theatre Symposium

1  Commedia dell’Arte Performance
2  Theatre in the Antebellum South
3  Voice of the Dramaturg
4  The Reemergence of the Theatre Building in the Renaissance
5  Drama as Rhetoric/Rhetoric as Drama
6  Crosscurrents in the Drama: East and West
7  Theatre and Violence
8  Theatre at the Margins: The Political, the Popular, the Personal, the Profane
9  Theatre and Politics in the Twentieth Century
10  Representations of Gender on the Nineteenth-Century American Stage
11  Constructions of Race in Southern Theatre: From Federalism to the Federal Theatre Project
12  Elizabethan Performances in North American Spaces
13  Theatre in Transit: Tours of the South
14  Theatre, War and Propaganda
15  Theatre and the Moral Order
16  Comedy Tonight!
17  Outdoor Drama
18  The Prop’s the Thing: Stage Properties Reconsidered
19  Theatre and Film
20  Gods and Groundlings: Historical Theatrical Audiences
21  Ritual, Religion, and Theatre
22  Broadway and Beyond: Commercial Theatre Considered
23  Theatre and Youth
24  Theatre and Space
25  Cross-cultural Dialogue on the Global Stage
26  In Other Habits: Theatrical Costume
27  Theatre and Embodiment