Theatre Symposium

A Special Message About COVID-19

The 2020 Theatre Symposium Event has been cancelled.

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.

29th Annual Theatre Symposium

Conference Dates: April 3-5, 2020
Conference Location: Agnes Scott College | Decatur, GA
Call for Papers: Abstracts due Jan. 6 Jan. 20, 2020 (deadline extended)
: Theatre and Race

Theatre and Race

The theme for the 29th annual Theatre Symposium is “Theatre and Race.” The performative nature of political and cultural discourse about race has recently been highlighted, both in the U.S. and around the world, by tweets and talk shows, parades and protests, movements and mass shootings, comedy routines and court decisions. These events and expressions invite a scholarly exploration of the histories, legacies, and responsibilities of
theatre’s long engagement with race.

What is the historical and ongoing role of theatre in framing our ideas and conversations about race? How is current theatre practice challenging established paradigms, if at all? The organizers of the 2020 Southeastern Theatre Conference (SETC) Theatre Symposium invite the contributions of scholars, artists, and educators from a wide range of fields who wish to address the intersection of race and theatre. Those whose proposals are accepted will gather to collectively listen and comment upon each others’ work. Subsequent submissions of essay-length versions of conference presentations will be peer reviewed, and if selected will be published in Volume 29 of SETC’s annual Theatre Symposium journal. The conference fee of $150 includes registration, conference materials, and selected meals at the event.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Historical dramas or theatrical productions that reflected and shaped constructions of race
  • Theatre’s role, historically and presently, in the formation and perpetuation of racial hierarchies
  • Current plays and productions aimed at challenging audiences’ perceptions of race
  • Theatrical and performative fomentations of, and responses to, racialized violence
  • Theatrical work that seeks to link race to gender, class, sexuality, nationality, or religion
  • Drama or theatrical practice that posits a “post-racial” world

Abstract Submissions

Selected papers presented at the conference will be published in Volume 29 of the SETC’s annual Theatre Symposium journal. The conference fee of $150 includes registration, conference materials, selected meals and coffee/snack service during the event.

On or before Jan. 6, 2020 Jan. 20, 2020 (deadline extended), please send abstracts of no more than a single page to Andrew Gibb, Editor. Please use “LastName TS Abstract” as your subject line. Abstracts should include complete contact information (email, phone, postal address).

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
28  Theatre and Citizenship (Fall 2020 Release)
29  Race (Fall 2021 Release)

Thanks to everyone who attended our 28th annual Theatre Symposium conference. Academics from Florida to Washington state met April 12-14, 2019, on the beautiful grounds of Agnes Scott College in Decatur, GA, to share their work on the topic of “Theatre and Citizenship.”

Dr. Charlotte Canning of the University of Texas at Austin delivers her keynote address, “Theatre and Citizenship: Are and of Right Ought to Be.”

Dr. Charlotte Canning of the University of Texas at Austin delivered an opening keynote address that traced the long history of theatre’s role in defining citizenship in what is now the United States. Papers delivered over the course of the weekend addressed citizenship through examples drawn from modern day Confederate pageants, the digital realm, and Muppet performances, to name but a few.

Some of this year’s presentations will appear in essay form in Theatre Symposium, the annual publication that accompanies the conference. Those attending the 2020 SETC Convention in Louisville, KY, will also be able to hear a sampling of this year’s papers in the annual “Highlights of Theatre Symposium” panel.