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.

27th Annual Theatre Symposium

Conference Dates: April 13-15, 2018
Location: Agnes Scott College, Decatur, GA
Abstract Submission Deadline: January 5, 2018
Registration Opens: February 1, 2018
Early Bird Registration Deadline:
March 16, 2018
Pre-Registration Deadline:
March 30, 2018

Theatre and Embodiment

The theme for the 27th annual Theatre Symposium is “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?

SETC’s 2018 Theatre Symposium will focus on the interplay of theatre and embodiment. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • The relationship of the actor’s body to space, staging, costume, and other production elements
  • The relationship of the audience’s body(s) to performance and performance spaces
  • The embodiment of socio-cultural ideas (gender, race, class, et. al.) in theatre
  • The relationship of the body to the play text
  • Actor-training via bodily learning
  • Systems of physical/theatrical expression, both historical and contemporary
  • The overlap of contemporary bodies and historical texts on stage
  • Historical uses of the body/bodies on stage
  • Theories of the body/embodiment as they relate to performance and performance practice
  • The actor’s body in relation to the character’s body
  • Cognitive approaches to embodied performance

2018 Keynote Speaker: Dr. Rhonda Blair

Keynote speaker Dr. Rhonda Blair will present a central address on the topic and will provide 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.

Call for Papers

Selected papers presented at the conference will be published in Volume 27 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.

Please send maximum-one-page abstracts by January 5, 2018 to Sarah McCarroll, Editor, at Please use “LastName TS Abstract” as your subject line. Abstracts should include complete contact information (snail mail, email, phone).

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