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.

30th Annual Theatre Symposium

Conference Dates: April 9-11, 2021
Conference Location: A Virtual Convening through ZOOM
Call for Papers: Abstracts due Jan. 22, 2021 (see details below)
: Theatre and Politics

Theatre and Politics

For the 30th volume of Theatre Symposium, the editors return to a topic first proposed twenty years ago in volume 9 (Theatre and Politics in the Twentieth Century) but reimaged to include a broader, more comprehensive time frame: Theatre & Politics. Ideas of what constitutes the political, how the political is performed, and how theatre engages with politics change over time. What is the historical and ongoing role of theatre in framing our ideas and conversations about politics? How do politics and theatre engage one another in an increasingly mediated landscape? The current moment presents a compelling opportunity to revisit, revise, and reengage.

Politics permeates discourses across myriad mediums. Theatre engages politics and politics engages theatre. Often the lines between the two blur, sometimes productively, sometimes surreptitiously, and sometimes brazenly. From theatrical analysis of the political arena to political analysis of the theatrical stage, discussions of theatre and politics can challenge ethical, theoretical, and artistic considerations of our world.

The organizers of the 2021 Southeastern Theatre Conference (SETC) Theatre Symposium invite the contributions of scholars, artists, and educators who wish to address the intersection of politics and theatre.
Possible topics include, but are not limited to:
· Historical dramas or theatrical productions that reflect and shape constructions of politics
· Theatre’s role, historically and presently, in the formation and perpetuation of political discourse
· Political discourse surrounding the role of theatre within a particular moment
· Current plays, productions, or playwrights engaging with the political
· Theatrical and performative fomentations of, and responses to, politics and political activity
· Theatrical work that engages in political discourse around race, gender, class, sexual orientation, ability, nationality, or religion
· Political activity that directly borrows from theatre

Keynote speaker Dr. Patricia Ybarra will present on this year’s topic. Dr. Ybarra is the Chair of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies and Professor of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies at Brown University. Dr. Ybarra is the author of Performing Conquest: Five Centuries of Theater, History and Identity in Tlaxcala, Mexico (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, 2009), Latinx Theatre in the Times of Neoliberalism (Northwestern University Press, 2018), and co-editor with Lara Nielsen of Theater and Neoliberalism: Performance Permutations (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012; paperback 2014). She is the former President of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education. She is also a director, dramaturg and the former administrator of Richard Foreman’s Ontological-Hysteric Theatre.

**Theatre Symposium (part of SETC) refers both to the name of an annual, peer-reviewed journal as well as the annual gathering of scholars. By submitting your abstract, you are applying to participate in the gathering as well as to have the opportunity to submit your completed paper for publication in the journal.**

With current travel restriction brought on by Covid-19, this year’s annual meeting will occur virtually. Selected participants will engage in a virtual sharing of their work and will receive feedback from other participants as well as invited scholars and members of the Theatre Symposium Steering Committee.

Submissions of essay-length versions of papers presented and workshopped at the virtual conference will occur roughly a month or so after the April meeting and will be peer reviewed, and if selected will be published in Volume 30 of SETC’s annual Theatre Symposium journal.

Abstract Submissions

Selected papers presented at the conference will be published in Volume 30 of the SETC’s annual Theatre Symposium journal.

On or before Jan. 22, 2021, please send abstracts of no more than a single page to Chase Bringardner, 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
29  Theatre and Race (Fall 2021 release)
30 Theatre and Politics (Fall 2022 release)


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