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Association for Theatre in Higher Education

Now Accepting Proposals for the ATHE Annual Conference in Boston, Massachusetts, August 1-5, 2018

Proposal Guidelines and Forms

Theatres of Revolution: Performance, Pedagogy, and Protest

The 2018 ATHE Conference focuses on revolution, resistance, and protest, and the multiple ways these ideas – and the actions that spring from them – impact theatre in higher education. Drawing on the city of Boston for its historical significance in the American Revolution, and as a site of both academic excellence and artistic innovation, we aim to explore revolutions at the multiple intersections of politics, theatre education, and professional practice.

Revolution and resistance are tools employed combat injustice and inequality. However, these tools can be used to effect change in any direction, to create more open and equitable societies, or less. In the 2016 US presidential election and its wake, and heading into 2018 midterm elections, the concept of revolution has been used by both left and right. We will consider various meanings of revolution, in scholarship and performance as well as in our work as educators with students in the classroom, rehearsal hall, and in the larger context of college campuses.

The conference theme invites examination of ways in which electoral representation resonates with theory and practice in theatre-making: How does representation in politics relate to equitable and fair casting and employment practices? How do changing practices require revolutions in production methods and pedagogies? How might theatre scholarship serve a meaningful public function, engaging with performances – both artistic and civic – that surround us? How might we create art that is aesthetically revolutionary and that at the same time activates audiences to make lasting social change?

Boston’s history allows us to consider performance and revolution in uniquely complicated ways. Events of the American Revolution are memorialized throughout the city in museums and public monuments, many involving performed reenactments. The site of the Boston Tea Party, a protest by white men who masqueraded as Native Americans to resist “taxation without representation” by the British, is marked by a museum only a short distance from the conference hotel. However, other revolutions remain unmarked, such as the systematic and violent dispossession of the Wampanoag, Nipmuc, Massachusett and other nations of the Dawnland by European colonists. In contemporary US politics, the Tea Party has itself become a kind of costume for protest. Groups claiming its ethos arguably play with tropes of revolution alongside those of racial superiority, misogyny, and nativism. Consideration of how contemporary and historical enactments of US foundational stories perform race and gender, as well as erasure of the land’s history before colonization, raises complex questions concerning representation and revolution in this context. These questions resonate in turn with debates prompted by popular theatrical productions like Hamilton, which not only evidences revolutions in storytelling and casting practices, but famously inspired a twitter war between artists and politicians about the role of theatre as “safe space” or platform for protest.

We see questions about safe space and protest rising on college campuses: demonstrations and counter-demonstrations by right and left, changing policies regarding academic freedom, the development of professor watch lists, conceal and carry laws, designation of sanctuary campuses, and the ongoing impact to students especially vulnerable under new policies, including undocumented and transgender students. These concerns intersect with urgent questions over funding for the arts and for higher education, the cost of education, and perpetuation of economic and institutional inequities on racial, ethnic, and gender lines.

Join us in Boston in 2018 to explore the precarity and potency of theatre in higher education to protest oppression and advance revolutionary change.


Proposals due November 1, 2017 here for:

  • Single Focus Group (FG) Concurrent Sessions
  • Multidisciplinary (MD) Concurrent Sessions (two sponsoring Focus Groups)
  • ATHE Committee Meetings
  • Pre-conference Events
  • ATHE Grants (including passes)

As a reminder, proposals will be reviewed and ranked by the Focus Groups and/or Committees you indicate as a sponsor. If you have questions regarding your proposal please contact the Focus Group Conference Planners through a listing here. It is useful (sometimes required) that they know proposals are coming, so we encourage you to contact them well in advance of submitting the form.

Please also follow the link above to find the form to propose a Pre-Conference Event. Proposals through the online form are required by November 1, 2017, whether events are planned at the conference hotel or off-site. Applications for ATHE Grants—Sessions (Passes, AV, Other), Debut Panel (Award, AV), and Pre-Conference—can be found this year at the end of the related proposal forms.

For more detailed information please consult the Proposal FAQs and Grant FAQs. If you have any remaining questions, please contact me at or Erin Babarkis at

Ann Shanahan
Vice President for Conference 2018





[Photography credit (top to bottom) Kyle Klein, reprinted with permission from; Nicolas Woolf, reprinted with license CC 2.0 from; GBCVB, reprinted with permission from]

2018 Conference Committee

David Callaghan, University of Montevallo
Bethany Hughes, Northwestern University
David Kaye, University of New Hampshire
Baron Kelly, University of Louisville
Kareem Khubchandani, Tufts University
Monica White Ndounou, Dartmouth College
Karen Jean Martinsen, Chicago State University
Kathleen McGeever, Northern Arizona University
Ruth Pe Palileo, Current Theatrics and Pintig Cultural Group
Becky Prophet, Alfred University
Emily Rollie, Central Washington University
Rodger Sorensen, Brigham Young University
Megan Shea, New York University
Harvey Young, Northwestern University, ATHE President, ex officio member

Proposal Guidelines and Forms

Questions? Email

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ATHE 2018 Individual Focus Group Calls for Proposal

Below are CFPs for ATHE 2018 from several individual Focus Groups. This is not a complete list, but represents the groups who forwarded their CFPs to ATHE Staff. For a listing of all ATHE Focus Groups please see below.

Focus Groups A–D
Focus Groups L–S
Focus Groups T–Z

Please review the below for any internal guidelines and early deadlines, and contact the Focus Group Conference Planners listed with any questions.

For the full conference theme description, Theatres of Revolution, Performance, Pedagogy, and Protest, please see the attached color PDF handout or 2018 Call for Proposals.

American Theatre and Drama Society (ATDS)

Association for Asian Performance

ATHE Award for Excellence in Playwriting

Black Theatre Association (BTA)

Latinx, Indigenous and the Americas


Performance Studies (PSFG)

Playwrights and Creative Teams (PACT)

Music Theatre/Dance

Theory and Criticism

Theatre and Social Change (TASC)

Theatre History

Women and Theatre Program

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Pegasus PlayLab

Pegasus PlayLab is a new play festival at the University of Central Florida (Orlando, Florida) dedicated to developing new plays. We are soliciting four full-length by MFA Playwriting candidates or emerging playwrights. We will workshop three of these plays, which will culminate in a series of staged readings. The fourth play will be mounted as a full production.

The festival will span six weeks from mid-May through the end of June. Selected playwrights are expected to commit to a two-week residency within that timeframe. We will provide transportation, housing, a small stipend, and the opportunity to develop your play with industry professionals at one of the largest universities in the country.

Please submit a draft of one full-length play to by Friday, November 10 by 5 pm EST.

In separate attachments, please include:

  • Playwright name and contact information
  • Play synopsis and character breakdown
  • Statement describing goals for play development
  • Resume with any other relevant information (professional website, NPX account, etc.)
  • Agent Information, if applicable

If you have any questions, please email

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Obituary: Rocco Dal Vera

Rocco Dal Vera died peacefully on Friday September 29, 2017, surrounded by close family and friends, after battling glioblastoma cancer. He was the loving husband to his wife of 27 years, Denise Mechelle Dal Vera, and devoted father to his daughter Kendall Anne Dal Vera.  He is preceded in death by his father Roger Dal Vera, and survived by his mother, Polly Dal Vera, and sister, Anne Dal Vera. Born July 10, 1956, he was 61 years old.

Rocco was Professor of Acting and Division Head for Acting, Arts Administration, Dance, Musical Theatre, Opera and Theatre Design & Production at the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music (CCM). An internationally acclaimed voice and speech specialist, Rocco was recently awarded the title of Distinguished Member by the Voice and Speech Trainers Association — the highest honor given by the organization. Rocco lectured internationally on vocal violence and the effects of emotion on the voice, and was Level 5 Master Teacher of the Alba Method for Emotions, having studied and taught the technique for over twenty years. An award winning author, his books are used in over 600 drama and theater schools, with titles including Voice: Onstage and Off (co-authored with Robert Barton), nominated as the Best New Theatre Publication by the Association for Theatre in Higher Education, and Acting in Musical Theatre: a comprehensive course (co-authored with Joe Deer). The company he founded with his wife Denise and friend Annie Fitzpatrick, IWA Strategies, provides corporate training for companies including Proctor and Gamble and Cincinnati Bell in areas of communication, emotional intelligence, vocal image, leadership, teamwork.

In lieu of flowers, a fund has been established in his daughter Kendall’s name. Please go here to make a donation in his honor.

Memorial Service will be held Monday, October 30, 2017 at the University of Cincinnati’s Tangeman University Center at 6:30 pm.  More information about the memorial can be found here.

For more information contact K. Jenny Jones at

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