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Multidisciplinary Panel Information for Scorers and Submitters
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Guidelines for Multidisciplinary Panel Proposals for ATHE’s 2015 Conference

Multi-Disciplinary Panels: Change in Requirements!

After much consultation with Focus Group Conference Planners, the 2015 Conference Committee has decided that Multidisciplinary proposals listing participants from two (2) Focus Groups and/or Committees rather than three (3) will be considered.

Proposers should ensure that there are presenters from at least two different Focus Groups or Committees in any combination as a minimum requirement for consideration by the Conference Committee.  Of course, we encourage proposals that include participants from three or more Focus Groups/Committees. We hope that this new policy will encourage more Multidisciplinary proposals and foster genuine collaborations across the various disciplines of theatre. This policy will be reviewed by the 2016 Conference Committee, who will make a decision about the composition of  panels for the Chicago Conference.

Submitting Sessions

The 2015 Conference Committee will continue the commitment of the 2014 Committee in supporting sessions that reflect original, creative, and multidisciplinary approaches to the conference session structure. It is, therefore, important as Conference Planner to remind your FG members that the goal of these panels is to encourage truly multidisciplinary exchanges (as opposed to familiar or recurrent collaborations) in both content and session format. For example, a panel might be designed to offer various disciplinary and methodological responses to a single “text” (here, text is understood broadly to mean not necessarily a play or book, but also a performance, movement piece, document, installation, image, theoretical framework, etc.). Such a panel could also focus on a specific cultural, historical, or theoretical theme, especially in relation to the Conference theme, Je me souviens. Other creative approaches include presenting collaborative papers, situating the panel in a site-specific venue to which participants are asked to respond, or developing a more interactive session model.

In terms of the Conference theme, a Multidisciplinary Panel might investigate the differing ways of remembering across disciplines.  Or panelists might also choose a point of remembering—an event, a play, an acting style—and consider how remembering is affected by the disciplinary approach or how what is remembered affects the disciplines in the present or even speculate on how it might affect the future. The site, Montréal, might also serve as an inspiration for remembering across disciplines.

Multidisciplinary panels (MD panels) are also invited to relate to the theme of the conference, which can be reviewed on this page. These are simply prompts; we encourage you to consider additional innovative formats and themes. Any questions should be directed to the VP for Conference, Lionel Walsh, at

Scoring Sessions

As in recent conferences, ATHE will be asking Focus Group Conference Planners and Committee Chairs to provide two separate scores as part of their ranking process:

  1. A numerical ranking (in order of preference for acceptance), and
  2. A qualitative score (value of session, utilizing a scale of A-D, with an "A" representing the highest quality and a "D" representing the lowest. Note: a "D” ranking is simply the lowest and is not to be confused with a rejection, or "R").

The qualitative score gives the Conference Committee more information about the FGs’ and Committees’ commitment to the various MD sessions so that they can more accurately and confidently schedule the conference according to the needs of the membership.

When assigning your qualitative score, the ATHE Committee on Conference Committee encourages you to consider these questions and examples:

  1. Does this session reflect an innovative approach to typical conference session models? The 2015 Conference Committee is interested in supporting sessions that experiment with standard panel models, so, please encourage members to consider new structures and formats when designing their MD sessions.
  2. Does this MD proposal cross disciplinary boundaries, bringing together members engaged in a range of pedagogical, production-based, and research-based projects?
  3. Does this MD proposal cover a range of Focus Group and/or Committee interests, or do you think it is better suited to sponsorship by a single Focus Group or Committee? [Note: if you feel the proposal is better suited to single submission, please contact the other sponsoring FGCPs/Committee Chairs and the person submitting the proposal. It may be appropriate to shift the nature of the proposal before it is submitted to the Conference Committee.]
  4. Does this MD proposal provoke interesting questions or challenge assumed knowledge by creating a dialogue between FGs and/or Committees that do not collaborate regularly?
  5. Does this MD proposal match the quality (questions asked, issues raised, participants included, etc.) of your top three single FG or Committee proposals?

Some information and reminders about the MD Session selection process:

  1. The Conference Committee will assign a small Subcommittee to review MD proposals;
  2. Using the numerical rankings and qualitative scores from the three sponsors (i.e.: 2 FGs,  2 Committees or 1 FG and 1 Committee), the Subcommittee will determine which sessions to place in the conference schedule.
  3. Sessions with consistently high rankings and scores from both sponsoring Groups will receive priority consideration. Sessions that take a creative, innovative approach to the standard session/panel model will also receive priority consideration.


If a FG or Committee assigns an "R" (reject) to a session OR leaves a session unranked or unscored, the committee will probably not schedule the session. FGCPs and Committee Chairs should feel free to reject sessions for which they were not contacted for sponsorship in advance or which they feel do not represent the interests of their members. In rare cases, a session marked as "R” by one FG may still be scheduled if the other sponsoring group ranks it highly; however, the rejecting focus group will not be included in the program listing.

FGCPs and Committee Chairs should remember that separate rankings and qualitative scores will be received from both sponsoring groups; sessions given a lower ranking by your FG or Committee may be scheduled over your favored sessions if the other sponsoring group gives it a high priority ranking and score.

ATHE Committees

Electronic Technology 
Membership & Marketing
Professional Development
Research and Publications
Strategic Planning

ATHE Focus Groups

Acting Program (AP)
American Theatre and Drama Society (ATDS)
Association for Asian Performance (AAP)
Association of Theatre Movement Educators (ATME)
Black Theatre Association (BTA)
Design, Technology, and Theatre Management (DTM)
Directing Program (DP)
Dramaturgy Program (DR)
Latina/o Focus Group (LFG)
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ)
Music Theatre/Dance (MT/D)
Performance Studies Focus Group (PSFG)
Playwrights and Creative Teams (PACT)
Religion and Theatre (R&T)
Senior Theatre Research and Performance (STRP)
Theatre and Social Change (TASC)
Theatre as a Liberal Art (TLA)
Theatre History (TH)
Theory and Criticism (TC)
Two-Year College Program (TYCP)
Voice and Speech Trainers Association (VASTA)
Women and Theatre Program (WTP)

Any questions should be directed to the VP for Conference, Lionel Walsh.


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