2019 Annual Conference—Orlando
August 7-11, 2019, Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress
Scene Changes: Performing, Teaching, and Working through the Transitions
As the lobby lights flicker, calling ATHE back to a second act in Orlando, it’s hard not to think about all that has transpired in that city, in the world, on our stages, and in our classrooms since last we gathered in The City Beautiful in 2013. Seemingly accelerated cycles of public violence, political change, creative innovation, and generational expectations have led us to ponder what comes next, and how exactly we’ve arrived at our present moment. Our return to the resort space of the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress affords us the opportunity to pause and reflect on the constantly changing scenery, to contemplate the forces that have thus far shaped our field and our organization, and to debate possible visions of the future—for our art, our institutions, and our students.
The city of Orlando and the state of Florida have over the years experienced dramatic scene shifts, often presaging national changes. From colonial wars to contested elections, Indian Removal Acts to mass shootings, urban experiments to moon shots—Orlando offers to the visitor a panoramic background of troubled pasts and future visions, prompting us to consider the possibilities and consequences of our scene changes. The city’s various theme parks provide their own encapsulated representations of past and future, visions that are themselves constantly changing, both in their built scenic environments and in the ideologies that such scenery materializes.
The 2019 Conference Committee invites you back to Orlando for an exploration of all that the theme of “Scene Changes” suggests. What are the practical challenges of scene changes for playwrights, directors, dramaturgs, designers, actors, stage managers, and stage crews? For whom is a scene change an interlude of quiet contemplation, and for whom is it the busiest moment of the night? What is the history of the scene shift, and how have theatre artists dealt with changes in production methods and audience tastes? How do scene shifts shape audiences’ experiences? How will our field respond to the challenges and opportunities represented by recent changes in leadership, and by shifting economies of production? How do we reflect on techniques of theatre education and scholarship in this changing moment? How can we begin to proactively change the scenes of the theatrical climate and structure? Perhaps most importantly, how will we make use of the present moment to redress previous wrongs, preserve what is important, and move forward into the future?
Come to Orlando for a change in scenery, and stay for a creative contemplation of that special moment in between, when we collectively sit in the dark, taking in what we’ve just seen, and imagining what might come next.
Vice President for Conference 2019
Andrew Gibb, Texas Tech University
2019 Conference Committee
Trevor Boffone, University of Houston
Shelby Brewster, University of Pittsburgh
Chase Bringardner, Auburn University
Ingrid DeSanctis, James Madison University
Megan Geigner, United States Naval Academy
Martine Kei Green-Rogers, SUNY New Paltz
Tiffany Ana López, Arizona State University
Monica White Ndounou, Dartmouth College
Barbara Parisi, Long Island University Brooklyn
Travis Stern, Bradley University
Aaron Thomas, Florida State University
Harvey Young, Boston University, ATHE President, ex officio member