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ATHE 2020 Conference Proposal Guidelines and Forms
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ATHE 2020 Conference
Proposal Guidelines and Forms


Combustion ⇔ Energy ⇔ Resilience ⇔ Drive ⇔
Resilience ⇔ Energy ⇔ Combustion

Detroit, MI | July 29-August 2, 2020

Our conference theme invites you to explore and interrogate the cycles of reciprocity that take place in our scholarship, teaching, and creative work. In classrooms and studios, on stages and screens, images and language of creation and destruction—building, running, striking—guide our generative practices. We invite you to consider how various technologies—theatrical, automotive, political— work to keep our work going, keep our field driving (somewhere). Keeping in mind that the same technologies that can aid generative work can also destroy, we also invite you to consider how technologies impede progress, foreclose the possibility of sustainable practices, even endanger our ecological health.

Check out the conference home page more information about the conference theme and ideas.

The deadline for all proposals, pre-conferences, and grants is November 1, 2019.*

Please refer to the appropriate section below to apply for:

  • Single Focus Group and Multidisciplinary Sessions
  • Focus Group Membership Meetings
  • ATHE Committee Meetings 
  • Pre-Conference Events
  • ATHE Grants (Session, Debut Panel, and Pre-Conference)

*All application forms must be received by 11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time on November 1, 2019.

General Proposals for Focus Groups, Committee or Membership Meetings, and Debut Panels

Apply using this form for:

  • Single Focus Group (FG) and ATHE Committee Sessions (90 minutes)
  • Multidisciplinary (MD) Sessions (two sponsoring Focus Groups; 90 minutes)
  • Focus Group Business or Membership Meetings (60–90 minutes)
  • Focus Group Debut Panels (90 minutes)
  • ATHE Committee Meetings (90 minutes)

Single Focus Group and Multidisciplinary (MD) Sessions
Single Focus Group Sessions have one sponsoring Focus Group (for example: Women & Theatre). Multidisciplinary (MD) Sessions require two primary sponsors (for example: Directing Program and Black Theatre Association). All proposals for concurrent sessions will be reviewed and ranked by the Focus Groups and/or ATHE Committees you indicate as sponsors. Multidisciplinary proposals are sent to both of the groups listed as primary sponsors for ranking. Please refer to ATHE's Focus Groups list for more information on the groups that sponsor sessions.

Single Focus Group Session proposals will be reviewed by the focus group you select during the proposal process. For Single Focus Group Sessions, it is highly recommended that you contact the Focus Group Conference Planner(s) from the group you indicate as the sponsor prior to submitting your proposal.

Multidisciplinary (MD) Sessions will be reviewed by two (2) focus groups, selected during the proposal process. For Multidisciplinary (MD) Sessions, you are required to contact the Focus Group Conference Planners from the groups you select and ask if you may list them as a sponsor.

Here's the information you'll need before submitting an application for an ATHE session.

  • Title of Session
  • Brief Description of Session (25 word limit) If chosen, this will be used for the program book and schedule
  • Full Description / Abstract (300 word limit). This will be used to rank for approval your proposed session.
  • Participants (including Chair, etc) with Name, Affiliation, Paper Title, if appropriate, Email Address and AV needs

Focus Group Debut Panels
Some Focus Groups hold a session that allows presentation by one or more people who have never previoulsy presented at ATHE. Focus Groups have their own processes and timelines for soliciting and vetting debut panelists. Debut Panel sessions must be proposed by November 1 through the proposal form. The names and affiliations of selected panelists must be submitted by February 1, 2020. These sessions are also eligible for Debut Panel Grants (see below for more information on grants).

Focus Group Membership/Business Meetings
All Focus Group Conference Planners (or designated officers) must submit a proposal for Focus Group Business or Membership Meetings. These meetings are automatically accepted and do not count against the number of sessions scheduled for a Focus Group, but you must submit a proposal for the meetings to be scheduled.

ATHE Committee Meetings
Standing committees chaired by members of the ATHE Governing Council (for example Research & Publications; Professional Development) must apply through this form for meetings. Because these are required for ATHE governance, they will be scheduled rather than ranked and vetted, if proposed.

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Presenter Guidelines

Please take the following guidelines when submitting a session for review and approval.

  • If accepted, presenters must be current members of ATHE and must register and pay registration fees prior to the conference. Non-registered panelists will not be allowed to present.
  • All individual presenters are responsible for booking their own travel and hotel reservations. ATHE recommends that conference participants stay at the conference hotel. A room block with discounted pricing will be provided in the months before the conference.
  • No individual may present in more than two conference sessions. This limit is maintained in an effort to avoid scheduling conflicts and afford more individuals the opportunity to present.

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Audio/Visual Requests

Each session is granted ONE audio or visual aid from the list below, free of charge, if requested on the proposal form:

  • Audio for laptop/speaker
  • Flip chart

You are able to request additional audio or visual aids, such as an LCD Projector; however, you will be responsible for the charge or you can apply for a grant to cover it. Prices are listed on the proposal form.

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Pre-Conference Event Proposals

Focus Groups plan pre-conference events singly or in collaboration, both at the conference hotel and/or off-site. ATHE requires applications whether or not Pre-Conference events are on- or off-site (in order to supply information for conference programs and for reference by the VP for Conference in reviewing grant applications). For those interested in scheduling a pre-conference event, the following information is required on the proposal form (also due by November 1, 2019): date(s) and timeline of pre-conference and room configuration. Participant list and description of the pre-conference is due no later than February 1, 2020.

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ATHE offers several types of grants.

  • One-Day Conference Guest Passes: awarded for special guests attending one session or for local actors attending one session. Passes are not granted to ATHE members.
  • Debut Panel Grants: awarded to debut panel participants. Annual award is typically $100/panelist, up to $500 for one session. Read more about Focus Group Sponsored Debut Panels.
  • Pre-Conference Grants. Those focus groups interested in participating in a pre-conference can apply for a grant for up to $500. These grants are intended for items such as LCD projector package, other audio/visual requests (such as speakers or flip-charts). Food and beverage for a pre-conference is not a part of the granting process.
  • Other Requests: awarded for items that cost significant fees, including a LCD projector package, or other item necessary to a session presentation. Food and beverage for a session is not a part of the granting process.

Apply for a grant. You will also have the option to fill out a grant application at the end of the session proposal form or pre-conference proposal form.

The grant proposal vetting process is overseen by the VP for Conference, with decisions conveyed and disbursement details handled by ATHE staff. We make every effort to award grants within the limit, but awards are not automatic. When they are offered, they may be granted wholly or partially, depending on available funds, the number of applications, the rationale provided, and other factors. Grant awardees will be notified by February 1, 2020.

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Graduate Student Fellowships

Fellowships, which offer discounts on conference registration fees, may be applied for on a first-come, first-served basis once the online conference registration opens in late spring. Graduate students must register for the conference, and then apply for a fellowship. The customary award is a rebate of $100 on registration once the conference is completed. The application will be on the ATHE conference website.

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Detailed Proposal & Grant FAQs

For more detailed information on the submission and evaluation processes, please refer to the Proposals FAQs and Grant FAQs.

If you have questions about submitting a proposal, first contact the Focus Group Conference Planner(s) of the focus group to which you are applying. If you have general questions about the conference, contact CarlosAlexis Cruz, ATHE VP of Conference 2020, or Aimee Zygmonski, Executive Director of ATHE.

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Important Dates

November 1, 2019 Submission Deadline
February 1, 2020
Notification of acceptance
March 30, 2020 Notification of grant acceptance
April 1, 2020

Completed Listing of all Focus Group Sessions Approved with Materials due to your Focus Group Conference Planner for printed program:

  • Finalized session description (no more than 30 words)
  • Finalized session title (no more than 20 words)
  • Finalized listing of session participants, paper/presentation titles, and affiliations for the printed program
May 1, 2020  Final deadline for changes/edits/corrections for printed conference program
June 15, 2020 All presenters/speakers must have registered for the conference

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