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ATHE 2020 Annual Conference: ATHE Goes Virtual
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Combustion ⇔ Energy ⇔ Resilience ⇔ Drive ⇔
Resilience ⇔ Energy ⇔ Combustion

 Week One: Humanizing the Digital; July 20 - July 25
Week Two: Envisioning Resilience; July 27 - August 1


ATHE is committed to hosting a virtual conference that will support the multiple needs of our members, including responding to the present moment; providing space for presentation and feedback; and conducting the annual business of the organization.

The conference will include material over two weeks: July 20-25 and July 27-August 1. Focus Group and Committee business meetings will be spread out between Monday and Wednesday and concurrent sessions will be programmed between Thursday - Saturday, with the bulk of conference taking part during the pre-scheduled conference meeting. We don’t expect anyone to join for all the time, and we’re anticipating that some material may be accessible to conference attendees asynchronously to allow you to engage as you wish.

All Conference Programming

While saddened that we won't be able to see each other in person to share with the culturally relevant city of Detroit, we now feel called to action, providing the space for us all to respond to our current national situation. We aim to look ahead, together, to our new reality, longing for community while staying safe in place.

The 2020 Conference Committee is pleased to announce the three all-conference plenaries planned for this year's virtual conference. 

Thursday, July 23
12noon - 12:20pm. (Eastern)

Join us for the start of the 2020 ATHE Virtual Conference with a performance invocation by The TETRA.  The TETRA is a Detroit collective led by Sherina Rodriguez Sharpe & Chace Morris. -- blending poetry, music, & ancestral technologies into a underground journey of interconnected of freedom rituals--- leading to a festival in 2022 (pandemic-willing).  Sherina Rodriguez Sharpe is a writer, ritualist, performance artist, & educator from Detroit. Trained in Haitian healing traditions, she roots her writing in rituals to create sacred spaces, magical enough to explore power, heal wounds, and rewrite origin stories that transcend trauma. Chace Morris (also known as Mic Write) is a poet, emcee, curator & educator from Detroit. His writings have been called “codes”, verses that spin Black myth & Afrofuturism into clever heists of language & culture, rewriting Black & Brown futures around “Americana” & “independence”.  As The TETRA, they have been recipients of the 2020 Lewis Prize, 2018 Art Prize Juror’s Short List Award, 2018 MAP Grant, 2017 Knight Arts Challenge award, a 2016 Alain Locke award & are also both Kresge Arts fellows.  When not performing, The TETRA is relentlessly correcting the word “soda” to “pop” & quietly judging your pound cake.

Jamil Jude & Nicole Brewer
Thursday, July 23
12:30 - 2:15 p.m. (Eastern)

Jamil Jude

ATHE is pleased to announce a new opening plenary featuring Jamil Jude, Artistic Director of Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company in Atlanta, GA, and Nicole Brewer, anti-racist artist and educator. The opening plenary will set the stage for the virtual conference by challenging the membership to consider how the work of ATHE’s governance, focus groups, sessions, and individual members may support anti-racist theater practices.

ATHE is indebted to the following people who advocated for and organized this new plenary to reframe the conference and keep the organization accountable to its aspirational statement to be an anti-racist organization: Carlos Cruz (VP of Conference), Monica White Ndounou (VP of Advocacy/BTA Immediate Past  President), Nicole Hodges Persley (BTA president/ Conference Planning Committee), Baron Kelly (BTA member/Conference Planning Committee), Daniel Banks (past BTA president), Eunice S. Ferreira (BTA board member/Chair of Ad Hoc Conference Planning Committee), Brian Herrera (LIA Member), Donatella Galella (ATDS board member), and Courtney Mohler (LIA Focus Group Representative).

Envisioning Resilience in Performance
Friday, July 24
1:30-2:45 p.m. (Eastern)

Theatre across the globe faces difficult choices for how to best connect with their audience while staying safe. Some academic theatre programs produced Zoom performances and/or radio plays in the last few months, professional theatre released past productions on YouTube, artists turned to virtual reality, and still other theatre practitioners debuted new ways of doing live performance. This roundtable discussion / presentation will feature instances of your innovations of performance and practice in the COVID-19 era that have been successful.

Humanizing the Digital: Pedagogy
Thursday, July 30
1:30-2:45 p.m. (Eastern)

Spring 2020 presented a challenge to move theatre and performance classes online. While roadblocks abounded, innovation did too. This roundtable discussion / presentation will feature successful lesson plans, exercises, assignments, discussions, and other classroom techniques to share with the membership during this plenary.

Read more about the plenaries.

Conference Rates

Registration provides full access to two weeks of conference programming, including Focus Group business meetings, concurrent sessions, all-conference programming, discussion boards, and online exhibitor gallery. All registrants will have access to the virtual conference platform during the time of the conference, as well as 45 days afterwards so that attendees can access pre-recorded or previously live recorded sessions at their own pace.

Registration opens June 15.

Category Rate


Graduate Student

Full-time Employed $50
Full-time Employed with Institutional Support $100
Non-member  $195


Sponsor a Member!

Donate to provide registration costs for a fellow member in need! Registration cost includes registration for yourself and another ATHE Member!

Any funds contributed and not used to subvent registration for this conference will be rolled over to 2021 conference.

Category Rate

Sponsor a member:

Graduate Student

Full-time Employed Sponsorship $150
Full-time Employed with Institutional Support Sponsorship $200
Non-member sponsorship $295


2020 Conference Committee

Mary Anderson, Wayne State University
Megan Geigner, Northwestern University
Nicole Hodges Persley, University of Kansas
Jake Hooker, A Host of People Company, University of Michigan and Oakland University
Baron Kelly, University of Louisville
Aubrey Helene Newmann, The Ohio State University
Alicia Tafoya, University of Central Oklahoma
Annette Thornton, Central Michigan University
Beliza Torres Narvaez, Augsberg University
 Ann Haugo, Illinois State University, Vice President for Conference 2021
Chris Berry, La Guardia Community College (Black Theatre Network partner)
Josh Abrams, ATHE President (ex-officio)

Vice President for Conference 2020
CarlosAlexis Cruz







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