2008 TCG National Conference in Denver
Theatre at the Center
Part of the National Performing Arts Convention: Taking Action Together
“[Theatre is] a dangerous place. You might find an idea there.”
- Lloyd Richards, Preserving the Legacy
Is theatre “at the center”? Or out on the edge? Is there a place for theatre in the center of the national dialogue?
As theatre professionals and supporters, we know that theatre is vital to our communities, important to our education, and relevant to our lives. We know that some of the most complicated issues we face in our daily lives are investigated onstage, in the rehearsal room and at the writer’s desk.
Imagine a time when communities know that they can turn to the theatre for help understanding a complicated situation. How many of our community members see the relevance of theatre to their daily lives? How do theatres and artists share the power of this work in our communities, our country and around the world? What steps do we need to take in order to leverage the power of theatre in visionary and vital ways?
Theatre at the Center, the 2008 TCG National Conference at the National Performing Arts Convention, addressed these questions and others with exceptional speakers from within and outside of the theatre field, small group explorations of the ideas that will take us into the future, and individual discussions that further our connections to each other and strengthen the entire field.
During the TCG plenary sessions, we heard from Kinney Zalesne, co-author of the book microtrends: the small forces behind tomorrow’s big changes about some of the emerging communities whose tastes and lifestyles are shaping our future. Kwame Kwei-Armah, a British playwright, actor and director whose play Elmina’s Kitchen was the first play by a Black Briton to appear on the West End, spoke to us about national and global identity – artistic and otherwise – and his experiences as an international, interdisciplinary artist. And we focused on one of the biggest factors influencing our future – the environment. Dr. Alexander E. MacDonald from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration helped us understand the widespread changes that may occur in the very near future, and we saw how the next generation of theatre artists are beginning to talk about this issue in their work, through Curious Theatre Company’s New Voices program.
To see a full schedule of events at the TCG 2008 National Conference, click here.
The American Theatre article on the conference will be available soon.
Transcripts of plenary speeches will be available online soon.