2017 TCG National Conference


From June 8-10, 2017, TCG National Conference, Full Circle, will welcome 1,000+ theatre practitioners from across the globe to Portland, OR, for peer connection, professional development, and inspiring thought-leaders from within and beyond the field. We’ll build on the success of the 2016 DC Conference by strengthening core programming like our Skills-Building Workshops and At the Intersections arc, as well as conduct bold new experiments like last year’s visits to Capitol Hill. Full Circle will also draw inspiration from our host city of Portland’s central role in the “Maker” culture--a network of artisans and hackers dismantling industrialized systems through a return to a more local, human scale. In a region renowned for its commitment to sustainable ecosystems, could our most local and human of art forms be a natural partner in these movements? This will also be our first major gathering after a contentious election process that featured profoundly different visions of our country’s past, present, and future. As storytellers and community-builders, how can we bridge the divisions of our country and world? How can we create ‘virtuous circles;’ feedback loops where our vision for a better world for and because of theatre reinforce each other?

2017 TCG National Conference Videos & Media

Most events were recorded and livestreamed on HowlRound TV. Events with an * in the title were livestreamed by TCG on Facebook Live.


Global Pre-Conference


Beyond the Four Walls
Post-show panel discussion with: Leilani Chan, Founding Artistic Director, TeAda Productions (Santa Monica, CA) ; Jorge Vargas Cortez, Director, Amarillo (Mexico City, Mexico); Antígona Alejandra González, Actress, Amarillo (Mexico City, Mexico); Natasha Haunsperger, Police Officer, Portland Police Bureau (Portland, OR); Chief Mike Marshman, Portland Police Bureau (Portland, OR); Raul Mendoza Rosas, Actor, Amarillo (Mexico City, Mexico); Toc Soneoulay-Gillespie, former Director of Refugee Resettlement, Catholic Charities (Portland, OR); Moderated by Derek Goldman, Co-Founding Director, The Lab (Washington, DC).


Plenary Sessions

Opening Plenary: Lidia Yuknavitch

Sponsored by: Scandiuzzi Krebs. Welcome: Teresa Eyring, Executive Director, TCG. Remarks By: Cynthia Fuhrman, Chief Operating Officer, Portland Center Stage; Sarah Horton, Managing Director, Artists Repertory Theater. Theatre Practitioner Award Presented to Linda Hartzell, Artistic Director Emerita,Seattle Children’s Theatre. Speaker: Lidia Yuknavitch, Author


Plenary: Jeff Chang

Welcome: Adrian Budhu, Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer, TCG and Kevin Moriarty, Artistic Director, Dallas Theater Center. Remarks By: Representative Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR 1st District). Visionary Leadership Award Presented to Susan Medak, Managing Director, Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Speaker: Jeff Chang, Author and Executive Director, Institute for Diversity in the Arts, Stanford University


Morning Plenary Session: Anand Giridharadas

Welcome: Devon Berkshire, Director of Conferences and Fieldwide Learning, TCG; Peter Zeisler Memorial Award presented to Latinx Theatre Commons
Speaker: Anand Giridharadas, Journalist and Author, also in conversation with Andrea Assaf, Founding Artistic Director, Art2Action


Closing Plenary Session: UNIVERSES
Welcome: Teresa Eyring, Executive Director, TCG
Funder of the Year Award, Regional, presented to James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation.
Funder of the Year Award, National, presented to William & Eva Fox Foundation
Speaker: Steven Sapp and Mildred Ruiz-Sapp, UNIVERSES, with Chay Yew, Artistic Director, Victory Gardens


Breakouts and Other Sessions

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: A Conversation about Careers in Regional Theatre

Featured speakers: Emika Abe, Management Associate, Alliance Theatre; Jennifer DiBella, Director of Education, Roundabout Theatre Company; Kelvin Dinkins, Jr., General Manager, Two River Theater; Sharifa Johka, Director of Equity, Oregon Shakespeare Festival; Leslie K. Johnson, Director of Social Strategy, Innovation & Impact, Center Theatre Group; David Stewart, Director of Production, Guthrie Theater.


Conference Kick-Off: How We Show Up

This session laid the groundwork for the At the Intersections sessions and shared best practices for all Conference attendees for making the most of our time together.


Beyond Diversity: Casting & Cultural Appropriation in the American Theatre

Featured speakers: Deb Clapp, Executive Director, League of Chicago Theatres; Damien Geter, Actor, AWE; Isaac Gomez, Director of New Play Development, Victory Gardens Theater; Bi Jean Ngo, Actor, Fox Fellow; Roberta Pereira, Producing Director, The Playwrights Realm; Joanie Schultz, Artistic Director, WaterTower Theatre' moderated by Isaac Gomez, Director of New Play Development, Victory Gardens Theater.


Engaging the Modern Day Ticket Buyer: How to turn the Last Minute Purchaser into a Lifelong Patron*
Featured speakers include: Erin Searfus, Senior Account Representative, Vendini


Theatre as Civic Institutions, Arts Advocates, and Agents of Change

Speakers include: Laurie Baskin, Director of Research, Policy & Collective Action, Theatre Communications Group; Jennifer Fukutomi-Jones, Director of Programs, Arts for LA; Sara Matlin, Esq., Bilingual Counsel, Alliance for Justice; Jonathan Moscone, Chief of Civic Engagement, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts; Devon Smith, Co-Founder, Measure; Megan Wanlass, Managing Director, Cornerstone Theater Company


Three Paths to Audience Building

Speakers: Emily Kent, Director of Marketing, Denver Center Theatre Co; Bryan Joseph Lee, Director of Marketing & Communications, Round House Theatre; Charlie Miller, Associate Artistic Director for Strategy and Innovation, Denver Center Theatre Company; Erica Nagel, Director of Education & Engagement, McCarter Theatre Center; Gus Schulenburg, Director of Communications & Community Engagement, Theatre Communications Group


Creative Access: Accommodations for Professional Performers with Disabilities

An in-person and digital panel of Professional Performers with Disabilities to discuss the nuts-and-bolts of including performers in auditions, callbacks, rehearsals, tech and performances. Performers will not only share success stories first-hand of accommodations that have worked for them in the past, but will also offer practical examples of how to plan for and communicate the accommodations your theatre is prepared to provide for a given production. Accommodations don’t have to be costly— they can be provided with a sense of creativity and teamwork!
Speakers: Regan Linton, Artistic Director/Acting Executive Director, Phamaly Theatre Company and Talleri McRae, Arts Access, Inclusion and Education Consultant


Transformational Experiences: Co-Creating Theater with Incarcerated Populations

This session gives experienced prison arts practitioners an opportunity to share collective experiences, their passion for the work, and build an expanded network of peers. These artists and educators are engaged in transformational arts programs using theater for change in prisons across the U.S. (and the world). The panelists will explore and discuss the effects such programming has on prison populations. This session promotes a collaborative learning forum where participants are exposed to a diverse array of programs that all strive for a common result: “the habilitation of the inmate’s mind, heart, body, and spirit.”

Speakers: Freedome Bradley-Ballentine, Director of Arts Engagement, The Old Globe; Scott Jackson, Executive Director, Shakespeare at Notre Dame; Allen Mills, Participant, Open Hearts Open Minds; Mara Sidmore, Director of Education Programs, Projects, and Partnerships, Actors' Shakespeare Project; Johnny Stallings, Executive Director, Open Hearts Open Minds; Curt L. Tofteland, Founder, Shakespeare Behind Bars;


Meet the Kilroys: Readings from “The Kilroys List: 97 Monologues and Scenes

Put a little performance in your Conference experience! Just released and debuting at the TCG Conference— The Kilroys List: 97 Monologues and Scenes by Female and Trans Playwrights, Volume One. Join Joy Meads and Carla Ching, founding members of The Kilroys, for a reading of the book by Kilroys playwrights and special guests, followed by a book signing.
Speaker: Joy Meads, Literary Manager/Artistic Engagement Strategist, Center Theatre Group; Carla Ching, Playwright, Member of The Kilroys


How We Move Forward

At the Intersections culminated with a town hall on Saturday where participants shared what we’ve experienced across these interwoven areas of identity.
Facilitated by: Elena Chang, Assoc. Director of Equity, Diversity & Inclusion, Theatre Communications Group; Gus Schulenburg, Director of Communications & Community Engagement, Theatre Communications Group.


Special Performance

Refugee State: Global Visions in a New Land

Featured speakers include: Leilani Chan, Artistic Director and Ova Saopeng, Associate Artistic Director, TeAda Productions.


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