Past Conference Archive

National Conference Archive

The TCG National Conference is one of the largest annual nationwide gatherings of the not-for-profit professional theatre community. Every year, the TCG National Conference brings the theatre field together for three joyful, action-packed days of camaraderie, peer learning, network building, professional development, and collective action. The TCG Conference began as a bi-annual event and soon grew in size to become a more expansive, annual convening that moves around to different theatre communities around the country, and is attended by 800-1,000 theatre practitioners from individual artists to leaders of large institutions. In 2018, TCG adopted the practice of rooting the Conference more intentionally in our host city, and abandoned the need for an additional theme. Please find information about past TCG Conferences below, and if you have questions about a prior Conference, email

2022 TCG Conference: Pittsburgh | June 15-18, 2022

From June 15-18, 2022, as we entered our seventh decade of serving the theatre field, TCG joined with theatre-makers in Pittsburgh – a city that TCG also claims as its first home – to host our first hybrid National Conference, embracing the duality of both in-person and virtual programming. Whether you joined us on the ground or online, you were part of a single Conference community on distinct but converging paths of content: the virtual experience from June 15-17, and the in-person experience from June 16-18 in Pittsburgh.

2021 TCG Virtual Conference: Our Theatre Ecology | May 13-14 and 20-21, 2021

In May 2021, TCG hosted our second Virtual Conference, Our Theatre Ecology, in two parts. Inspired by our new mission to lead for a just and thriving theatre ecology, we'll engage in a systems check, focusing on three converging areas: PANDEMIC RECOVERY, CLIMATE ACTION and SYSTEMIC ANTI-RACISM, while centering the needs and experiences of BIPOC in the theatre field. As we celebrate our 60th Anniversary amidst this tumultuous year, ongoing crises are cracking open new possibilities for sweeping, positive change.

Part 1 focused on knowledge-building and awareness-raising in these areas through various learning and connection opportunities, investigating together where our models have failed or saved us. During Part 2, we built on that experience to gather tools toward identifying levers for change, making fundamental shifts in our practices, and sustaining large-scale transformation individually, institutionally, and as a theatre movement. This conference also featured the first-ever portion of Conference programming built by and for theatre-makers who are 30 and under. #Poweredby30andUnder. 

2020 TCG Virtual Conference - Re:Emergence | May 6-8 and June 2-5, 2020

Between May and June 2020, following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and rise of nationwide protests for racial justice, the TCG Virtual Conference gathered 2,000+ theatre makers from around the country and globe to collectively envision the day of our Re:Emergence.

2019 TCG National Conference: Miami | Miami, FL, June 5-7, 2019

From June 5-7, 2019, TCG convened nearly 900 theatre makers in Miami, each one looking to manage their relationship to ever-present change: in their art, their institutions, and their communities. Called “the Magic City” after its population exploded in the 20th century, change has always been Miami’s true constant. What can our field, which has long prided itself on its adaptability, learn from a city like Miami, which reinvents itself with each passing decade, neighborhood, and hurricane season? At the 2019 National Conference, against the backdrop of Miami’s plurality of global cultures and artistic disciplines, we focused intently on three programmatic areas: Audience and Community Engagement as part of our continuing Audience (R)Evolution initiative; Well-being and Wellness; and Theatre Journalism, in addition to addressing some of our industry's most pressing issues, from the evolving landscape of fundraising, to organizational culture, to leadership development, to our growing commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion. Our Conference community engaged with thought leaders from within and beyond the arts to grapple with our own true constant: the challenge of adapting and sustaining our organizations and our work in times of great change. View the 2019 Conference Impact Report, here.

2018 TCG National Conference: St. Louis | St. Louis, MO, June 14-16, 2018

From June 14-16, 2018, the TCG National Conference took place in St. Louis, MO, a city whose political and cultural narratives have in recent years been amplified on the national stage. In an era of media saturation, sound bites, and “fake news,” theatre makers continue to reflect the many nuances and complexities of the human experience in the stories we tell. In a widely watched TED talk, author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie said: “I’ve always felt that it is impossible to engage properly with a place or a person without engaging with all of the stories of that place and that person.” How do we use our art form to uncover the deep (and often, messy) truth of people, places, and identity? How do we go beyond the single story?

With St. Louis as our inspiration and our gathering place, attendees engaged in discussions about authenticity in our artmaking, examining and improving the ways we prepare and support a generation of new leaders, developing organizational cultures that are ever more inclusive and forward-looking, and elevating the cultural legacy of those that came before us. Over 800 theatre makers also benefitted from professional development about the persistent challenges that threaten the vitality of our field, and engage with thought leaders from within and beyond the performing arts. View the 2018 Conference Impact Report, here.

2017 TCG National Conference: Full Circle | Portland, OR, June 8-10, 2017

From June 8-10, 2017 TCG National Conference, Full Circle, welcomed 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. TCG built 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 conducted bold new experiments like our community Field Trips. 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 was also 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? View the 2017 Conference Impact Report, here.

2016 TCG National Conference: Theatre Nation | Washington, DC. June 23-25, 2016

What does it mean to be a citizen of Theatre Nation? From June 23-25, the 2016 TCG National Conference: Theatre Nation assembled over 1,000 theatre practitioners to seize the unique opportunity of gathering in our nation’s capitol during an election year to imagine a more central role for our art form in civic life. Conference activities included: taking over 200 attendees to Capitol Hill for advocacy opportunities with their representatives; a Global Pre-Conference with attendees from more than 25 different countries; a meeting of the Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Institute at the National Endowment for the Arts; and The Ground at 20, a video interview series with legacy leaders of theatres of color inspired by the 20th anniversary of August Wilson's seminal conference remarks, The Ground On Which I Stand. Featured plenary speakers included Anna Deavere Smith, John Maeda, Stephen Karam, and Ambassador Samantha Power. Archived videos of many sessions can be found here. View the 2016 Conference Impact Report, here.

2015 TCG National Conference: Game Change | Cleveland, OH. June 18-20, 2015

TCG’s 25th National Conference empowered game-changing moments through peer exchange, model sharing and exciting speakers...and since it was a big anniversary year for the Conference, Game Change offered plenty of celebration! Amid the social events, however, we provided more impactful programming than ever: we hosted tightly-focused skills-building journeys, each carefully designed for practitioners of different experience levels, budget sizes and aesthetic interest. We also expanded our identity affinity groups by launching At the Intersections, a new track of Equity, Diversity & Inclusion programming. Click here to watch video highlights from Game Change in Cleveland.

2014 TCG National Conference: Crossing Borders | San Diego, CA. June 19-21, 2014

The 24th TCG National Conference lived up to its title in literal fashion when our dual Pre-Conferences crossed our national border into Tijuana, Mexico. However, that boundary-defying spirit was present through every aspect of our programming. With the introduction of new programming, like repeated breakout sessions and crowd-sourced identity affinity groups, we challenged assumptions and dismantled barriers to strengthen our field's vitality.

Theatre-makers far and wide joined us in family-friendly, sunny San Diego and online in our growing Conference 2.0 community, and we reprised the use of programmatic arcs that honed the Conference content into four main areas of exploration.

2013 TCG National Conference: Learn Do Teach | Dallas, TX. June 6-8, 2013

Inspired by the famous phrase from medical training “See one, do one, teach one” as a useful structure for turning new practice into deep knowledge, our 2013 National Conference in Dallas re-imagined how we can all Learn Do Teach as leaders of our theatre movement.

Hundreds of theatre people assembled across the beautiful Dallas Arts District, and in our now robust Conference 2.0 online community, for this annual gathering of model sharing and peer connection. TCG also unveiled a new Conference structure, with the use of four programmatic arcs to create several "conferences within the Conference" to further focus our time in Dallas together.

2012 TCG National Conference: Model the Movement | Boston, MA. June 21-23, 2012

At the 22nd TCG National Conference: Model the Movement in Boston, we concluded our year-long celebration of TCG's 50th Anniversary, and continued the momentum to begin transforming our field into a movement for the digital age.

Over three days at Boston's Park Plaza Hotel and Emerson College's Cutler Majestic Theatre, and in our newly expanded Conference 2.0 online community, we began changing the system of how we share, measure and adapt what works — one new model at a time — to make the theatre of our next 50 years thrive.

2011 TCG National Conference: TCG At 50: What If... | Los Angeles, CA. June 16-18, 2011

The 2011 TCG National Conference: TCG at 50: What if...? took place June June 16–18 in Los Angeles, CA. Kicking off a year-long celebration of TCG's 50th Anniversary, TCG's 21st conference saw 1,100 attendees, 212 sessions, 3,662+ tweets, and countless new ideas and connections.

Taking place over three days at the Millenium Biltmore Hotel, the Music Center's Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, and Central Los Angeles High School #9 for the Visual and Performing Arts, this historic convening brought together the theatre community to explore the field's achievements, challenges, and visions for the future.

2010 TCG National Conference: Ideas Into Action | Chicago, IL. June 17-19, 2010

Last year, we examined the landscape within which we now work. We looked at some of the major challenges facing the theatre field: changes in leadership, economic uncertainty, a diversity of aesthetics, technological advances, the possibilities of the future and the evolving nature of global relationships. This year, we dug even deeper, rolled up our sleeves and got our hands dirty. The 2010 TCG National Conference, Ideas into Action, was an opportunity to explore bold new solutions, cultivate a community that strengthens and nourishes work and hear from theatres, artists and other thought leaders who inspired strategic thinking that leads to action.

2009 TCG National Conference: Roots, Renaissance, Revolution | Baltimore, MD. June 4-6, 2009

Roots, Renaissance, Revolution: Defining the New Landscape, TCG's 2009 National Conference, was held in Baltimore, Maryland on June 4th, 5th, and 6th, 2009, with a pre-conference in Washington, D.C. on June 3rd. The convening set out to examine the ROOTS of our field, strategize for a much-needed RENAISSANCE, and look for the REVOLUTION of tomorrow! We enjoyed a wide selection of sessions that focused on the past, present, and future and heard from such noted speakers as Writer/Director John Waters, Futurist Andrew Zolli, Gen Y Journalist Nadira A. Hira as well as a public conversation between two of the field's most respected artists, Anne Bogart and Bill T. Jones.

2008 TCG National Conference: Theatre at the Center | Denver, CO. June 10-14, 2008

Theatre at the Center, TCG’S 2008 National Conference was held in conjunction with the 2008 National Performing Arts Convention: Taking Action Together in Denver, Colorado, from June 10-14, 2008. At the Denver Center Theatre Company and the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, there were distinct sessions for theatre professionals. These included inspiring speeches by London-based African-Caribbean playwright, actor and director Kwame Kwei-Armah; Dr. Alexander MacDonald of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; playwright Paula Vogel and Kinney Zalesne, co-author of the book microtrends: the small forces behind tomorrow's big changes. Steven Sapp, Mildred Ruiz and other members of UNIVERSES welcomed TCG at a party at the Curious Theatre Company and many more field leaders shared their expertise and insights in breakouts and workshops.

In addition, TCG attendees joined with the rest of the performing arts field at the Colorado Convention Center in an exploration of the strength of the performing arts sector and its place in American culture. The National Performing Arts Convention worked towards building an effective national performing arts community by identifying the issues which unite us and the goals we can strive for together. TCG registrants mingled with those from Dance/USA, Chorus America, Early Music America, OPERA America and the League of American Orchestras to align resources and share ideas, strategies, and experiences in order to gather best practices, build cross-disciplinary networks and ultimately strengthen our individual disciplines. Using the highly effective AmericaSpeaks methods and tools for public deliberation and dialogue, the week-long convention culminated in our participants voting on the priorities and best strategies to establish a strong and vital nonprofit performing arts sector with an important place in the lives of Americans.

2007 TCG National Conference: Artistry in a New Century | Minneapolis, MN. June 7-9, 2007

The 2007 TCG National Conference, Artistry in a New Century, hosted by the Twin Cities theatre community, was held in the new Guthrie Theater facilities from June 7-9, 2007 with a pre-conference day at Penumbra Theatre on June 6th. A new world, a new country, a new audience, new art - the 2007 TCG National Conference turned its attention to creating theatre for today and tomorrow with Artistry in a New Century. The conference engaged master artists and creative thinkers in the quest to craft theatre that resonates in our communities - locally, nationally and globally. The two and a half days of the conference investigated the creative process, new models of developing work and the artist as a catalyst for social change.

2006 TCG National Conference: Building Future Audience | Atlanta, GA. June 8-10, 2006

The 16th TCG National Conference, Building Future Audience, was hosted by the Atlanta theatre community at the Woodruff Arts Center, home of the Alliance Theatre, from June 8-10, 2006. The conference began with Blue Ocean Strategy, a strategic planning pre-conference workshop led by Ralph Trombetta. The conference built on previous conversations about the widening polarization in American society and turned more specifically to issues of social organizing and connection.

The conference’s plenary speeches included Anne Bogart’s “The Role of the Audience,” Colin Greer’s “The Politics of Belonging,” Kevin McCarthy’s “Understanding Arts Participation as a Behavioral Process,” a panel entitled “Who is the Audience of the Future?” with Guy Garcia and Wendy Puriefoy, moderated by Susan Booth and a closing address from TCG’s former executive director, Ben Cameron.

TCG National Conference 2005: Creating the Future: Theatre in a Polarized World | Seattle, WA. June 16-18, 2005

The 15th TCG National Conference, the only nationwide gathering of the not-for-profit professional theatre community, was held in Seattle, Washington, from June 16-18, 2005, jointly hosted by ACT Theatre, Intiman Theatre, Seattle Children's Theatre and Seattle Repertory Theatre. It focused on Creating the Future: Theatre in a Polarized World. Over 800 theatre professionals from 15 countries and 38 states gathered in Seattle for three days of plenary sessions, breakouts and vital conversation.

Also, Leadership for Artistic Directors, a joint program of Theatre Communications Group, Dance USA and National Arts Strategies, was presented as a preconference event June 15-16, 2005.

TCG's 14th Biennial National Conference: Courage, Creativity and Change | Milwaukee, WI. June 11-14, 2003

Over 600 theatre professionals—artistic and management leaders, trustees, artists and others—from across the country and around the world, gathered in Milwaukee from June 11-14, 2003 to explore Courage, Creativity and Change.

Compelling speakers, performances, TCG awards, a wide array of breakout sessions, late night gatherings and the lively Milwaukee theatre community, all contributed to an extraordinary event.

2001 Conference

Over 670 theatre professionals—artistic leaders, management leaders, trustees, artists and others—explored The Role of Live Theater in a Digital Culture in Philadelphia from June 20-23. Speakers, special presentations, performances, conversation, late night gatherings and Philadelphia's lively theatre scene all contributed to the conference experience. New additions to the conference program included a vendor fair and the open space meeting approach. The conference also celebrated TCG's 40th anniversary with videos, special guests, and the introduction of the TCG Awards.