Chicago - - Theatre Capital of America: Past. Present. Future.
An international scholarly symposium and theatrical celebration presented by the Theatre Department of Columbia College Chicago – the largest and most diverse private arts and media college in the nation with more than 120 academic programs and more than 12,000 students.
Dates: May 18-22, 2011
Place: Columbia College Chicago, Chicago, IL
“For the poet Carl Sandburg it was the 'City of the Big Shoulders.' Architect Daniel Burnham called it 'the Paris of the Prairies.' That mix of raw energy and refined aestheticism makes Chicago one of the world's great cities—and the current theatre capital of America.”
Michael Billington, The Guardian, 2004
By creating the first international forum for scholars from Chicago and the Midwest, around the U.S., and overseas to consider the topics listed below, Columbia College Chicago's 2011 symposium on Chicago theatre can significantly influence scholarship about--and the future of--the performing arts on local, national and global scales.
FEATURED SPEAKERS (PARTIAL LIST)
theatre critic for Britain's Guardian newspaper
Veteran Chicago theatre critic and author of A Theater of Our Own: A History and a Memoir of 1,001 Nights in Chicago (Northwestern University Press, 2004)
artistic director of Steppenwolf Theatre
and board president of the Theatre Communications Group
co-author of Outrageous Fortune: The Life and Tmes of the New American Play (Theatre Development Fund, 2010) and editor of An Ideal Theatre (Theatre Communications Group, 2011), a documentary anthology of essays, letters, and memoirs, the founding visions for American theatres in the words of the pioneers who built them
director of the Interdisciplinary PhD in Theatre and Drama at Northwestern University and author of Embodying Black Experience (University of Michigan Press, 2010)
Call for Papers
Deadline for submissions: September 1, 2010
E-mail proposals to: email@example.com
The organizing committee invites 300-word abstracts (including up to 10 low res images or up to 2 minutes video where relevant) addressing the history, current state, and/or future of professional theatre in Chicago. Each proposal will be peer reviewed by a committee consisting of professors from Columbia College and professional theatre artists in Chicago.
The symposium organizers are seeking proposals for papers and panels on key themes regarding the development of Chicago theatre over the past half-century--including, but not limited to:
* How Chicago's cultural atmosphere, political history, and social geography have shaped the development of Chicago theatre from a grass-roots movement into a global phenomenon.
*Improvisation and literary adaptation, the twin pillars of Chicago theatrical storytelling; the role of improv and theater games in shaping the ensemble nature of Chicago theatre.
*Chicago playwrights past and present; varying approaches to the development of new work.
*Theatre focused on specific racial, ethnic, and cultural communities -- African-American theatre, Latino theatre, Asian-American theatre, Arab-American theatre, women's theatre, queer theatre, etc. How do the race, class, and sociocultural dynamics in Chicago affect Chicago theatre, and how can theatre influence and transcend these dynamics?
*Naturalism and fantasy/spectacle: competing and complementary styles in Chicago theatre.
*Fringe and experimental theatre and performance in Chicago; original work and productive failure.
*The relationship between large institutional theaters and storefront theaters in Chicago.
*The impact of Chicago theatre artists on regional nonprofit theatre, film and TV, Broadway, and international theatre.
*The current state of and prognosis for serious, in-depth theatre criticism; the absence of theatre and arts critics of color in Chicago and nationally.
*The role of universities, colleges, training centers, and teachers in shaping and continuously revitalizing Chicago's position as a theatre capital.
*Technology, communication, and globalization; virtual reality vs. the live immediacy of theatre.
*Theater as public space; fostering community; sustainable innovation; theater in the media age; social networking.
*How arts education in schools and communities has nurtured theatre in the past half-century, and the prognosis for the future of arts education.
*How can Chicago theatre facilitate true, deep interaction between artists and audiences of diverse backgrounds rather than settling for token representations? Can Chicago lead the way toward the creation of an American theatre that truly reflects the nation's diversity?
*Where is the next generation of leaders in the arts -- artists, administrators, teachers, critics, scholars - coming from? Are theatre makers swimming against the cultural tide?
Proposals from emerging scholars and artists and attendance by graduate students are particularly encouraged.
Proposals should include the following items:
1. Your name, title, status (e.g., artist, faculty, independent scholar, management, student) and academic and/or professional affiliation (if applicable).
2. Your contact information (particularly e-mail).
3. The title and abstract for your paper, panel, workshop, master class. Please limit abstracts to 300 words. Proposals for panels of two or more scholars and for workshops and master classes with multiple leaders are welcome. Please include the above information for each participant.
4. The technical requirements of your presentation.
In your e-mail, please write “Chicago Theatre Symposium” in the subject heading and in the body of the message include the title of the proposal, your name, address, telephone, email address and affiliation (if applicable). Receipt of your submission will be confirmed via email and you will be informed of the committee’s decisions by November 15, 2010.
For information on the conference see http://www.colum.edu/TheatreSymposium. You may also contact Albert Williams, Senior Lecturer, Columbia College Theatre Department, at 312-369-6141, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Dr. John Green, chair of the Columbia College Theatre Department, at 312-369-6160, email@example.com.
Date of issue: July 21, 2010
Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs
Chicago Public Library
League of Chicago Theatres
The Dramatists Guild of America
Season of Concern
Free Street Theater
Chicago Theatre History Project
Albert Williams, Senior Lecturer, Columbia College Theatre Department, at 312-369-6141, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Dr. John Green, chair of the Columbia College Theatre Department, at 312-369-6160, email@example.com Visit the website at http://www.colum.edu/theatresymposium
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