CFP: [Theatre] Mid America Theatre Conference Acting/Directing Symposium

full name / name of organization: 
Peter Campbell
contact email: 

The 30th Annual
Mid-America Theatre Conference
Hyatt Regency Chicago
March 5-8, 2009

Acting and Directing Symposium


The Acting and Directing Symposium of the Mid-America Theatre Conference
(MATC) is seeking proposals for papers, co-papers, presentations,
round-table discussions, organized panels, and visual presentations that
can be linked to the notion of “Poor Theatre,” broadly construed. In the
1960s, Jerzy Grotowski’s Polish Laboratory Theatre leveled a set of
challenges at the theory and practice of theatre in the face of the
shifting aesthetic, political, and economic landscapes of art in the
twentieth century. For the Acting and Directing Symposium of the
thirtieth-annual MATC conference we seek to examine current and emerging
challenges in acting, directing, and the analysis of the creation and
reception of theatre.

Papers may be either personal explorations and analyses of specific
theatrical events or theoretical investigations of the work of significant
actors and directors. Areas of investigation may include:
• What are the difficulties of producing and teaching theatre in times of
economic hardship?
• How do you theorize practice or practice theory in your work?
• How do you see your performance work as research?
• With the dark economic forecasts for the national/global economy, what is
the state/fate of our University theatre programs? Our productions? Our
research? Academic Theatre?
• How do logistical considerations affect your work, for better and for worse?
• How, specifically, has your work as an actor or director related to real
economics, and what were the results and conclusions of said work?
• How does theatre relate to other arts, such as film, television, video,
web and multimedia? How do these new boundaries and divisions (if there
are any) affect your work as a theatre artist?
• How might our work as actors and directors push and expand new visions of
the world and its constantly changing political and economic landscape?
• What are the new definitions of “poor” theatre for practitioners? How
has the idea of “poor theatre” changed in the last few decades?
• What kind of specific challenges have you experienced or analyzed of
site-specific or community-based theatrical creation and production?
• How are actor/director or actor/audience relationships affected by economics?
• How does technology or the lack of technology impact your work as a
theatre artist, scholar and/or teacher?

Applicants are asked to email 150-250 word abstracts that include the
following information: applicant’s name, applicant’s rank, academic
affiliation, address, telephone, email, presentation format (single paper,
co-paper or co-presentation, panel presentation, round-table discussion, or
other), title of presentation, and a two-three paragraph description of the
paper, panel or presentation. Please be sure to include any special
technology needs in your abstract, including slides, powerpoint, audio or
video. (Please note that technology accommodations are extremely limited
during the conference).

Individual presentations should not exceed 8 double-spaced pages
(approximately 2000 words) and will be limited to a 15 minute maximum.
Round table discussions and organized panels will be limited to a 40 minute
presentation period followed by a 25 minute audience discussion and
question period. Applicants are also asked to indicate whether they would
be interested in submitting their presentation for an external peer review;
in exchange, applicants may be assigned to review another submission to the

Deadline for submissions: October 15th, 2008

Please send submissions electronically as MS Word or PDF files to BOTH:

Peter A. Campbell
School of Contemporary Arts
Ramapo College

John C. Soliday
School of Communication
University of Miami

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Received on Mon Jul 21 2008 - 15:59:59 EDT