2010 TCG National Conference

The TCG National Conference brought together approximately 800 theatre professionals from across the nation and around the world for meetings, speeches and performances, and a chance to explore the local theatre community. The 2010 Conference took place from June 17th through the 19th in Chicago, IL at the world famous Palmer House Hilton in Chicago as well various theatres around town.


June 17-19, 2010

Palmer House Hilton - 17 E. Monroe Street, Chicago, Il.

The Goodman Theatre - 170 N. Dearborn St.

Steppenwolf Theatre Company - 1650 N. Halsted St.

Chicago Shakespeare Theater on Navy Pier - 800 E. Grand Ave.

Signature Room - 875 N. Michigan Ave

View Conference Map

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 your opportunity to explore bold new solutions, cultivate a community that strengthens and nourishes your work and hear from theatres, artists and other thought leaders who will inspire strategic thinking that leads to action.  

Recognizing the complexity of our field and our society today, TCG is curating the three day gathering around four main motifs.  We are approaching this conference through the spirit of inquiry, and the plenaries, breakout sessions, case studies, etc. are guided by a series of questions we hope will evoke dialogue, ideas and action.  In addition to these four tracks, the conference will also offer the customary "nuts and bolts" sessions, which explore the day-to-day operations of the theatre.

Artists and Artistry: What constitutes artistic risk taking in an ever-changing environment, and how can it be encouraged?  Which artists are creating ambitious work that responds to the challenges of our times, and what stories are they telling?  As more and more artists create new kinds of hybrid performance (working across artistic disciplines as well as with collaborators outside of the artistic field), what systems are at play, and how can theatres best support the development of their work and careers?  Do we need to create new models to support new work today, and what would those look like? How might theatres encourage audiences to embrace challenging work?  How are freelance artists faring in this climate, and how can the field help them sustain their commitment to a career in the theatre?

Race and Gender: We live in a society which continues to wrestle with disparities related to race and gender.  Definitions of diversity are changing and becoming more multi-layered, reflecting new complexities associated with trans-nationalism, generational approaches to diversity and questions of religious tolerance. Does our field represent the diversity of voices that we want it to?  How do we have an effective conversation on these topics and what specific actions do we need to take to make change?  What would it look like if we fully embraced pluralism? 

The Arts Learning Continuum : This track will focus on arts education in schools, lifelong learning opportunities and training programs for artists and administrators. What are the revolutionary concepts being introduced into training and arts education today, and who are the innovators?  Are we reaching “students” at all levels in the most effective fashion?  Are we successfully reaching out to potential audiences and providing multiple points of access to learning about theatre?  What steps can we take to narrow the gap between the programs that train artists and administrators and the world that they are poised to enter? 

Creative Ecology: Are we fully aware of the complete creative ecosystem we belong to (locally, nationally and internationally), and our potential for greater impact?  How do the decisions and innovations across the creative industries (broadly defined to include the performing arts, the advertising industry, technology, social media, architecture, and more) impact our art form, our artists, and our audiences?  How can we collaborate more effectively across the non-profit/for-profit divide to become an integral ingredient in sustaining a healthy, vibrant economy?  How do the decisions that theatres make impact artists, communities, and global culture?  Do local actions have international impact, and vice versa?



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