“See one, do one, teach one”: This famous phrase from medical training is more than just a useful structure for turning new practice into deep knowledge. Inspired by visionary theatre-maker Anne Bogart’s appropriation of the phrase, our 2013 National Conference in Dallas re-imagined how we can all Learn Do Teach as leaders of our theatre movement. From June 6-8, 2013, over 700 theatre people assembled for this annual gathering of model sharing and peer connection.
At the 22nd TCG National Conference: Model the Movement in Boston, we explored how to transform our field into a movement for the digital age, one new model at a time. Using our year-round online conference community, Conference 2.0, we built on that intellectual capital at the 2012 Fall Forum on Governance: Leading the Charge, where we focused on strategies for achieving diversity and inclusion. In February 2013, the movement continued in Philadelphia at our Audience (R)Evolution Learning Convening, where we shared models from the cutting edge of audience engagement and community development.
This creative momentum culminated in Dallas at the 2013 TCG National Conference: Learn Do Teach. To further focus that time together, we provided four focused programmatic arcs—Diversity and Inclusion, Audience Engagement, Financial Adaptation and Artistic Innovation—that attendees followed. While attendees were free to roam among sessions, these arcs offered a deep dive into these key areas—a “conference within the Conference” that captured the intimacy of our smaller convenings. These arcs matched those ready to Learn specific models with those ready to Teach, and connected attendees with shared goals to mobilize together and Do.
Learn Do Teach was more than just a practical approach to the Conference: It was also a call for us all to take leadership roles within our theatre movement. How can we keep learning in spite of our busy schedules? How can we mobilize our movement to make the changes we want to see? How can we pass down the value of our experiences to the next generation of theatre-makers? What would our field look like if Learn Do Teach became common practice? These were some of the questions we asked in Dallas, and these are the questions we'll bring with us on the road to San Diego in 2014. Let's keep learning, doing and teching together all year long!