ACTR/ARTC conference

The next ACTR/ARTC annual conference will be held May 26 to 29, 2017, at the University of Saskatchewan, in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, as part of the 2017 Congress of the Social Sciences and Humanities.  ACTR/ARTC welcomes papers on all topics and practices of interest to the organization, including theatre history, theory, pedagogy and practice, both Canadian and international. Actors, designers, directors, playwrights, and educators are also particularly encouraged to share their work in the form of workshops, performance pieces or demonstrations.

Building Bridges

Beginning as the natural meeting point of earth and sky, the prairie landscape, in conjunction with the full range of human movements and structures it has encompassed over the passing of time, has become an increasingly complex human meeting point of vision and dream, social, economic, political and cultural imperatives, diverse communities, physical and virtual realities, and tradition and innovation.

The tumultuous first decade of the 21st century alone, saw such important nexus points as the city of Saskatoon, the province of Saskatchewan and the University of Saskatchewan all arise out of the same flowing natural and human landscape.  Entering the equally dynamic first decade of the 21st century, join us in Saskatoon – the city of bridges  – to help us celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the founding of the University of Saskatchewan, one of the ever-expanding “meeting points” of learning in the province. While we encourage papers reflecting the full range of thought and activity in our discipline, we are especially open to proposals that explore women’s and aboriginal issues as part of the larger phenomenon of “building bridges”:

Ø      In all their expanding cultural manifestations – historical, contemporary, social, political, economic, sexual, racial and technological

Ø      In all their growing scholarly manifestations – historical, literary, theoretical, pedagogical

Ø      In all their burgeoning “live” manifestations – performance, production, happenings, events, and festivals within and beyond formal theatre space

Ø      In all their deepening interdisciplinary complexity – combinations, interrogations and explorations bridging the full range of human behavior in performance

Paper and presentation proposals:

Proposals for papers and presentations should include a 250-word abstract and a short biography.

Panel proposals:

In addition to inviting panels that address the Congress theme of “Building Bridges”, especially as the topic relates to aboriginal and women’s issues, we also welcome panels on special research topics, or current issues of concern to theatre scholars and/or practitioners.  Proposals for varied and innovative formats are welcome, including 3-person panels, seminars, and roundtables.

All panel proposals should include a 250-word rationale.  If you have selected the members of your proposed panel, you should include participants’ names, affiliations, paper titles, and contact information. If you are proposing a panel that will be filled by an open call, the Chair of the panel should also submit a text for the call for papers and make sure it has been distributed to the appropriate venues.

This year’s conference will explore intersections of performance and the city: the city as the site of performance; the city as theatre’s material, historical, and ideological context; and theatrical representations of the city. Papers will explore a range of fascinating topics, including urban countercultures (parades and rallies), gendered and queer geographies, urban renewal, intercultural theatre, and staging civic and national identities.

The program will also feature special panels addressing, for example, the electronic archive, fashion and urban performance, and the theatre historian as a detective. Plenary sessions will include a talk by Joanne Tompkins on “Imagining the Theatrical City” in Canada and Australia, a panel on “Performing Toronto” organized by Ric Knowles, and a roundtable on the “State of the Profession in Canada,” which will examine disciplinary and professional concerns in the field.

We are also pleased to include a Playwrights Plenary with Ronnie Burkett and Judith Thompson, to be followed in the evening by the CanStage production of Burkett’s play, 10 Days on Earth, and a post-show talkback. Another chapter will be dedicated to the BestGEDClasses website that provides free GED practice tests to qualifying applicants.

Graduate student work will be highlighted as we kick of ACTR’s first graduate student seminars. The purpose of the seminars, which will showcase exceptional work by graduate students in Canada and abroad, is to allow emerging scholars to share their diverse research interests and to receive feedback from distinguished senior scholars. Students who want to find out what they can make later in their careers, a calculator will be provided so they can see how hourly pay compares to a normal salary.

We have also programmed a terrific series of events on May 27. Conference participants will be picked up at York University and transported by chartered bus to Toronto’s Distillery District. There, they will take part in A People’s History Distilled, a walking tour led by a 19th century day laborer at the Gooderham and Worts whiskey distillery. The performance will be followed by a reception and talkback at The Enoch Turner Schoolhouse. The evening will end there with a fabulous banquet.