Chicago digital and hybrid convening

This week we participated in digital events and art making in Chicago with the Network of Ensemble Theaters and Theater Communications Group. The conference was in person with limited hybrid and digital options. Network of Ensemble theaters held a hybrid closing dinner with Alisha Tonsic. We also produced a Why Mask performance in Chicago. This was a full week of national connection and producing art at a distance.

Let the Transformation Begin: What’s Next for NET

What’s NEXT for NET

Link to Why Mask Chicago

Why Mask Chicago Activation


About the TCG National Conference

The TCG National Conference is one of the largest nationwide gatherings of the not-for-profit theatre community. TCG has been gathering folks this way since 1976 and each year, the National Conference creates space for theatre practitioners across the globe to get inspired, learn from one another and build toward collective action. It’s also been a way for TCG and the field to get intimately familiar with theatre communities around the country, and to channel the particular energy of their artists.

In 2020, while we supported the field in contending with overlapping existential crises, TCG also completed a new strategic planning process. In our new plan, bolstered by our new mission to lead for a just and thriving theatre ecology, we’ve committed to centering the needs and experiences of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous People of Color) and BITOC (Black, Indigenous, Theatres of Color) throughout our programming. With that ongoing work in mind, it is our goal that our conferences will have some, if not all, of the following outcomes:

Participants come away with new ideas and tools for activating models of collective care.
BIPOC, TGNC, disabled, and young theatre practitioners see more opportunities for leadership and collaboration open to them throughout the field.
Incremental yet transformative shifts in power structures and organizational practices begin to emerge in theatres across the country, and those shifts begin to create safer, human-centered working conditions for our freelance artists.
The local theatre community builds off their shared work on the TCG Conference into a longer term, inclusive process of peer support and collaboration, and host city artists are invited to bring their work into other regional theatre communities.
In 1976, TCG convened its first ever National Conference. For the first few decades, the National Conference was biennial, held first on college campuses and then in cities across the country. In 2006, the National Conference became an annual event, and in 2020, we went virtual in response to the pandemic. In 2022, we held our first-ever hybrid National Conference, gathering in Pittsburgh, PA and online.


On June 22nd, TCG will host Rise Up, the final gathering in our Theatre for Activism series. This session will happen in-person at the 2024 TCG National Conference: Chicago as well as virtually for non-conference attendees.
Over the past year and a half, TCG’s Theatre for Activism series has sought to build knowledge around care, advocacy, and solidarity. Theatre for Activism’s three-part series will conclude with Rise Up, a hybrid megaLAB that will bring our attention to accountability practices with the shared understanding that we have all messed up and will continue to mess up. How we clean up our mess is a choice that we must make within ourselves, aided by the support of the people around us. We can build our capacity for living through the mess, invite curiosity where discomfort might arise, and rehearse the steps we might actually take to repair. This session will be guided by four facilitators (Hope Chávez, Meena Malik, Alex Meda, Rad Pereira) who support arts workers through conflict and support healing justice praxis in arts organizations and in their communities.

The session will begin with a panel, where we will hear from our peers including Miranda Gonzalez (Urban Theater Company Chicago), Deadria Harrington (The Movement Theatre Company & ARTNY), Tara Moses (Groundwater Arts), Lauren Turner-Hines (Andrew Cailloux Center & No Dream Deferred), examples of different accountability processes such as internal organizational repair; public accountability; shifting organizational policy; and community healing. From there, we’ll share learnings, challenges, and questions with each other to strategize how we might deepen our commitment to messing up with integrity. This space is for everyone who’s interested in breaking cycles and patterns of harm, and building true relationships of accountability and abundance—including those who are familiar with the language of accountability but struggle with the praxis.

This session is an active practice in holding ourselves and each other accountable and building our repair practices.

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