PDX Theatre Conference

Welcome to the page for the Portland Theatre Conference (PDXTC).

The PDX Theatre Conference is a multi-tiered, cross-sectional unconference for theatre professionals, artists, researchers, academics, teachers, policy-makers and practitioners.  The conference invites attendees to discuss current industry trends, issues, and progress in our field, as well as network and develop connections with likeminded theatre movers and shakers.  Unlike a traditional conference, you are the active participant.  This is your opportunity to:

  • Build new collaborative networks and partnerships
  • Learn something new from others in the field
  • Find answers to the questions that matter to you the most
  • Be exposed to new ideas for making and keeping theatre relevant and alive

Unlike traditional conferences, the flexible, participant-driven format favors discussion, debate and interactive participation on emerging trends, the latest issues and new projects.  We provide you with question prompts and topics and then get out of the way.

PDX Theatre Conference is sponsored in part by the Renegade Education Project, a non-profit organization focused on arts education, advocacy, research, and practice within communities, by the Theatre Program at Pacific University, and by Portland State University’s Theatre and Film Department.

PDXTC is coordinated in conjunction with two of Portland, Oregon’s cutting-edge performance festivals:  Portland’s Fertile Ground Festival, and the Portland Institute for Contemporary Arts’ Time Based Arts Festival.

PDXTC Winter will be coordinated in conjunction with the January Fertile Ground Festival.  The Fertile Ground Festival is a premier showcase for new work in the arts that occurs every January in the Portland Metro area. Fertile Ground 2013 will feature over 100 world premiere projects, staged readings, developing works and a myriad of other arts events over a 10-day period in the City of Roses, Portland. Participants will receive an unlimited pass to the FG Festival shows as part of their registration fees.

PDXTC Fall will be coordinated in conjunction with the September PICA TBA Festival.  The Portland Institute for Contemporary Art acknowledges and advances new developments in contemporary art while fostering the creative explorations of artists and audiences. PICA’s annual Time-Based Art Festival (TBA) draws artists from across the country and around the globe for a convergence of contemporary performance and visual art. Installations and live performances fill out theaters, temporary galleries, and unexpected public spaces throughout Portland, activating the city with art and energy. From morning workshops to afternoon salons and talks, to evening shows and late-night happenings, TBA is an all-hours forum for new ideas and experiences.  Participants will receive passes to one or more PICA performance based shows as part of their registration fees.

The PDX Theatre Conference attracts people from a variety of disciplines and with a variety of different stakes in the success of theatre.  You don’t need to prepare a presentation months in advance, with loads of documentation, slides, and presentations.  You just need to come to Portland, Oregon with a willingness to enter into spirited debate, see some amazing bleeding-edge theatre, and connect with some of the brightest minds in theatre today, all with an eye to discovering what is new, what is changing, and how to carry live theatre forward once you return to your corner of the arts world.

PDXTC 2014- ReVitalizing Theatre

Welcome to PDXTC January 2014, a two day conference in unique Portland, Oregon.

PDXTC’s 2014 is focused around the theme of ReVitalizing Theatre.  As we move into the second half of the first decade of the 21st century, evidence suggests that theatre is dying.  The NEA Audience Participation Study shows audiences for live theatre productions on the decline and anyone who has stepped foot in a traditional theatre in their community cannot help but notice that our audiences are aging.  Most young people, due to budget cuts, are not exposed to arts education within the school systems, and opportunities for outside exposure are limited.

This year’s focus on ReVitalizing Theatre focuses on addressing common crituques of theatre that we have all heard:

Theatre is elitist.

Theatre is too costly.

Theatre caters to white, upper-middle class people.

Theatre can’t entertain as effectively as movies or video games.

Theatre is old-fashioned and stuck.

Theatre requires too much commitment.

Theatre is not immediate enough.

Theatre is unimaginative.

Theatre can’t make money.

Theatre doesn’t speak to me.

Theatre is irrelevant.

Theatre is dying.  How do you and your team revitalize it?

January 2014, Portland State University

Live, engage, connect, experience, theorize, do.  And reVitalize.

More details to be announced, including registration.  Please keep tuned to this page for more information.


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