Join us for ATHE 2019!

The Women and Theatre Program (WTP) invites panel proposals for the 2019 Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) Conference


Scene Changes: Performing, Teaching, and Working through the Transitions

August 7-11, 2019

Orlando, FL

If you would like to present at ATHE 2019 and…


...have a complete panel of three or more presenters whose work fits together, fits the larger theme of the conference, and examines issues through the lens of WTP (in other words not co-sponsored with another focus group) submit these directly to ATHE on their website. ATHE highly recommends that the Session Coordinator contact WTP in advance to verify sponsorship. While this is recommended, it is not required for single focus group panels. To list WTP as your session sponsor, simply select WTP in the “Session Sponsor” field of the online proposal form. The deadline for proposals is Thursday, November 1, 2018.

...have a complete panel of three or more presenters whose work fits together and addresses the larger themes of the conference from multiple or multidisciplinary standpoints, consider submitting a multidisciplinary panel sponsored by two focus groups. Contact the conference planners for both focus groups involved to confirm approval of a multidisciplinary session before submitting the panel proposal directly to ATHE on their website by Thursday, November 1, 2018.


...have an individual paper or presentation idea and are seeking help in assembling a panel, please feel free to communicate with WTP members on our focus group web page which is linked under “Groups” on the ATHE main page. Alternatively, you may also use the WTP listserv to introduce your idea and find other members for your panel. You may also contact WTP’s conference planners, Bethany Wood ( and Jessica Brater ( Whenever possible, efforts will be made to connect you with other potential session members.


The 2019 Conference Theme

The 2019 Conference Committee invites you to Orlando for an exploration of all that the

theme of “Scene Changes” suggests. What are the practical challenges of scene changes for playwrights, directors, dramaturgs, designers, actors, stage managers, and stage crews? For whom is a scene change an interlude of quiet contemplation, and for whom is it the busiest moment of the night? What is the history of the scene shift, and how have theatre artists dealt with changes in production methods and audience tastes? How do scene shifts shape audiences’ experiences? How will our field respond to the challenges and opportunities represented by recent changes in leadership, and by shifting economies of production? How do we reflect on techniques of theatre education and scholarship in this changing moment? How can we begin to proactively change the scenes of the theatrical climate and structure? Perhaps most importantly, how will we make use of the present moment to redress previous wrongs, preserve what is important, and move forward into the future?


The conference theme of “Scene Changes” suggests several rich areas of inquiry related to WTP. For theatre artists and scholars, the term “scene” conjures the work of set design, a distinct segment of performance on the stage, the units of action or text that comprise an act in a play, as well as the conceptual space of “the theatre scene.” Women activists in theatre strive and hope for change within various scenes of theatre scholarship, history, practice, performance, industry, systems of production, etc. While it is tempting to see shifting scenes as a progressive phenomenon that advances gender parity in theatre, this is not always the case. WTP seeks papers and performances that explore the many connotations of “scene changes” and suggest new ways of shifting the scenery in theatre scholarship and practice.

Possible WTP topics include but are not limited to:

  • Making a scene to change the scene

  • Behind-the-scenes labor, acknowledgment of unseen labor, and the gendering of labor in theatre practice

  • Connections between “scene changes” and trans identity and trans experience; changing political and theatrical scenes and trans rights

  • Pivotal moments and events that changed the scene for women and non-binary artists, scholars and laborers in theatre practice, theory, pedagogy

  • Women’s work outside the boundaries of traditional “scenes” of theatre

  • Revision and adaptation as ways of changing traditional scenes and stagings of canonical texts

  • Feminist approaches to play structure that transfigure concepts of well-made, Aristotelian plays and scenes

  • The use of bodies as scenery

  • The systems and individuals that perform, organize, and direct changes in various scenes

  • Transformation, revision, and refashioning as forms of resistance

  • Cultural shifts and their effect on women’s theatre practice

  • Histories of the feminist theatre scene

  • Feminist revolutions in methodology, pedagogy, or praxis


Instructions for Submitting a Proposal:

  • Please consult the ATHE website; it offers a user-friendly, step-by- step guide to submitting your proposal, which must be entered through the site by Thursday November, 1 2018. The online module for submitting proposals will be available September 21, 2018.

  • Note that your on-line proposal should include all special requests, such as audio-visual support (see proposal site on what is available) or grant applications.

  • Multidisciplinary sessions are those that are sponsored by two or more focus groups. Contact the ATHE conference planner for all intended sponsors before proposing your session. For WTP approval, contact Bethany Wood ( and Jessica Brater ( A list of other focus groups and their contacts is available on the ATHE website.

  • Incomplete proposals will not be accepted. Be sure to enter information on all required fields (including names of all session members). 

  • The inclusive dates of the conference are August 7-11, 2019; unfortunately, specific time-slot requests cannot be granted, so session participants must be available through that time period. (Please let WTP know if this stipulation hampers your ability to participate and we will work with ATHE to see if accommodations can be made for issues such as caregiving, disability, etc.)

  • You will receive confirmation of your proposal directly from ATHE shortly after submission; you will receive notification regarding acceptance to the conference in early March 2019.

  • If you have questions regarding the process that cannot be answered through ATHE’s website, please feel free to contact Bethany Wood or Jessica Brater.

Women & Theatre Program

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