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2017 StageSource Conference
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  Saturday, June 17, 2017

Northeastern University

360 Huntington Ave, Boston



Attending the Conference?

Please take the time to read the following important information about the day. 



·         Registration begins at 9am.  Opening remarks begin at 9:20am in Blackman Auditorium, and the day will progress from there. We suggest arriving as close to 9am as possible, as there will be over 200 individuals checking in at once.

·         Registration will be open all day, so you may arrive late if necessary


Directions and Parking:

·         Find directions to Northeastern and a campus map on their website at

o   Please note that the Curry Student Center (346 Huntington Ave.) is located on the Main Campus and is Building #50 on the campus map

o   There is quite a bit of on-campus construction this summer, so we suggest leaving extra travel time.  There will be signs directing you to Curry and/or Blackman Auditorium/Ell Hall


·         There are two parking garages located near the Curry Student Center

o   Gainsborough Garage at 10 Gainsborough Street

o   Renaissance Park Garage at 835 Columbus Avenue



·         Registration will take place in “The Pit” at the Curry Student Center.

·         The first half of the day will take place in Blackman Auditorium/Ell Hall (look for signs for these locations to get you where you need to go in the morning)

·         There will be event volunteers located on campus during the day to assist you with directions


What to Bring (and What NOT to Bring):

·         Bring a pen and a notebook! There will be LOTS to write down during the day!

·         Food and drink (besides water) will NOT be allowed in the Blackman Auditorium.  Please only bring water to the event. We will be providing lunch, and there are locations to purchase food/coffee/other drinks on campus throughout the day.

·         Backpacks and large purses will not be allowed, and all bags will be subject to random searches.  We recommend leaving the bags at home and only bringing necessary items with you.

·         The following items are PROHIBITED:


Dangerous Weapons

Alcoholic Beverages, drugs, or illegal substances

Backpacks or bags larger than 12”x 12”

Women’s handbags and baby bags of acceptable size may be allowed after searched.

Laser pointers


Artificial noise makers and bullhorns

Balloons’ and Banners

Outside food or beverage



Dangerous Weapon  means those items which are, by their nature, capable of causing serious injury or death, including but not limited to firearms, knives, stilettos, daggers, switch knives, double edge knives, ballistic knives, knives with a detachable blade capable of being propelled, metallic knuckles, black jacks, blow guns, sling shots, nunchaku, zoobow, kung fu sticks, throwing stars, leather armbands or other clothing that has metallic spikes, points, or studs, explosives, explosive agents of any kind, chemical sprays, mace, oleoresin capsicum (pepper spray), tear gas, or other dangerous weapons or articles. Any item, including innocent items, when used in a dangerous fashion such as an assault and battery, may be considered a dangerous weapon.


Conference Sessions: 

·         Each attendee will receive a program book upon registration.  This will include a schedule of the day and the locations of each panel/discussion.

o   You do not need to pre-register for sessions, however we would like to hear from people planning on attending the following sessions:


Playwright/Director New Work Roundtable

§  If you are attending as a playwright, please email and let us know that you are planning to attend this session.  Prepare a brief pitch of your new work to share with directors!

§  If you are attending as a director/AD, please email and let us know that you are planning to attend this session.  Be prepared to discuss the type of new work that excites you and how you choose new work to be performed at your theater.

Ethics for Actors

§  If you are planning to attend this session, and have a specific question or issue that you would like to be addressed, please email with your question/discussion topic.  If you wish to remain anonymous, you will be able to submit your question at the start of the session on Saturday.


If you have any questions about the day, please email our Operations Coordinator at



When we picked our topic last September, we decided to focus on "Arts Activism: Where Do You Fit In?", thinking it would be about the theater community taking on a larger role in advocacy regarding government funding and space issues. Given the changes in the past few months, including the potential abolishment of the NEA and the NEH, we are expanding the focus of the conference. Rather than focusing on what the arts community needs, we are going to focus on what our statement of purpose is. How do we intersect with the community? What about with education? Science? Politics? The environment? What do we offer? Where can we do better? What is the role of the artist as citizen?

The day will include:

Morning (9am - 12:30pm)

  • A keynote address by writer, performer, actor and social artist Tory Bullock

  • A panel with theater artists who work in the activist space

    • Why are you an artist? What are you passionate about? Why do you do the work you do? Why does it matter? Hear local theater artists answer these questions, and get inspired to answer them yourself! What drives YOU?
  •  A conference wide session with Matt Wilson of MASSCreative to talk about arts advocacy, with some organizing lessons for the community. Matt will give us a view of the political landscape, where the arts currently reside, and where we need them to be.

Lunch (12:30 - 2pm)

  • At lunch we will have sessions for specific areas (marketing for new work, playwrights pitching to directors, raising money in 2017, etc.)

  • We will also have round-tables focusing on the business of the arts--this will be an opportunity for our sponsors to talk to folks one on one, and for attendees to learn about new opportunities in the field.


  • Ethics of Work (for actors only): A safe space for actors to discuss when to take a job, what to do if the work goes against your beliefs, codes of conduct for performers, what to do if you don't feel safe, etc.  Actors are encouraged to bring questions and topics they wish to discuss.
  • Playwrights and Directors New Work Roundtable: An in-depth conversation between the playwrights who write new work and the theaters that produce it. Playwrights will be invited to give a brief pitch of a play, and directors/ADs will be asked to talk about what kind of work excites them. Ways to strengthen and enrich the playwright/producer partnership will also be discussed. 
  • Expanding Your Audience Base:  How do you develop new audiences? What new tools are available to use?
  • Fundraising/How to Raise Money in 2017: Are social causes shrinking the donor base for the arts? How do we "compete"? Where are there opportunities to rethink the model? What happens if the NEA and NEH get defunded?
  • Work/Life Balance: How do you continue to work in theater while raising a family? Is it possible to balance your work in the theater with another job? How do you set up boundaries?
  • Access Initiatives: How can we break down barriers for artists with disabilities?
  • Designers as Activists: How does the role of "activist" influence the design of specific shows? What are the design challenges and emotional needs of working as a designer in the activist space?

 Afternoon (2 - 5pm)


  • Statement of Purpose drafting work: What is the purpose of the arts in 2017? What do we have to offer to the fields of science, social justice, inclusion, housing/space, education, the environment, immigrants and refugees, etc? How can we better incorporate the arts into the fabric of society, rather than having it be perceived as standing alone, and to the side? These working groups will produce a draft that will be shared with the rest of the convening later in the afternoon.

  • Politics/Government/Advocacy
  • Sustainability/Environment
  • Space and Partnership
  • Access and Equity
  • Racial Equity
  • Shifting to the Non-Binary
  • Social Justice
  • Gender Parity
  • Art and Science
  • Deaf Theater vs. ASL Theater Communication Paradigm
  • The Arts and Journalism
  • True Story Theater Workshop: Our theatre ensemble of 16 years using Playback Theatre (a form of improvisational theatre) to honor true stories from people's lives.

  • Devised Theater Workshop: Practitioners from the arts activism panel will work with folks to devise a piece to share with the community at the end of the day.

After the Conference: Draft statements will be shared, as well as the work that was created during the afternoon. Working groups will be formed to take the drafts and work on next steps in the creation of the statement of purpose, which will be shared late fall or early winter.




Help Us Promote!

  • Use #SC17ArtsAct on social media
  • RSVP to the event on Facebook and invite your friends!

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