National New Play Network Announces 2021 Virtual Conference | #speeddating | #tinder | #pof | #blackpeoplemeet


National New Play Network will host its second fully virtual Annual Conference this Friday June 11 and Saturday June 12. The event – free and open to the public – is hosted on the Hopin event platform.

The conference’s theme – Growing Forward: Transcending the Transactional – responds to the notion that the American theater’s audiences are made of individual humans – and so are the theaters’ staffs. If we are all more than “butts in seats” or cogs in an art-making machine, how can relationships between theater-makers and communities be deepened and made truly mutually beneficial? How can audiences become invested co-creators in a theater’s mission, vision, and values?

How can we transform transactional relationships into vibrant partnerships as we grow forward toward a more equitable, robust, and responsive American theater?

National New Play Network’s 2021 Annual Conference aims to explore these questions, provoke still others, and share the expertise, curiosity, and paradigm shifts occurring within and just adjacent to our community of new play makers and lovers nationwide.

The conference day will consist of a series of 45-minute conversations featuring new play colleagues from across the Network on the topics and questions below. Along with our panelists – some of the Network’s most innovative rising and veteran visionaries – you’ll spend the day contemplating new ways of thinking, as well as concrete examples of how implementing these concepts can inspire your own theater-making and/or theater-going.

All Conference events are free to attend.

On June 11, the Conference kicks off with a Playwrights’ Slam that will feature eight new-to-NNPN writers who were nominated by current NNPN Affiliated Artists. This event will also take place on the Hopin platform.

Scheduled speakers for June 12th events (detailed below) include: Courtney Elkin Mohlerr, Leslie Ishii, RĂ©al Vargas Alanis, Vickie Ramirez, Haley Nelson, Patrice Amon, Peggy McKowen, Nichole Palmietto, India Burton, Bonnie Butkas, Jacqueline Flores, Alison Qu, Andy Lowe, Jasmine Brooks, Dominic D’Andrea, Jamil Jude, Joseph Biagini, Ken-Matt Martin, Kristen Jackson, Reg Douglas, Howard Shalwitz, Kisha Jarrett, Tara Branham, Jack Reuler, Elaine Romero, and Raymond O Caldwell.

For each panel’s speaker line-up, please visit our registration page.


9am AKST / 10am PT / 11am MT / 12pm CT / 1pm ET
Decolonizing Theater’s Relationship with Audiences
What do non-extractive, anti-racist, and interdependent relationships with audience, community, and the land look like?


10am AKST / 11am PT / 12pm MT / 1pm CT / 2pm ET
New Work Development as Audience Relationship Development
How can inviting audiences to be part of the new work process deepen our relationships with them?

Language & Messaging Specific to Communities of Interest
What we say is important – but so is how we say it. How can we adjust our message to best connect with the intended recipients?


11am AKST / 12pm PT / 1pm MT / 2pm CT / 3pm ET
Symbiotic Community Partnerships
How can partnerships between theaters and other social sector organizations create a solid foundation for shared progress?
Digital Engagement for Accessibility, Reach, & Relationships
How can innovations created or deepened during the past year lead to greater engagement with existing and new audiences?


12pm AKST / 1pm PT / 2pm MT / 3pm CT / 4pm ET

Featuring randomized “speed-dating” in the Hopin Networking space, an attendee-favorite from the 2020 National Showcase of New Plays


1pm AKST / 2pm PT / 3pm MT / 4pm CT / 5pm ET
Centering the Audience During Leadership Change
Leadership shifts can be important times for audience development. How can new leaders keep their audiences front of mind?
Creating Buy-In of Mission Among Donors and Board
The Board of Directors has fiduciary oversight – but how can empowering them to “own” the mission increase investment and engagement?


2pm AKST / 3pm PT / 4pm MT / 5pm CT / 6pm ET
Repositioning Theaters as
Community Service Organizations
What does it look like to reimagine how an arts institution defines, listens to, and creates work by, for, about, and with its audiences?



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