Join critics, editors, producers, actors, directors, funders, and the theater community for a conference, Rethinking Theater Criticism, Saturday, February 18 and Saturday, February 25, 2023 to understand and envision the future of theatrical criticism. All events are free; advance registration is required for some sessions.

Conference Keynote Session

Conference Keynote Session

GALA Hispanic Theater, Sat. Feb 25, 4-5:15pm

The keynote session will feature speeches by Diep Tran (Playbill), Peter Marks (Washington Post), Soyica Colbert (Shakespeare Theatre), Reginald Douglas (Mosaic Theater), Molly Smith (Arena Stage), Nicole Hertvik (DC Theater Arts), and Katherine Kendall (She Said), related to the conference topic. Each 6 to 10-minute speech will contribute to a collective vision for the future of theater journalism. GALA is located at 3333 14th St. NW WDC.

Keynote Details and Bios Session Video

Panel Sessions: Saturday Feb 25, 2023

A Conversation with Theater Funders

Studio Acting Conservatory, Saturday Feb 25, 1-2:00pm

Join DC area theater funders David Shiffrin, Susan Butler, John Hauge, and David Markey, moderated by Robert Bettmann, to discuss the role of arts journalism. This panel will occur live in person at Studio Acting Conservatory, 3423 Holmead Pl NW.

Session Details and Bios Session Video

A Community Roundtable with DC-area Theater Critics

Studio Acting Conservatory, Saturday Feb 25, 2:15-3:45pm

Have you always wanted to ask a question of a critic, or critics? This roundtable is a chance to dialogue, be heard, and make connections. Join DC-area theater critics Peter Marks (Washington Post), Celia Wren (Washington Post), Sarah Marloff (Washington City Paper), John Stoltenberg (DC Theater Arts), Andre Hereford (Metro Weekly), and Chris Klimek (Washington City Paper) to discuss the highlights and challenges of covering theater in the DC area. This panel will occur live in person at Studio Acting Conservatory, 3423 Holmead Pl NW.

SEssion Details and Bios Session Video

Workshops with Peter Marks, Celia Wren, and Nicole Hertvik

On the in person conference date, three free theater criticism workshops were offered. Advanced registration required and space is limited to ensure all attendees have opportunities to interact with instructor. All three workshops occur at the same time; unless you possess a time-turner please only register for ONE of the workshops.

Details and Workshop Leader Bios

New Theater Critics Cohort

A cohort of New Theater Critics was hired within the conference. The cohort members, pictured, participated in two workshops and attended a show and wrote a practice review prior to the conference date. They will each attend one of the conference workshops on Feb 25, and will be assigned a first review for publication in DC Theater Arts, The DC Line, or DC Trending.

Learn more about the new theater critics cohort

Online Sessions: Saturday Feb 18, 2023

The Role of Arts Journalism and the Demands for a White American Theater

Online Panel, Saturday Feb 18, 1-2:15pm

Published in 2020, the BIPOC Demands for a White American Theatre document outlines steps necessary to make theater more equitable, and includes specific demands related to theater coverage and arts journalism as a field. The panelists will discuss the document and reflect on ways in which progress is or is not being made in alignment with the demands. Moderated by Soyica Colbert with Khadijah Ali-Coleman, Elliot Williams, and Reginald Douglas.

Details and Panel Bios Session Video

New Models In Theater Criticism

Online Panel, Saturday Feb 18, 7:00-8:30pm

Join moderator Rob Weinert-Kendt (American Theatre Magazine) and panelists Jose Solis (BIPOC Theater Critics Lab / DidTheyLikeIt.com), Lauren Halvorson (Nothing for the Group newsletter), Nicole Hertvik (DC Theater Arts), and Patrick Flynn (The Original Cast podcast) for a discussion of new models in theater criticism.

Details and Panel Bios Session Video

Reviewing Outside Your Identity

Online Panel, Saturday Feb 18, 2:30-3:45pm

Join moderator John Stoltenberg (DC Theater Arts) along with panelists Sarah Rose Leonard and Brittani Samuel (3Views on Theater), André Hereford (Metro Weekly), and Chris Klimek (Washington City Paper) for a discussion about the challenges and obligations when reviewing work created by artists whose identity — race, gender, ethnicity, sexuality, etc. — is different from one’s own.

Details and Panel Bios Session Video

Pivoting to Visual

Online Panel, Saturday Feb 18, 4:00-5:00pm

Join moderator Nicole Hertvik and panelists James Gardiner (Signature Theatre), Maggie and Doug Wilder, (District Theatre), and Kobi Kassal (Theatrely.com) for a discussion on journalists pivoting to visual mediums. People are increasingly getting their news through visual mediums like TikTok and Instagram. How can arts journalism embrace this pivot to visual? Where does the written word fit into a visual future?

Details and Panel Bios Session Video

Conference Partners

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