So, you say you want a (R)Evolution?

by Devon Berkshire

in Audience & Community Engagement,National Conference

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As we at TCG work furiously on all our ongoing events, we’re constantly thinking about how each in-person convening informs the next. We’re forever mindful of the lifespan of these events, and always challenged to keep the meaningful discourse afloat and connected after one event passes us and the next approaches.

TCG’s upcoming Audience (R)Evolution Learning Convening will afford two-and-a-half days to discuss all things audience engagement and community development. As with the 2012 Fall Forum on Governance: Leading the Charge, we’ll have the advantage of a singular focus (though, as with the subject of Diversity and Inclusion at the Forum, the layers within that focus are limitless). Almost 200 people will join us in Philadelphia for charged conversations, model-sharing and idea exchange, the content and outcomes of which we hope to share widely via avenues like Conference 2.0 and live streaming.

While we’re very excited about the prospects for this intimate Convening, and while TCG’s Audience (R)Evolution program will continue into the next phase…. Well, how many revolutions have you heard of that lasted two-and-a-half days and involved fewer than 200 people?

What transpired at the Fall Forum was remarkable. Audience (R)Evolution has equally amazing things in store. But these gatherings are just moments within two very substantial shifts that our field is undergoing—and we all know that in true revolutions,  conversations do not stop (or even slow down) after singular events!

We want to bring the revolution to Dallas’s door for the 1,200-person 2013 National Conference: Learn Do Teach, June 6-8. Along with Diversity, as Gus reflected on last week, Audience Engagement is a key focus of TCG’s strategic plan. This is a deep, rich issue to mine, within which there is so much innovation to share, and the Philly convening will surely only scratch the surface. Why not pick up where we leave off in Philly by creating a programmatic arc around Audience Engagement in Dallas? Are you with me?

In order to make the National Conference truly expand on the dialogue that you have had, are having, and want to have about Audience Engagement, we need you to speak up: tell us what you need to Learn, what you’d love to Do and want you might be able to Teach.

Are you ready to Learn how social media can lead to real growth in attendance? Teach your successful strategy for turning first-time ticket buyers into passionate ambassadors for your theatre? Transform how our movement thinks about what audience engagement really means? We’ve made it really easy to Do! Just fill out the Conference Planning Form today. (And for more insight on what the heck this thing is, read Dafina’s post on Uniting the 1,200 Conferences.)

Don’t wait. Don’t fret about composition or spelling – this isn’t a proposal form. This is your chance to help us plan the next Conference, and hey, maybe even the one after that. And the one after that…


Devon Berkshire is the Conference Manager at Theatre Communications Group (TCG) and as the logistics arm of the Communications and Conferences team, handles the programming and planning of TCG’s in-person convenings, most notably the widely attended annual National Conference. A longtime event planner and theatre person, she is also a founder and Board Co-President of non-profit theatre company Studio 42, and has produced a variety of innovative plays, workshops and exciting events with the company. Prior to joining TCG, Devon produced corporate events in the financial sector, and ran an independent event-planning company, Jax & Devo. Devon holds a B.A. from Vassar College and an M.F.A. in acting from the American Repertory Theatre’s Institute at Harvard University and Moscow Art Theatre. Read her musings, on theatre and beyond, here.