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American Alliance for Theatre and Education Announces Online Conference

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American Alliance for Theatre and Education Announces Online Conference

For the first time in its history, The American Alliance for Theatre and Education (AATE), the nation's grassroots professional development organization for educators, scholars, administrators, playwrights, performance artists, and students will host a virtual conference from July 23-August 2, 2020.

With a sliding scale for admission from $25-$125, the virtual conference provides unprecedented access to professional development from a diverse array of theatre and education practitioners from around the world.

Need-based scholarships are also available, to allow free admission.

Artists and educators who work at the intersection of theatre and education are professionally at-risk because of budget cuts in schools and theatre shutdowns across the globe due to COVID-19. AATE's 2020 conference allows participants to engage and organize, without the barrier of price or travel.

In partnership with Broadway On Demand, theatre educators will participate in a high-quality virtual conference experience from their homes. Other partners include Disney Theatrical Group and Music Theatre International (MTI). The conference has received federal support from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).

Traditionally, the annual conference is hosted in a different United States city every summer. The 2020 conference was originally planned to take place in Phoenix, Arizona.

"While the conference is now on a fully digital platform, the content continues to focus on the work of theatre artists and educators in the greater Phoenix area," said Aimee Reid (she/her/hers), AATE board member and conference chair.a?? "We've preserved much of the original intention of the Phoenix 2020 conference and all there is to learn and celebrate from the area. Regular conference attendees will notice many traditional conference activities carrying over to this new iteration, and we hope a virtual format will be inviting for those who may have never participated in an AATE conference before."

"We are really excited to be able to move the conference to the virtual platform," said Dr. Jennifer Katona (she/her/hers), AATE's board chair. "AATE believes that this is a great opportunity for our network to expand and more theatre educators will have access to the important, timely, and necessary conversations and workshops we have a??planned. We also understand the financial strains that COVID-19 has placed on our community. Therefore everyone is encouraged to attend, and we'll be offering a sliding scale. Anyone who would like to attend will have that opportunity."

"Broadway On Demand is proud to partner with AATE on their virtual conference this year," said Tralen Doler, Broadway on Demand's vice president. "AATE is an invaluable resource and we are honored to make their work accessible to everyone."

In response to recent civic activism against systemic racism, AATE is partnering with the Arts Administrators of Color Network (AAC) to present the first-ever Accomplices Leadership Institute (ALI) during the AATE 2020 conference. The historic partnership between ALI and AATE is designed for white arts leaders and educators who are committed to being anti-racist change agents in their communities.

Affinity groups will provide conscious and engaging spaces for various cultural communities.

"The desired impact is that we bring anti-racist education to the people who seek it," said Alexis Truitt (she/her/hers), managing director of AATE and AAC member. "AAC and AATE are in lock-step in bringing together the empathy the world is seeking and the change for equality that is long overdue."

The conference will be constructed with asynchronous and synchronous events that emphasize research, collaboration, and networking. The schedule is intentionally designed to avoid "Zoom fatigue" and respect the working status of participants and parents.

Participants can register for AATE's 2020 Virtual Conference at


Who: AATE, the nation's grassroots organization for educators, students, playwrights, scholars, performance artists, administrators, and advocates for theatre and education.

What: A virtual conference this summer, with unprecedentedly low prices to increase access world-wide.

Where: Online at

When: July 23-August 2, 2020.

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