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Deadline Nov. 18, 2016

Contact: Institute for Theatre Journalism and Advocacy Coordinator

Critics, Dramaturgs, & Scholars

The Institute for Theatre Journalism and Advocacy (ITJA) January 2017


(Formerly the O'Neill Critics Institute)

Updated November 29, 2016

Critics, Dramaturges and other Scholars

A NEW DIRECTION CONTINUES…Add Your Voice to the Future of Theatre

We invite you to explore the many ways that theatre journalists are now able to respond to theatrical productions. We are moving into new territory with more variety incorporated into the writing opportunities mentioned below with more access to and feedback from our Professional Theatre Critic. JOIN US!

About the Institute

Students entered in the Institute for Theatre Journalism and Advocacy will participate in a series of seminars focusing on the transitional nature of theatre criticism in our technological world. A professional theatre critic and the ITJA Coordinator will lead the workshops and mentor the participants. Types of topics to be included in the institute are the professional life of the critic, online criticism, issues in criticism and strategies for finding employment in this competitive field.

Participants will be assigned up to three shows that they must see and then write a written critique or response. Reviews must be written for the general readership of those attending the festival. The approximate length of the reviews will be between 500 and 600 words.

Student critics will have their reviews/responses to the productions posted on in the online festival program/guidebook. Participants will be given strategies that assist their development as critics/journalists. The seminar schedule will be in place prior to the festival and the deadlines and process to be followed during the festival will be announced at the organizational meeting in Milwaukee.

One participant will be selected to receive a cash award and the opportunity to be considered for an expenses-paid trip to the national festival. A runner up will also be selected. The student participant who is selected at the national festival will receive an all-expenses paid workshop at the Eugene O'Neill Center in Waterford, CT, where he or she will work with established professional critics.

The daily ITJA workshops will be hosted by Institute for Theatre Journalism and Advocacy Regional Coordinator, Jane Purse-Wiedenhoeft who has been active in KCACTF as an Irene Ryan Judge, Selection Committee Member, a Ten-Minute Play reader and panelist, a reader for the Undergraduate Theatre Scholar Award and workshop leader. She is an Associate Professor of Theatre at University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, a professional director and actor, and is a Certified Teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework®. The professional critic who will lead the ITJA seminars will be announced closer to the festival.

Entry Procedure

There is no entry fee, but entry is limited to the first FOURTEEN students who register.

Send an email to the Institute for Theatre Journalism and Advocacy Chair at with the information listed below.
DEADLINE: November 18, 2016
EXTENDED DEADLINE: December 9, 2016

To enter: Please send an e-mail containing your name, street address, cell (or other) phone number, e-mail address, major, class rank (sophomore, graduate student etc.) and educational institution, noting your intention to be part of the KCACTF 2017 Institute for Theatre Journalism and Advocacy.

In a student's application letter, the following paragraph must be included: "I agree to attend ALL of the Institute's daily workshops and to attend and review festival main stage productions from among those designated by the ITJA coordinator. I understand that failure to do so will lead to my elimination from the Institute for Theatre Advocacy." The letter will be considered contractual. Each student must have a faculty member verify that she/he is a current part-time or full-time student, and to serve as a reference by emailing the ITJA Coordinator.

Students must bring a laptop computer with them. If this presents a problem, notify the ITJA Regional Coordinator IN ADVANCE and an attempt will be made to assist you.

If you have any questions about these procedures, feel free to contact the Institute for Theatre Journalism and Advocacy Regional Coordinator Jane Purse-Wiedenhoeft by e-mail.


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