See below for further information.

Add Your Voice to the Future of Theatre

We invite you to explore the many ways that theatre journalists respond to theatrical productions. This group of students explore the variety of ways that theatre criticism, advocacy and writing opportunities can be approached to have a voice and an opinion about theatrical productions. JOIN US FOR THIS ONE ON ONE AND SMALL GROUP EXPERIENCE WITH A PROFESSIONAL THEATRE CRITIC LEADING THE WAY!

About the Institute

If you join the Institute for Theatre Journalism and Advocacy (ITJA) you will participate in a series of seminars focusing on the transitional nature of theatre criticism in our technological world. A professional theatre critic will lead the workshops and mentor you with input from the ITJA Coordinator. The types of topics 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 or starting your own blog!!

If you commit to participating in ITJA, you will attend up to three productions that have been invited to the festival. You will write critiques or responses about the assigned shows. Reviews must be written for an audience that includes the general readership of the festival attendees. The approximate length of the reviews will be around 500 words or may vary. You will be given strategies that assist you in your 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 first seminar in Madison.

At the awards ceremony, one participant will be honored and will receive a cash award as well as the opportunity to be considered as one of four regional critic nominees who will be invited to attend the national festival in Washington D. C. A regional runner up will also be honored. One of the four critics invited to the national festival will receive an all-expenses paid workshop to attend the Eugene O’Neill Center in Waterford, CT, where the group works with established professional critics. Our KCACTF, Region III has had several students selected as the finalist who attended the O’Neill!

The daily ITJA workshops during the 2019 festival 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/panelist, a reader for the Undergraduate Theatre Scholar Award and a workshop leader. She is the Chair of the Theatre Department at University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, is a professional director, actor and teaches acting, voice for the actor and improvisation.

The Theatre Institute of Journalism and Advocacy

There is no entry fee, but entry is limited to the first FOURTEEN students who register. The registration requirements for this group are minimal but must be completed in a timely manner.

ITJA does not conflict with the preliminary rounds of the Irene Ryan Auditions. You need a laptop computer or surface for the seminars. 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 at


Phillip Effiong

Phillip Effiong

Institute for Theatre Journalism and Advocacy Coordinator

Michigan State University
Associate Professor of English & Theater Studies
225 Auditorium Building
Michigan State University
East Laqnsing, MI 48824

Subscribe To Our Faculty Newsletter

Faculty, please join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!