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Annual Conference 2017
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Theatre Bay Area’s Annual Conference is the premiere theatre industry convening in the western United States, offering attendees the opportunity to network with over 400 industry professionals, share philosophies on trending issues, develop skills, and build community. Its the place to get the information and contacts you need to take your organization or individual career to the next level.

Don’t miss your chance to join the conversation with the best and brightest industry professionals in the Bay Area—and beyond!

Thanks to everyone who made the 2017 Theatre Bay Area Conference such a SUCCESS!  


Key Lineup for the 2017 Annual Conference

Keynote Address from Nina Simon

Executive Director, Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History

Bay Area arts leader Nina Simon, lauded as a “visionary” by Smithsonian Magazine and considered a rock star in the museum world, will share her strategies for an audience-centered approach to building relevance. An engaging and highly sought-after speaker, Ms. Simon will focus the ideas put forward in her new book The Art of Relevance for our work as West Coast theatre makers. Ms. Simon has consulted with hundreds of international cultural centers on issues of relevance, community engagement, and participatory design. In addition, her work has been shared in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, NPR, and TEDx. 


Confronting Inequity on Stage

A Special Performance of Type/Caste by Rotimi Agbabiaka

Following the time-honored theatre maxim of “show don’t tell,” actor, writer, and Theatre Bay Area features curator Rotimi Agbabiaka will lay bare issues surrounding equity-diversity-inclusion (EDI) not in a lecture but in a riveting (and hilarious) excerpt from his one-man show Type/Caste: A Solo Show About Acting While Black (& Queer). A facilitated discussion will follow the performance.


Presentation of the Will Glickman Award

Julia Cho and Berkeley Repertory Theatre for Aubergine

This year’s Will Glickman Award for best new play to premiere in the region will be presented to Julia Cho and Berkeley Repertory Theatre for Aubergine, which ran to wide acclaim in early 2016. The award was established in 1984 and is chosen by a panel of leading Bay Area theatre critics. This year's panel included Sam Hurwitt, Karen D’Souza, Chad Jones, Jean Schiffman and Robert Avila.


Speed Consulting

Individualized Coaching Sessions

One of the most popular conference sessions returns! Attendees can participate in a 15-minute, individualized coaching session to discuss a professional challenge, idea, or goal with industry experts. Participants gain guidance articulating intentions, building motivation, and learning tools for success.


Arts Policy in a Changed World

Bay Area Leaders Share Strategies for Activism & Advocacy

The cultural directors of the Bay Area's major cities join in conversation with representatives from the state and federal governments to assess the new realities, discuss local and statewide responses, and explore strategies for activism and advocacy. With Tom DeCaigny, Director of Cultural Affairs, City & County of San Francisco; Kerry Adams Hapner, Director of Office of Cultural Affairs, City of San Jose, Roberto Bedoya, Cultural Affairs Manager, City of Oakland and more. 


Breakout Sessions

 Dozens of workshops will be available throughout the day all along the arts corridor in Downtown Berkeley tailored to meet the needs of individual artists, administrators, and arts leaders alike, including:


Thanks to our venue hosts: Roda Theatre, Aurora Theatre and the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre!

Click here for a (constantly updating) schedule!

Click here for bios of our breakout panel speakers!



There are a variety of ways to attend the conference for individuals and groups from organizations. Members save $15 - join Theatre Bay Area today to save! In addition, groups of two or more save an additional 10%.

Non-Member Individual Price: $85

Member Individual Price: $70



Sponsorship Opportunities

Interested in connecting with the Annual Conference attendees and greater theatre community? Make an impact and gain exposure for your organization by sponsoring this year's Annual Conference! 

Click here to download the list of sponsorship levels, opportunities, and benefits.