This February welcomes the return of the Boston Theatre Conference. The 2011 Conference, Home Grown investigates the parallels between the Slow Food Movement (http://www.slowfoodusa.org) and a Slow Arts Movement. What do we mean when we say Slow Food? We mean; local, sustainable, lively, fresh and lush. Slow Food is a way of living and a way of eating where taste and appreciation for locally grown food is cultivated. This year’s conference is an opportunity for us to start the conversation and to strategize about what a Slow Arts Movement is, how we create the environment for this shift and what elements from Slow Food we should look at in building our own campaign. Artists from many of the area’s most vibrant companies will be on hand to talk about the advantages of supporting local theatre. This is an opportunity for you the theatre lover to speak to them about their companies, the type of work they do, what their missions are and the why and the how they support local. Pop-up performances will be peppered throughout each day so that attendees may sample the neighborhood fare.
Scheduled to speak is area restaurateur Barbara Lynch whose ventures include No. 9 Park, B&G Oysters, and The Butcher Shop. Ms. Lynch will speak about Slow Food in Boston and how it has changed the attitudes of both the producers and consumers towards supporting local food. The Huntington Theatre Company’s Michael Maso will talk about the changes he has witnessed in Boston Theatre over the years. Attendees will be able to participate in workshops ranging from the ins and outs of a portfolio career to what we can learn from community theatre. We’ll spend the rest of the conference examining how to put the tenants of Slow Food into practice.
In the past conference attendees have skewed towards theatre practitioners, and often those at a mid point in their careers, but the Boston Theatre Conference is for everyone. Slow Food calls for consumers to be participants, to act as co-producers. This is our call to you. Anyone who loves theatre, or is interested in theatre is encouraged to attend. We’ve begun a blog (https://bostontheatreconference.wordpress.com/ ) to start the dialogue before February’s event. Visit the blog weekly and “like” us on Facebook to keep up with the conversation online. Watch for the twitter hashtag #BTC11, in the StageSourceBos twitter feed. When you have an idea, contact us. You voice should be heard, and we’d love you to be a guest blogger. Speak with your friends and colleagues about the issues and ideas presented ahead of the meeting, and come ready to join the conversation in February.
Now is the time for all of us to get involved and come to the conference buzzing with ideas and inspiration. They key to the Boston Theatre Conference’s success is engagement. We hope you’ll join us on-line now and in person in February.
Tickets to Home Grown: The Boston Theatre Conference 2011, are available at www.stagesource.org. Click on the Programs and Events link on the menu bar and look for Home Grown.