IMTAL 2012 Regional Conference
Expanding the Museum Stage
Hosted by the Atlanta History Center
with the Imagine It! Children's Museum of Atlanta
August 17 - 19, 2012
Atlanta History Center
The event consisted of three exciting days full of panel discussions, performances, and workshop sessions that explored the conference theme: "Expanding the Museum Stage."
Museum theatre performances occur throughout a site’s exhibits, galleries and grounds. And they don’t stop there. Museum theatre is happening in schools, libraries, and other outside venues, occasionally as the only offering a museum has during renovation or building projects. This conference offered participants the opportunity to experience and explore the expansion of theatre beyond the stage, which can be done physically (as in outreach) thematically (as in content) or philosophically (as in methodology). A central discussion focused on how current work can immerse visitors in their museum experience.
Highlights of this year's conference included a keynote address by Scott Magelssen, editor of Enacting History and author of "Living History Museums: Undoing History through Performance?" and visits to the Georgia Aquarium, the Center for Puppetry Arts, Theatre Horizon, and both host museums. During group plenary sessions, participants discussed standards of best practice in museum theatre and the groundbreaking participatory experiences pioneered by the Out of Hand Theater company.
Check out the pre-conference schedule HERE!
Check out the final conference schedule handout HERE!
The registration fee included one dinner, two lunches, and tickets to performances at the Center for Puppetry Arts and Theatre Horizon.
IMTAL Member: $190
A block of rooms had been reserved at Staybridge Suites, located very close to the History Center. The rate was $105/night (plus 16% tax).
Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is a major hub for Delta Airlines and Air Tran, and is serviced by many others (including Southwest Airlines starting Feb 12, 2012). The airport is located seven miles south of the central business district of the city. Atlanta is a 3.25-hour drive from Columbia, SC, 4-hour drive from Nashville, and a 6.5-hour drive from Louisville, Memphis, Orlando, or Raleigh.
The conference was hosted by the Atlanta History Center, which is in the midst of a three-year initiative, called Meet the Past, to transform the visitor experience with immersive theatrical experiences across its 33-acrecampus. The Meet the Past team is working with History Center staff to create more participatory, thought-provoking, emotional, and inclusive historic house tours, school programs, and public programs. Meet the Past will offer participants a critical example of creating change through theatre within an established institution.
Imagine It! The Children's Museum of Atlanta co-hosted. Under the direction of Pamela C. Duncan, manager of museum programming, its Imaginator Program employs a troupe of professional actors called Imaginators who each have an extensive background in children’s theater, creative dramatics and education. Imaginators bring individual learning zones alive through zone-based performances from every day of the week with combined, 20 minute mini-musicals that involve the entire Imaginator team occurring twice a day.
If you attended the conference and would like access to the resources used, click here.