Devise a Piece at the National Conference!


Site-Specific, Devised Pieces
Open to all AATE conference attendees. No additional fee!
Enroll by the "Early Bird" deadline (April 22nd) to participate! 
Already registered? It's not too late. Contact Alexis at:   
What role does the arts play during socially challenging times? How can it be used as a tool to promote peace, dialogue, and social change? What are the implications of using mass media to quell violent protest? On April 5, 1968, following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., cities across the country braced for a second night of violence. In Boston, city officials struggled to keep the peace in the city’s predominately Black neighborhoods. Fearing violence would spread to the heart of the city, they contemplated cancelling a concert by James Brown at the Boston Garden. Thomas Atkins, Boston’s first African American City Councilor, came up with a potential solution: televise the concert to keep people in their homes and off the streets. High-stakes negotiations between Boston’s new Mayor Kevin White, James Brown, and Atkins ensued. That night Boston’s public television station broadcast the concert and the city remained relatively calm.
Explore our conference theme by bringing this vital piece of history to life through theatre. Work with some of Boston’s top directors and theatre educators to explore the critical themes and questions raised by the negotiations and subsequent broadcast. Discover how primary source documents can serve as catalyst for creating theatre for people of all ages. Using a variety of devising methods, groups will create dynamic theatre pieces that challenge us to see history through multiple perspectives. These methods can be used to develop theatre with and for youth, as well as in applied theatre, applied drama, community building, and more. Groups will share their pieces at selected sites in and around the historic Boston Park Plaza at an all conference event!