Crossing Borders, Pt 3: On the (Digital) Threshold/Atravesando Fronteras, parte 3: En el umbral (digital)

June 19-20, 2020 // 19-20 de Junio de 2020

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The Literary Managers & Dramaturgs of the Americas (LMDA) has grown over 35 years to become a multi-country service organization for artists working as literary managers, dramaturgs, and in other associated professions within the performing arts and beyond.

LMDA’s original plan was to hold the 2020 annual conference in Mexico City, but with the way the world has shifted and changed (much like our own specific field), the plans for this year needed to adjust accordingly. Therefore, the 2020 Conference is going “virtual,” and we will reconvene in person in Mexico City in 2021. As such, we will rename this conference “Crossing Borders, Pt. 3: On the (Digital) Threshold” and save the original 2020 conference name for the 2021 conference. Thus, “Crossing Borders” will have 4 incarnations by the end of the 2021 conference.

Over the past few years, we’ve been searching for ways to more actively open up our organization and conference – letting the larger theatre field know we want to encourage participation regardless of resources or location. This digital conference will enable us to move further in that direction. In addition, we are looking at the fee structure for this virtual conference that will facilitate all (who are interested) to join us for the conference.

In imagining the possibilities that lie within a virtual conference, we want to honor the original intent of the 2020 conference while also embracing conversations that reflect our current moment in time. Therefore, this conference will ask participants from across the globe to cross digital borders in order to attend. This will be a place to bring LMDA’s different constituencies together to discuss how dramaturgy lives and breathes in all of the countries our members and affiliated organizations represent.

Crossing Borders, Pt 3: On the (Digital) Threshold will connect artists from around the globe, in a conversation about the practice of dramaturgy in various countries, and in the digital realm. Within and beyond the context of this current moment, we will explore how dramaturgs engage with constraints, expansions, reboots, and evolving cultural circumstances. In addition, this conference will focus on the use of technology in new play and production dramaturgy, while also igniting a global conversation about the purpose/function/utility of dramaturgs by asking how virtual dramaturgy is practiced in varying countries.

Crossing Borders, Pt. 3 follows previous conferences in Toronto (2018) and Chicago (2019).

We invite attendees and presenters to explore how dramaturgy has developed by asking:

In what ways does digital dramaturgy…

  • shape storytelling, creative process, and the design of theatrical events?
  • establish and support innovative approaches to performance, theatre, and interdisciplinary collaboration in the performing arts and beyond?
  • facilitate necessary conversations within your institutions and communities?
  • promote inclusion on your stages and throughout our practice?
  • shape programming and decision making about what happens on stage?
  • cultivate new audiences and foster new artists?
  • spur political engagement and facilitate direct political actions?
  • understand how borders as physical, digital, and social constructs impact
  • the way theaters solicit, produce, and commodify art and artists?
  • works in translation and adaptation?
  • artists working across languages and affect the challenges and opportunities of
  • bilingualism in theatrical creation?
  • advance new cultural exchanges and understandings?
  • reinforce or disrupt borders, aesthetically, culturally, politically, and/or dramaturgically?

In addition, please feel free to recommend content that you would like to see (even if you are not interested in curating that panel).

VENUE | Online platform decision TBD.

DATE | June 19 & 20, 2020.


LMDA promotes the belief that theatre is a vital art form that has the power to nourish, educate, and transform individuals and their communities, and that dramaturgy is central to the process of theatre-making. To this end, we invite proposals for papers, presentations, panels, and other containers for discussion on the conference theme or other topics related to dramaturgical and literary management practice.

LMDA encourages and prioritizes proposals from diverse voices and artists. The conference venue is a fully accessible space – please contact the committee with any questions or access needs you would like to identify.

Our member-service organization is committed to the following objectives:

  • to affirm, support, and broaden the roles that literary managers and dramaturgs play in the theatre;
  • to promote the exchange of information about the function, practice, and value of literary management and dramaturgy;
  • to encourage cooperation among the practitioners and theoreticians of dramaturgy;
  • to expand the boundaries of the field and enrich our conversation about the making of live performance by welcoming colleagues from disciplines such as dance, opera, and performance art; and
  • to put emphasis on international exchange, as well as a commitment to diversity of form, culture, and content.

The deadline for proposals is MONDAY, APRIL 20, 2020. Members of the LMDA Conference Planning Committee will review and respond to all applicants by the end of April. We thank you for your ideas.

Please fill out the form below and email with any questions.

Conference Registration Info

All conference registrants will receive links to unique synchronous sessions closer to the conference date. A full conference schedule will be available on May 4th so participants can plan which sessions they’d like to attend synchronously. Guests will also be given access to an online repository for previously recorded asynchronous content, according to which registration they chose.

LMDA understands that many of our members are in challenging financial positions. As such, we have greatly reduced the registration rate for the conference.

Register Now

  • Full conference registration $ 50.00
  • Early Career Dramaturg conference registration $ 25.00
  • Latin America attendee conference registration $25.00
  • Friday only $ 30.00*
  • Saturday only $ 30.00*

*If registering for the day rate, only asynchronous content for the day is available

**Full conference registrants will have access to all asynchronous content 


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