Reported by Shugga Rosenbloom
What is ITJA?
Formerly known as the National Critics Institute, now the Institute for Theatre Journalism and Advocacy, ITJA challenges writers to embrace the technology and social media areas that are rapidly changing the field by writing blogs, previews, as well as position papers in addition to reviews, and to respond orally in the form of interviews, vlogs, and podcasts (often radio assignments); while working with specialists who currently embrace the technology of the 21st century.
The National KCACTF Office puts it this way: “The Institute for Theatre Journalism and Advocacy (ITJA) was established to assist in elevating the level of arts criticism and to provide writers the opportunity to grow at the same pace as the artists whose work they review and interpret.”
The New ITJA veers from the classroom model of just writing reviews and critiquing them in round table format and asks the advocates /critics to connect with those involved in directing, playwriting, acting, dramaturgy and other areas in the festival, possibly even sharing a workshop or an assignment. The aim is to have advocates /critics interview, observe, and intrinsically respond to the invited productions, as well as, actively interact with the rest of the festival, rather than working apart from it.
Who participates in ITJA?
All students from the region are eligible to participate in ITJA.
The Institute for Theater Journalism and Advocacy seeks students in all disciplines who are interested in advocating for theatre and for theatre artists. Your journalism and advocacy may look like writing for a major newspaper or magazine, hosting a podcast, or sharing images of artists in the making via social media. Through ITJA students will connect with guest advocates with diverse backgrounds in theatre, writing, journalism, criticism, etc., allowing you to further explore the many areas of your own interests, including playwriting, dramaturgy, technical theatre, or arts administration. You’re invited to explore the various avenues in which you can respond and ally with the many theatre activities before, during, and after the festival.
A student does not need to be nominated by a respondent or faculty member. The most important attributes participants share is a love of theatre, the ability to communicate, and a desire to use their skills to help contribute to the development of strong theatre.
And since you can participate with ITJA and in other areas of the festival at the same time, why not be the advocate on the inside of the KCACTF event in which you are already going to participate?
Just list the other areas you’re working with on your registration form so we can support you and schedule accordingly.