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#UrgentExchange at NSTF 2017 is a partnership between Toronto Fringe & Generator, at Theatre Passe Muraille.

During NSTF we are hosting two Urgent Exchanges on important and timely issues for indie artists. To ensure we are discussing the things YOU want to talk about, we crowdsourced one of the topics using the hashtag #UrgentExchange. This is a free event to attend in person and everyone is invited to participate in the conversations leading up to, during and afterwards through the hashtag and via Periscope through Generator.  During last year's inaugural sessions, we trended #3 for the Toronto Area on Twitter and engaged artists from coast-to-coast.
How we crowdsourced a topic:For two weeks starting November 14, people were encouraged to propose topics using the hashtag #UrgentExchange. Based on retweets and favs, we selected the top three finalists which were announced at the Fringe Festival Lottery Party on November 25th. People then had one week to vote for the final topic via Twitter poll.

WHAT IS CRITICISM IN AN AGE WHERE ANYONE CAN BE A CRITIC?

Thursday Jan 12th 7:00pm-8:30pm
Theatre Passe Muraille, 16 Ryerson Ave

*Twitter sourced topic* When reviews can be crowdsourced and galvanized with a click of a button, what does that mean for theatre criticism? Generator's Executive Director Michael Wheeler leads a discussion on criticism in a self-publishing digital age. Are there new parameters to determining merit and informing audiences? Do critics require qualifications? What IS a review? Join the panel to discuss if we should we embrace all opinions as equal or leave theatre criticism to the experts.

  • Panelists:

    S.Bear Bergman is a storyteller, a theater artist, an instigator, a gender-jammer, and a good example of what happens when you overeducate a contrarian.  He has great faith in the power of theatre to make change, and has been putting his money where his mouth is on that one for some time. A writer, performer, and lecturer, Bear works full time as an artist and cultural worker and is a Senior Writer for Mooney on Theatre.

  • Carly Maga is a theatre critic for the Toronto Star, and has covered Toronto theatre since 2010. She has a Bachelor of Journalism from Ryerson University and a Master's in Theatre and Performance Studies from York University.
  • Michelle MacArthur is Assistant Professor at the University of Windsor's School of Dramatic Art. She is editor-in-chief of alt.theatre: cultural diversity and the stage and co-editor of the Fall 2016 issue of Canadian Theatre Review on Theatre Criticism. Her research on theatre criticism in the digital age has been published in Theatre Research in Canada, CTR, and the edited collection, Theatre Criticism: Changing Landscapes (2016).
  • Glenn Sumi is the associate entertainment editor (stage/film) at Toronto’s NOW Magazine where he’s written about theatre, film, dance and comedy for over 15 years. He’s written for several newspapers and magazines, has been a pop culture correspondent for CBC Radio and, for three years, was a weekly arts contributor to CTV NewsChannel’s weekend show.

THE WHITE GUY SHUFFLE: CHANGING HIRING PRACTICES IN CANADIAN THEATRE

Sunday Jan 15th 2:00pm-3:30pm
Theatre Passe Muraille, 16 Ryerson Ave

This past year over half a dozen Artistic Director jobs were up for grabs across Canada. While many were excited at the chance to finally diversify the leadership of some of our country's most recognizable institutions, all of the positions were filled by white men. How can we influence boards and hiring committees to change homogenous hiring practices? Come participate in a community conversation that will examine the mechanics of how these decisions are made and strategize how the community can be of influence.

Some background reading to prepare for the discussion (links in the article title):

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