Global Theater Initiative (GTI), a partnership between The Lab and Theatre Communications Group (TCG), hosted a Global Pre-Conference as part of TCG’s National Conference. The Global Pre-Conference embodied our collective pursuit of a highly participatory, inclusive nation without borders that includes and celebrates all theatre citizens. The theme for the Pre-Conference was Finding Home: Migration, Exile, and Belonging, and included 200 participants from nearly 25 countries in dialogue with artists and leaders from across the country.

Moderator Sonja Parks, Julius Tennon, Josette Bushell-Mingo, Lloyd Nyikadzino, and Nike Jonah (via Skype) participate in “Race, Colonization & Art: An Afro-Global Perspective.” (Photo by T Charles Erickson)

Through a dynamic and innovative range of performances, workshops, and discussions, we explored together the value of meaningful cultural exchange in the context of an increasingly polarized world, beset by so many forms of conflict and crisis (geopolitical, humanitarian, environmental, etc.).

Think Tank member Heather Raffo and Kyoung Park speak in the session “History and Home.”

The evening portion of the Global Pre-Conference was Prevented/Presented Performances. This forum focused on a range of performances from Serbia, Russia, Zimbabwe, Mali, Israel, Palestine, and Syria that due to political circumstances have not been able to be presented. The evening showcased the works themselves that were prevented as well as the complex reasons behind those decisions.

The final discussion in “Prevented/Presented Performances.” (Photo by T. Charles Erickson)

Lloyd Nyikadzino and Lab Fellow Gideon Wabvuta discuss Mbare Dreams (Zimbabwe). (Photo by T. Charles Erickson)

Lab Co-Director Cynthia Schneider and Mohamed Aly Ansar discuss the Timbuktu Renaissance (Mali). (Photo by T. Charles Erickson)

Watch the livestream of the 2016 Global Pre-Conference, courtesy of HowlRound TV: