Formerly known as the National Critics Institute, the Institute for Theatre Journalism and Advocacy seeks to elevate the level of arts criticism in the United States and to nurture writers to grow and adapt with the ever-evolving art of theater about which they write.

ITJA challenges writers to embrace the technology and social media that are rapidly changing the field by writing blogs, previews, and position papers in addition to reviews. Participants are encouraged to be the connectors and communicators that this evolving field requires by actively seeking out opportunities for collaboration with other disciplines at the festival. In addition to attending writing workshops and productions, participants will interact with a large variety of disciplines, interviewing, observing, and actively responding to the work of their fellow artists.

ITJA recognizes that theater writers and advocates often have several areas of interest in the world of theater and facilitates participation in festival workshops outside the program. At the conclusion of the festival, one promising ITJA participant will be nominated for consideration by the National Selection Panel to be one of four advocates invited to Washington D.C. Of those four finalists, one advocate will have the opportunity to study, all expenses paid, at the National Critics Institute at the O’Neill Theater Center.

We are pleased to welcome Chris Klimek back again this year as our guest artist.  Klimek is a freelance writer based in Washington. D.C. and has written for NPR, The Washington Post, The Village Voice, Slate, The Guardian and more.

To be a Participant:

Region IV welcomes all students who are interested in exploring how their writing can comment on and promote theater work. There are no application requirements per se, just a willingness to come and dive into some new ways of thinking about writing and communicating your thoughts about the theater you see. So consider making the ITJA workshops part of your KCACTF experience this year. The only thing we ask is that should you find you cannot take part, please let us know as soon as possible so that we may plan our schedule accordingly.

If you are interested in participating in ITJA for the 2020 Conference, please contact

Region IV ITJA Coordinator Andre Minkins at minkinsan@wssu.edu


Winner, Region IV ITJA Advocate Award
First Runner Up for Region IV ITJA Advocate Award