Institute for Theatre Journalism and Advocacy


The Institute for Theatre Journalism and Advocacy is looking for your school’s best writers, not only from theater but also from journalism, public relations, multimedia, and other disciplines, to explore the ways words can connect artists and audiences. These writers will be invited to investigate and innovate, drawing inspiration from and sharing ideas with fellow artists from all over their region, while they refine the written expression of their ideas under the guidance of nationally recognized arts journalist, theater critic, writer, and founder of, Andy Propst.

ITJA, formerly known as the National Critics Institute, 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.

This newly remodeled program expands on the original National Critics Institute, encouraging writers to explore beyond the classroom model of writing reviews and to embrace the technology and social media that are rapidly changing the field by writing blogs, previews, and position papers, tweeting, and even doing radio assignments. This new configuration of the program is designed to reflect the reality that increasingly few professional theater writers today work in the traditional newspaper model and are just as likely to be dramaturgs, arts administrators, public relations specialists, television or radio pundits, and creative writers.

The New ITJA encourages participants 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. The New 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. to study with critics such as Peter Marks from The Washington Post. Of those four finalists, one advocate will have the opportunity to study, all expenses paid, with Chris Jones at the National Critics Institute at the O’Neill Theater Center.

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 (and this is the rather simple requirement) 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 2017 Conference in Statesboro, GA, please contact Region IV ITJA Coordinator Katie Rasor at