National Conference on Outdoor Theatre

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We are currently evaluating the National Conference on Outdoor Theatre and its current format. We are taking this opportunity to recalibrate and craft a conference to encourage broader participation and greater value. 

We plan to make announcements soon. Feel free to check back periodically or look for updates via email. If you are not on our email list, you can join on our homepage

Thank you for your understanding and patience as we work through this process.


In 2017, the Institute of Outdoor Theatre transitioned into its new partnership and management relationship with SETC. SETC is maintaining and building upon services that have long been valued by the outdoor theatre community, including Summer and Outdoor Theatre Auditions.

This groundbreaking national conference brings together renowned artists, directors, and enthusiasts from across the nation to explore the captivating world of open-air performances.

Each fall, theatre leaders from all backgrounds convene for a multi-day networking event where conference attendees trade insights and explore new concepts in design/technology, management and artistic approach.

Mark R. Sumner Award

Established in 1990, this award recognizes significant contributions by an individual to a specific outdoor drama, or to the outdoor drama movement as a whole, including but not limited to playwriting, directing, acting, design, theater architecture, patronage, scholarship, musical composition, technology and innovation, producing and administration. The award is presented annually at the National Conference on Outdoor Theatre.

A group of people are dancing in the middle of a stage.

Summer and Outdoor Theatre Auditions
SETC Outdoor Theatre hosts auditions for summer and outdoor theatres looking to cast acting, singing, dancing and stage combat positions. Interviews are also available for technical positions. Both outdoor and indoor theatres are invited to participate. Click the link below to learn more about these auditions.

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