2024 TCG National Conference: Chicago Volunteer Program

Volunteering at the TCG National Conference is a great way for students, independent  theatre professionals and other supporters of not-for-profit theatre to join the conference and stay connected to the theatre field. Volunteers from past conferences have reported being highly fulfilled by their TCG conference experience and interactions with TCG staff and the national theatre community. 

The deadline for all volunteer applications for the 2024 TCG National Conference in Chicago, IL was March 25, 2024 and is now closed. Please review the information below and on this page to learn more about the TCG National Conference Volunteer Program. If you have any questions about volunteer responsibilities, please contact [email protected]


Volunteer Perks

  • One-year individual membership to TCG, including a subscription to American Theatre magazine, which is back in print as of Fall 2023.
  • During unassigned times, volunteers are granted unlimited access to Conference programming.
  • Complimentary registration to the 2024 TCG National Conferencce: CHICAGO, and all staff meals while on-site during work shifts.


Volunteer Eligibility

Volunteers for TCG's National Conference must meet at least one of the following eligibility criteria:

  • Enrolled as either a full-time or part-time student at a post-secondary institution, as either a graduate or undergraduate studying arts administration or other applicable performing arts field.
  • Currently working as an intern, apprentice or fellow (paid or volunteer) for a fixed term, with a theatre organization, including a TCG Member Theatre.
  • Not currently employed in the performing arts sector but actively involved or seeking employment in this sector.
  • Employed part-time in the performing arts sector, including a TCG Member Theatre.

At this time, individuals employed full-time at a TCG Member Theatre are not eligible to volunteer at the Conference. 


Responsibilities & Additional Information

Complimentary registration for volunteers is contingent upon the volunteer meeting all expectations outlined below, and it may be revoked at any time by TCG if the volunteer is unable to fulfill these expectations.


Time Commitment

All volunteers are expected to perform between 8-10 hours of service during the Conference. Upon being invited to volunteer for this year’s Conference, volunteers will be assigned to shifts throughout the Conference programming. If conflicts arise that will prevent a volunteer from meeting their minimum requirement of hours, the volunteer may be asked to withdraw their application. Volunteers are asked to communicate all schedule changes that deviate from their applications to TCG as such changes arise. 

All volunteers are also required to attend a mandatory Volunteer Orientation that will be held either virtually or IRL (with a remote participation option) within the two weeks leading up to the Conference, for a duration of 60-90 minutes.


Shift Information and Role Descriptions

Registration Support: 2-3 hour shifts, which may include:

  • Assisting in distributing and assembling name badges as attendees arrive
  • Helping to direct traffic in the Hyatt hotel, or provide directions to Conference event and session locations
  • Answering attendee questions to the best of your ability, including supporting questions about using the Conference app


Programming Support: 75 minutes-3 hours in length, which may include:

  • Session support
    • Serving as a logistical support for sessions, including but not limited to:
  • transporting supplies between session spaces and Hyatt hotel as requested (not required for every session)
  • ushering attendees into seats
  • supporting with setting or resetting session spaces as needed (this may involve light furniture moving)
  • Working with venue staff on ensuring space set-up is in accordance with TCG’s requirements
  • Introducing and welcoming speakers (according to a provided script)
  • Helping to keep time for speakers and ensuring that any tech is running smoothly (a technical contact will be on call for all sessions to support Staff and Volunteers)
  • Encouraging attendees to evaluate sessions on the Conference app at the close of the session
  • Session monitoring
    • Attending and taking detailed notes on the experience of the session, including number of attendees, the content that is covered, and the perceived impact of the session on attendees
    • Submitting these notes to TCG within THREE days of the conclusion of the National Conference
    • Supporting TCG staff or other volunteers in the session as needed, especially during set-up and breakdown of the space
    • TCG makes every effort possible to assign volunteers to sessions that align with their areas of interest and vocation
  • TCG Trip support
    • Serving as logistical support for TCG Trips, which will range in scope from simple venue tours to interactive and immersive neighborhood experiences - including but not limited to: 
    • transporting supplies between TCG Trip locations and Hyatt hotel as requested (not required for every trip)
    • ushering attendees into transport vehicles and assuring all accessibility needs are met
    • supporting with setting or resetting TCG Trip spaces as needed (this may involve light furniture moving)
    • Working with venue staff on ensuring space set-up is in accordance with TCG’s requirements
    • Introducing and welcoming speakers (according to a provided script)
    • Helping to keep time for speakers and ensuring that any tech is running smoothly (a technical contact will be on call for all sessions to support Staff and Volunteers
    • Encouraging attendees to evaluate TCG Trips on the Conference app at the close of the trip


Event Support: 75 minutes-3 hours in length, which may include:

  • Ushering attendees into event spaces and checking TCG attendees in according to Conference lanyards
  • Supporting with on-the-ground transport coordination when multiple shuttles are in use
  • Working with venue staff on ensuring space set-up is in accordance with TCG’s requirements
  • Set up and breakdown of event space


City Guides: 30-60 minute shifts, which may include:

  • Ushering attendees between and into event and session spaces
  • Directing participants within venues or throughout neighborhood areas that are geographically challenging
  • Answering participant questions about venues or neighborhoods


Useful Skills and Relevant Knowledge Areas

This unique Chicago TCG conference, which is spread across an unprecedented number of venues and spaces, will require the help of local and out-of-town volunteers with a broad set of skills and backgrounds. Some useful skills and knowledge areas include, but are not limited to:

  • Technical knowledge + quick learning abilities (from basic A/V support, to Zoom and IT knowledge, to technical dexterity with new programs, like TCG’s Webex Conference app)
  • Knowledge of Chicago neighborhoods, theatre venues, and public transportation system (tour guide experience would be a special bonus)
  • Stage and production management (background knowledge in event or theatre production skill areas, from time management to logistical troubleshooting)
  • Customer service, front of house, and hospitality experience
  • Bi- or multilinguality with or without translating experience
  • Mental health and/or first aid training or experience
  • Critical writing or journalism experience, especially in recording and reflecting on creative content


Dress Code

The Conference attire is business casual and volunteers can dress accordingly. TCG asks that volunteers avoid garments with logos or branding from theatre companies, as TCG staff is also asked to do. Volunteers may be asked to move chairs and other light furniture or to stand for the duration of a shift, so shoes and clothing that are appropriate for these activities are encouraged. Any volunteers with access needs can indicate as such on their applications and will be exempt from performing tasks that prevent TCG from meeting those needs.


Participation During Sessions

 Assigned Sessions: While volunteers are working a shift and/or monitoring a session they are asked to refrain from participating in that session unless specifically requested or invited to do so by the session leader or a TCG staff member.

Unassigned Sessions: Volunteers are welcome to attend any sessions that do not conflict with their volunteer schedule. TCG will make every effort to distribute assignments, and to assign sessions according to volunteer interests, 4-5 weeks before the Conference. While volunteers may participate in discussions and/or Q&A periods during these sessions, they should keep in mind that as volunteers they represent TCG. Any opinions expressed by a volunteer may be perceived as the opinion of TCG, and volunteers are asked to remain mindful of this perception.


Volunteers will receive all available TCG staff meals during their volunteer shifts, generally served at the Hyatt hotel. If a volunteer's assignment coincides with a meal time, the volunteer should make arrangements to eat before or after the scheduled shift, if possible. If back-to-back duties do not leave sufficient time for meals, volunteers should let TCG staff know so special arrangements can be made or their schedule can be adjusted. Dietary restrictions will be collected as part of a volunteer’s conference registration, and considered in TCG’s staff meal provisions. When volunteers are attending the conference but not scheduled to work, they will be responsible for their own meals as any other conference participant.

Volunteer Application

Please submit this application by Monday, March 25, 2024, 11:59pm ET. If you have any questions as you apply or are considering applying, please contact TCG at [email protected]. Applications are reviewed by TCG staff and a small team of local Steering Committee members, who will work with TCG in communicating with volunteers leading up to and at the Conference. We will reply to all applications by April 15th!

Apply Now

Thank you for expressing your interest in working on the TCG Conference!