Howlround Theater Commons Home Page

Welcome to HowlRound

hundreds of people gathered on stage for a group photo

Latinx Theatre Commons' Encuentro in Los Angeles, 2017.

We’re a free and open platform

for theatremakers worldwide.

We amplify progressive, disruptive ideas about theatre and facilitate connection between diverse practitioners. We function as a  “commons”—a social structure that invites open participation around shared values. All of the content (essays, videos, podcasts) on HowlRound comes from the theatre community who chooses to participate—that means you!

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What's New

Following Curiosity and Keeping the Apocalypse at Bay
Essay

Following Curiosity and Keeping the Apocalypse at Bay

Tony Taccone and Pam MacKinnon in Conversation

18 November 2018

Berkeley Rep’s outgoing artistic director Tony Taccone talks with new artistic director of A.C.T. Pam MacKinnon about moving from freelancing to running an institution and vice versa, the language used to talk about a company’s vision, subscriptions as economic foundation of theatre, and more.

two women sitting on a couch
Still Here, Still Enraged
Essay

Still Here, Still Enraged

A Manifesto

15 November 2018

Joanna Lugo and Leah Harris use Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions as a framework to speak out about gender inequalities they've notice in the theatre community, and call on the larger theatre community to fight for gender parity. 

two performers with hands up
When a Show Gets Cancelled, Make Art Anyway
Essay

When a Show Gets Cancelled, Make Art Anyway

14 November 2018

Arizona State University student Ricky Quintana talks about taking his education into his own hands—by devising his own show—after a school production was cancelled earlier this year due to unforeseen circumstances.

Upcoming Events

gender explosion initiative event rainbow stripes logo
Livestreaming the Gender Explosion Forum
Video

Livestreaming the Gender Explosion Forum

Creating a Space for Gender Diverse Theatre

Tuesday 20 November 2018
Boston, Massachusetts, USA

StageSource in Boston presents the Gender Explosion Forum—a moderated panel discussion on ways to foster gender diversity in the New England theatre community—livestreaming on the global, commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv Tuesday 20 November 2018 at 6:30 p.m. EST (Boston) / 5:30 p.m. CST (Chicago) / 3:30 p.m. PST (Vancouver) / 23:30 UTC +0 (London).

Suzan-Lori Parks' Watch Me Work from The Public Theater, New York
Video

Suzan-Lori Parks' Watch Me Work from The Public Theater, New York

Monday 26 November 2018
New York City

Watch Me Work is a play with an action and dialogue — it’s also a meta-theatrical, free writing class! Come join us. Livestreaming on the global, commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Monday 26 November 2018 at 2 p.m. PST (Vancouver) / 4 p.m. CST (Chicago) / 5 p.m. EST (Montréal) / 22:00 UTC +0 (London).

New England Foundation for the Arts Logo
Livestreaming The National Theater Project Twin Cities Regional Convening, Minnesota
Video

Livestreaming The National Theater Project Twin Cities Regional Convening, Minnesota

Sunday 2 December 2018
Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) and Pangea World Theater are partnering to bring you the National Theater Project (NTP) Twin Cities Regional Convening, which will livestream on the global, commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network on Sunday 2 December 2018 at 9 a.m. PDT / 11 a.m. CDT / 12 p.m. EDT. 

Community Picks

Lists of specially curated content by members of our community.

2018 Trans Week of Awareness/Trans Day of Resistance

In honor of 2018 Trans Awareness week (12-19 November), Trans Day of Remembrance (20 November), and Trans Day of Resistance (21 November), here's a list of some of my favorite HowlRound content for and by trans and non-binary theatremakers. We are here, we have always been here, and #WeWillNotBeErased.

Gender Futures
Essay

Gender Futures

A Talk with Christian Appel and Renée Imperato of the TransGenerational Theatre Project

24 August 2017

Patrick Gaughan interviews Christian Appel and Renée Imperato about how they used applied theatre, writing, and utopian world-envisioning to create the all-trans, ensemble- based TransGenerational Theatre Project in NYC. 

How We Grow
Essay

How We Grow

An Interview with Azure D. Osborne-Lee

15 August 2015

MJ Kaufman interviews playwright, director, and performer Azure D. Osborne-Lee about his plays and what he sees in the field as a trans artist.

#BreakingtheBinary
Essay

#BreakingtheBinary

an interview with SK Kerastas and Lisa Evans

26 January 2017

Regina Victor interviews SK Kerastas and Lisa Evans about their work to make theatre institutions more accessible for trans* people, on and off stage.

The Trans Artistic Body
Essay

The Trans Artistic Body

23 October 2014

I’m at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in the women’s restroom washing my hands. A woman walks in, “I must be in the wrong place,” she says and walks out. Then she walks back in, “No, you’re in the wrong place,” she says, seething with confidence. I walk out, not sure of my place.

My Gender is Hot Fire
Essay

My Gender is Hot Fire

The Birth of the Non-Binary Monologues Project

30 October 2017

K. Woodzick talks about creating The Non-Binary Monologues Project, and the need for more resources for non-binary theatremakers.

Oh Gender, Up Yours!
Essay

Oh Gender, Up Yours!

18 November 2015

Three transmasculine playwrights discuss working in the theatre.

A Non-Binary Awakening in Philadelphia
Essay

A Non-Binary Awakening in Philadelphia

12 September 2018

Pax Ressler looks at both the successes and challenges for non-binary theatre artists in Philadelphia.

Don’t Call me Ma’am
Essay

Don’t Call me Ma’am

On the Politics of Trans Casting

29 September 2013

MJ Kaufman offers compelling insight on the politcs of trans casting.

Notes from the Trans Theatre Artists Convening
Essay

Notes from the Trans Theatre Artists Convening

11 March 2016

Azure D. Osborne-Lee and Kestryl Cael Lowery recap the Trans Theatre Artists Convening that took place in December, 2015.

#BreakingtheBinary: A Dialogue on Accessibility for Trans People Working in the Arts at The American Repertory Theater in Boston—Monday 30 January 2017
Video

#BreakingtheBinary: A Dialogue on Accessibility for Trans People Working in the Arts at The American Repertory Theater in Boston—Monday 30 January 2017

#BreakingTheBinary is a free and public symposium focusing on accessibility for trans* people working in the arts presented by the American Repertory Theater at the Oberon. The event included a panel discussion of trans-identified theatre workers—livestreamed on the global, commons-based peer-produced HowlRound TV network howlround.tv Monday 30 January at 12 p.m. EST to 1:00 p.m. EST (Boston) / 11 a.m. CST to 12 p.m. CST (Chicago) / 10 a.m. MST to 11 a.m. MST (Denver) / 9 a.m. PST to 10 a.m. PST (San Francisco)/ 17:00 GMT—18:00 GMT. Follow the conversation on social media via the hashtag #BreakingtheBinary and follow @howlroundtv.

Making Theatre Out of Slam Poetry
Essay

Making Theatre Out of Slam Poetry

25 March 2018

Yan Chen talks with poet, performer, and playwright Kit Yan about the intersections of genre and intersections of identity in his work.

Art in the Service of Understanding

Here is a list of articles that explore the intersection of art and military service. 

Bridging Artists, Military, Veterans, and Civilian Communities
Essay

Bridging Artists, Military, Veterans, and Civilian Communities

19 November 2017

Maureen White shares what emerged at the March 2017 arts and military convening “Art in the Service of Understanding,” produced by the New England Foundation for the Arts and HowlRound.

to go again
Essay

to go again

A Dance Theatre Story of Veteran Resilience

7 March 2017

Director Judith Smith discusses her company’s collaboration with Choreographer Joe Goode for to go again, a dance theatre piece that explores the lives of veterans with disabilities.

Peace, Love, and Post-Traumatic Growth with the Combat Hippies
Essay

Peace, Love, and Post-Traumatic Growth with the Combat Hippies

6 March 2017

Anthony Torres writes about how making art with other veterans has shaped his life.

Crossing Over
Essay

Crossing Over

Arts, Military, and Passing to the Other Side

5 March 2017

Renowned choreographer and creator of the Critical Response Method, Liz Lerman, addresses the experience of war in her life and work.

Convening: Art in the Service of Understanding: Bridging Artists, Military, Veterans, and Civilian Communities with NEFA in Boston—Friday 10 March - Sunday 12 March 2017
Video

Convening: Art in the Service of Understanding: Bridging Artists, Military, Veterans, and Civilian Communities with NEFA in Boston—Friday 10 March - Sunday 12 March 2017

The New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) partnered with HowlRound to livestream the convening Art in the Service of Understanding: Bridging Artists, Military, Veterans, and Civilian Communities from Boston on the global, commons-based peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv Friday 10 March to Sunday 12 March. Use Twitter hashtag #artsandmilitary to participate in online conversation.

Livestreaming Conscience Under Fire by a Military Veterans Collective—MDC Live Arts—Fri, Sept 11—#mdclivearts
Video

Livestreaming Conscience Under Fire by a Military Veterans Collective—MDC Live Arts—Fri, Sept 11—#mdclivearts

MDC Live Arts presents Conscience Under Fire livestreaming on the commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Friday, September 11 at 8pm EDT (New York) / 7pm CDT (Chicago) / 5pm PDT (Los Angeles). In Twitter follow @mdclivearts and @howlroundtv and use #liveat25 and #mdclivearts.

Communicating the Human Experience of War—Through Art
Essay

Communicating the Human Experience of War—Through Art

8 March 2017

Dr. Arthur S. DeGroat writes about the power art has to accurately communicate the experience of war, and the importance of that in our current era.

Feast of Crispian
Essay

Feast of Crispian

Shakespeare with Veterans

15 February 2018

An interview with Nancy Smith-Watson of Feast of Crispian and Tim Schleis, an army veteran and one of FOC’s actors.

An Original HowlRound Contributor Looks Back

These are five of my favorite pieces. Todd London's "A Lover's Guide to Edward Albee" is not only brilliant, but has also by far the best cameo I've ever seen in user comments. Harvey Young's Theatre after Obama (or with Trump) asks "Where are we? Where have we been? Where are we going?" Lauren Gunderson's class on dramatic structure is a great video to play at your day job instead of Spotify. Start reading P.Carl's "Becoming a White Man in the Theatre," then go read the essay it references and all of the comments on that essay, and then come back to finish it out. Finally, "How to Host a Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon for Activists" is essential reading on fighting blindspots.

Edward Albee headshot.
A Lover's Guide to American Playwrights
Essay

A Lover's Guide to American Playwrights

Edward Albee

28 February 2011

In this installation of A Lover's Guide to American Playwrights, Todd London salutes Edward Albee. 

Theatre after Obama (or with Trump)
Essay

Theatre after Obama (or with Trump)

5 February 2017

Harvey Young, chair of Northwestern University’s theatre department, looks at how American theatre has responded to a rise in conservativism to forecast not only what may appear on the horizon but also to anticipate a renewed attention to political/activist theatre following the 2016 election.

Dramatic Structure
Essay

Dramatic Structure

a Playwriting Class

3 May 2017

Lauren Gunderson continues her series of videos asking "Why theatre?" In this class, she addresses active characters in plays, and dramatic structure.

Becoming a White Man in the Theatre
Essay

Becoming a White Man in the Theatre

11 July 2017

After a comment storm on a recent HowlRound post about bias in criticism in the American Theatre, P. Carl addresses how the democratization of the arts is a form of inclusion.

How to Host a Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon for Activists
Essay

How to Host a Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon for Activists

10 September 2018

Dramaturg Sierra Carlson describes her process for hosting a Women in Theatre Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon at her university, and encourages others engage in digital dramaturgical activism.

Seven Days of Aspirations for Busy Script Readers (plus an eighth with love from a freelance dramaturg)

Aspiration #1: We hire you because you're a good writer.
Aspiration #2: Be an artistic contrarian in an age of corporate sameness.
Aspiration #3: Be mindful that Audiences are made up of swimmers, skimmers, and divers (and Dramaturgs, who are deep divers, need to communicate and collaborate with swimmers and skimmers).
Aspiration #4: Don't overlook Ugly Ducklings and Nurture Hothouse Flowers.
Aspiration #5: Lists! Lists! Lists! Can't Stop, Won't Stop Reading!
Aspiration #6: Find Them. Develop Them. Support Them.
Aspiration #7: Take Care of Each Other. Take Care of our Earth. Take Care of our Stories.
Aspiration #8: "Best practices: be prepared to let shit go."

Do White Playwrights Think About This?
Essay

Do White Playwrights Think About This?

27 February 2015

Larissa FastHorse explores the issues she deals with as a Native playwright, from finding an agent to what happens when she has to un-Native American a character.

Edward Albee headshot.
A Lover's Guide to American Playwrights
Essay

A Lover's Guide to American Playwrights

Edward Albee

28 February 2011

In this installation of A Lover's Guide to American Playwrights, Todd London salutes Edward Albee. 

Make It Hurt So Good
Essay

Make It Hurt So Good

8 December 2011

Miriam Weisfeld ruminates on whether art should hurt, examining the dynamics of visual art, theatre, and American culture. 

Five Uneasy Pieces
Essay

Five Uneasy Pieces

10 December 2012

The playwright Caridad Svitch on five fruitful, uncomfortable pieces of playwritting. 

101 Plays by The New Americans, or on Latinidad
Essay

101 Plays by The New Americans, or on Latinidad

25 November 2013

Emerging from the  Latina/o Theatre Commons is a list of plays everyone should have access to. This list helps start jumpstart the exploration of (but not define) Latina/o theatre.

Barriers, Needs, and Next Steps
Essay

Barriers, Needs, and Next Steps

A Convening on the State of Deaf Theatre-Making

6 April 2016

Several dozen artists, administrators, and activists met at the Lark Play Development Center in January 2016 to consider challenges and successes and the state of deaf theatre.

Native Communities and Climate Change, Center Stage
Essay

Native Communities and Climate Change, Center Stage

19 September 2016

Playwright Jaisey Bates urges us to include Native communities and artists in the work to combat climate change and in the work we put on stage.

Rules of Engagement for New Play Development
Essay

Rules of Engagement for New Play Development

22 January 2017

Tira Palmquist, Christy Montour-Larson, Heather Helinsky, and Jeni Mahoney share their insight and lessons learned on new play development. 

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