Howlround Theater Commons Home Page

Welcome to HowlRound

A group of playwrights sit in a circle

Black Playwrights Convening, Georgetown University, Washington, DC, January 2010.

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!

Browse All Topics

What's New

director giving an actor notes
Teach Them How to Say Goodbye
Essay

Teach Them How to Say Goodbye

Howard Shalwitz and Carey Perloff in Conversation

18 October 2018

Howard Shalwitz, co-founder of Woolly Mammoth, talks with Carey Perloff, longtime director of American Conservatory Theater, about their decades-long tenures at their respective companies, covering everything from the throughline of founding manifestos, to the five- to six-year cycles companies go through, to how lonely it is to be an artistic director, and more.

actors hugging onstage
Shifting Institutions, Shifting Audiences
Essay

Shifting Institutions, Shifting Audiences

Brendan Healy and May Antaki in Conversation

17 October 2018

May Antaki speaks with Brendan Healy, the new artistic director of Toronto’s Canadian Stage, about leadership changeovers happening across Canada, how his approach to being an AD has shifted over the years, his desire to cultivate curiosity inside audiences, and more.

Punching Up
Essay

Punching Up

Stephanie Ybarra and Maria Goyanes in Conversation

16 October 2018

Stephanie Ybarra and Maria Goyanes discuss their similar artistic journies and their goals for the future.

Upcoming Events

a stage full of props
Livestreaming Vegard Vinge (Norway) + Ida Müller (Germany) at the Martin E. Segal Center in New York
Video

Livestreaming Vegard Vinge (Norway) + Ida Müller (Germany) at the Martin E. Segal Center in New York

Monday 22 October 2018
New York City

The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center presents a talk with Vegard Vinge (Norway) + Ida Müller (Germany) livestreaming on the global, commons-based peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Monday 22 October at 3:30 p.m. PDT (San Francisco) / 5:30 p.m. CDT (Chicago) / 6:30 p.m. EDT (New York).

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. 

2019 Latinx Theatre Commons Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA) Sin Fronteras Festival & Convening
Event

2019 Latinx Theatre Commons Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA) Sin Fronteras Festival & Convening

Join the LTC in Austin, TX for our first convening dedicated to work for young people!

24-26 January 2019
University of Texas at Austin, Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center

Registration opens 15 October 2018 for this exciting event! Join us! 

Community Picks

Lists of specially curated content by members of our community.

Fighting for Social Justice in Theatre Practice

This collection of articles explores the economy of the performing arts sector and its impact on theatremakers and their art. 

Economic Precarity and Resiliency in Theatre
Essay

Economic Precarity and Resiliency in Theatre

an American Psalm

29 August 2018

Playwright Caridad Svich reflects on the economic reality of working in theatre.

How Can You Turn Awareness into Action? A Roadmap Toward Economic Justice for Theatre Folk
Essay

How Can You Turn Awareness into Action? A Roadmap Toward Economic Justice for Theatre Folk

29 June 2017

Matthew Clinton Sekellick discusses moving beyond awareness with action, advocating for theatre artists and administrators to join forces with existing social justice movements.

Where Are The Women?
Essay

Where Are The Women?

6 May 2014

The New York Times posed this question on April 29 when the Tony nominations were announced. It’s a problem that’s getting long in the tooth: for years we’ve known that over 60 percent of the ticket buyers and “butts in seats” are women, and yet less than 20 percent of the stories staged are written, directed or designed by them. Hmm.

Against Entrepreneurship
Essay

Against Entrepreneurship

9 December 2016

Matthew Sekellick argues that identifying as entrepreneurs is not merely a survival strategy, but a false consciousness that alienates us further from our fellow artists and artisans. As theater artists, what we have to do is … imagine a world outside the confines of the present: a world beyond the horizon of entrepreneurship.

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.

Acting in Solidarity
Essay

Acting in Solidarity

Working for a Living Wage

16 October 2015

Matthew Sekellick explores what New York’s proposed minimum wage increase would mean for theatre artists.

What Do We Really Want? Creating a Union for Actors in Romania
Essay

What Do We Really Want? Creating a Union for Actors in Romania

20 March 2017

In this installment of a new series leading up to the IETM Plenary Meeting in Bucharest, Theodor-Cristian Popescu writes about being an actor in Romania.

Understanding Stage Combat

A survey of short readings addressing both pragmatic and dramaturgical concerns in violence design.

Why Everyone Should Study Stage Combat
Essay

Why Everyone Should Study Stage Combat

10 November 2013

Meron Langsner shares insight into the difficulty and importance of creating a successful combat scene. 

Hiring a Fight Director
Essay

Hiring a Fight Director

18 July 2017

Fight director Michael Jerome Johnson lays out how and when to hire a fight director.

Fightaturgy
Essay

Fightaturgy

Towards a Dramaturgy of Stage Violence

11 November 2013

Dramatically motivated fight choreography makes the audience lean forward in their seats. “Fightaturgy” matters.  

The Significance of Violence Design
Essay

The Significance of Violence Design

25 April 2014

We usually consider a fight choreographer’s job to be staging the fights so that they are safe. Certainly safety is essential: actors should not be getting hurt in the exercise of their art. But a violence designer is far more than a mere “safety foreman.” Like any other artist working in the theater, the violence designer’s primary role is doing interpretive work: making choices that help tell the story. Not the story of Hamlet, but the story of this Hamlet: that is to say, the story that this production of Hamlet is telling.

Despite All of His Contributions to Modern Stage Combat, Ridolfo Capo Ferro Was NOT a Fight Director
Essay

Despite All of His Contributions to Modern Stage Combat, Ridolfo Capo Ferro Was NOT a Fight Director

30 November 2013

Meron Langsner compares his knowledge of the sports combat and stage combat to better articulate the purposes of stage combat.  

How to Have a Happy Fight Call
Essay

How to Have a Happy Fight Call

A Guide for Directors, Stage Managers, and Fight Captains

4 December 2013

We all love a good fight (in a show). A reminder to keep things real by checking in with actors and their weapons, maintain a full fight call, and maintaining consistent order.

Essential LTC Reading

Follow the journey of the LTC through our HowlRound posts!

Radical Ideas Welcome
Essay

Radical Ideas Welcome

What Should the Latinx Theatre Commons Do Next?

13 September 2018

Latinx Theatre Commons (LTC) Producer Abigail Vega reflects on the last six years of programming, and encourages the community to submit ideas for future LTC programming.

Curating Courage and the Future of Latinx Theatre / Valentía Curatorial y el Futuro del Teatro Latinx
Essay

Curating Courage and the Future of Latinx Theatre / Valentía Curatorial y el Futuro del Teatro Latinx

1 August 2018

Playwright Georgina Escobar reflects on the curation of the 2018 Latinx Theatre Commons (LTC) Carnaval of New Latinx Work: ¡ConeXión!, which took place 19-21 July 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. / Escritora Georgina Escobar refleja sobre la curación del 2018 Latinx Theatre Commons Carnaval de Obras Nuevas, cual fue el 19-21 de Julio del 2018 en Chicago, Illinois.

ConeXión and Aesthetic Resistance at the 2018 Latinx Theatre Commons Carnaval
Essay

ConeXión and Aesthetic Resistance at the 2018 Latinx Theatre Commons Carnaval

6 August 2018

Regan Postma-Montaño reports on the 2018 Latinx Theatre Commons' Carnaval of New Latinx Work, which took place on 19-21 July in Chicago, Illinois.

Reflections from the Latinx Theatre Commons María Irene Fornés Institute Symposium
Essay

Reflections from the Latinx Theatre Commons María Irene Fornés Institute Symposium

30 April 2018

Trevor Boffone, Nelson Diaz-Marcano, Georgina Escobar, and Lauren Villegas reflect on the Latinx Theatre Commons María Irene Fornés Symposium on 14 April 2018 in Princeton, New Jersey.

Coming Full Circle
Essay

Coming Full Circle

the 2017 LTC International Convening

21 December 2017

Carla Della Gatta and Marci R. McMahon look back on the 2017 Encuentro de las Américas International Theatre Festival that took place 2-12 November at the Latino Theatre Center in Los Angeles, California.

The Circle Then, The Circle Now
Essay

The Circle Then, The Circle Now

The Latinx Theatre Commons at Four Years

12 November 2017

An overview of the history and progression of the Latinx Theatre Commons by Brian Herrera, as the LTC enters its fifth year of cross-cultural collaboration and lifting up and strengthening Latinx and Latin American Theatre.

The Latinx Theatre Commons' Peter Zeisler Memorial Award Acceptance Speech
Essay

The Latinx Theatre Commons' Peter Zeisler Memorial Award Acceptance Speech

14 June 2017

The Latinx Theatre Commons receives the Peter Zeisler Memorial Award.

Toward Inclusivity
Essay

Toward Inclusivity

A message from the LTC

18 January 2017

The LTC steering committee announces a name change to the Latinx Theatre Commons. 

The Composition of Latinx Aesthetics
Essay

The Composition of Latinx Aesthetics

23 August 2017

Georgina Escobar reflects on the past four years of Latinx Theatre Commons (LTC) convenings, and developing an understanding of “Latinx aesthetics.”

#LTCseattle
Essay

#LTCseattle

Flooring It with Espírito

14 May 2016

Elaine Ávila writes about her experience at the Latina/o Theatre Commons convening in Seattle, WA.

A Leap of Faith to Seattle
Essay

A Leap of Faith to Seattle

3 March 2016

Armando Huipe describes the organizing principles behind the upcoming Latina/o Theatre Commons convening in Seattle, WA.

#LTCdallas
Essay

#LTCdallas

Challenges, Opportunities, and Reflections of the Texas Latina/o Theatre Community

2 March 2016

Trevor Boffone reports on the Texas Latina/o Theare Commons Dallas Regional Convening.

Confessions of a Convert
Essay

Confessions of a Convert

22 August 2015

Lisa Portes on the power of shared leadership and collective action as embodied by the Latina/o Theatre Commons.

Presente
Essay

Presente

A Roll Call of New Latina/o Plays

29 April 2015

The twelve plays to be showcased at Carnaval 2015 are just the tip of the iceberg. The totality of the plays submitted for consideration represents the depth and breadth of artistic ambition within the Latina/o theatremaking community.

Welcome to the New Café Onda!
Essay

Welcome to the New Café Onda!

20 July 2014

We are committed to providing a safe, crowd-sourced space for online dialogue and discussions around the topic of Latina/o theater. As the definitions of Latinidad and Latina/o theater continue to shift and evolve, so will Café Onda / Nos dedicaremos a proveer un espacio positivo, creado de opiniones publicas donde las conversaciones acerca de los temas de el teatro Latino/a puedan florecer. Así como es cambiante e indefinida la identificación académica y artística de lo que es Latinidad y el teatro que lo representa, así también Café Onda será siempre cambiante y evolucionará en forma colectiva.

Our Digital Present
Essay

Our Digital Present

11 October 2014

Café Onda (the Journal of the Latina/o Theatre Commons) can’t make all our virtual dreams come true, but this space can celebrate the dynamic creativity and connectivity of Latina/o theatermakers as together we build our digital present.

Encuentro 2014
Essay

Encuentro 2014

Moving Forward, Never Forgetting the Past

2 November 2014

Professor Jorge Huerta gives a short overview about the precedents that led to the historic and revolutionizing event, focusing on the growth of Chicano/a theatre festivals since 1970. 

Latina/o Theatre Commons National Convening
Essay

Latina/o Theatre Commons National Convening

Day One

1 November 2013

The Latina/o Theatre Commons National Convening has finally arrived in Boston. 78 Latina/o artist converged together for the biggest meeting since 1986.

Latina/o Theatre Commons National Convening
Essay

Latina/o Theatre Commons National Convening

Day Two

2 November 2013

Day two of the Latina/o Theatre Commons results in a declared Latina/o Theatre Day in Boston, a quandary of if there needs to be Latina/o theatre, and the strength to make their own table.

Latina/o Theatre Commons National Convening
Essay

Latina/o Theatre Commons National Convening

Day Three

3 November 2013

Day three of the Latina/o Theatre Commons asks for everyone to make a commitment to mentoring and being a mentee to each other in order to continue building community.

HowlRound Favorites

Why did I pick these essays?  "A Lover's Guide to American Playwrights: María Irene Fornés": Because no one writes about playwrights as beautifully and observantly as Todd London....and because María Irene Fornés is indeed our "Art Angel" and deserves to be known by all... "A Lover's Guide to American Playwrights: Sarah Ruhl": Because picking just one from his brilliant  series “A Lovers guide to American playwrights was impossible, so I settled for two... "F*uck the System and the Horse that it Rode in on": Because the sustained effort of Chantal Bilodeau and the Theatre in the Age of Climate Change series on HowlRound  is such an extraordinary inspiration and resource (and deserves to be read in its entirety and be put into curricula as has been done in performance and climate courses at Georgetown). "Climate Lens: Birth of a Post Nation": Because Una Chaudhuri is such a brilliant and inspiring thinker on these issues who has helped to shape our thinking about this initiative. "An Excerpt from All the Lights On: Reimagining Theater with Ten Thousand Things": Because Michelle Hensley has taught us so much about where and how theatre matters in everyday people’s lives, and in civic spaces outside our established cultural temples. And so has the brilliant Michael Rohd—"The New Work of Building Civic Practice." Because Anne Bogart always reminds us so eloquently of the larger stakes and context of our collective endeavor as storytellers, "The Role of Storytelling in the Theatre of the Twenty-First Century." "The Essential Truth of A Raisin in the Sun and Theatre in our Time" Because HowlRound has provided a vibrant forum to document extraordinary global collaborations that chart new courses. Because HowlRound has been such a force for helping amplify voices that have gone unheard and unrecognized: Mary Kathryn Nagle's "Native Voices on the American Stage: A Constitutional Crisis." And last but not least, because our own engagement with  this singular project with Syrian refugee women has sown so many seeds, including the extraordinary development of one of  its performers Reem Alsayyah, now a Fellow with our Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics at Georgetown University,  who is continuing to make work and lead transformative projects that chronicle the Syrian refugee experience: "Listening for Unheard Voices—Syria: The Trojan Women."

A Lover's Guide to American Playwrights
Essay

A Lover's Guide to American Playwrights

María Irene Fornés

10 April 2018

Todd London celebrates playwright María Irene Fornés.

A Lover's Guide to American Playwrights
Essay

A Lover's Guide to American Playwrights

Sarah Ruhl

18 November 2016

Todd London’s ode to Sarah Ruhl, on the occasion of her winning the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award.

F*ck the System (And the Horse It Rode In On)
Essay

F*ck the System (And the Horse It Rode In On)

17 September 2017

Chantal Bilodeau kicks off this week's series on Theatre in the Age of Climate Change, and argues that we as a theatre community need to recognize when our practices and systems are detrimental to the earth and other people, and strive to change them.

Climate Lens
Essay

Climate Lens

Birth of a Post-Nation!

21 April 2017

Una Chaudhuri announces a new project called CLIMATE LENS.

An Excerpt from All the Lights On
Essay

An Excerpt from All the Lights On

Reimagining Theater with Ten Thousand Things

2 March 2015

All the Lights On is a history of the Twin Cities’ theatre company Ten Thousand Things. Published by the Minnesota Historical Society Press in association with HowlRound.

The New Work of Building Civic Practice
Essay

The New Work of Building Civic Practice

9 July 2012

The needs of non-arts organizations, and theatre artists' assets can intersect through Civic Practice. This guide from Michael Rohd offers examples of application and what this work can accomplish.

The Role of Storytelling in the Theatre of the Twenty-First Century
Essay

The Role of Storytelling in the Theatre of the Twenty-First Century

13 May 2015

Anne Bogart’s address at the 2015 Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville.

The Essential Truth of A Raisin in the Sun and Theatre in Our Time
Essay

The Essential Truth of A Raisin in the Sun and Theatre in Our Time

30 April 2017

Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy at Georgetown University, writes about the value of theatre as cultural diplomacy, and the Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics' World Theatre Day event celebrating A Raisin in the Sun.

Native Voices On the American Stage
Essay

Native Voices On the American Stage

A Constitutional Crisis

22 February 2015

Playwright Mary Kathryn Nagle kicks off Native Voices Week, “Instead of Redface,” with a personal story about how she came to playwriting from law school and the imperative to tell Native stories.

Listening for Unheard Voices—Syria
Essay

Listening for Unheard Voices—Syria

The Trojan Women

18 September 2014

Derek Goldman offers an overview of the production of Syria: The Trojan Women.

Do you have something to say?
Say it on HowlRound.

All of our content is generated by the community. We want to hear from you!

Participate