Howlround Theater Commons Home Page

Welcome to HowlRound

Theatre artists sit in a circle

Black Playwrights Convening at Arena Stage in Washington, DC.

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

two actors in costume
Laughing Matters
Essay

Laughing Matters

How Comedy Tells Us Who We Are

14 February 2019

Professor Matthew McMahan talks about the importance of understanding comedy’s theatrical history: how it has evolved, what it says about a society, and why the genre shouldn’t be forgotten in the American theatre.

Actor staring at a television screen from across a table.
A Look at Penitentiary Theatre in Mexico / Un vistazo al teatro penitenciario en México
Essay

A Look at Penitentiary Theatre in Mexico / Un vistazo al teatro penitenciario en México

13 February 2019

Mariela Lopez looks at the importance of prison theatre in Mexico: the quality of work, its impact on inmates, and how the public can support. 

person onstage
From Gaza City to the Golden Gate
Essay

From Gaza City to the Golden Gate

A Call to the International Theatre Community to Join the Struggle for Cultural Justice

12 February 2019

With the bombing of Gaza’s last-remaining arts space—the Al Mishal Cultural Centre—in August 2018, Jessica Litwak and a group of international theatremakers are calling for justice.

 

Upcoming Events

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Livestreaming The Future of Crowdfunding in Theatre Panel
Video

Livestreaming The Future of Crowdfunding in Theatre Panel

A Zoom call hosted hosted by HowlRound Theatre Commons

Friday 1 March 2019
Zoom.us

The HowlRound Theatre Commons presents The Future of Crowdfunding in Theatre Panel livestreamed on the global, commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Friday 1 March at 11:30 a.m. PST (San Francisco) / 1:30 p.m. CST (Chicago) / 2:30 p.m. EST (New York) / 7:30 p.m. GMT+1 (London).

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

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

A playwriting masterclass

Monday 4 March 2019
The Public Theater, 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. Livestreamed on the global, commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Monday 4 March 2019 at 2 p.m. PST (Vancouver) / 4 p.m. CST (Chicago) / 5 p.m. EST (Montréal) / 22:00 UTC +0 (London).

Performers on the set of 50 Shades of Gay
Livestreaming Performance of 55 Shades of Gay: Balkan Spring of Sexual Revolution by Qendra Multimedia (Kosovo)
Video

Livestreaming Performance of 55 Shades of Gay: Balkan Spring of Sexual Revolution by Qendra Multimedia (Kosovo)

Presented by La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club

Sunday 10 March 2019
New York City

La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club in New York City presents a performance of 55 Shades of Gay: Balkan Spring of Sexual Revolution by Qendra Multimedia (Kosovo) livestreaming on the global, commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv Sunday 10 March 2019 at 12 p.m. PST (Los Angeles) / 3 p.m. EST (New York) / 19:00 UTC +0 (London) / 20:00 UTC +1 (Berlin). 

Community Picks

Lists of specially curated content by members of our community.

Internationalism(s)

Performers and playwrights, producers and dramaturgs, these artists from diverse disciplines cross borders—national and historical, aesthetic and personal—to reaffirm and sustain a connected, compassionate world.

Climate Lens
Essay

Climate Lens

Birth of a Post-Nation!

21 April 2017

Una Chaudhuri announces a new project called CLIMATE LENS.

Photo from Faust.
Dialogue, Diversity, and Quality—A Report From the Sibiu International Theatre Festival
Essay

Dialogue, Diversity, and Quality—A Report From the Sibiu International Theatre Festival

1 July 2014

Mark Jackson reports on the "format and the values" he witnessed in Romania at the Sibiu International Theatre Festival, which is the third largest theater festival in the world.

Blurring Borders with Práctica/ Borrando las fronteras con Práctica
Essay

Blurring Borders with Práctica/ Borrando las fronteras con Práctica

30 July 2018

Beatrice Basso discusses what it was like to bring multidisciplinary artists from north and south of the US-Mexico border together to create and learn from each other in the artist-driven exchange Práctica. / Beatrice Basso analiza cómo fue el intercambio artístico Práctica, en el que artistas del norte y del sur de la frontera México-Estados Unidos se reunieron para crear y aprender unos de otros.

Colonization is Global, but Brown Has No Borders/ La Colonización es Global, Pero El Color No Tiene Fronteras
Essay

Colonization is Global, but Brown Has No Borders/ La Colonización es Global, Pero El Color No Tiene Fronteras

29 May 2018

Four South Asian theatremakers discuss global decolonization, reclaiming narratives, language and representation in theatre, and more.

Dragon Lady
Essay

Dragon Lady

One Mother of a Musical

19 October 2017

Dragon Lady, written and performed by Sara Porkalob, brings bring race, female stories, and intersectionality into the American theatre conversation.

Manifesto
Essay

Manifesto

Why Writing a Play Is Like Living in France

29 May 2016

Playwright Miranda Rose Hall considers how writing a play is like living in a foreign country.

Ten Transformative Ideas for Community-Building and Cross-Cultural Exchange
Essay

Ten Transformative Ideas for Community-Building and Cross-Cultural Exchange

23 May 2018

Caitlin Cassidy discusses ten principles and practices she's learned as an artist working at the intersection of arts and cross-cultural exchange, and as one of Georgetown University's Laboratory for Global Performance & Politics Fellows.

Afro Blue, un homenaje
Essay

Afro Blue, un homenaje

A Room of My Own

11 April 2017

In this third installment, Jadele McPherson discusses how artists (both past and present) influence each other across the African diaspora, and advocates for more contemporary artists to acknowledge their ancestors.

Telling Stories
Essay

Telling Stories

An Arab/Arab American Theatre Collaboration

20 May 2018

For the last few years, professor Catherine Coray has been helping create collaboration opportunities for theatre artists in Arab countries and the Americas. Arab Voices: Stories of Palestine is the most recent iteration, and has taken place in New York, Abu Dhabi, and Beirut.

Why Artists Should Pay Attention to US Visas, Policy, and Cultural Exchange
Essay

Why Artists Should Pay Attention to US Visas, Policy, and Cultural Exchange

16 May 2018

Matthew Covey, founding director of Tamizdat, discusses why American theatre artists should be more knowledgable about US visas and policies, and describes how Tamizdat is working to support international artists performing in the US. 

Ten Great Articles from Past Guests on the Theatre History Podcast

Here are ten articles on theatrical history, theory, and practice from guests on Howlround's Theatre History Podcast.

Diversifying the Classical Canon
Essay

Diversifying the Classical Canon

2 April 2016

Scholar and translator Barbara Fuchs discusses the opportunities and challenges of diversifying the classical canon to include Spanish-language Hispanic classical theatre.

Old Institutions, New Plays
Essay

Old Institutions, New Plays

What The O’Neill Model Can Teach Us

1 June 2014

Anne G. Morgan sheds insight on the history and impact of the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center on the theatrical community. 

Decolonizing Theatre/La Descolonización del Teatro
Essay

Decolonizing Theatre/La Descolonización del Teatro

an Introduction/Introducción

27 May 2018

Annalisa Dias and Madeline Sayet introduce the Decolonizing Theatre series by exploring the ways the American theatre has been and still is complicit in the legacy of colonialism.

Why I’m Breaking Up with Aristotle
Essay

Why I’m Breaking Up with Aristotle

22 April 2016

Chantal Bilodeau on writing ourselves out of the pyramid and why she is breaking up with Aristotle.

A Game at Chess
Essay

A Game at Chess

The Most Controversial Play You’ve Never Heard Of

10 August 2017

Following the controversy around the Public’s Shakespeare in the Park Julius Caesar production, Nora Williams provides a parallel story about a play that was censored and caused the Globe to be shut down in 1624 because it depicted living monarchs unfavorably.

History Repeats Itself
Essay

History Repeats Itself

Hallie Flanagan in the Twenty-first Century

4 October 2016

Amy Brady interviews Michael Arve about Dangerous Theatre, a piece he’s directing based on Hallie Flanagan’s 1938 testimony to the Special Committee to Investigate Un-American Activities.

The Legacy of Luis Valdez and El Teatro Campesino
Essay

The Legacy of Luis Valdez and El Teatro Campesino

The First Fifty Years / El Legado de Luis Valdez y El Teatro Campesino: Los Primeros Cincuenta Años

5 December 2015

Dr. Jorge Huerta reflects on the birth, present, and enduring legacy of El Teatro Campesino on its fiftieth anniversary.

Portrait of Kyle A. Thomas.
A PhD in Theater
Essay

A PhD in Theater

Working in Theory to Work in Practice

18 December 2013

Kyle A. Thomas offers a reflective overview of his concerns around pursuing a PhD in theatre.

Homer’s Trojan War on Boston Stages
Essay

Homer’s Trojan War on Boston Stages

4 August 2013

Kyna Hamill investigates the implications of addressing war on stage and shares a brief overview of Theatre of War.

Immersive and Interactive Performance
Essay

Immersive and Interactive Performance

A Rasic Experience

6 March 2015

Scholar and theater practitioner Erin Mee, considers how by giving time-space to the sensoria, immersive, and interactive productions are inherently rasic.

Series

State of Black Theatre

This series explores the current state of Black theatre and its role in the American theatre landscape.

The Roster
Essay

The Roster

Black theatres in America

16 March 2013

A list of black theatres in the United States, complied by Michael Dinwiddie, Jonathan McCrory, Beth Turner, Lawrence Evans, and the New England Entertainment Digest.

The cast and crew of a play gathered around their set.
Working at It
Essay

Working at It

16 March 2013

Ben Guillory writes about The Robey Theatre Company, and the importance of outreach and bringing audiences to black history.

Five women in period dress.
Indomitable Spirit
Essay

Indomitable Spirit

The Legacy, Vitality, and Sustainability of Black Theatre Today

16 March 2013

Eileen J. Morris discusses the duty The Ensemble Theatre has to the community of Huston.

Logo for the Black Theatre Network.
The Black Theatre Network
Essay

The Black Theatre Network

Past, Present & Future

15 March 2013

Michael Dinwiddie discusses the role of the Black Theatre Network in the community.

A poem by Barbara Ann Teer.
The Way Back Home
Essay

The Way Back Home

15 March 2013

Sade Lythcott writes about her mother's legacy as founder of the National Black Theater (NBT), and the importance of maintaining the history and lineage of black theater.

What Shall We Tell Our Young Playwrights Who Are Black?
Essay

What Shall We Tell Our Young Playwrights Who Are Black?

14 March 2013

A meditation on the importance of uplifting young black playwrights. 

Several people pose for a picture.
Interview with Ron Simons
Essay

Interview with Ron Simons

13 March 2013

A group of independent producers meet with Broadway producer Ron Simons. Simons discusses the need to invest in black theatre on Broadway.

Two people reading scripts.
Who We Are
Essay

Who We Are

Black Theatre in the Bay Area

12 March 2013

Edris Cooper-Anifowoshe discusses the climate of black theatre in San Francisco.

An man plays the piano in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom.
Keeping the Flame
Essay

Keeping the Flame

12 March 2013

Sarah Bellamy reflects on Penumbra Theatre Company's financial situation, and provides a roadmap of their goals, challenges, and approach to fundraising.

A still from Fathers And Sons.
Emerging from the Crucible
Essay

Emerging from the Crucible

11 March 2013

Valerie Curtis-Newton writes about her experience at The Hansberry project, and the neccessity of producing black artists.

Several people pose for a picture.
The Tradition of Defining a Tradition
Essay

The Tradition of Defining a Tradition

11 March 2013

For the State of Black Theatre Series, Talvin Wilks looks at the history of black theatre telling its own story.

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