Howlround Theater Commons Home Page

Welcome to HowlRound

a group sitting in two concentric circles

Devised Work Convening. Washington, DC. 19-20 February 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!

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What's New

Michael stands at a podium and addresses a crowd
"I’m Not Interested in More Allies. I Need Advocates."
Essay

"I’m Not Interested in More Allies. I Need Advocates."

A conversation with Michael J. Bobbitt and Raymond O. Caldwell

15 September 2019

Michael J. Bobbitt, the recently appointed artistic director of Boston’s New Repertory Theatre, and Raymond Caldwell, the new leader of Washington’s Theater Alliance, sit down to talk about race equity work, the guilt they felt leaving their previous posts, and more.

an actor onstage
We Have Suffered Enough
Essay

We Have Suffered Enough

The Cost of Performing Trauma for Women of Color

12 September 2019

Melisa Pereyra talks about how suffering goes hand in hand with being a woman of color actor, how trauma is held in the body, and how audiences react when stories lack grief.

five actors onstage
Unmanly Grief
Essay

Unmanly Grief

Performing A Trans Hamlet

10 September 2019

Aley O’Mara reflects on Daniel Winder’s Hamlet and speaks to the lead—trans actor Jenet Le Lacheur—about the titular character in this production being nonbinary and transfeminine.

Upcoming Events

taylor mac in costume on stage
Livestreaming a Conversation with Taylor Mac
Video

Livestreaming a Conversation with Taylor Mac

at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts

Sunday 15 September 2019
Worcester, Massachusetts

Arts Transcending Borders at the College of the Holy Cross presents “A Conversation with Taylor Mac,” moderated by Scott Malia, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Theatre and Dance, livestreaming on the global, commons-based peer-produced HowlRound TV network on Sunday 15 September 2019 at 5 p.m. EDT (New York) / 4 p.m. CDT (Chicago) / 2 p.m. PDT (Los Angeles). 

blue background with orange and red graphics under white info text
Livestreaming lecture Transmedia Playful Aesthetics by Patrícia Gouveia
Video

Livestreaming lecture Transmedia Playful Aesthetics by Patrícia Gouveia

Arts based research, playful media, gaming, participation and civic engagement

Monday 16 September 2019
Bucharest, Romania

The Goethe Institute in Bucharest, Romania presents the Cultural Management Academy 2019 Opening Lecture Transmedia Playful Aesthetics by Patrícia Gouveia livestreaming on the global, commons-based peer-produced HowlRound TV network on Monday 16 September at 12 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4) / 16:00 UTC +0 / 5 p.m. BST (London, UTC +1) / 18:00 CEST (Berlin, UTC +2) / 19:00 EEST (Bucharest, UTC +3).

illustrations of elderly artists with red text RosenKabarett
Livestreaming the RosenKabarett Anniversary Performance
Video

Livestreaming the RosenKabarett Anniversary Performance

by 4th Age Community Arts Center in Bucharest, Romania

Wednesday 18 September 2019
Bucharest, Romania

4th Age Community Arts Center presents the RosenKabarett Anniversary Performance livestreaming from Bucharest, Romania on the global, commons-based peer-produced HowlRound TV network on Wednesday 18 September at 12 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4) / 16:00 UTC +0 / 5 p.m. BST (London, UTC +1) / 18:00 CEST (Berlin, UTC +2) / 19:00 EEST (Bucharest, UTC +3).

Community Picks

Lists of specially curated content by members of our community.

What We Mean When We Say We Do Dramaturgy

As new play dramaturgs, we spin webs of meaning out of the air. Take a look at some of these essential dramaturgy HowlRound articles.

Portrait of David Dower.
I, Dramaturg
Essay

I, Dramaturg

26 May 2011

David Dower, the Co- Artistic Director of ArtsEmerson, responds to P. Carl's article about finding one's creative voice in theater with charting how he, Dower, became the "creative" person he is, and how that lead him to dramatugy. 

Portrait of P. Carl.
Was I Born This Way?
Essay

Was I Born This Way?

22 May 2011

P. Carl, the Co- Artisic Director of ArtsEmerson, narrates his evoultion of finding his place in the creatative field of theater, and the way the nature and expression of creativity in theatre is tied into the nature and nutrue philosphical arguement. 

New Play Wizard Richard Washer on First Draft and the D.C. Theater Scene
Essay

New Play Wizard Richard Washer on First Draft and the D.C. Theater Scene

6 November 2014

Richard Washer is a Washington fixture, having worked in the Washington, D.C. area for more than thirty years as a playwright, director, dramaturg, and educator. He is humble, unassuming, and quietly essential to many in the DC area who are developing new plays.

A tray of fast food.
Fast Food Dramaturgy
Essay

Fast Food Dramaturgy

12 August 2013

Amanda Boyle disects fast food dramaturgy: a brand that caters to productions' quick and easy needs.

The Dramaturgy of Gender
Essay

The Dramaturgy of Gender

How Audience Expectations Shape Storytelling

12 December 2015

Hailey Bachrach explores the subtle bias of audiences and directors toward female characters by surveying audiences following a performance with male and female actors trading roles.

Convening attendees sit in a circle
Breaking Down the Walls
Essay

Breaking Down the Walls

29 February 2012

Amrita Ramanan describes her literary office of the future—a place with no walls, no seperations, and no more viewing dramaturgy as an isolated practice.

Current Discussions on Race and Gender

This is HowlRound content that I either teach in class or read to prepare for the Race and Gender in Performance class at SUNY New Paltz.

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.

Is Your Theatre Only “Diverse and Inclusive” Twice a Year?
Essay

Is Your Theatre Only “Diverse and Inclusive” Twice a Year?

20 February 2016

Malesha Taylor shares her experience working in audience development and emphasizes the need for regional theatres to continue building relationships with diverse audiences. 

Theatre and Resistance
Essay

Theatre and Resistance

Ten Things You Can Do

25 January 2018

Jonathan Mandell reports on the Martin Segal Theatre Center's 2018 Theatre and Resistance Symposium, and lists ten things theatre community can do right now to make a change.

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.

Manahatta's Gender Flip
Essay

Manahatta's Gender Flip

Equity in Action

2 April 2018

Holly Derr discusses the dramaturgical implications of playwright Mary Kathryn Nagle changing one of her characters to a woman in her newest play Manahatta, which premiered at Oregon Shakespeare Festival in March 2018.

The Ugly Truth about Arts Institutions Led by Women of Color
Essay

The Ugly Truth about Arts Institutions Led by Women of Color

9 May 2018

Founder and executive artistic director of Dallas’s Bishop Arts Theatre Center Teresa Coleman Wash looks at the realities of running a theatre company as a woman of color.

On the Physical Embodiment of Trans Women Onstage and the Follies of Symbolic Representation
Essay

On the Physical Embodiment of Trans Women Onstage and the Follies of Symbolic Representation

1 October 2017

Massimo Monfiletto questions the representation of trans women in a commercial theatrical setting.

Devising!

Recommended reading/watching/listening for DRA1012 Research & Performance students

Black and white image of three people standing on their heads
Exploring the Work and Legacy of Jerzy Grotowski with the Stories from the Eastern West Podcast, Part 1
Podcast

Exploring the Work and Legacy of Jerzy Grotowski with the Stories from the Eastern West Podcast, Part 1

Theatre History Podcast #71

6 December 2018

The Theatre History Podcast is proud to partner with Stories from the Eastern West to present the first of a two-part episode on the life and work of revolutionary theatre director Jerzy Grotowski.

outside of a stone building
Exploring the Work and Legacy of Jerzy Grotowski with the Stories from the Eastern West Podcast, Part 2
Podcast

Exploring the Work and Legacy of Jerzy Grotowski with the Stories from the Eastern West Podcast, Part 2

Theatre History Podcast #72

20 December 2018

We welcome back Stories from the Eastern West for Part 2 of their exploration of the life and work of Polish theatre director Jerzy Grotowski.

Avant-garde theatre.
Devising the New Avant-garde—Part 1
Essay

Devising the New Avant-garde—Part 1

The Old Coup and the New Now

28 August 2014

Whereas the old avant-garde was oriented toward an imagined future and engaged in a revolutionary project of overthrowing stale regimes and remaking art—and society—according to visionary principles, the new avant-garde is focused on the current moment.

Set for a play by Megan and Murray McMillan.
Devising the New Avant-garde—Part 2
Essay

Devising the New Avant-garde—Part 2

The Renaissance Kid and the Open Play

18 October 2014

The rise of artistic multi-functionalism, and the open, assimilative, and collaborative values it implies, has coincided with the emergence of devising as a major theatrical discipline. Although devising is hardly new the process of developing work through collaboration among a group of artists has gained traction in recent years. It makes sense: both multi-functionalism and devising are solutions to an economic downturn, ways to continue creating complex and multivalent art in a scale-back climate.

Devised Theatre: Curating, Producing, Presenting (A Practical Roundtable)
Video

Devised Theatre: Curating, Producing, Presenting (A Practical Roundtable)

The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center

Wednesday 12 December 2018
New York City

The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center in New York City presents Devised Theatre: Curating, Producing, Presenting (A Practical Roundtable) livestreaming on the global, commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv Wednesday 12 December 2018 at 2:30 p.m. PST (San Francisco) / 4:30 p.m. CST (Chicago) / 5:30 p.m. EST (New York).

Civic Practice, Theatre, and Arts-Based, Community Led Transformation

A batch of articles that investigate, in their own ways, questions such as: what we mean by engagement; who is changing what for whom when we talk about ‘change’ work; and how theatre, democracy and aesthetics can intersect within a framework of justice-aimed values and intentions.

Scrabble letter arranged to spell the word engage.
Translations
Essay

Translations

Engaging Engagement

7 April 2012

This column, published every 4-6 weeks, examines issues of translation as they relate to the field of theatre and its intersections with other public and civic sectors. This edition: audience engagement.

Complex Movements’ Beware of the Dandelions
Essay

Complex Movements’ Beware of the Dandelions

19 November 2015

Jeff Chang on Detroit-based Complex Movements’ Beware of the Dandelions, a narrative, concert, visual installation, architectural piece, and convening space to distribute revolutionary ideas and activate creative ecosystems and economies of change. 

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.

Translations
Essay

Translations

The Distinction between Social & Civic Practice and Why I Find It Useful

1 September 2012

Michael Rohd responds to Andy Horowitz's essay with how he delineates social and civil practice

Dance and Social Justice
Essay

Dance and Social Justice

22 November 2013

Many of us can attribute our path to the theater to a dynamic teacher in school: the teacher that inspired us or showed us a new side of ourselves. This series is a snapshot of today's high school theater educators across the country sharing about what they do and how and why they do this work.

The Ideology of Dialogue
Essay

The Ideology of Dialogue

2 September 2013

Michael Rohd continues the series on the intersection of political ideology and art in their work. We know that content is political... but how can form dictate a play's mission as well?

Uniting Civic Technology with Arts as Civic Practice
Essay

Uniting Civic Technology with Arts as Civic Practice

10 March 2014

Paul M. Davis illuminates the importance of artists and technologists collaborating in the civic sphere.

The Possibility of Generative Futures Through Embodied Practice
Essay

The Possibility of Generative Futures Through Embodied Practice

20 September 2018

Annalisa Dias discusses her work with the newly formed Groundwater Arts Collective, and suggests ways that other theatremakers committed to climate justice can adopt the framework of a Just Transition.

Democratizing the Arts, Aesthetic Practice, and the Relationship to Community Change
Essay

Democratizing the Arts, Aesthetic Practice, and the Relationship to Community Change

A Conversation with Roberta Uno

14 April 2016

An interview with Roberta Uno, director of Arts in a Changing America, by P. Carl.

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