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Welcome to HowlRound

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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an actor onstage
How the way she spoke Resuscitated the Power of Storytelling Through Minimalism
Essay

How the way she spoke Resuscitated the Power of Storytelling Through Minimalism

10 November 2019

Sean Anthony Chia examines the impact of a powerful story—one without spectacle—through the lens of Isaac Gomez’s the way she spoke.

three seated people laughing
“But Does It Pay?”
Essay

“But Does It Pay?”

Internship Culture and Diversity in Theatre Administration

7 November 2019

Brídín Clements talks about the accessibility of educational and professional programs, like internships, in theatre administration.

sheet music
To Witness
Essay

To Witness

A Proposal to Build Radical Trust across Difference in the Arts

6 November 2019

Annalisa Dias and Ronee Penoi discuss decolonizing theatre, building trust and relationships across difference, and the act of witnessing.

Upcoming Events

Reshape Intensive Cluj event banner.
Livestreaming RESHAPE Intensive Cluj
Video

Livestreaming RESHAPE Intensive Cluj

A meeting of art practitioners interested in creating alternative organizational models for the arts

Tuesday 12 November & Thursday 14 November 2019
Cluj, Romania

RESHAPE presents the Intensive Cluj meeting livestreaming from Cluj, Romania on the global, commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv Tuesday 12 November and Thursday 14 November 2019.

hands of two people delicately placing their fingers on a balance with a feeling of solidarity
Livestreaming ArtsLink Assembly 2019: Global Warning—Artists and the Anthropocene
Video

Livestreaming ArtsLink Assembly 2019: Global Warning—Artists and the Anthropocene

The first full ArtsLink Assembly in New York City organized and produced by CEC ArtsLink.

Wednesday 13 November 2019
New York, New York, USA

CEC ArtsLink launches their first full ArtsLink Assembly in New York City entitled Global Warning—Artists and the Anthropocene livestreaming on the global, commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv Wednesday 13 November 2019 at 11 a.m. EST (New York) / 16:00 UTC +0 (London) / 17:00 UTC +1 (Berlin) / 18:00 UTC +2 (Bucharest) / 19:00 UTC +3 (Moscow). Use #ArtsLinkAssembly in social media.

photo of people in audience taking notes
Livestreaming the Live Arts Criticism Panel
Video

Livestreaming the Live Arts Criticism Panel

with Arts Boston, Boston Center for the Arts, and The Front Porch Arts Collective in Boston, MA

Tuesday 19 November 2019
Boston, MA

Arts Boston, Boston Center for the Arts, and The Front Porch Arts Collective present the Live Arts Criticism Panel livestreaming from Boston, MA on the commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Tuesday 19 November at 2:30 p.m. PST (San Francisco, UTC-8) / 4:30 p.m. CST (Chicago, UST-6) / 5:30 p.m. EST (Boston, UTC-5).

Community Picks

Lists of specially curated content by members of our community.

The Politics and Ethics of Representation in Theatre

From an upper level seminar class, “The Politics and Ethics of Representation in Theatre,” these HowlRound articles fostered debate on controversial issues, modeled strategies for writing a manifesto about our beliefs on art-making and theatrical collaboration, and helped students propose an innovative season of plays that spoke to 21st Century audiences. Plays read included Jenkin’s Appropriate, Hwang’s Yellow Face, Ahktar’s Disgraced, Diamond’s Smart People, Mac’s Hir, Nottage’s Sweat, Baker’s The Flick, and Gao Xingjian’s Wildman.

A portrait of Emily Ball Cicchini.
New Media as Performance
Essay

New Media as Performance

19 January 2012

Emily Cicchini draws parallels between the process of making a new play to designing a new website, and offers inspiration on how that comparison can serve future new play development. 

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.

I’ll Disband My Roving Gang of Thirty Asian Playwrights When You Stop Doing Asian Plays in Yellow Face* (*Exception
Essay

I’ll Disband My Roving Gang of Thirty Asian Playwrights When You Stop Doing Asian Plays in Yellow Face* (*Exception

David Henry Hwang’s play Yellow Face)

6 October 2014

In this installment, Mike Lew discusses the Ma-Yi Writers Lab, the fraught practice of yellow face, and what equity for people of color actually looks like.

Lynn Nottage Talks Research, Collaboration, and the Fracturing of America
Essay

Lynn Nottage Talks Research, Collaboration, and the Fracturing of America

28 January 2016

Holly Derr speaks with Lynn Nottage about her new play Sweat, a co-commission of Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Arena Stage, currently playing in Washington, DC.

On the merits of Yellowface
Essay

On the merits of Yellowface

why casting the “best” actor for the role is actually just a selection of bias in a racist system

9 October 2015

Nelson T. Eusebio III addresses the argument that the “best” actor must always be cast in a role, regardless of race.

Igniting a Transgender Revolution in Chicago
Essay

Igniting a Transgender Revolution in Chicago

12 April 2017

Artist Delia Kropp discusses the state of transgender theatre in Chicago, Illinois and shares current initiatives to produce work by and for trans and gender-variant artists. 

We’re Not Playing
Essay

We’re Not Playing

A Theatrical Protest Initiative

16 January 2017

Playwright Tiffany Antone discusses Little Black Dress INK’s “We’re Not Playing” initiative, advocating the need for theatrical protest for social change.

The Laramie Project Project
Essay

The Laramie Project Project

Uniting Worldwide Stages to Spread Awareness of Hate Crimes

17 August 2017

High school performing arts student Alyssa Sileo discusses how creating a theatre advocacy project based on The Laramie Project helped her unite communities in the face of adversity. 

A tree floating in the air.
The Aesthetic Evolution of Eco Theater
Essay

The Aesthetic Evolution of Eco Theater

23 November 2013

Eco theater is not meant as a protest or an art installation at a climate change conference. It is a complete and independent artistic practice that happens to focus on ecological issues.

Universality in Disgraced by Ayad Akhtar
Essay

Universality in Disgraced by Ayad Akhtar

Does the Intent Justify the Impact?

9 March 2016

Arlene Martínez-Vázquez calls out the racism of Ayad Akhtar’s Disgraced, the most widely produced play of 2015 in America.

Fears of the Artist Sustain a Dysfunctional System
Essay

Fears of the Artist Sustain a Dysfunctional System

5 February 2014

In this installation, playwright  and artistic dirctor Jamil Khoury reflects on the controversey spurred over the adaptation of The Jungle Book, which opened this summer in Chicago. 

A Brief History of the Gender Parity Movement in Theatre
Essay

A Brief History of the Gender Parity Movement in Theatre

4 March 2017

Jenny Lyn Bader looks at theatre’s gender parity movement.

Who Designs and Directs in LORT Theatres by Gender
Essay

Who Designs and Directs in LORT Theatres by Gender

Phase Three

7 July 2017

Porsche McGovern discusses the third phase of her study on LORT theatre designers.

Portrait of P Carl.
A Boy in a Man's Theater
Essay

A Boy in a Man's Theater

25 April 2012

P. Carl on why the lack of stories on American Stages about those who do not identify with a single gender, and the need to change it. 

A Collective Call Against Critical Bias
Essay

A Collective Call Against Critical Bias

26 June 2017

A collectively authored essay by leading artists, academics, and theatre advocates about Paula Vogel’s Indecent and Lynn Nottage’s Sweat on Broadway amid a conversation about critical bias toward women playwrights and playwrights of color.

Comedy, Contrivance, and Criticism
Essay

Comedy, Contrivance, and Criticism

A Defense of Smart People

26 April 2016

Anchuli Felicia King on the Second Stage production of Lydia R. Diamond’s Smart People in New York.

Will & War
Essay

Will & War

Shakespeare Through the Lens of a Military Veteran

27 May 2014

The only reason that I am alive, sober, and surviving is because I have community and the performing arts. The performing arts community offers the perfect setting to share my story without being judged or condemned. It has been the performing arts that has kept me from being yet another veteran statistic. By examining and acting Shakespeare through my veteran lens I was able to understand what happened to me.

A person waving out of a window.
Community Building with the Chicago Home Theater Festival
Essay

Community Building with the Chicago Home Theater Festival

24 June 2014

Dani Snyder-Young writes about the 2014 Chicago Home Theater Festival, which places participatory performances inside private homes.

Community-Specific Theatre
Essay

Community-Specific Theatre

Conversations, Connections, and Considerations

10 April 2015

Talleri McRae shares a conversation hosted by StageOne Family Theatre in Louisville, Kentucky about making theatre specific to a particular community.

Art in the Time of Fear and Loathing
Essay

Art in the Time of Fear and Loathing

12 September 2016

Playwright Cherry Lou Sy discusses Vineyard Theatre’s production of Indecent, reflecting on the culture of fear and the queer artists who have influenced her.

The Fornés Institute

This collection explores The Fornés Institute through essays that champion Maria Irene Fornes and highlight work celebrating her legacy.

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.

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.

2015 LTC Carnaval Breakout Session Reflections
Essay

2015 LTC Carnaval Breakout Session Reflections

4 September 2015

A report out on 2015 LTC Carnaval Breakout Sessions on advocacy, artmaking, convening/networking, and scholarship. 

“The Camera is My Beloved”
Essay

“The Camera is My Beloved”

Michelle Memran Creates Documentary Art with María Irene Fornés

12 June 2018

Journalist and filmmaker Michelle Memran reflects upon the easy beginning, the messy middle, the focused concluding months, and MOMA premiere screening of her documentary dreamscape film The Rest I Make Up about her great friend, the beloved playwright and teacher María Irene Fornés.

Celebrando Fornés/Celebrating Fornés 2019-2020
Essay

Celebrando Fornés/Celebrating Fornés 2019-2020

23 May 2018

Announcing the Celebrando Fornés/Celebrating Fornés initiative, a year-long event to raise awareness of Maria Irene Fornés’s impact on theatre and preserve the legacy of her work.

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.

Series

Decolonizing Theatre Practice / Decolonarizar Practicas de Teatro

This series explores ways in which theatre artists can decolonize their practice and the field. 

Working With(In) Communities/ Trabajando Con y Para la Comunidad
Essay

Working With(In) Communities/ Trabajando Con y Para la Comunidad

Modeling Decolonized Practices/Las Practicas Hacia La Descolonización

31 May 2018

Director Megan Sandberg-Zakian talks with representatives of organizations which are intentionally working towards decolonized practices.

Decolonizing Texts, Words, and Communication
Podcast

Decolonizing Texts, Words, and Communication

30 May 2018

In this podcast, DeLesslin “Roo” George-Warren, Jacqueline E. Lawton, Lisa Cooke Ravensbergen, and mia susan amir discuss how we can decolonize the primacy of the written word and text in theatre.

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.

Decolonizing Creation Processes by Reclaiming Narratives/Reclamando Nuestras Narrativas
Essay

Decolonizing Creation Processes by Reclaiming Narratives/Reclamando Nuestras Narrativas

El Giro Decolonial en el Proceso Creativo

28 May 2018

Robert Goodwin and Mary Kathryn Nagle discuss decolonizing Western theatre, linear narrative structures, the historic silencing of underrepresented voices, Shakespeare, and more.

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.

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