HowlRound is a free and open platform for theatremakers worldwide that amplifies progressive, disruptive ideas about the art form and facilitates connection between diverse practitioners.
We envision a theatre field where resources and power are shared equitably in all directions, contributing to a more just and sustainable world.
- Generosity and abundance—all are welcome and necessary
- Community and collaboration over isolation and competition
- Diverse aesthetics and the evolution of forms of theatre practice
- Equity, inclusivity, and accessibility for marginalized theatre communities and practices
- Global citizenship—local communities intersecting with global practice
HowlRound’s creation was a direct response to: 1) research that suggested artists were increasingly distant from the center of theatremaking within not-for-profit institutional infrastructure, and 2) the new possibilities created by technology to influence theatre practice. Our founding came at a time when we saw too many voices left off our stages, not represented inside of our institutions, and not recognized for their substantial contribution to our past and present. We set about to create a group of tools that would amplify voices and issues chronically underrepresented and unheard in the theatre.
We found an organizing principle in the “commons”—a social structure that invites open participation around shared values. HowlRound is a knowledge commons that encourages freely sharing intellectual and artistic resources and expertise. It is our strong belief that the power of live theatre connects us across difference, puts us in proximity of one another, and strengthens our tether to our commonalities.
HowlRound launched as an online journal in 2011, created by P. Carl, David Dower, Jamie Gahlon, and Vijay Mathew as part of the American Voices New Play Institute (AVNPI) at Arena Stage (founded by Dower in 2009). In 2012 the co-founders and all of the documentation and dissemination work of the AVNPI relocated to Emerson College in Boston under the banner of HowlRound. This included the HowlRound journal, the livestreaming television channel, then called NewPlay TV (now HowlRound TV), the New Play Map (now the World Theatre Map), and all of the convening activity. In July of 2012, HowlRound officially began operations at Emerson College, where we remain today. Co-founder P. Carl left HowlRound in 2017, and the three others remain at the helm. At Emerson, HowlRound is part of the Office of the Arts, a department that is also home to ArtsEmerson, a professional presenting and producing organization.
HowlRound is a knowledge commons that encourages freely sharing intellectual and artistic resources and expertise.
HowlRound is a condition—one that results in a howling noise when sound from a loudspeaker is fed back into a microphone. It’s an amplified feedback loop. This idea of a feedback loop represents the condition upon which HowlRound was born in 2011—as a place for artists to provide feedback, learning, expertise, frustration, and vision—in an effort to enliven the fields of theatre and performance to the aspiring and established artist alike.
All of our content comes from our community. We curate according to our values, and we curate by listening to you. And sometimes when it comes to written content we curate through a rigorous editing process done in conversation with you.
Other commons have emerged from the HowlRound commons. One of these is the Latinx Theatre Commons that began as a result of a meeting convened by HowlRound and is now an ongoing collaboration eight years strong.
If you’re here for the first time, welcome! Visit our Contribute Content Page to see how you can become involved, subscribe to receive our content in your inbox, or just send us an email and say hello. You are the commons. You are HowlRound.
HowlRound functions as an ensemble. We have eight full-time staff and a number of part-time workers that make the magic happen. Want to reach out? Visit our Contact Page!
Jamie Gahlon (Director & Co-Founder)
Jamie (she/her) is a doodler, a dabbler, a list maker, and a libra who shares her birthday with the Boss. She creates a mean budget and a meaner master schedule. She may have to borrow your dog or teacup pig.
Vijay Mathew (Cultural Strategist & Co-Founder)
Vijay (he/him) is a culture producer, an idea cartographer, and father to a ten-year-old who wants to help people when he grows up. An aspiring vegan chef.
Abigail Vega (Creative Producer)
Abigail (she/her) likes talking; she likes to talk, setting up conditions for others to talk, and listening to others talking. The song in her heart is just a running playlist of comedy, history, and cultural podcasts and quotes she misremembers from TED talks. She is an avid consumer of culture (except Breaking Bad, ew, David), a voracious reader, and a new tricycle rider. Previously, she served as the LTC Producer from 2014-2019.
Shannon Knapp (Communications Manager)
Shannon (she/her) accidentally became a theatremaker, much to the chagrin of her parents. She then decided to turn her deep love of talking into a career in communications. When she isn't playing make believe for work, she likes to play make believe for fun. She dearly hopes to someday read every single novel.
Deen Rawlins-Harris (Associate Producer)
Deen (they/them) in the words of Ms. Jackson: "So don't hold back / Just have a good time, yeah yeah / We'll make the rules up as we go along / And break them all if we're not havin' fun"
May Antaki (Content Editor)
May (she/her) is an editor, writer, and producer who works on everything from articles about theatre to memoirs, novels, and scripts. She likes to wake up with a strong coffee and wind down with a good book, is shamelessly devoted to bad pop music, and is happiest when biking around her city of Toronto.
Thea Rodgers (HowlRound TV Producer)
Thea (she/her) is a theatre addict and wannabe astronaut who's streaming your station from nation to nation on the commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network. She talks a big game but when it comes down to it, you can probably beat her in Scrabble.
Travis Amiel (HowlRound TV Producer)
Travis is awesome and we'll update this soon!
Julia Diaz-Young (Digital Media Manager)
Julia (she/her) is a ukulele-playing, lifelong theatre lover. She is thoroughly disappointed her life isn't more like High School Musical. One day she will have her Breaking Free moment.
David Dower (Co-Founder)
David is an infrastructure identifier and alignment specialist. A superstitious sports fan and former bartender of the year, he will make you a perfect cocktail if you cheer for his team the right way.