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HowlRound Anthology: Essays and Conversations from the First Ten Years

We Published a Book!

After celebrating our ten-year anniversary in 2021, we are proud to announce our first published anthology, featuring essays from each year of the last decade. The anthology celebrates a decade of publishing essays, livestreaming events, and bringing theatre practitioners together to amplify pogressive and disruptive ideas, and exists as a result of the thousands of theatremakers who have shared their collective wisdom through contributions to this commons-based free and open platform.

In publishing this anthology, we hope to further our vision of a theatre field where resources and power are shared equitably in all directions, contributing to a more just and sustainable world. The writing highlighted offers a much-needed reminder that alternatives to the status quo are possible, and we are making them together by practicing otherwise everyday.

Get your copy!

HowlRound in the Classroom: Free Lesson Plans

These lesson plans were created by theatre educators and curriculum writers Emi Aguilar and Meg Greene and are intended for use in college and university classrooms. Have you tried any of them out? Let us know how it went!

  1. Accessing Character: Igniting Creativity through Disability and Climate Justice
  2. Applied Drama and Theatre in Action
  3. Collective Envisioning, or Undoing the American Theatre
  4. Decolonizing the American Theatre
  5. Programming and Pitching a Season
  6. Reorienting Directing: Moving Towards New Directing Practices

Watch the Launch Celebration

We celebrated the publication of the book with a virtual event on HowlRound TV on 21 June. Anthology contributors Nicole Brewer, Will Davis, Lauren Gunderson, and Michael Rohd read selections from their essays and reflected on the past, present, and future of our field.

About the Anthology

As HowlRound approached its ten-year anniversary in 2021, those of us who steward the platform began thinking about appropriate ways to celebrate a decade of publishing essays, livestreaming events, and bringing theatre practitioners together to amplify progressive and disruptive ideas. How could we offer gratitude within our commons-based frame while reflecting on the immense contributions of so many?

While early in HowlRound’s founding we self-published a handful of books and talked about the possibility of releasing HowlRound content in hard copy, the occasion of our tenth anniversary felt particularly ripe to return to this idea. As a commons-based, peer-produced free and open platform, HowlRound would not exist without the thousands of theatremakers who have shared their collective wisdom through contributions to our journal, TV, and podcasts over the past decade. And as a primarily digital space, the idea of having a tangible object to hold felt of a permanence that was attractive to us.

Alongside HowlRound’s evolution and growing influence, discourse in the not-for-profit theatre sector evolved. Conversations around gender and gender parity met the #MeToo movement as the not-for-profit theatre field headed toward discussions around race and representation and systemic racism, eventually landing post-2020 George Floyd and racial reckonings in the complex, nuanced, and intersectional place we find ourselves in at the time of writing. Throughout the decade, considerations of the climate crisis began to creep in, becoming more urgent and frequent as time went on. Reading back over many of the essays HowlRound published, I was struck by how much our early content focused on the role and possibilities of new technology at the time, as well as the question of theatre’s relationship to the digital. Writing now nearing two years into the pandemic, little could we have imagined back then the ways technology would by necessity take center stage thanks to COVID-19. All of these themes are reflected in the anthology, as the chorus of essays speaks to our evolving theatre field and its relationship to broader society and the world at large.

Creating this book necessitated an intentional process of inclusion and exclusion. It must be noted that there are many more essays from the HowlRound journal that merited being in this anthology, but not everything could fit. We had to make some tough choices. Of course, the good news is that every essay HowlRound has ever published is always digitally accessible and will continue to be part of our growing archive of practice and reflection.

The chorus of essays speaks to our evolving theatre field and its relationship to broader society and the world at large.

The anthology was co-curated by former HowlRound content editor May Antaki, HowlRound associate producer Deen Rawlins-Harris, HowlRound creative producer Abigail Vega, and HowlRound co-founder and director Jamie Gahlon, and includes 50 written pieces representative of HowlRound’s core values; cognizant of the diversity and positionality of its contributors (including age, gender, geography, affiliation within the field, race and ethnicity, sexual orientation); and with the awareness that some of HowlRound’s most impactful and important content is not always synonymous with the most read, or clicked, or commented on.

We had hours and hours of joyous and painful conversation about what to keep and what to let go, which led us to a list of fifty essays total, between four and six for each year in the decade. Finally, we asked each author for permission to republish their essay and made final adjustments in accordance with their wishes. What you hold in your hands is our imperfect, subjective, best attempt at representing ten years of incredibly divergent and multiplicitous contributions to the HowlRound journal.

This anthology is a love letter to those who contributed to HowlRound over the past decade. Thank you for co-creating our knowledge commons. HowlRound and the theatre field are all the better for your offering. More broadly, we hope that theatremakers around the globe will benefit from seeing themselves and this decade of theatre practice reflected in this anthology, whether or not they have contributed to HowlRound.

Can't wait for the book to arrive? Check out this list of all the content!