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P. Carl

P. Carl is the Director and co-founder of HowlRound—a think tank and knowledge commons actively making community among theatremakers worldwide through online resource sharing and in-person gatherings. Carl is also the co-artistic director of ArtsEmerson at Emerson College where he develops, dramaturgs, and presents an eclectic array of theatre from diverse artists from around the globe. Operating from the core belief that theatre is for everyone, Carl seeks to use the power of live performance in concert with opportunities for international dialogue and activism to foster personal and political transformation through the shared experience of art. Carl is a Distinguished Artist in Residence on the Emerson faculty, and a frequent writer and speaker on the evolution of theater practice and theory. He is the former Producing Artistic Director of the Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis, the former Director of Artistic Development at Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago, and holds a PhD in Comparative Studies in Discourse and Society from the University of Minnesota. 

The Art in the Room
Essay

The Art in the Room

P Carl Talks with Taylor Mac

September 24, 2017

P Carl talks with Taylor Mac about drag, aesthetics, gender, performance, and politics.

Becoming a White Man in the Theatre
Essay

Becoming a White Man in the Theatre

July 11, 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.

P. Carl In Conversation with Martha Lavey
Essay

P. Carl In Conversation with Martha Lavey

April 26, 2017

P. Carl talks with former Steppenwolf Artistic Director Martha Lavey who passed away on April 25, 2017. This interview was originally published on February 15, 2015.

Teaching in the First Three Weeks
Essay

Teaching in the First Three Weeks

February 16, 2017

P. Carl considers how to teach theatre in the time of Trump.

The Battle Series
Essay

The Battle Series

Dr. P. Carl

November 02, 2016

Corey Ruzicano interviews Dr. P. Carl on how he picks his battles as part of the Battle Series.

Taking Responsibility for the Plot
Essay

Taking Responsibility for the Plot

July 27, 2016

P. Carl on transitioning, frames of whiteness, and taking control of the plot.

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

April 14, 2016

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

Five Years
Essay

Five Years

January 22, 2016

On the five-year anniversary of HowlRound, P. Carl looks back with a grateful eye to the future.

The Risk of Shared Leadership
Essay

The Risk of Shared Leadership

August 16, 2015

P. Carl asks if a shared leadership model can make a dent in the problem of diversity in our institutions.

Carnaval 2015 Opening Remarks
Essay

Carnaval 2015 Opening Remarks

July 24, 2015

Lisa Portes, P. Carl, and José Luis Valenzuela offer opening remarks on Carnaval 2015 at the Theatre School at DePaul University.

An Interview
Essay

An Interview

Tanya in TV-Land

July 19, 2015

P. Carl interviews playwright Tanya Saracho on how writing for television has affected her work and life in the theatre.

P. Carl In Conversation with Martha Lavey
Essay

P. Carl In Conversation with Martha Lavey

February 15, 2015

P. Carl and outgoing artistic director of Steppenwolf Theatre, Martha Lavey, in conversation.

Interview with Boston’s New Chief of Arts and Culture
Essay

Interview with Boston’s New Chief of Arts and Culture

Julie Burros

January 11, 2015

Boston’s new Chief of Arts and Culture, Julie Burros, took time recently to talk with P. Carl about her new role and the significance of being chief.

An Interview With Former Theater J Artistic Director Ari Roth
Essay

An Interview With Former Theater J Artistic Director Ari Roth

December 21, 2014

P. Carl interviews Ari Roth about his recent firing from Theater J and the power of theatre in politcs. 

Unlocking the Mystery of Writing a Musical
Essay

Unlocking the Mystery of Writing a Musical

A Conversation with Carson Kreitzer and Matt Gould

October 26, 2014

P. Carl interviews Carson Kreitzer and Matt Gould about their journey creating the new musical, Lempicka.

The Trans Artistic Body
Essay

The Trans Artistic Body

October 23, 2014

I’m at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in the women’s restroom washing my hands. A woman walks in, “I must be in the wrong place,” she says and walks out. Then she walks back in, “No, you’re in the wrong place,” she says, seething with confidence. I walk out, not sure of my place.

An Interview with 7 Fingers’ Gypsy Snider and Shana Carroll
Essay

An Interview with 7 Fingers’ Gypsy Snider and Shana Carroll

September 28, 2014

P. Carl interviews 7 Fingers' Gypsy Snider and Shana Carrol.

Sarah Ruhl in Conversation with P. Carl
Essay

Sarah Ruhl in Conversation with P. Carl

September 07, 2014

P. Carl interviews playwright Sarah Ruhl on her collection of short essays titled "100 Essays I Don't Have Time to Write: On Umbrellas and Sword Fights, Parades and Dogs, Fire Alarms, Children, and Theater." 

Interview with Michael Garcés
Essay

Interview with Michael Garcés

September 03, 2014

P. Carl interviews Michael Garcés, Artistic Director of Cornerstone Theater, about their touring production California: The Tempest, which revisits ten California communities that were part of ten year’s of Institute Summer Residencies.

Your Brain on Creativity
Essay

Your Brain on Creativity

August 10, 2014

P. Carl reflects on the power of the brain and how it relates to creativity. 

Women, Leadership, and Parity
Essay

Women, Leadership, and Parity

Interview with Julie Crosby

July 01, 2014

P. Carl interviews Julie Crosby on leadership, gender parity, and Women’s Project Theater. 

The Kilroys Were Here
Essay

The Kilroys Were Here

Moving Female Playwrights into Production

June 22, 2014

P. Carl interviews Joy Meads, Carla Ching, Annah Feinberg, and Kelly Miller on how THE LIST was produced and responses since its release.

Friday Phone Call #60
Podcast

Friday Phone Call #60

Gender Identity in Theater—Jess Barbagallo and P. Carl

May 16, 2014

Listen to weekly podcasts hosted by David Dower as he interviews theater artists from around the country to highlight #newplay bright spots. This week's guests: Jess Barbagallo and P. Carl.

The Anxiety of Generosity and the Abundance of the Commons
Essay

The Anxiety of Generosity and the Abundance of the Commons

May 01, 2014

A Keynote speech delivered by P. Carl at North Dakota State University “Playing on Common Ground: Theatre and the Complex Communities of the 21st Century.” 

Interview with Lear deBessonet
Essay

Interview with Lear deBessonet

February 23, 2014

P. Carl interviews Director Lear deBessonet on her influences, inspirations, and current work.