Essay by

From Me to We

Welcome to the New

Essay by

Exactly a year ago I launched a new journal, HowlRound. This was a dream of mine, one I shared with David Dower in June of 2010 at the TCG Conference in Chicago. I was eating sea bass if I remember correctly, and was on some kind of tirade about deepening the discourse in our field, frustrated by a lack of honest and regular conversation about what it means to be a theatre maker in the 21st Century. David had just launched the American Voices New Play Institute at Arena and asked me what I needed. And it wasn’t much really, just enough to launch a very simple WordPress site. I would do the rest.



Well you can already see that my idea instantly began to include the we of the Institute. As I often argue about the theatre, not much comes from the I of it. But I had no idea the size of the WE that would emerge when I published that first HowlRound piece in January of 2011. Since that time a community of theatremakers has stepped forward to engage in a more in-depth and truthful conversation than I ever envisioned when I was thinking about this alone in my own head. Together we have built something meaningful and important and this new is a platform that gives us a little more room to continue.


Together we have built something meaningful and important and this new is a platform that gives us a little more room to continue.


The journal will stay the journal. You’ll see it runs down the center of the site, the heart of the original impulse. We also have a blog to allow us to respond more quickly to news and events that are important to our readers. The blog will also aggregate your news and information so we can know what we’re all up to. The Commons is our version of a public square for knowledge sharing. We’re still in the early phases of figuring out how best to do this. This is our first stab at it and includes open source and crowd sourced resources, field research, and like-minded travelers who share the values of the cultural commons. In other words, there’s more room for you to participate, pitch ideas and build the 21st Century theatre of WE.

A while back I wrote a piece about the importance of saying YES in our business and it’s with immense gratitude that I thank you for saying YES to HowlRound this past year. Particular thanks to the WE that helped make this new site: David Dower, Vijay Mathew, Jamie Gahlon, Kevin Becerra, Erin Washington, and the wildly creative folks from very and U4EA. Can’t wait to see what we make of it in 2012!

Polly Carl
Editor, HowlRound

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