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Recent Essays

This is a repository of written content, sorted by most recent to oldest. Enjoy!

Six black actors on stage under multicolored lights.
Audience Behavior in the West and Africa
Essay

Audience Behavior in the West and Africa

3 February 2022

While performing across the West and in Africa, Misheck Mzumara noticed stark differences in typical audience behavior. He discusses those differences, their cultural contexts, and their impact on theatremakers’ experiences in cross-cultural theatre productions.

Three people on stage, one standing directly under a spotlight.
A Song of Ourselves: Playing out the Pandemic in The Bahamas
Essay

A Song of Ourselves: Playing out the Pandemic in The Bahamas

1 February 2022

Nicolette Bethel reflects on the creation and significance of Competent Authority, a play that focuses on the COVID-19 pandemic in The Bahamas.

Drawn horseshoe crab that reads "We are all Invited" on its back.
Crabs as Ancestors, Cardboard as Collaborator
Essay

Crabs as Ancestors, Cardboard as Collaborator

31 January 2022

Can a new holiday hatch humans closer to freedom? Eli Nixon's homage proposal messes with time, place, and puppets towards building inter- and intra-species solidarities.

A puppet booth with two puppets in the window.
The Brutalities of Mr. Punch
Essay

The Brutalities of Mr. Punch

27 January 2022

Leda Farrow considers the history, legacy, and symbolic potential of Mr. Punch, a hand puppet characterized by his violent acts.

Several performers with large puppets standing in a field.
Ground Lessons: Performing with the Potato People at Bread and Puppet
Essay

Ground Lessons: Performing with the Potato People at Bread and Puppet

26 January 2022

Denise Rogers Valenzuela shares the way that learning to perform improvised crowd scenes with large, flat puppets—called naked population puppets or potato people—encourages an embodied practice that resists individualism.

Several people sitting in a field watching a puppet show.
Bringing Trouble: An Account of a Travelling Bicycle Puppet Show
Essay

Bringing Trouble: An Account of a Travelling Bicycle Puppet Show

25 January 2022

In 2021, Ian McFarlane and Laura Stinson of North Barn Theatre launched into a bicycle tour that brought a puppet circus to rural communities across Nova Scotia. They discuss the creation and performance of their show, which joyously embraced troublemaking as a path to activism.

Two people wearing costumes and holding signs that say "Bush" and "World".
Creating Puppet Solidarities
Essay

Creating Puppet Solidarities

24 January 2022

Sarah Plummer kicks off the puppet series by introducing the series contributors and exploring the way their work highlights puppetry’s capacity to form solidarities among humans and nonhumans.

Close on the faces of  three actors staring into the camera.
The Fight for the Right to Vote
Essay

The Fight for the Right to Vote

13 January 2022

Carlyle Brown’s Down in Mississippi is a celebration of a movement that gave birth to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Brown sat down with Todd London in October 2020 to discuss the creative process, historical context, and contemporary resonance of his play.

Several people dancing together in a room.
Thinking Through Racism: Nigerian Theatre’s Response
Essay

Thinking Through Racism: Nigerian Theatre’s Response

11 January 2022

Eseovwe Emakunu sits down with theatre practitioner Israel Wekpe to discuss how he and other Nigerian theatre artists use theatre to address racism and discrimination.

Two women sitting across from each other being filmed in a living room.
Podcasts and Zooms and Plays, Oh My!
Essay

Podcasts and Zooms and Plays, Oh My!

Creating Non-Theatre

10 January 2022

Ezra Brain reflects on the unique process of creating and performing the new work Our Childhood Sucked and shares what the theatre community can learn from creating digital “non-theatre.”

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