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Recent Essays

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

A woman sitting with her hands clasped in front of her at a table.
Amplifiers and Takers: Approaches to Interview-Based Playmaking
Essay

Amplifiers and Takers: Approaches to Interview-Based Playmaking

6 January 2022

Michael Dewhatley sits down with playwright and director KJ Sanchez to talk about her experiences making plays based on real events. They discuss process, responsibility, perspective, and how to create without an agenda.

A smiling woman and a woman speaking with a microphone.
Committing to a Community
Essay

Committing to a Community

Ronee Penoi and Shanta Thake in Conversation

4 January 2022

Ronee Penoi and Shanta Thake discuss their transitions into new leadership roles as Director of Artistic Programming at ArtsEmerson and Chief Artistic Officer of Lincoln Center, respectively—including their work to shift narratives on stage, see institutions as community resources, and keep deep listening at the core of their leadership practices.

Two actors on the set of The Elephant Man.
Naming the Trope: A Deep Dive into the Harmful Uses of Disability Stereotypes in the American Theatre
Essay

Naming the Trope: A Deep Dive into the Harmful Uses of Disability Stereotypes in the American Theatre

3 January 2022

From the “Gentleman Freak” to the “Rage-Filled Recluse,” simplistic tropes limit popular representation of disabled individuals. Ben Ranaan explains these tropes and advocates for more complex portrayals of disability in theatre and other media.

Where We Go from Here: Reflections on 2021
Essay

Where We Go from Here: Reflections on 2021

27 December 2021

2021 was a strange year overall and an even stranger year to celebrate a milestone birthday. Read our recap of this year and what we're looking forward to in 2022.

A man and woman sitting next to each other, smiling at one another.
Oh, Snap!
Essay

Oh, Snap!

Sean San José and Margo Hall in Conversation

20 December 2021

Sean San José, artistic director of Magic Theatre, and Margo Hall, artistic director of the Lorraine Hansberry theatre discuss stepping into their positions as artistic directors and reflect on their work together as two of the co-founders of Campo Santo Theatre.

A man in a suit and glasses standing and smiling behind two figures.
You Want Me to Balance What?
Essay

You Want Me to Balance What?

Why the Argument That Fiscal Sustainability is More Important Than Investing in Racial Justice Needs to Go Away

16 December 2021

Ryan Ferrebee discusses the disadvantages of theatres attempting to balance fiscal responsibility with anti-racism work from his perspective as a white fundraising professional.

Ten people on a Zoom call.
How Do We Go On?
Essay

How Do We Go On?

14 December 2021

E.M. Lewis and a group of theatre artists connected with Artists Repertory Theatre come together to mark the ways they make it through the strange, dark days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite prolonged uncertainty across the theatre industry and the world, they find community in one another and strength in storytelling.

A woman facing her back to three men and another woman.
The Mother of All Emotions
Essay

The Mother of All Emotions

7 December 2021

Playwright, author, screenwriter, and actor Betty Shamieh discusses her experience navigating the complexities of new motherhood as a woman in the theatre industry.

Four actors stand under a spotlight facing a seated audience.
Visions about Higher Education in the Performing Arts:
Essay

Visions about Higher Education in the Performing Arts:

A Multi-Perspective from Eastern-Central Europe

6 December 2021

Freelance theatre, text, and sound maker Panna Adorjáni shares her perspective on what it means to have a good university theatre program in Eastern-Central Europe through conversations with other graduates from that region.

When Nice Isn’t Enough: How Arts Fundraising Can Evolve
Essay

When Nice Isn’t Enough: How Arts Fundraising Can Evolve

2 December 2021

Jackson Cooper calls on fundraising professionals to reinterrogate their institutions’ relationships with wealth and value to forge more equitable development practices.

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