fbpx Recent Essays | HowlRound Theatre Commons

Recent Essays

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

An audience sits in a dark red theatre, watching actors in costume perform.
Freedom and Theatre: An International Meditation
Essay

Freedom and Theatre: An International Meditation

24 February 2022

Producing artistic director Kellie Mecleary shares her experience participating in Vaba Lava Narva Theatre Centre’s first International Freedom Theatre Festival in Estonia.

Several actors standing or sitting in a practice space.
Casting Roles with Nudity: Body Checks and Why They Never Should Have Existed
Essay

Casting Roles with Nudity: Body Checks and Why They Never Should Have Existed

17 February 2022

Katrina Stelk discusses the role of nudity in theatre and the problem with requiring body checks during the casting process.

A large crowd walks alongside a life-sized internally controlled puppet.
Walk with Amal: The Five-Thousand-Mile-Long Theatrical Provocation
Essay

Walk with Amal: The Five-Thousand-Mile-Long Theatrical Provocation

7 February 2022

verity healey shares the journey and impact of Walk with Amal, an interactive, artistic project that centered on a large puppet refugee girl travelling through Europe.

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.

Or Browse By Topic

Diversity, Inclusion, Visibility

Ideas & Research

Form, Genre, Style

Vocation & Careers

Language

By Country

U.S. by State