Recent Essays

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

two actors onstage
Pandemic Theatre Aesthetic
Essay

Pandemic Theatre Aesthetic

7 April 2020

Jonathan Mandell examines the new theatrical landscape brought on by COVID-19 and discusses the emerging aesthetic—one that is low-tech, low-key, one-on-one, close-up.

balcony view of parable of the sower
Answering the Call to Pause
Essay

Answering the Call to Pause

On Deciding to Postpone Due to COVID-19

2 April 2020

David Dower and David Howse—artistic director and executive director of ArtsEmerson, respectively—talk with artist Toshi Reagon about the decision to postpone her show due to COVID-19, and how that decision came from a place of power and progress.

stage view of an actor
Lost Works
Essay

Lost Works

What Could Have Been

1 April 2020

Kristin Idaszak and Kristen Osborn invite you to pay tribute to the work you have lost due to the recent theatre closures.

shannon knapp
Introducing Shannon Knapp, Communications Manager!
Essay

Introducing Shannon Knapp, Communications Manager!

31 March 2020

Join us in welcoming Shannon, our new Communications Manager!

three people looking at a large projection of a person's face
Lessons in Online Theatremaking from New Paradise Laboratories’ Whit MacLaughlin
Essay

Lessons in Online Theatremaking from New Paradise Laboratories’ Whit MacLaughlin

30 March 2020

Alex Ates speaks with Whit MacLaughlin—the experimental theatremaker who ventured into the online realm before it became our norm—about the intersection between digital technology and live performance and pedagogy.

a large group posing for a picture
Giving Yourself Permission to Leave
Essay

Giving Yourself Permission to Leave

Two Founding Artistic Leaders Discuss Stepping Down

26 March 2020

Michelle Hensley and Abe Rybeck—former founders and artistic directors of Minneapolis’s Ten Thousand Things and Boston’s the Theater Offensive, respectively—discuss their leadership transition, including knowing when to step back, succession planning, fears of leaving, and more.

a group of youth actors onstage
Trans Theatre Is More Than a Cast List
Essay

Trans Theatre Is More Than a Cast List

24 March 2020

AJ Schwartz responds to Will Wilhelm’s recent HowlRound piece about trans inclusivity in theatre casting, arguing that, while that’s important, theatre companies have to go a lot further.

a person teaching
Teaching Performing Arts During the Pandemic
Essay

Teaching Performing Arts During the Pandemic

23 March 2020

Tracy C. Davis talks to instructors at Northwestern University about how they are preparing to teach acting and dance—quintessentially embodied forms dependent on human-to-human observation and whole-body involvement—online.

two actors embracing
Intimate Reform
Essay

Intimate Reform

Making Space for Leaders of Color

19 March 2020

Ann C. James reflects on the quickly growing field of intimacy direction, arguing that it is vital for the leadership to include people of color so that stories centering on racialized sexual trauma and non-white romantic intimacy can be told in the most truthful ways.

four actors onstage
Lumbering Toward the New
Essay

Lumbering Toward the New

17 March 2020

In this virtual keynote, Todd London reflects on the nature of new work and the social cooperation inherent to making theatre.

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