fbpx Acting & Performance | HowlRound Theatre Commons

Acting & Performance

This section contains content on the craft of acting, created by performers of all types.

The Latest

A Lover’s Guide to American Playwrights: Ellen Maddow and Paul Zimet
Essay
A Lover’s Guide to American Playwrights: Ellen Maddow and Paul Zimet
by Todd London
16 May 2024
How Cultural Resistance for Palestine Makes Revolution Irresistible
Essay
How Cultural Resistance for Palestine Makes Revolution Irresistible
by Beto O'Byrne
15 May 2024
On Collaboration
Podcast
On Collaboration
by Elyzabeth Gregory Wilder, Jennifer Goff, Padraic Lillis
14 May 2024
student with a mic standing on stage in front of an oversized book open to a page that reads once upon a time.
Mic Check Mind Check Money Check
Video

Mic Check Mind Check Money Check

The Culminating Money Jam of the 2024 Hip Hop FinFest Rap Song Competition and Contest

Wednesday 5 June 2024
New York City

Featuring winning student performances, guest artists, money stories with MC Dyalekt, and community conversations about one of the most crucial topics in our lives: money.

A man guides a woman's arm during a performance.
A Lover’s Guide to American Playwrights: Ellen Maddow and Paul Zimet
Essay

A Lover’s Guide to American Playwrights: Ellen Maddow and Paul Zimet

16 May 2024

Todd London celebrates the work and love story of multidisciplinary theatremakers Ellen Maddow and Paul Zimet who have been creating theatre as part of the ensemble Talking Band for the past fifty years. 

A man plays a guitar in front of a microphone.
How Cultural Resistance for Palestine Makes Revolution Irresistible
Essay

How Cultural Resistance for Palestine Makes Revolution Irresistible

15 May 2024

Beto O’Byrne discusses the work of three theatre artists in New York whose acts of cultural resistance contribute to the movement for a free Palestine.

A promotional graphic for Teaching Theatre.
On Collaboration
Podcast

On Collaboration

14 May 2024

Theatre is a collaborative art.  In this week’s episode, host Elyzabeth Gregory Wilder talks with Padraic Lillis, artistic director of the Farm Theatre and Jennifer Goff,  professor at Centre College, about the collaborative process. Drawing from their experience developing a new play through the Farm Theatre project, Padraic and Jennifer discuss the ways in which collaboration helps students learn to think critically, communicate effectively, take risks, and analyze text.

Teaching Theatre episode teaser
On Devising in the Classroom
Podcast

On Devising in the Classroom

16 April 2024

More and more theatre departments are incorporating devising into their training. This highly collaborative process allows students to generate their own work, giving them ownership of the final product. Theatre professors Andy Paris (North Carolina School of the Arts) and Emily K. Harrison (Hamilton College) discuss their process, how they engage students, and the benefits of allowing students agency in the creation of their own work. 

A performer with a glum facial expression sits on the floor during a show.
Resisting “Yes, And” Culture and Learning to Say No
Essay

Resisting “Yes, And” Culture and Learning to Say No

8 January 2024

Sara Bozin explores the advice for performers within the theatre industry of saying “yes” to everything, how it infringes on the autonomy of theatremakers, and why and how one must learn to say no.

A performer stands in the center of the frame as another moves a prop into frame.
Evolving Our World Through the Power of an Actor’s Empathy
Essay

Evolving Our World Through the Power of an Actor’s Empathy

2 November 2023

Empathy can be a very powerful tool for our collective liberation, and it is something actors are often more skilled in than others. Yura Sapi discusses how actors can harness the power of empathy to have a significant impact on our world.

On the left, a performer stands on top of a curved platform and speaks. On the right, a performer sits on a round platform with hands clasped together.
A Cypher Among Theatremakers from the Laotian Diaspora
Essay

A Cypher Among Theatremakers from the Laotian Diaspora

7 September 2023

Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay convenes a roundtable discussion among actors, directors, producers, and playwrights from the Laotian diaspora who work in theatre in the United States. As former refugees and/or the refugees, these theatremakers navigate their places as arrivers in the settler-colonial structure of the United States.

event poster for the 4th Black Spatial Relics Convening.
The Fourth Black Spatial Relics Convening
Video

The Fourth Black Spatial Relics Convening

A Constellation of Artist Talks, Ceremonies, a Digital Performance Showcase, and Varied Conjures/Facilitations on Black Virtuosic Hope-Building

Thursday 27 July - Sunday 30 July 2023
Philadelphia, PA

Highlighting sacred local cultural institutions including the Colored Girls Museum, the Discovery Center, and a ritual tour across the city of Philadelphia, this gathering is a space for a stirring up of a new hope, inspired entirely by the study of our ancestral and living leaders who have built for themselves and their communities a daily practice of Black virtuosic hope.

Gender Euphoria teaser image featuring guest profile image.
Making Space: Consent, Collaboration, and Queer Access Intimacy
Podcast

Making Space: Consent, Collaboration, and Queer Access Intimacy

With Guests J.C. Pankratz and Emmett Podgorski

12 July 2023

J.C. Pankratz returns to the podcast to reflect on the first full production of their play Seahorse, directed by Nicolas Shannon Savard, starring Emmett Podgorski. Nicolas, J.C., and Emmett discuss how the collaborative process, from auditions through closing night, was informed by queer community building, access intimacy, and consent-based practice. They offer behind-the-scenes perspectives and concrete examples of how tools and ideas discussed in previous episodes played out in practice.

Event poster for HBCU Theatre Summit.
HBCU Theatre Summit’s “To Be Young, Gifted, and Black” Monologue Showcase
Video

HBCU Theatre Summit’s “To Be Young, Gifted, and Black” Monologue Showcase

We Will Dream: New Works Festival

Saturday 15 April 2023
New Orleans, Louisiana

Featuring monologues by HBCU college students. The HBCU Theatre Summit is for Black theatre students as they navigate the world of the arts.

Two people speaking on stage with one person standing behind them.
Surviving in the States: Audience Rejection on the Road with Oklahoma!
Essay

Surviving in the States: Audience Rejection on the Road with Oklahoma!

3 April 2023

The 2022 national tour of Oklahoma! brought Daniel Fish’s critically acclaimed revival to commercial theatre audiences nationwide. Those audiences met the production with overwhelming disapproval and animosity rooted in its departures from decades-old conventions. Actor Christopher Bannow, who played Jud in the touring production, details his experience of enduring audience rejection while remaining committed to engaging audiences in challenging conversations through risky theatrical choices.

Illustration of various cushioned chairs.
Imagining Creative Fat Futures
Essay

Imagining Creative Fat Futures

29 March 2023

Morgan Davis and Jules Vodarek Hunter discuss the process of creating Fat Fables, a theatre program for fat LGBT2SQ+ artists who are twenty-nine and under.

A performer wearing black and a mask standing on top of a box with arms in the air.
Movement Is for Every Body
Essay

Movement Is for Every Body

23 March 2023

Theatre artist and educator Katie Butler discusses the need to recalibrate movement practice toward accessibility and body autonomy, and shares her own experience navigating changes in her body’s abilities.

Four senior actors stand on-stage and look at their scripts during a rehearsal.
Elder Dramaturgy
Essay

Elder Dramaturgy

7 March 2023

Playwright Carlyle Brown describes his journey with the play We Take Care of Our Own by Zainabu Jallo, detailing the joys and challenges that come from work featuring characters in their eighties and nineties.

Two performers in extravagant costumes stand on either side of a performer with both arms extended at their side.
An Artist’s Take on Disability Creativity with David Salsbery Fry
Essay

An Artist’s Take on Disability Creativity with David Salsbery Fry

22 February 2023

David Salsbery Fry’s career in opera shifted dramatically when he publicly disclosed his disability in 2015. In this candid discussion with Marianna Mott Newirth and Gregory Moomjy, co-founders of New York City’s first disability-affirmative opera company, he details his experiences navigating an industry that has not made itself fully accessible or welcoming to artists with disabilities.

Critical Stages in Malawian Contemporary Theatre teaser image with the title at the top and a picture of the guest in the middle.
Making Theatre as a Multi-Hyphenate in Malawi
Podcast

Making Theatre as a Multi-Hyphenate in Malawi

21 December 2022

Pleasant Theodore Banda led Rise Arts to its first international performance in Zimbabwe. In this interview, he discusses his path into artistic direction as an actor and playwright with a background in accounting.

A woman in a dress lying on a bench covering her face with a book.
I Don’t Think It’s Just Me Anymore: The Shift Towards Healthier Theatre Education
Essay

I Don’t Think It’s Just Me Anymore: The Shift Towards Healthier Theatre Education

12 December 2022

Theatremaker Sara Bozin reflects on her college theatre experience and shares changes she’d like to see in theatre education that prioritize students’ physical and mental health.

Five people pretending to run in the same direction in a classroom.
Dealing with the Feels: Demystifying Emotions in Acting Classes with Emotional Intelligence
Essay

Dealing with the Feels: Demystifying Emotions in Acting Classes with Emotional Intelligence

28 November 2022

Theatre artist and educator Janet Neely advocates for incorporating emotional intelligence instruction into acting training and offers insights on, and resources for, teaching emotional intelligence to students.

The cover of a book called The Wildcard Workbook: A Practical Guide for Jokering Forum Theatre. It is purple and yellow.
The Wildcard Workbook: Why Forum Theatre and Why Now?
Essay

The Wildcard Workbook: Why Forum Theatre and Why Now?

15 November 2022

Theatremakers Sulu LeoNimm, Liz Morgan, and Katy Rubin discuss the process of co-authoring The Wildcard Workbook, a guide designed to help others in the field delve into Theatre of the Oppressed practices and devised theatre processes.

Critical Stages in Malawian Contemporary Theatre teaser image with the title at the top and a picture of the guest in the middle.
Theatre Academics
Podcast

Theatre Academics

A Conversation with Roselyn Madalo Dzanja

2 November 2022

As a scholar, educator, and practitioner of theatre, Roselyn Madalo Dzanja knows Malawi’s theatrical landscape well. In this interview, she discusses challenges Malawian women face when pursuing an acting career, the need for artistic independence from international donors, possibilities for Chichewa-language drama, and more.

PUHA Podcast Teaser.
Climate Crisis
Podcast

Climate Crisis

21 October 2022

In this episode, co-hosts Bíborka and Zsófi are joined by visual and performance artist and environmental activist, Éva Bubla; dancer, choreographer, researcher, and founder of the performance research group SVUNG, Kinga Szemessy; and culture manager, event organizer, curator, founder of the PLACCC Festival, and the Hungarian liaison for the IN SITU Network, Fanni Nánay. Drawing from their individual experiences, they discuss the current climate crisis and how different artists engage with this complex issue.

event poster for COMEDY, CRUELTY, & THE CONCEPT OF REVENGE with portraits of Betty Shamieh and Allen Gilmore.
Comedy, Cruelty, and the Concept of Revenge
Video

Comedy, Cruelty, and the Concept of Revenge

Writer Betty Shamieh and Actor Allen Gilmore Discuss Their Interpretations of Malvolio as a Writer and an Actor

Wednesday 19 October 2022
United States

The Classical Theatre of Harlem presented the conversation Comedy, Cruelty, and the Concept of Revenge, livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Wednesday 19 October 2022 at 4 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 6 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 7 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).

A woman in a red dress.
We’re Too Fat and Too Invisible to Have a Seat at Theatre’s Table, and Now Some of Us Don’t Eat
Essay

We’re Too Fat and Too Invisible to Have a Seat at Theatre’s Table, and Now Some of Us Don’t Eat

13 October 2022

Jasmine Haley Anderson takes aim at fatphobic standards in the theatre industry, which begin fostering disordered eating in women from their earliest performance experiences.

PUHA Podcast Teaser.
Autobiography
Podcast

Autobiography

12 October 2022

In this episode, hosts Zsófi and Bíborka take apart autobiographical theatre with stage director Panni Néder, actress Judit Tarr, actor and director László Göndör, and director and dramaturg Kristóf Kelemen. Together they delve into their approach to autobiographical material, playing themselves versus acting, their lives after creating a highly personal show, and the nuances of someone else playing them onstage.

Subscribe to HowlRound

Sign up for our daily, weekly, or quarterly emails so you never miss the latest theatre conversations.

Sign me up

Supporting HowlRound

We fundraise to keep all our programs free and open and to pay our contributors. Thank you to all who make our work possible!

Donate today