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Anti-Racist Theatre

As political activist and author Angela Davis said, “In a racist society, it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be anti-racist.” Content in this section is about moving our field away from harmful white supremacist power structures and ways of working, and into a just and equitable future. Start with essays on anti-racist stage management practices, combatting white supremacy culture in training programs and intimacy direction, and supporting parent-artists through an anti-racist lens.

The Latest

Decentered Playwriting: Alternative Techniques for the Stage, Book Launch Panel
Video
Decentered Playwriting: Alternative Techniques for the Stage, Book Launch Panel
Presented by The Drama Book Shop, in association with Jay Michaels Global Communications and the Dramatists Guild of America.
Tuesday 5 March 2024
New York City
Completing the Unfinished Sentences of Our Ancestors with Jonathan McCrory
Podcast
Completing the Unfinished Sentences of Our Ancestors with Jonathan McCrory
by Leticia Ridley, Jordan Ealey, Jonathan McCrory
7 February 2024
The Sum of Us One-Act Festival: Talk Back with Heather McGhee
Video
The Sum of Us One-Act Festival: Talk Back with Heather McGhee
This talkback will commence after the theatre performance for The Sum of Us One-Act Festival, which was inspired by McGhee's book.
Friday 15 March 2024
United States
The Sum of Us One-Act Festival Talk Back Event Poster.
The Sum of Us One-Act Festival: Talk Back with Heather McGhee
Video

The Sum of Us One-Act Festival: Talk Back with Heather McGhee

This talkback will commence after the theatre performance for The Sum of Us One-Act Festival, which was inspired by McGhee's book.

Friday 15 March 2024
United States

Bishop Arts Theater Center proudly welcomes Heather McGhee, New York Times bestselling author of The Sum of Us, which outlines what racism costs everyone and how we can heal together.

Decentered Playwriting Book Launch Event Poster.
Decentered Playwriting: Alternative Techniques for the Stage, Book Launch Panel
Video

Decentered Playwriting: Alternative Techniques for the Stage, Book Launch Panel

Presented by The Drama Book Shop, in association with Jay Michaels Global Communications and the Dramatists Guild of America.

Tuesday 5 March 2024
New York City

Join the Decentered Playwriting: Alternative Techniques for the Stage Book Launch Panel, with Carolyn Dunn, Eric Micha Holmes, and Les Hunter, moderated by Hunter College MFA Playwriting Christine Scarfuto.

A promotional graphic for the Daughters of Lorraine Podcast.
Completing the Unfinished Sentences of Our Ancestors with Jonathan McCrory
Podcast

Completing the Unfinished Sentences of Our Ancestors with Jonathan McCrory

7 February 2024

Jonathan McCrory is a Tony Award and Emmy Award nominated producer and a two-time Obie Award-winning artist who has served as executive artistic director at the National Black Theatre since 2012. In this episode, hosts Jordan Ealey and Leticia Ridley talk with McCrory about his work with the National Black Theatre and his ongoing commitment to nourishing and cultivating Black creativity and Black life.

Daughters of Lorraine Podcast teaser.
Staging Black Intimacies
Podcast

Staging Black Intimacies

4 October 2023

Hosts Jordan Ealey and Leticia Ridley interview Kaja Dunn, who is an intimacy professional, director, actor, and scholar. They discuss her journey as a theatre artist, the importance of intimacy coordinator for theatre and television, and Kaja’s own artistry and creativity.

A man holding cards for a speech and a woman who smiles and claps stand together on stage.
Decolonizing Arts Leadership Through Shared Black and Indigenous Leadership
Essay

Decolonizing Arts Leadership Through Shared Black and Indigenous Leadership

12 September 2023

David Howse and Ronee Penoi, co-leaders of ArtsEmerson, introduce the Black and Indigenous Futures Series with an essay that discusses their commitment to a shared leadership approach that foregrounds solidarity between Black and Indigenous communities.

A man in white robes looks up to the sky.
Staging Dystopias of Desire and the Poetics of Grief
Essay

Staging Dystopias of Desire and the Poetics of Grief

27 June 2023

Theresa May discusses the way that two contemporary plays with dystopian settings—Transmissions in Advance of the Second Great Dying by Jessica Huang and Somewhere by Melissa Treviño Orta—lean away from typical tropes of destruction and individualism by instead centering care, kinship, reciprocity, and interdependence.

Two men posing for a picture in front of a wall that reads "Experimental Theater".
Ripples of Legacy in California’s Latinx Theatres
Essay

Ripples of Legacy in California’s Latinx Theatres

12 June 2023

Richard Falcon and Fran Astorga discuss the need for inclusive spaces that led to founding their own companies, the road blocks they've pushed against, and the legacy they hope to create as part of the teatro field.

Four actors sit in a classroom set.
Larissa FastHorse on Indigenizing Theatre
Essay

Larissa FastHorse on Indigenizing Theatre

6 June 2023

Holly L. Derr talks with Larissa FastHorse about Indigeneity and misogyny in The Thanksgiving Play, using satire to create change, and rewriting Peter Pan.

Segal theatre center logo.
A Conversation on Anti-Racism
Video

A Conversation on Anti-Racism

An Evening to Discuss Findings, Resources, and Questions that Arose from the Research of the Student Anti-Racism Committee

Thursday 18 May 2023
New York City

Join us for an evening with the PhD students from the theatre department and others at the GC CUNY to share, reflect, and discuss findings, resources, and questions that arose in three years of research during the time of COVID for the student anti-racism committee. Topics will include theory and pedagogy, history and practices, plays, anti-racism trainings, CUNY resources, and outside organizations and resources.

A performer sits at a desk and draws while a screen to the right broadcasts a video of the drawing.
Community Engagement, Anti-Oppression, and Digital Space
Essay

Community Engagement, Anti-Oppression, and Digital Space

27 March 2023

Artist, facilitator, and cultural innovator Nikki Shaffeeullah kicks off this series by sharing her journey to creating Undercurrent Creations, a Toronto-based arts organization, and Parallel Tracks, a gathering of BIPOC artists that offers training in visioning, producing, and facilitating community arts projects.

best practices in new play development poster.
Best Practices in New Play Development
Video

Best Practices in New Play Development

A Panel Discussion with Particular Focus on Anti-Racist and Anti-Oppression Practices

Friday 10 March 2023
Bloomington, Indiana

Best Practices in New Play Development is a panel discussion around this theme with Martine Green-Rogers (DePaul University), Celise Kalke (Synchronicity Theatre), and Bradley Michalakis (Alley Theatre), with particular focus on anti-racist and anti-oppression practices. It is part of IU Theatre and Dance’s At First Sight Festival of New Plays. This event will feature live captioning and ASL interpretation.

Building Our Own Tables Season 3 teaser image with guest headshot.
Transform Yourself with Tierra Allen
Podcast

Transform Yourself with Tierra Allen

8 March 2023

This week, Yura Sapi is join by Tierra Allen who shares about creating The Real Work, a podcast about theatre culture and transformative justice that is co-produced with We Rise Production. This episode’s topics include learning from non-humans, sharing poems and songs, and being the change.

Building Our Own Tables Season 3 teaser image with guest headshot.
Imagining with Victor Vazquez
Podcast

Imagining with Victor Vazquez

8 February 2023

Victor Vazquez joins Yura Sapi to share his experience creating X Casting, a casting company that spans theatre and film in the United States and worldwide through a shared purpose of collective liberation and anti-racism. This episode’s topics include thinking about our role in the political landscape, globalism, and a curiosity for generous solutions.

Building Our Own Tables Season 3 teaser image.
Fill Your Cup with Abundance Zaddy
Podcast

Fill Your Cup with Abundance Zaddy

18 January 2023

Abundance Zaddy joins Yura Sapi to talk about creating Cause Reign, an oral history project that connects Black people—with a focus on Black trans and queer folks—to their histories through dreamwork, the practice of remembering, recording, and activating the healing potential of dreams. Topics in this episode include prioritizing love and sweetness, transcending time, and asking for consent.

Building Our Own Tables Season 3 teaser image with guest headshot.
Welcome to Season Three with Yura Sapi
Podcast

Welcome to Season Three with Yura Sapi

11 January 2023

How exciting is it to transform our future and be the future ancestors we dream for? Yura Sapi opens the space with a gratitude ritual and shares about what’s to come on the new season of the Building Our Tables podcast. Topics for this season include evolutionary times, the four elements, and sounds of nature.

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.

event poster for reflecting forward session two: Art, Race & Dialogue.
Animating Democracy Session Two
Video

Animating Democracy Session Two

Art, Race, and Dialogue

Thursday 13 October 2022
United States

Art2Action and Animating Democracy presented Art, Race, and Dialogue, the second event in the series Animating Democracy: REFLECTING FORWARD, livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Thursday 13 October 2022 at 1 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 3 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 4 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).

Two actors staring lovingly into each other's eyes.
Erasure is Not an Option: Intimacy Advocacy Through a Transgender Lens
Essay

Erasure is Not an Option: Intimacy Advocacy Through a Transgender Lens

A Conversation with Raja Benz

30 August 2022

Ann James sits down with intimacy choreographer Raja Benz to discuss her experience implementing cultures of consent in rehearsal rooms, cultivating a localized approach to intimacy work, and centering trans perspectives in theatrical processes.

Balancing Power Through Intimacy in the Rehearsal Space
Essay

Balancing Power Through Intimacy in the Rehearsal Space

26 August 2022

Ann James chats with Rocio Mendez about her work as an intimacy director, connections between intimacy choreography and fight direction, and getting excited about theatre’s fieldwide trend toward including intimacy specialists in production teams.

sculpture floating above a theatrical stage.
Intimacy and Equity: A Balancing Act
Essay

Intimacy and Equity: A Balancing Act

23 August 2022

Ann James introduces the Rebuilding for the Future: A Convergence of Thought Leaders in Intimacy Practice series with this call for intimacy professionals to build a foundation of equity in the industry by interrogating available mentorship and training structures. This essay begins that work by highlighting the need for a diverse pool of training ideologies and methods; and the interview-based series that follows takes up that need by highlighting the perspectives of eight practitioners who navigate the intimacy industry in a variety of ways.

Daughters of Lorraine Podcast teaser.
Writing Detroit: Dominique Morisseau’s Practice of the Possible
Podcast

Writing Detroit: Dominique Morisseau’s Practice of the Possible

10 August 2022

Jordan Ealey and Leticia Ridley interview award-winning and acclaimed playwright Dominique Morisseau about her recent Broadway productions of Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of The Temptations and Skeleton Crew; the future of Detroit theatre and performance; and reckoning with American history. Ealey and Ridley discuss Morisseau’s practice of reparative creativity and the ability for theatre to serve as a rehearsal for true change.

Daughter of Lorraine teaser image
When and Where We Enter: Black Feminist Theatre
Podcast

When and Where We Enter: Black Feminist Theatre

20 July 2022

In this episode, Leticia and Jordan finally explain what they mean when they say Black feminism, especially in theatre and performance. They engage Lisa M. Anderson’s tenets of Black feminist drama, alongside other contemporary scholars and artists expansion of Black feminist theatre. They discuss Black feminist theory, black feminist practice in creative work, and black feminist theatre theory.

Full cast sit together for a picture.
Seeing Double: Double Consciousness as a Black Theatre Practitioner
Essay

Seeing Double: Double Consciousness as a Black Theatre Practitioner

14 July 2022

Ekemini Ekpo applies W.E.B. Dubois’ concept of “double consciousness” to the experience of performing Blackness for a predominantly white audience that may or may not be interested in disturbing the primacy of their own lived experience.

Screenshot of a zoom meeting.
From Awareness to Action: Facilitating Change in the American Theatre
Essay

From Awareness to Action: Facilitating Change in the American Theatre

13 June 2022

Lauren E. Turner, producing artistic director of No Dream Deferred, sits down with Amelia Parenteau to discuss their recent experiences in anti-racist facilitation work through No Dream Deferred’s service, Equity and Justice for Institutional Change.

event poster for the conversation Developing and Sharing a Values-Centric Accountability Plan.
Developing and Sharing a Values-Centric Accountability Plan
Video

Developing and Sharing a Values-Centric Accountability Plan

Representatives from theaters engaged in anti-racism work share their experiences of creating an actionable plan

Monday 4 April 2022
United States

The Playwrights Realm presented the panel Developing and Sharing a Values-Centric Accountability Plan, livestreaming on the commons-based peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv Monday 4 April 2022 at 1 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 3 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 4 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4) / 21:00 BST (London, UTC +1).