Anti-Racist Theatre

The Latest

Erasing the Middle East
Essay

Erasing the Middle East

White Gatekeeping and the Painful Path of Progress

by Ali-Reza Mirsajadi
17 September 2020
How We Grew a Student-Centered Anti-Racist Movement at Our Institution of Learning
Essay

How We Grew a Student-Centered Anti-Racist Movement at Our Institution of Learning

by Tatiana Isabel Gil, Micah Rosegrant, Viviana Vargas, Ciera-Sadé Wade
10 September 2020
Build from Here: The Future of Ensemble Theater with FoolsFURY Theater Company
Video

Build from Here: The Future of Ensemble Theater with FoolsFURY Theater Company

Conversations and workshops about labor ethics and project finance reform, design and technology, education, accessibility, and equity and diversity from story selection and development to casting.

Saturday 12 September and Sunday 13 September 2020
United States
black and white poster of historical figures' faces
Livestreaming a reading of Strange Fruit, Part II by Jon Bastian
Video

Livestreaming a reading of Strange Fruit, Part II by Jon Bastian

with LA Writers Center's "Breathe" online play reading series

Saturday 26 September 2020
United States

LA Writers Center presents a reading of Strange Fruit: Part II by Jon Bastian as a part of their "Breathe" online play reading series livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Saturday 26 September 2020 at 11 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 1 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-5) / 2 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-4).

two actors onstage
Erasing the Middle East
Essay

Erasing the Middle East

White Gatekeeping and the Painful Path of Progress

17 September 2020

Ali-Reza Mirsajadi talks about struggles for Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) artists in the American theatre community and details some of the changes that are happening for inclusivity and equity.

graphic hands holding letters B U I L D with title text
Build from Here: The Future of Ensemble Theater with FoolsFURY Theater Company
Video

Build from Here: The Future of Ensemble Theater with FoolsFURY Theater Company

Conversations and workshops about labor ethics and project finance reform, design and technology, education, accessibility, and equity and diversity from story selection and development to casting.

Saturday 12 September and Sunday 13 September 2020
United States

FoolsFURY Theater Company presented its national convening of ensemble theater makers BUILD from Here: The Future of Ensemble Theater livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Saturday 12 September and Sunday 13 September 2020.

Poster with headshots of speakers that says Black Live Matter.
To the Arts and beyond: What Does It Mean to Support Black Lives Matter? (ASL interpreted)
Video

To the Arts and beyond: What Does It Mean to Support Black Lives Matter? (ASL interpreted)

A Cultural Equity Learning Community panel featuring: Sadada Jackson, Martin Henson, Dr. Marta Moreno Vega, and Michael Bobbit, with music by Precious Perez

Thursday 10 September 2020
United States

The Cultural Equity Learning Community (CELC), an initiative of Arts Connect International, presented To the arts & beyond: What does it mean to support Black Lives Matter? which livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Thursday 10 September 2020 at 3 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 5 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-5) / 6 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-4).

How We Grew a Student-Centered Anti-Racist Movement at Our Institution of Learning
Essay

How We Grew a Student-Centered Anti-Racist Movement at Our Institution of Learning

10 September 2020

Tatiana Gil, Micah Rosegrant, Viviana Vargas, and Ciera-Sadé Wade—members of the Boston University School of Theatre Anti-Racist Student Initiative (BU SARSI)—speak to how, after a public outpouring of testimonials from former and current students of BU’s School of Theatre—detailing racism, sexism, ableism, and more—they rallied together to innovate ways of addressing the white supremacy within the school.

a laptop open to a presentation and written notes/sketches in front of it
Revolutionary Costume Pedagogy
Essay

Revolutionary Costume Pedagogy

2 September 2020

Michelle Souza looks at how costume designers and educators can dismantle the status quo of Western-focused, chronological teaching of historical garments and move toward a pedagogy that acknowledges and honors diversity, intersectionality, and globalism.

madeline sayet holding a paper shakespeare mask
Interrogating the Shakespeare System
Essay

Interrogating the Shakespeare System

31 August 2020

Madeline Sayet argues that promoting Shakespeare as the best writer of all time is a dangerous and white supremacist viewpoint, and she believes it’s time to interrogate the Bard’s placecent as the pinnacle of theatrical achievement.

black and white poster of historical figures' faces
A reading of Strange Fruit, Part 1 by Jon Bastian
Video

A reading of Strange Fruit, Part 1 by Jon Bastian

with LA Writers Center's "Breathe" online play reading series

Saturday 29 August 2020
United States

LA Writers Center presented a reading of Strange Fruit by Jon Bastian as a part of their "Breathe" online play reading series livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv beginning Saturday 29 August 2020 at 11 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 1 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-5) / 2 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-4).

actors onstage
Dismantling Anti-Black Language
Essay

Dismantling Anti-Black Language

27 August 2020

Holly Derr interviews Lavina Jadhwani about the document she created called Dismantling Anti-Black Linguistic Racism in Theatre, which offers several examples of potentially anti-Black language, such as Ethiopian, master, and minstrel; their use in Shakespeare; why they might be problematic; and possible substitutions.

four actors onstage
Exploring an Anti-Policing Theatre
Essay

Exploring an Anti-Policing Theatre

6 August 2020

While global protests have amplified calls for defunding the police, Chelsea Whitaker shares thoughts on how theatre needs to end its own policing of Blackness as well.

three actors onstage
Casting a Wider Net
Essay

Casting a Wider Net

White Institutions Must Seize the Moment

5 August 2020

David Valdes shares the main excuses theatres give when not programming shows created by and with BIPOC artists, how moving to online theatre offers new opportunities, and what the benefits are of making change.

two people posing for a photo
We Commit to Anti-Racist Stage Management Education
Essay

We Commit to Anti-Racist Stage Management Education

28 July 2020

Stage managers Narda E. Alcorn and Lisa Porter—both women; one Black, one White—offer tools and practices to help build anti-racist stage managers.

[A photo of Lavie. She wears a black beret and turtle neck and red long traditional Maori earrings.]
Anti-Oppression in the Performing Arts LAB with Lavie Williams
Video

Anti-Oppression in the Performing Arts LAB with Lavie Williams

A two hour learning session guiding performers to consider how whiteness, tokenization, appropriation and allyship manifest in their arts practices

Thursday 9 July 2020
Kingston, Ontario

Kingston Circus Arts and anARC Theatre presented Anti-Oppression in the Performing Arts LAB with Lavie Williams livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Thursday 9 July 2020 at 8 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 10 a.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-5) / 11 a.m. EDT (Kingston, UTC-4).

three actors onstage
We’ve Seen White American Theatre
Essay

We’ve Seen White American Theatre

How Can We BIPOC Now See Ourselves?

2 July 2020

Betty Shamieh offers a response to the “We See You, White American Theater” open letter as a non-Black American of color.

an actor onstage
Invitation to a Party Interrupted
Essay

Invitation to a Party Interrupted

1 July 2020

Todd London reflects on why and how we gather, and looks at the canons-in-the-making of four African American playwrights—Jackie Sibblies Drury, Aleshea Harris, Anna Deavere Smith, and Dael Orlandersmith—for how they serve as a map for this moment of revision.

kevin dinkins jr and al heartley
We Don’t Want Your Statements, American Theatre
Essay

We Don’t Want Your Statements, American Theatre

or, The Solidarity We Actually Needed

11 June 2020

Al Heartley and Kelvin Dinkins, Jr., Black theatre managers who work in predominantly white American theatres, respond to the recent “solidarity” statements posted by theatres across the country after George Floyd was killed.

Ngozi Anyanwu and Jonathan McCrory.
SEGAL TALKS: Jonathan McCrory and Ngozi Anyanwu
Video

SEGAL TALKS: Jonathan McCrory and Ngozi Anyanwu

An update on the situation for theatre artists in New York

Monday 8 June 2020
New York City, USA

The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center presented SEGAL TALKS: Jonathan McCrory and Ngozi Anyanwu livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Monday 8 June 2020 at 9 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 11 a.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-5) / 12 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-4) / 17:00 BST (London, UTC+1) / 18:00 CEST (Berlin, UTC+2).

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.

an illustration of a blue eye
Woke Supremacy
Essay

Woke Supremacy

A Critical Perspective on the American Theatre

18 February 2020

Donny Repsher talks about a new permutation of American racism he calls “woke supremacy,” race and the institution, white fragility, and more.

Aleshea Harris onstage
"in this fine suit"
Essay

"in this fine suit"

On Being a Black Playwright in the American Theatre

19 January 2020

Playwright Aleshea Harris reflects on the tensions of being a Black theatremaker and "negotiating bodily presence" in a speech at the 2020 Under the Radar Festival Professional Symposium.

seven people pose for a photo
Parents of Color and The Need For Anti-Racist Theatre Practices
Essay

Parents of Color and The Need For Anti-Racist Theatre Practices

3 December 2019

Nicole Brewer talks about the term “child friendly,” reconstructing the issue of parent support as an issue of race and racism, supporting parent-artists with an anti-racist lens, and more.

lauren e. turner seated at a table
The American Theatre Was Killing Me
Essay

The American Theatre Was Killing Me

Healing from Racialized Trauma in an Art Workspace

18 November 2019

Amelia Parenteau speaks with Lauren E. Turner about racialized trauma in American theatre, Lauren’s experience with it, and healing.

an actor onstage
We Have Suffered Enough
Essay

We Have Suffered Enough

The Cost of Performing Trauma for Women of Color

12 September 2019

Melisa Pereyra talks about how suffering goes hand in hand with being a woman of color actor, how trauma is held in the body, and how audiences react when stories lack grief.

a slide comparing the number of white directors versus directors of color from 2007-2017
Playwrights of Color, White Directors, and Exposing Racist Policy
Essay

Playwrights of Color, White Directors, and Exposing Racist Policy

29 August 2019

Nicole Brewer examines a prominent racist policy in theatre—when plays written by people of color are staged by white directors—through the lens of actors, theatregoers, and playwrights themselves.

two Black actresses sit on a couch
The Gift
Essay

The Gift

The Importance of Difficult Conversations Between Collaborators

12 May 2019

Playwright Pearl Cleage reflects on the power of truth-telling to find common ground and discusses how Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, GA is working to confront the legacy of Southern racism.