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Artist Rights and Safety

In this section, advocates and artists discuss the dangers faced by creative people in different situations around the world, from sexual harassment in rehearsal rooms to retaliation from governments in response to political art, and what we can do to protect them. Consider starting with Jessica Litwak’s 2018 series Artist Rights and Safety.

The Latest

Challenging the COVID Status Quo
Essay
Challenging the COVID Status Quo
by Ezra Tozian, Claudia Alick, Jon Jon Johnson
29 April 2024
We Can’t Build an Equitable Theatre While Ignoring COVID
Essay
We Can’t Build an Equitable Theatre While Ignoring COVID
by Taylor Leigh Lamb
21 March 2024
For a Resilient US Theater, Post-Pandemic
Video
For a Resilient US Theater, Post-Pandemic
A presentation of key findings from a transnational study on theatre during and after the pandemic.
Wednesday 3 April 2024
Two people in stage blacks wearing masks stand backstage.
Challenging the COVID Status Quo
Essay

Challenging the COVID Status Quo

29 April 2024

Ezra Tozian, Claudia Alick, and Jon Jon Johnson discuss the need to challenge the status quo of ignoring COVID within the theatre industry and the impact that the lack of care is having on them and other disabled theatremakers. 

an image of a theatre marquee that reads, this is just intermission.
For a Resilient US Theater, Post-Pandemic
Video

For a Resilient US Theater, Post-Pandemic

A presentation of key findings from a transnational study on theatre during and after the pandemic.

Wednesday 3 April 2024

Barbara Fuchs and Rhonda Sharrah (UCLA) are the US researchers for a transnational study on the state of theatre post-pandemic, and what key lessons can be learned from the COVID experience. They will present their findings and recommendations in conversation with Corinna Schulenburg, director of communications and research for Theatre Communications Group and Greg Reiner, Theatre & Musical Theatre director in the Performing Arts Division of the National Endowment for the Arts.

A woman performs in front of audience members wearing masks.
We Can’t Build an Equitable Theatre While Ignoring COVID
Essay

We Can’t Build an Equitable Theatre While Ignoring COVID

21 March 2024

Taylor Leigh Lamb argues that building the equitable theatre industry requires robust COVID precautions with steps like masking, air filtration, and advocacy within our theatrical spaces.

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 woman wearing a lacey crown stands alone on a carpeted floor with a hand extended in a "halt" gesture.
Anti-Terror Feminist Director Is in Russian Jail for “Justifying Terrorism”
Essay

Anti-Terror Feminist Director Is in Russian Jail for “Justifying Terrorism”

2 August 2023

After Russian courts found that Svetlana Petriychuk’s documentary theatre piece Finist the Brave Falcon “justified terrorism” due to its feminist aims, Petriychuk and director Zhenya Berkovich were jailed. Viktor Vilisov discusses the production, clarifying the production’s aims to amplify the experiences of Russian women whose attempts to flea Russian patriarchy has landed them in oppressive marriages to Syrian ISIS fighters.

A woman seated in a wheelchair speaks passionately to a man squatting in front of her.
Playwright Caregivers
Essay

Playwright Caregivers

6 July 2023

Playwrights Carlyle Brown, Elaine Romero, and Catherine Filloux come together to discuss their experiences as working theatre artists who also act as caregivers to their spouses.

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 woman sitting outside on a scooter in front of a flowering tree.
Taking Care: Supporting Delegates with Invisible Disabilities at Festivals and Showcases
Essay

Taking Care: Supporting Delegates with Invisible Disabilities at Festivals and Showcases

15 May 2023

Second Hand Dance embarked upon research on support for artists with access needs after artistic director Rosie Heafford had to pull out of a festival that did not provide sufficient accommodations for her invisible disability. She shares takeaways from that research in the form of actionable steps that festivals, showcases, and industry events can implement.

Event poster for International Screenings from the Artistic Freedom Conference ("Fri Kunst").
Documentaries Highlighting Artistic Encounters Across the World
Video

Documentaries Highlighting Artistic Encounters Across the World

A Safe Havens Freedom Talk

Wednesday 26 April 2023
Oslo, Norway

Encounters between artists from different corners of the world are captured in a series of mini documentaries. Safe Havens Freedom Talks (SH|FT) presents Safe edition #2, launched during the Artistic Freedom Conference ("Fri Kunst").

Illustration of several different hands all holding needles and working on a sewing project together.
Intentional, Relational, Consensual: A New Framework for Performing Arts Contracts
Essay

Intentional, Relational, Consensual: A New Framework for Performing Arts Contracts

30 March 2023

This dynamic summary of a panel co-curated by Rachel Penny and Nikki Shaffeeullah as part of Parallel Tracks 2.0 brings together several artists, producers, and lawyers in a discussion about contracting, how it has been impacted by COVID-19, and interrogating power dynamics within the contracting process.

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.

A purple stage with a lit blue backdrop.
Inventing the “Flay” (Film/Play) with Campo Santo
Essay

Inventing the “Flay” (Film/Play) with Campo Santo

16 March 2023

When Campo Santo decided to film their production of Star Finch’s Side Effects early in the COVID-19 pandemic, they were embarking on a creative journey that felt entirely novel and a little overwhelming. In this conversation, the production’s directors discuss development of the production’s aesthetic and the generative process they embarked on at the intersection of “film” and “play.

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.

Two actors sit across from each other at a small square table during a show.
Civic Imagination: The Urgency of Possibility
Essay

Civic Imagination: The Urgency of Possibility

27 February 2023

Theatre artist Michael Rohd shares a lyrical call for more civic imagination, community care, and care-centric processes in the theatre field.

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.

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.

event poster for the freedom talk at archives and resistance.
Freedom Talk at Archives and Resistance
Video

Freedom Talk at Archives and Resistance

How Archives and Archival Interventions Can Challenge Power

Friday 18 November 2022
Belarus

Safe Havens Freedom Talks (SH|FT) presented a Freedom Talk at Archives and Resistance livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network on Friday 18 November 2022 at 8:30 a.m. EST (New York, UTC -5) / 13:30 GMT (London, UTC +0) / 2:30 p.m. CET (Stockholm, UTC +1).

Histories of the Avant-garde event poster.
Histories of the Avant-garde and Contemporary Disruptive Technologies
Video

Histories of the Avant-garde and Contemporary Disruptive Technologies

Cyber Attack: Digital Art and Activism Conference

Wednesday 16 November 2022
Berlin, Germany and international.

Cyber Attack: Digital Art and Activism is an online conference by NORDWIND in cooperation with FuturePerfect Studio (New York), Denis Semionov, Kampnagel (Hamburg), and Hellerau (Dresden). The opening session Histories of the Avant-garde and Contemporary Disruptive Technologies livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network on Wednesday 16 November 2022 at 9:30 a.m. PST (San Francisco, UTC -8) / 12:30 p.m. EST (New York, UTC -5) / 17:30 GMT (London, UTC +0) / 18:30 CET (Berlin, UTC +1) / 19:30 EET (Bucharest, UTC +2).

event poster for  The Living Presence of Our History, Part VII.
The Living Presence of Our History, Part VII
Video

The Living Presence of Our History, Part VII

A Panel Focusing on Native Playwrights

Sunday 13 November 2022
Massachusetts, US

Ohketeau Cultural Center and Double Edge Theatre presented the conversation The Living Presence of Our History, Part VII livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Sunday 13 November 2022 at 10 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 12 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 1 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).

Kit Ingui and Jacob Padron sit on a stage facing each other
From the Top Down: The Importance of HR in Theatre
Essay

From the Top Down: The Importance of HR in Theatre

25 October 2022

Iris McQuillan-Grace sits down with Kit Ingui, managing director of Long Wharf Theatre, to discuss Kit’s efforts to create a supportive and inclusive work environment by consciously building Long Wharf’s Human Resources (HR) practices.

A performer in a wheelchair suspended in midair by a wire.
Moving from Disability Visibility to Disability Artistry
Essay

Moving from Disability Visibility to Disability Artistry

20 October 2022

Morgan Skolnik argues for theatre that goes beyond physical accessibility and disability representation to actively center disabled artists and the creative potential the disability community holds.

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.

event poster for freedom talk in the name of freedom.
Freedom Talk at In the Name of Freedom
Video

Freedom Talk at In the Name of Freedom

Art That Unites, Makes Us Stand Up, and Makes Us Human

Friday 16 September 2022
Oslo, Norway

Safe Havens Freedom Talks (SH|FT), together with Safemuse, presented a Freedom Talk at In the Name of Freedom, livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Friday 16 September at 8:30 a.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4) / 12:30 UTC / 2:30 p.m. CEST (Oslo, UTC +2).

An actor touches the face of another actor while standing on a darkened stage.
Bringing Identity to Staged Intimacy
Essay

Bringing Identity to Staged Intimacy

A Conversation with Adi Cabral

1 September 2022

Ann James talks to Adi Cabral about Cabral’s path though the intimacy industry. As a practitioner and professor, Cabral approaches intimacy choreography by centering harm prevention while working to create opportunities for students to identify and grow within their boundaries.

A woman sits looking at a camera while two others kiss in the background.
Being Authentic in a New Theatre Practice
Essay

Being Authentic in a New Theatre Practice

A Conversation with Jyreika Guest

31 August 2022

Ann James chats with Jyreika Guest, who works as both an intimacy specialist and an actor, about framing intimacy work for actors. Jyreika shares her hopes for a future in which consent is an automatic part of rehearsal processes.

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