Commons-based Approaches

HowlRound defines commons-based approaches as practices that promote relationality, cooperation, horizontal and decentralized decision-making and networks, bottom-up activity, and peer-to-peer sharing of infrastructure, material goods, knowledge, and ideas. Content in this section directly addresses practices of commoning from around the field. Dive in with essays on the promise of the commons, the birth of a climate commons, and how a commons becomes a selection committee.

The Latest

Open Channels: The Journey Begins/Canales Abiertos: La jornada comienza
Essay
Open Channels: The Journey Begins/Canales Abiertos: La jornada comienza
by Mathew Schwarzman, Fátima Patterson , I. Carolina Caballero
29 July 2021
Transcending Theatre: My Time with Robbie McCauley
Essay
Transcending Theatre: My Time with Robbie McCauley
by Tara Brooke Watkins
20 July 2021
Livestreaming a Marathon: A HowlRound for India
Video
Livestreaming a Marathon: A HowlRound for India
A 24-hour marathon of Covid-19 talks with the global theatre community
Tuesday 20 July to Wednesday 21 July
India
A woman in a white dress with short hair dancing with an ensemble of other women and men behind her.
Open Channels: The Journey Begins/Canales Abiertos: La jornada comienza
Essay

Open Channels: The Journey Begins/Canales Abiertos: La jornada comienza

29 July 2021

Fátima De La Caridad Patterson Patterson, Mathew Schwarzman, and Carolina Caballero share their experience of creating Open Channels, an event where artists from thirteen countries gathered digitally to talk about Caribbean popular theatre.

Fátima De La Caridad Patterson Patterson, Mathew Schwarzman, y Carolina Caballero comparten sus experiencias creando Open Channels (Canales Abiertos), un evento donde artistas de trece países compartieron digitalmente para hablar del Teatro Popular Caribeño.

headshots of artists and panelists from the howlround for india event.
Livestreaming a Marathon: A HowlRound for India
Video

Livestreaming a Marathon: A HowlRound for India

A 24-hour marathon of Covid-19 talks with the global theatre community

Tuesday 20 July to Wednesday 21 July
India

The Martin E. Segal Theater Center presents A HowlRound for India: a 24-hour marathon of Covid-19 talks with the global theatre community livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv from Tuesday 20 July to Wednesday 21 July at 6 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 9 a.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4) / 13:00 UTC / 2 p.m. BST (UTC +1) / 6:30 p.m. BST (Bengaluru, UTC +5:30).

A woman holding a syringe and examining it.
Transcending Theatre: My Time with Robbie McCauley
Essay

Transcending Theatre: My Time with Robbie McCauley

20 July 2021

Tara Brooke Watkins reflects on the legacy of Robbie McCauley, who challenged the status quo of theatre systems, from the classroom to the rehearsal room to productions.

event poster for Open Channels—a Caribbean Theatre Workshop from Santiago de Cuba & New Orleans Canales Abiertos—un Taller de Teatro Popular del Caribe desde Santiago de Cuba y Nueva Orleans.
Open Channels / Canales Abiertos 2021
Video

Open Channels / Canales Abiertos 2021

A Caribbean Theatre Workshop from Santiago de Cuba & New Orleans / Canales Abiertos—un Taller de Teatro Popular del Caribe desde Santiago de Cuba y Nueva Orleans

Thursday 8 July 2021
Cuba

The Stone Center for Latin American Studies and The Cuban and Caribbean Studies Institute and The New Orleans Center for the Gulf South of Tulane University (New Orleans, LA), and Estudio Teatral Macubá presented Open Channels livestreaming on the global, commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Thursday 8 July 2021 at 10 a.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4) / 9 a.m. CDT (New Orleans, UTC -5) / 7 a.m. PDT (Los Angeles, UTC -7).

event poster for unrehearsed futures episode 13.
Unrehearsed Futures
Video

Unrehearsed Futures

Episode 13: Theatre for their Communities

Thursday 1 July 2021
Bengaluru, Karnataka

Unrehearsed Futures: Theatre for their Communities livestreamed on the global, commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Wednesday 30 June 2021 at 8 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 11 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4) / Thursday 1 July 2021 at 4 a.m. BST (London, UTC +1) / 5 a.m. SAST (Cape Town, UTC +2).

An illustration of a woman in a green dress holding a stick up to a circular light above. She is surrounded by plenty of these lights, each connected by lines.
Commonplaces
Essay

Commonplaces

Notes on a Future That Has Already Happened

28 June 2021

Matthew Glassman shares his commonplace—a collection of quotes, poems, reflections, dreams, doodles, images, and more, and a portal to reach forward to our future selves and for our future selves to reach back to us.

Jacqueline Flores
Introducing Jacqueline Flores, Our New Latinx Theatre Commons Producer!
Essay

Introducing Jacqueline Flores, Our New Latinx Theatre Commons Producer!

9 June 2021

Join us in welcoming Jacqueline, our new Latinx Theatre Commons Producer!

Left: Three actors in black with two of them sitting on the ground and looking down. The actor in the center looks up and sits on a higher level. Right: Three actors standing side-by-side.
When Arts Presenters and Creative Independent Producers Come Together
Essay

When Arts Presenters and Creative Independent Producers Come Together

3 June 2021

The International Presenting Commons shares a statement on how and why arts presenters and creative independent producers have come together to sustain and evolve a commitment to international cultural exchange and engagement.

blue and yellow map of the southern states with text virtual roots weekend.
Alternate ROOTS’ 2021 Virtual ROOTS Weekend
Video

Alternate ROOTS’ 2021 Virtual ROOTS Weekend

Southern Soil: Collective Learning in Harmony with the Land

Friday 14 May to Sunday 16 May 2021
United States

Alternate ROOTS presented its first-ever Virtual ROOTS Weekend livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Friday 14 May 2021 to Sunday 16 May 2021.

portraits of Lucien Zayan and Raja Feather Kelly.
SEGAL TALKS with Lucien Zayan and Raja Feather Kelly (NYC)
Video

SEGAL TALKS with Lucien Zayan and Raja Feather Kelly (NYC)

Join us for a conversation about curating, producing and presenting theatre and performance in the Time of Corona

Thursday 6 May 2021
United States

The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center presented SEGAL TALKS with Lucien Zayan and Raja Feather Kelly (NYC) livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Thursday 6 May 2021 at 9 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 11 a.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 12 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).

An illustration of multiple hands assembling a broken art piece.
Reimagining Public Theatres as Collectively Organized Cultural Institutions
Essay

Reimagining Public Theatres as Collectively Organized Cultural Institutions

28 April 2021

Zenkő Bogdán believes public cultural institutions should be redefined from the perspective of the people around it: it’s artists, employees, and audiences. As an exercise, she has begun to reimagine a future public theatre’s rules of organizing and functioning—and wants each and every reader of the document to participate.

The author, Chris Mayers (left), and Rachel Nicks (right) in a hospital scene for the play WAR.
Art at Work
Essay

Art at Work

Class Consciousness and the Transformation of the World

20 April 2021

Chris Myers talks about the importance of class politics and makes a case for why artists ought to reckon with it, both as creative people and just plain workers.

Red Eye Theater's seven artistic directors.
Collective Leadership
Essay

Collective Leadership

A Conversation with Red Eye’s Artistic Directors

1 April 2021

The co–artistic directors of Red Eye Theater in Minneapolis talk about shifting to a collaborate leadership model with a horizontal structure and consensus-based process, backdooring their way into traditional funding structures and resources, and more.

outline of oregon state filled with pride flag and text OUT DANCE PROJECT.
Livestreaming a Performance: OUT Dance Project Virtual Tour
Video

Livestreaming a Performance: OUT Dance Project Virtual Tour

Connecting rural queers across regions in Oregon through story and dance

Thursday 25 March to Sunday 28 March 2021
United States

Beyond Boom and Bust presents OUT Dance Project Virtual Tour livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv from Thursday 25 March to Sunday 28 March 2021.

three people posing for a photo in an ikea warehouse
Obvious Agency and Creative Cooperative Futures
Essay

Obvious Agency and Creative Cooperative Futures

15 March 2021

Arianna Gass and Daniel Park share their experience restructuring their company into a worker cooperative and what benefits this model offers.

a bright yellow burst with the following words on individual lines: information, inspiration, invitation. then, "the ghostlight project"
Community Roll Call
Video

Community Roll Call

One part teach-in and one part pep rally to share the many organizing efforts happening in our community

Monday 1 March 2021
United States

The Ghostlight Project presented Community Roll Call livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Monday 1 March 2021 at 4 p.m. PST (San Francisco, UTC -8) / 6 p.m. CST (Chicago, UTC -6) / 7 p.m. EST (New York, UTC -5).

a large group sitting in a circle watching a staged reading
How Sustained Support for Playwrights Impacts Artistry
Essay

How Sustained Support for Playwrights Impacts Artistry

National Playwright Residency Program Evaluation 2020

1 March 2021

Alexis Frasz and Holly Sidford of Helicon Collaborative share their findings from the most recent assessment of the National Playwright Residency Program.

Illustration of HowlRound's logo as a mirror, reflecting a colorful performance
Devising Our Future Through a Commons-Based Approach
Essay

Devising Our Future Through a Commons-Based Approach

16 February 2021

Jamie Gahlon, HowlRound’s director, kicks off the Devising Our Future series by reflecting on the necessity of working together now to co-envision and co-create the future we need for the theatre field.

a group marching outside with a banner that reads "NEVER AGAIN IS NOW"
Inventing Worlds
Essay

Inventing Worlds

What Theatremakers Bring to Organizing

1 February 2021

Blair Nodelman discusses why theatremakers are well suited to deeply understanding the political machine and work toward dismantling the status quo, creating a more equitable and community-based iteration of governing.

School of Resistance episode twelve poster.
School of Resistance, Episode Twelve: Politics of Interdependence
Video

School of Resistance, Episode Twelve: Politics of Interdependence

What would a truly caring world look like?

Thursday 14 January 2021
Brussels, Belgium

What would a truly caring world look like? NTGent presents School of Resistance, Episode Twelve: Politics of Interdependence livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Thursday 14 January 2021 at 9 a.m. PST (Los Angeles, UTC -8) / 12 p.m. EST (New York, UTC -5) / 17:00 GMT (London, UTC +0) / 18:00 CET (Brussels, UTC+1) / 20:00 TRT (Istanbul, UTC +3).

an actor onstage
Write the Software and Let the World Have It
Essay

Write the Software and Let the World Have It

Forty Years of Internet Performance

14 January 2021

In this article for the Performing the Internet series, Miller Puckette and Onyx Ashanti get together for a conversation about the changing landscape of multimedia technology in the arts, how technologically mediated performance practices have taken on new relevance in the post-COVID era, and more.

Cuban woman with headphones talking in a video conference.
How to Produce a Livestream Event, Part 2
Essay

How to Produce a Livestream Event, Part 2

A Beginner’s Guide to Using the Commons-based OBS Studio Live Broadcast Software

14 October 2020

HowlRound’s cultural strategist, Vijay Mathew, offers a part two to his guide on how to produce a livestream, this time focusing on the commons-based OBS Studio.

actors onstage
Modeling Solidarity: Theater As Political Action
Video

Modeling Solidarity: Theater As Political Action

Part of Consortium of Asian American Theaters and Artists’ ConFest Virtual Series

Monday 14 September 2020
United States

Consortium of Asian American Theaters and Artists presented a panel discussion Modeling Solidarity: Theater As Political Action livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Monday 14 September 2020 at 1 p.m. HST (Honolulu, UTC-), 3 p.m. AKDT (Juneau, UTC-), 4 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7), 5 p.m. MDT (Denver, UTC-6), 6 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-5), 7 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.

screenshot of a zoom theatre piece
Crowdsourcing Theatre Practice in a Time of COVID
Essay

Crowdsourcing Theatre Practice in a Time of COVID

20 August 2020

Barbara Fuchs and Elena Araoz share information about their new projects that attempt to make sense of the transformations to the theatre field and put a call out for artists to help chart these transformations.