Commons-based Approaches

Interested in learning more about working within a commons framework? This content explores practices that encourage sharing and collaboration, and examples of commons in action.

The Latest

Drawing a Line
Essay

Drawing a Line

Addressing Sexual Harassment in our Theatre Communities

by Dawn Simmons, John Meredith, Jen Lewis
17 July 2019
Happy New Year from HowlRound
Essay

Happy New Year from HowlRound

Reflections on 2018

by Jamie Gahlon
31 December 2018
What If
Essay

What If

The JUBILEE’s Vision of Unity and Action

by Rachel Grossman, Kirk Lynn
24 October 2018
Howlround Theatre Commons
From the World Theatre Map
Public Dramaturgy, Wikipedia, and Combatting “Columbusing”
Essay

Public Dramaturgy, Wikipedia, and Combatting “Columbusing”

6 January 2015

Three dramaturgs ban together to produce an “Edit-a-Thon,” with the hopes of making Wikipedia's theatre coverage more inclusive.

2014 HowlRound Blog Retrospective
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2014 HowlRound Blog Retrospective

1 January 2015

A sampling of the HowlRound community’s voices in the 2014 Blog.

HowlRound Essays End-of-Year Retrospective
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HowlRound Essays End-of-Year Retrospective

31 December 2014

January 2015 marks the four-year anniversary of the launch of the commons project called the HowlRound Journal. Thank you authors, readers, and commenters—and thank all of you for participating in this ongoing conversation about theatre.

Café Onda 2014 End-of-Year Roundup
Essay

Café Onda 2014 End-of-Year Roundup

29 December 2014

We hope 2015 activates us all and that we can continue to function as a digital-stage in which to strengthen our conversations, and augment our visibility. For now, we leave 2014 by offering you some of our favorite excerpts from Café Onda this year.

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The Mirror up to Nature: Reflecting the Environment in Designs, Maps, and Theatre
Video

The Mirror up to Nature: Reflecting the Environment in Designs, Maps, and Theatre

Sunday 26 October2014
New York, NY, United States

CultureHub in New York City presented the discussion The Mirror up to Nature: Reflecting the Environment in Designs, Maps, and Theatre livestreamed on the global, commons-based peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Sunday 26 October at 22:00 GMT (London) / 6 p.m. EDT (New York) / 5 p.m. CDT (Austin) / 3 p.m. PDT (Vancouver) / 9 a.m. AEDT on Monday, October 27 (Sydney). In Twitter, use #howlround.

Logo for the Latinx Theatre Commons.
Participate in The Latina/o Theatre Commons Second National Convening Nov. 6-9 at the Los Angeles Theatre Center's Encuentro 2014
Essay

Participate in The Latina/o Theatre Commons Second National Convening Nov. 6-9 at the Los Angeles Theatre Center's Encuentro 2014

17 October 2014

The 2014 Latina/o Theatre Commons Second National Convening at Los Angeles Theatre Center's Encuentro 2014 runs November 6-9, 2014 and is open to all theatermakers, artists, scholars, administrators, and advocates with an interest in Latina/o theater (or the New American Theater). If you plan to come to any Convening events, please RSVP here no later than November 1, 2014.

Westbranch.
Artists’ Entrance
Essay

Artists’ Entrance

A Homegrown Artist Colony

29 September 2014

Today Westport has one of the wealthiest zip codes in the United States. A hedge fund responsible for $120 billion of the world’s money is nestled in the woods there. In this gilded environment, my family has always been slightly out of place. Though now winterized and expanded, our house is one of a dwindling number of non-mansions on the street. Recently, my parents and I decided to experiment with sharing that resource, thinking other artists might also benefit from the opportunity to get away and spread out.

The Inaugural Latina/o Studies Conference
Essay

The Inaugural Latina/o Studies Conference

Reflections on the Long Table & Good Company

26 August 2014

I walk away, reflection upon reflection, moved and inspired. Even now, the questions that came up at the long table stay with me: What is your fire? What is it that you are here to uniquely do? As many of us prepare to meet again in Los Angeles this fall, we will keep these questions in mind. I can’t help but to think back to the idea of a spherical journey, which is the unstoppable future of the LTC and Latina/o theater in this the US.

In Dialogue with José Luis Valenzuela
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In Dialogue with José Luis Valenzuela

13 August 2014

Jamie Gahlon interviews José Luis Valenzuela on the LATC and the upcoming Encuentro 2014: A National Latina/o Theatre Festival.

Paying Dues and the Social Contract
Essay

Paying Dues and the Social Contract

9 August 2014

“Paying your dues”—it’s a pervasive refrain, and one that clearly lives deeply within us; it has gotten under our skin and through our veins. I can’t help but think that it’s a lie. The concept of “paying dues” implies a sort of social contract that’s simply no longer present, if it ever was.

Calling Future American Theater Leaders
Essay

Calling Future American Theater Leaders

We Want You!

8 August 2014

The Los Angeles Theater Center (LATC) in downtown Los Angeles is looking for ten arts leaders of various backgrounds who represent the future leadership of the American theater to apply to our newly minted Artistic Leaders Fellowship. The Fellowship will take place from October 1 through November 21, 2014 at The LATC, and run concurrently with the 2014 LATC Encuentro—the largest National Latina/o theater festival in over twenty-five years. // El Los Angeles Theater Center (LATC), localizado en el centro de Los Ángeles, busca a 10 diversos líderes en las artes que representan el futuro liderato del Teatro Americano para que soliciten la nueva beca llamada Artistic Leaders Fellowship. Este programa se llevará a cabo del 1 de octubre al 21 de noviembre en el LATC en paralelo con el Encuentro LATC 2014—el festival nacional latino más grande en la nación en los pasados veinticinco años.

Latinx Theatre Commons' logo.
We Want You at the 2014 LTC National Convening!
Essay

We Want You at the 2014 LTC National Convening!

6 August 2014

To understand the deep impact Latina/o artists have had in our collective history, it is crucial to discuss the varied artistic expressions that exist within the polycultural Latina/o theater landscape. The Encuentro seeks to understand how and why we arrive to each form—be it community-based, avant-garde, ensemble-based, playwright-driven, devised, or experimental work. // Para poder entender el impacto que han tenido varios artistas Latinos/as en nuestra historia colectiva, es necesario discutir las varias formas de expresión artística existentes en nuestro territorio multi-cultural mediante el teatro Latino. Este Encuentro busca entender el como y el porque de cada proyecto escénico—sea teatro de la comunidad, avant-garde, colectivo, basado en material original y en el dramaturgo, teatro ideado, o experimental.

Photo from ATLA in Georgia.
ALTA Chicago
Essay

ALTA Chicago

Unlocking the Dream Box

2 August 2014

The ALTA Unified General Auditions reminded us, and the theater community at large, of the breadth of Latina/o theater talent that is multiplying and thriving in our beloved windy city. The goal of the Unified General Auditions was to serve as a resource for the participants and also to anchor them in the broader Chicago Latina/o theater community. In doing so, ALTA fulfilled one of the most important aspects of our organization’s purpose: to give Latina/o actors, both new and old, a sense of community and the warmth of a home effectively achieved through alliance and advocacy.

Photo from Teatro Valle Occupato.
The Commoners Occupy Teatro Valle in Rome
Essay

The Commoners Occupy Teatro Valle in Rome

24 July 2014

The three-year occupation of Teatro Valle in Rome is now legendary: a spontaneous response to the failures of conventional government in supporting a venerated public theater, and the conversion of the theater into a commons by countless ordinary citizens. Now the mayor of Rome is threatening to end the occupation, evict the commoners, and privatize the management of the facility.

Cafe Onda logo.
Welcome to the New Café Onda!
Essay

Welcome to the New Café Onda!

20 July 2014

We are committed to providing a safe, crowd-sourced space for online dialogue and discussions around the topic of Latina/o theater. As the definitions of Latinidad and Latina/o theater continue to shift and evolve, so will Café Onda / Nos dedicaremos a proveer un espacio positivo, creado de opiniones publicas donde las conversaciones acerca de los temas de el teatro Latino/a puedan florecer. Así como es cambiante e indefinida la identificación académica y artística de lo que es Latinidad y el teatro que lo representa, así también Café Onda será siempre cambiante y evolucionará en forma colectiva.

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Panel Discussions on Intellectual Property in Theatre
Video

Panel Discussions on Intellectual Property in Theatre

Monday 14 July through Thursday 17 July 2014
New York, NY, United States

Samuel French, Inc in New York City presents four livestreaming panel discussions for #RightsWeek: Protecting & Sharing Your Intellectual Property on the global, commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network at HowlRound.TV this Monday, July 14 through Thursday, July 17. What is the state of intellectual property? What are the rights of theatre artists and new work? The complete #RightsWeek series will include these four livestreamed panel discussions, five essays and blog posts on HowlRound, and live tweeting throughout the week including a real-time Twitter chat on Thursday, July 17. To participate in these four livestreamed panel Q&A's, watch HowlRound.TV, follow @MrSamuelFrench, @HowlRound, and use hashtags #RightsWeek and #howlround. Alternatively, you can watch the livestreams and comment using Samuel French's Facebook page.

Welcome to #RightsWeek
Essay

Welcome to #RightsWeek

Identifying & Sharing Intellectual Property

13 July 2014

Amy Rose Marsh provides an overview of HowlRound's #RightsWeek.

The Anxiety of Generosity and the Abundance of the Commons
Essay

The Anxiety of Generosity and the Abundance of the Commons

1 May 2014

A Keynote speech delivered by P. Carl at North Dakota State University “Playing on Common Ground: Theatre and the Complex Communities of the 21st Century.” 

The Scarcity Matrix
Essay

The Scarcity Matrix

23 April 2014

ArtsEmerson Artisitic Director David Dower questions the competitive culture of theatre and advocates for a commitment to truth seeking and resource sharing. 

Portrait of P. Carl.
Not Planning to Cross Dress This Time…
Essay

Not Planning to Cross Dress This Time…

7 October 2013

P. Carl writes about his experience cross-dressing to fundraise for HowlRound, and makes an appeal to help us continue our mission of highlighting the dissonances of the theater industry.

Practicing the Art of Freedom
Essay

Practicing the Art of Freedom

7 September 2013

Winebrenner discusses how to utilize our freedom by using theatre as a  vehicle for cooperative political debate.

Art & Survival Convening at Double Edge Theatre
Video

Art & Survival Convening at Double Edge Theatre

Saturday 3 August and Sunday 4 August 2013
Ashfield, MA, United States

Double Edge Theatre in Ashfield, Massachusetts presented the Art and Survival Convening livestreamed on the global, commons-based peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on  Saturday 3 August and Sunday 4 August 2013.

A banner calling on people to crowdsource.
Let's "Put the Equity Back into Sweat Equity"—Be a part of building a new arts economy at CultureCoin.org
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Let's "Put the Equity Back into Sweat Equity"—Be a part of building a new arts economy at CultureCoin.org

1 July 2013

Howlround crowdsources to help make better decisions in how they can support a better arts economy.

Several stacks of coins.
Practical Applications of the Culture Coin
Essay

Practical Applications of the Culture Coin

28 May 2013

David Dower examines the Culture Coin, and provides a sneak peek into a world where this new currency replaces cash in the theater industry.

Portrait of P Carl.
Why the Crowd? Why a Culture Coin?
Essay

Why the Crowd? Why a Culture Coin?

27 May 2013

In this essay, P. Carl gives insight on promoting cultural exchanges and uplifting communities of artists.