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Community-Engaged Theatre

In this section, you’ll find content about making theatre that is deeply engaged—often throughout the creation and production process—with a specific community. Questions are explored around navigating the relationship between the artist(s) and the community, as well as creating meaningful and authentic experiences. The essay “Not Another Memory Play,” about the creation of “a durational, grassroots engagement with the Black community of the Arkansas Delta called Remember2019,” is a great place to start, as is this conversation from CultureHub about collectives devising new grassroots engagement strategies.

The Latest

2022 TCG National Conference: Pittsburgh
Video
2022 TCG National Conference: Pittsburgh
Redefining Our Art. Transforming Our Practices. Tending to Our People.
Thursday 16 June to Saturday 18 June 2022
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Season Debrief
Podcast
Season Debrief
by Nabra Nelson, Marina J. Bergenstock
8 June 2022
Humanizing Homelessness: An Interview with Lisa Hoelscher of Gathering Ground Theatre
Essay
Humanizing Homelessness: An Interview with Lisa Hoelscher of Gathering Ground Theatre
by Anna Rogelio Joaquin, Lisa Hoelscher
19 May 2022
2022 TCG Conference in Pittsburgh event poster.
2022 TCG National Conference: Pittsburgh
Video

2022 TCG National Conference: Pittsburgh

Redefining Our Art. Transforming Our Practices. Tending to Our People.

Thursday 16 June to Saturday 18 June 2022
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States

Theatre Communications Group (TCG) presented the 2022 TCG National Conference: Pittsburgh livestreaming on the commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network from Thursday 16 June to Saturday 18 June 2022.

Kunafa and Shay Teaser Image.
Season Debrief
Podcast

Season Debrief

8 June 2022

To end the season, this episode will have Marina and Nabra sitting down to tea to talk about highlights from this season and what is to come in the future.

A person standing amongst city approved homeless deterrent pegs on a bench.
Humanizing Homelessness: An Interview with Lisa Hoelscher of Gathering Ground Theatre
Essay

Humanizing Homelessness: An Interview with Lisa Hoelscher of Gathering Ground Theatre

19 May 2022

Gathering Ground Theatre—an Austin, Texas collective comprised of people with lived experiences of homelessness and allies—creates performances that aim to influence public opinion and local legislation. Anna Rogelio Joaquin sits down with Lisa Hoelscher to discuss Lisa’s experience as a co-creator and performer of works that expose issues like hostile architecture and camping bans, as well as the company’s current work on a memorial performance.

Kunafa and Shay Teaser Image.
Creating the Change: Featuring Masrah Cleveland Al-Arabi
Podcast

Creating the Change: Featuring Masrah Cleveland Al-Arabi

With Raymond Bobgan and Omar Kurdi

18 May 2022

MENA artists continue to work hard to create representation in large theatrical arenas by pushing for their work to be produced on contemporary stages. However, since some major theatres only allot 1 or 2 slots a year for plays by BIPOC artists, and MENA artists have frequently been ignored. They have found other ways to create thriving artistic spaces for actors, directors, and playwrights alike. Masrah Cleveland Al Arabi has created a space for MENA artists to thrive. This artist-led organizational infrastructure serves as an example of how change can be made within existing theatrical structures. Today we are joined by Raymond Bobgan and Omar Kurdi.

Kunafa and Shay Teaser Image.
Community Engagement through Art and Programs
Podcast

Community Engagement through Art and Programs

With Pirronne Yousefzadeh & Lia Fakhouri

27 April 2022

Community engagement is more than a post-show talk or touring production. These two directors and administrative leaders are community engagement practitioners in everything that they do, including their artmaking and program curation. They work both as independent artists and through organizations. We will discuss the nature of community engagement as an artistic practice, how their MENA backgrounds influence their practice, and how the theatre atmosphere is or should shift to be community engaged in an authentic and equitable way.

event poster for talleres for dreaming episode 4.
Every Step is a Prayer
Video

Every Step is a Prayer

An Interview with Sharon Day and Chas Jewett facilitated by Priscilla Solis Ybarra

Tuesday 29 March 2022
United States

Cara Mía Theatre’s Mellon Playwright in Residence Virginia Grise presented Talleres for Dreaming: Episode 4 livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network on Tuesday 29 March 2022 at 4 p.m. PST (San Francisco, UTC -8) / 6 p.m. CST (Chicago, UTC -6) / 7 p.m. EST (New York, UTC -5).

event poster for talleres for dreaming episode 3.
Artists are the Vanguard of Revolution
Video

Artists are the Vanguard of Revolution

An Artist Talk by Kristiana Rae Colón

Tuesday 22 March 2022
United States

Cara Mía Theatre’s Mellon Playwright in Residence Virginia Grise presented Talleres for Dreaming: Episode 3 livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network on Tuesday 22 March 2022 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 parade of men women and children carrying a flag.
Side-yard: On the Commons, the Neighborhood, Grief, and Not Making Theatre While Still Making Theatre
Essay

Side-yard: On the Commons, the Neighborhood, Grief, and Not Making Theatre While Still Making Theatre

15 March 2022

Play House is a collectively stewarded performance space near the border of Detroit and Hamtramck that has become a place of convening and creation for the neighborhood. Richard Newman, a co-manager of the space and co-director of The Hinterlands ensemble, traces connections between creative practice, community, grief, and an outdoor ramp at Play House.

segal theatre center logo
The 2021 Segal Center Awards for Civic Engagement in the Arts
Video

The 2021 Segal Center Awards for Civic Engagement in the Arts

Honoring 10 pioneering projects that have demonstrated exceptional achievement in the field of the arts during Corona 2020/21

Saturday 22 January 2022
United States

The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center presented The 2021 Segal Center Awards for Civic Engagement in the Arts livestreaming on the global, commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network on Saturday 22 January 2022 at 9 a.m. PST (San Francisco, UTC -8) / 11 a.m. CST (Chicago, UTC -6) / 12 p.m. EST (New York, UTC -5).

Poster for Addressless.
A Conversation About the Making of Addressless
Video

A Conversation About the Making of Addressless

An interactive theatrical game about housing insecurity

Tuesday 11 January 2022
United States

Rattlestick and Center for International Theatre Development presented a conversation about the making of Addressless livestreaming on the global, commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network Tuesday 11 January 2022 at 12 p.m. PST (Los Angeles, UTC -8) / 2 p.m. CST (Chicago, UTC -6) / 3 p.m. EST (New York, UTC -5) / 20:00 GMT (London, UTC +0) / 21:00 CET (Budapest, UTC +1).

A smiling woman and a woman speaking with a microphone.
Committing to a Community
Essay

Committing to a Community

Ronee Penoi and Shanta Thake in Conversation

4 January 2022

Ronee Penoi and Shanta Thake discuss their transitions into new leadership roles as Director of Artistic Programming at ArtsEmerson and Chief Artistic Officer of Lincoln Center, respectively—including their work to shift narratives on stage, see institutions as community resources, and keep deep listening at the core of their leadership practices.

From The Ground Up Title.
Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Resident Ensemble Theatre: UNIVERSES
Podcast

Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Resident Ensemble Theatre: UNIVERSES

22 December 2021

Alison Carey, formerly of Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and Mildred Ruiz-Sapp and Steven Sapp, co-founders and artistic directors of UNIVERSES, discuss putting ensemble producers inside a major producing entity and the capacity necessary for things to fall into place.

Imagining a New Federal Theatre Project with Corinna Schulenberg and Dr. Elizabeth A. Osborne
Podcast

Imagining a New Federal Theatre Project with Corinna Schulenberg and Dr. Elizabeth A. Osborne

24 November 2021

As a part of the New Deal, the Federal Theatre Project of the 1930s funded theatre in the United States at an unprecedented level, providing paid work for trained theatremakers and low-cost performances to audiences all around the country. Corinna Schulenberg and Dr. Elizabeth A. Osborne discuss the history of the Federal Theatre Project and its potential to act as a model for a New Federal Theatre Project formed in conjunction with racial justice, climate justice, and Land Back movements.

The Future is Now
The Future Is Now: Conversations with Selma Banich and Fatin Farhat
Podcast

The Future Is Now: Conversations with Selma Banich and Fatin Farhat

10 November 2021

In these episodes of The Future Is Now, CEC Artslink invites two of their Future Fellows, artist and activist Selma Banich and freelance cultural manager Fatin Farhat, to discuss how they envision the future of arts practice.

photo collage representing the storytelling in crisis event.
Storytelling in Crisis
Video

Storytelling in Crisis

A Community Dialogue Exploring Strategies for Crafting Storytelling Responses that Center Care and Connection, Amplify Resistance, and Support Resiliency.

Tuesday 9 November 2021
United States

How can we tell stories of crisis that can energize and bring hope to our communities, and support structural change? Livestreamed on the common-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network on Tuesday 9 November 2021 at 2 p.m. PST (San Francisco, UTC -8) / 4 p.m. CST (Chicago, UTC -6) / 5 p.m. EST (New York, UTC -5).

The Future is Now
The Future Is Now: Conversations with Amirah Sackett, Malika Umarova, and Marat Raiymkulov
Podcast

The Future Is Now: Conversations with Amirah Sackett, Malika Umarova, and Marat Raiymkulov

9 November 2021

In these episodes of The Future Is Now, CEC Artslink invites three of their Future Fellows—Amirah Sackett, an independent artist and activist, and Malika Umarova and Marat Raiymkulov of Art Group 705—to share their vision for how they see the future of arts practice.

Black and white photo from 1922 of Howard Players actors.
Proclaiming Presence from the Washington Stage
Video

Proclaiming Presence from the Washington Stage

Exploring How Theatre Offered a Path to Recognition for African Americans, Roman Catholic Clerics, Regional Theatre Enthusiasts, and Community Activists throughout the Twentieth Century

Monday 8 November 2021
Washington, DC

The Center for International Theater Development (CIDT) presented a conversation: Proclaiming Presence from the Washington Stage livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Monday 8 November 2021.

event posters with speaker headshots for MENASA Women Save the Kingdom NO SUMMARY.
NO SUMMARY: MENASA Women Save the Kingdom
Video

NO SUMMARY: MENASA Women Save the Kingdom

A Conversation About Shahrazad Squad, a Project which Gathers MENASA Women/Non-binary Creatives, Cultural Producers, and Changemakers In Person and Online

Friday 29 October 2021
United States

Golden Thread presented NO SUMMARY: MENASA Women Save the Kingdom livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Friday 29 October 2021 at 11 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 1 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 2 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).

event poster for shift freedom talk.
Conversation: Freedom Talk at House of Memory
Video

Conversation: Freedom Talk at House of Memory

A conversation on the importance of oral storytelling in indigenous societies

Friday 29 October 2021
India

Safe Havens Freedom Talks presented a conversation in collaboration with Gothenburg Book Fair livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Friday 29 October 2021.

Passing Into History
Essay

Passing Into History

Dr. Megan Sanborn Jones on Pageants and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

13 October 2021

In this week’s Theatre History Podcast, Dr. Megan Sanborn Jones discusses the history of Mormons in theatre and the pageant tradition in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Through her deep research on these pageants, Dr. Jones explores the unique fusion of faith, history, and performance in Mormon pageantry.

live event poster for shop talk with jacob padron and cheyenne barboza.
ShopTalk with Jacob G. Padrón and Cheyenne Barboza
Video

ShopTalk with Jacob G. Padrón and Cheyenne Barboza

A conversation about arts organizations connecting with local communities

Thursday 7 October 2021
New Haven, Connecticut

JACK presented ShopTalk with Jacob G. Padrón and Cheyenne Barboza livestreaming on the commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network on Thursday 7 October 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).

Reappraising the Legacy of Ernie McClintock with Dr. Ibby Cizmar
Podcast

Reappraising the Legacy of Ernie McClintock with Dr. Ibby Cizmar

6 October 2021

Dr. Ibby Cizmar joins the Theatre History Podcast to share her research on Ernie McClintock, who worked to develop a system of training and performance that could serve the specific needs of African American actors in the mid-twentieth century. A significant influence in the Black Arts Movement, McClintock’s methods continue to influence institutions and theatremakers today.

event poster for school of resistance for a politics of justice.
School of Resistance: For a Politics of Justice!
Video

School of Resistance: For a Politics of Justice!

Three Panels on a New Politics of Humanity and Justice

Friday 24 September to Saturday 25 September 2021
Cologne, Germany

NTGent presented School of Resistance: For a Politics of Justice! livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Friday 24 and Saturday 25 September 2021.

The guest, Rose Kim, with some hair in her face against a space background to the right of the podcast logo.
There's Nothing General About General Admission
Podcast

There's Nothing General About General Admission

With Rose Kim of Art Rat Theatre School

22 September 2021

Yura Sapi speaks with Rose Kim, founder and producing director of Art Rat Theatre. Art Rat Theatre is a production vehicle dedicated to gardening anticolonial, anti-capitalist theatre for a truly diverse new era audience and catalyzing a greater network of independent institutionally marginalized, young adult creatives.

portraits of women in black and white with red handprints over their mouths.
The Living Presence of Our History: Part V
Video

The Living Presence of Our History: Part V

A Conversation with Indigenous Artists Making Art for Social Change

Sunday 19 September 2021
United States

The Ohketeau Cultural Center and Double Edge Theatre co-presented The Living Presence of Our History: Part V on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Sunday 19 September 2021 at 10 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 12 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 1 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).