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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

There's Nothing General About General Admission
Podcast
There's Nothing General About General Admission
With Rose Kim of Art Rat Theatre School
by Yura Sapi
22 September 2021
9/11 Village Gathering: Reflections and Conversation
Video
9/11 Village Gathering: Reflections and Conversation
Art2Action Presents Documentation of the New York 9/11 Village Gathering, Filmed and Edited by Kacey Anisa, Framed by a Livestreamed Discussion
Friday 17 September 2021
United States
Livestreaming Panels: School of Resistance: For a Politics of Justice!
Video
Livestreaming Panels: 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
Ghent, Belgium
event poster for school of resistance for a politics of justice.
Livestreaming Panels: School of Resistance: For a Politics of Justice!
Video

Livestreaming Panels: 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
Ghent, Belgium

NTGent presents 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).

9/11 Village Gathering: Reflections and Conversation
Video

9/11 Village Gathering: Reflections and Conversation

Art2Action Presents Documentation of the New York 9/11 Village Gathering, Filmed and Edited by Kacey Anisa, Framed by a Livestreamed Discussion

Friday 17 September 2021
United States

Art2Action presents a 9/11 Village Gathering: Reflections and Conversation livestreaming on the commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Friday 17 September 2021 at 12 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 2 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 3 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).

A person with an image of a military base superimposed on their face.
The People’s Tribunal on Crimes of Aggression: Afghanistan Sessions
Video

The People’s Tribunal on Crimes of Aggression: Afghanistan Sessions

A durational artistic tribunal built and run by impacted communities

Thursday 9 September to Saturday 11 September 2021
London, United Kingdom

First-person testimonies, expert witnesses and physical evidence will be presented through performance in an effort to artistically shift the focus onto the crimes of the UK state and prove that the war in Afghanistan, a war referred to as ‘The Good War’, was a crime of aggression. Livestreaming on the commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv Thursday 9 September to Saturday 11 September 2021.

The guest, Teresa Coleman Wash, smiling and wearing a red shirt against a galaxy background.
Being a Neighborhood Resource Center and Owning Our Tables
Essay

Being a Neighborhood Resource Center and Owning Our Tables

With Teresa Coleman Wash of Bishop Arts Theatre Center

25 August 2021

Yura Sapi speaks with Teresa Coleman Wash, the founding artistic director of Bishop Arts Theatre Center, whose mission is to create a diverse and vibrant arts community while creating sustainable opportunities for local and emerging artists through performances and education.

Actress Tawana Montgomery playing Deborah Scott. Photo credit: Greg Mooney
Organizing History in the Alliance Theatre’s Working: A Musical
Essay

Organizing History in the Alliance Theatre’s Working: A Musical

17 August 2021

Margarita Kompelmakher details the Alliance Theatre’s process of adapting Working into a community-engaged production that both modeled grassroots organizing and told the story of the work of organizers in the city.

Unrehearsed Futures
Video

Unrehearsed Futures

Episode #19: Collaborative Theatre-Making and/as Participatory Justice

Thursday 12 August 2021
South Africa

Unrehearsed Futures Episode #19: Collaborative Theatre-Making and/as Participatory Justice livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Thursday 12 August 2021.

I Want to Tell You About Beirut
Video

I Want to Tell You About Beirut

A Reading of Testimonies and Roundtable Discussion Commemorating the One-Year Mark of the Beirut Port Explosion

Tuesday 3 August 2021
Beirut

Golden Thread Productions, Al Madina Theatre, and the Legal Agenda present I Want to Tell You About Beirut livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Tuesday 3 August at 11 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -5) / 1 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 2 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4) / 18:00 UTC / 9 p.m. EEST (UTC +3).

A group of women and children.
Applied Theatre for Community Development in Nigeria
Essay

Applied Theatre for Community Development in Nigeria

26 July 2021

Kofoworola Owokotomo shares the theatre for development processes she undertook with a team of students to tackle issues of drug abuse, tribalism, and poor attitudes towards education in two Nigerian communities.

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).

event poster for unrehearsed futures episode 15.
Unrehearsed Futures
Video

Unrehearsed Futures

Episode 15: Planetary Moves

Thursday 15 July 2021
South Africa

Planetary Moves: Dancing Across the Fault-Lines livestreamed on the global, commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Thursday 15 July 2021 at 7 a.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4) / 12 p.m. BST (London, UTC +1) / 1 p.m. SAST (Cape Town, UTC +2).

event poster for unrehearsed futures episode fourteen.
Unrehearsed Futures
Video

Unrehearsed Futures

Episode 14: Offerings of Possibility

Thursday 8 July 2021
South Africa

Unrehearsed Futures: Offerings of Possibility livestreamed on the global, commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Thursday 8 July 2021 at 7 a.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4) / 12 p.m. BST (London, UTC +1) / 1 p.m. SAST (Cape Town, UTC +2).

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.

illustration of a black woman holding a book titled the tyrant fears the poet with caption text we are the future write our own liberation.
Narrative Power, Cultural Strategies, and New Civic Vision
Video

Narrative Power, Cultural Strategies, and New Civic Vision

A peer learning exchange about how stories, narrative and cultural power can help create a just and liberatory vision for the future

Monday 12 April 2021
United States

Arts & Democracy and Naturally Occurring Cultural Districts NY (NOCD-NY) presented the conversation Narrative Power, Cultural Strategies, and New Civic Vision livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Monday 12 April 2021 at 2 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 4 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 5 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).

two people kneel in front of ornate architecture, petting a black and white cat
Meet the Hosts
Podcast

Meet the Hosts

Kunafa and Shay: Episode 1

31 March 2021

In this first episode of Kunafa and Shay, meet our hosts Nabra Nelson and Marina J. Bergenstock!

Kamilah Forbes portrait.
Imagining a Way Forward
Essay

Imagining a Way Forward

Discussions on Theatre and Race

30 March 2021

Kamilah Forbes, artistic director of the Apollo Theater, speaks with Wes Jackson and P. Carl about the American theatre being a very slow-moving ship, genre-crossing for artists and organizations, systemic racism in the field, and more.

Image of four tableaus with people experiencing time passing.
Letters From Warsaw
Essay

Letters From Warsaw

24 March 2021

Marta Keil and Grzegorz Reske share letters from the past and the future, from June 2020 to June 2029, detailing the changes to the theatrical landscape in their hometown of Warsaw, Poland.

An image of a hand, and in its palm is a shakespearean actor with his arm extended offering an actor from the Lion King, who is offering a clown, who offers a leaping person. They appear in front of a teal background that is bordered by red curtains.
The Future Becoming
Essay

The Future Becoming

22 March 2021

Deborah Cullinan reflects on the path that enabled us to arrive in a future of shared resources and collective power.

Pitching in the Pandemic
Video

Pitching in the Pandemic

How to build relationship in the middle of a pandemic

Thursday 4 March 2021
United States

Producer Hub presented the conversation Pitching in the Pandemic livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Thursday 4 March 2021 at 5 p.m. PST (San Francisco, UTC -8) / 7 p.m. CST (Chicago, UTC -6) / 8 p.m. EST (New York, UTC -5).

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).

an actor kneeling onstage
A Summer on Fire, a Harvest Moon
Essay

A Summer on Fire, a Harvest Moon

8 February 2021

Caroline Sprague reflects on Shey Rivera Ríos’s recent piece, Fire Flowers and a Time Machine, transformative justice, the nonprofit industrial complex, and more.

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.

a group onstage
Sometimes the Best Technology is Relationships
Essay

Sometimes the Best Technology is Relationships

A Conversation with Complex Movements

15 January 2021

In the last conversation of the Performing the Internet series, curator Kate Bergstrom sits down with three members of the Detroit-based artist-activist collective Complex Movements—Sage Crump, ill weaver, Wes Taylor—to talk about intentional engagement in a virtual world.

Kar Eleggua Luna Olokun Laverde
Hazard / En Riesgo
Essay

Hazard / En Riesgo

The Colombian Resistance Way / El Camino del Colombianx en Resistencia

3 December 2020

Kar Eleggua Luna Olokun Laverde talks about the relationship between state, culture, and art in Colombia; the effects of COVID-19 on resistance communities; cultural organizations that empower marginalized communities through art; and more. / Kar Eleggua Luna Olokun Laverde Sanjuan habla sobre la relación entre estado, cultura y arte en Colombia; los efectos del COVID-19 sobre las comunidades en resistencia; organizaciones culturales que empoderan comunidades marginadas a través del arte; y más.