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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

Livestreaming a Ceremony: The 2021 Segal Center Awards for Civic Engagement in the Arts
Video
Livestreaming a Ceremony: 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
Committing to a Community
Essay
Committing to a Community
Ronee Penoi and Shanta Thake in Conversation
by Ronee Penoi, Shanta Thake
4 January 2022
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
segal theatre center logo
Livestreaming a Ceremony: The 2021 Segal Center Awards for Civic Engagement in the Arts
Video

Livestreaming a Ceremony: 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 presents 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).

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).