Community Engagement

The Latest

Lifting Up What We’re Throwing Down
Essay

Lifting Up What We’re Throwing Down

Company One’s Use of Amplify Language

by Kirsten Greenidge
23 June 2020
Shuffling Performance Discourse
Essay

Shuffling Performance Discourse

by Patrick Blenkarn, Milton Lim
22 June 2020
Reaching One Audience Member at a Time
Essay

Reaching One Audience Member at a Time

by j. sebastián alberdi, Rosalind Bevan, Charles Haugland, Melinda Lopez, Melory Mirashrafi
18 May 2020
Lifting Up What We’re Throwing Down
Essay

Lifting Up What We’re Throwing Down

Company One’s Use of Amplify Language

23 June 2020

Kirsten Greenidge discusses how being the Playwright in Residence at Company One Theatre gave her a stronger appreciation for the work of the staff, particularly around speaking to the social justice goals of all the company’s programming.

two people standing infront of a large projection
Shuffling Performance Discourse
Essay

Shuffling Performance Discourse

22 June 2020

Milton Lim and Patrick Blenkarn talk about culturecapital, their arts trading card game that offers a window into the complex relationships artists have with public funding, being socially relevant, and navigating a rapidly changing landscape of ethics, politics, and economics within the arts.

Luis Alfaro and Laurie Woolery.
Directors Lab West Connects: Luis Alfaro and Laurie Woolery (ASL-interpreted)
Video

Directors Lab West Connects: Luis Alfaro and Laurie Woolery (ASL-interpreted)

Reflections on “Remote” Teaching and Community Engagement

Friday 29 May 2020
United States

Directors Lab West presented Directors Lab West Connects: Luis Alfaro and Laurie Woolery livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Friday 29 May 2020 at 8 a.m. HST (Honolulu, UTC-10) / 10 a.m. AKDT (Juneau, UTC-8) / 11 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 1 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-5) / 2 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-4) / 19:00 BST (London, UTC+1) / 20:00 CEST (Berlin, UTC+2).

an actor onstage
Reaching One Audience Member at a Time
Essay

Reaching One Audience Member at a Time

18 May 2020

Staff members at the Huntington Theatre in Boston, Massachusetts discuss their response to their theatre’s closure due to COVID-19: calling audience members and reading them monologues over the phone.

a person controlling a theatre's light rail rope system
Rebuilding a Better Theatre Industry Post-Pandemic
Essay

Rebuilding a Better Theatre Industry Post-Pandemic

A Punch List

14 May 2020

Genevieve Beller argues that the current forced pause on society provides a rare opportunity for theatres to take stock, inventory priorities, and enact positive and lasting change, and she provides tangible steps to do so.

a person sitting at a large filled-in whiteboard
Expanding Where, Why, How, and With Whom Artists in the United States Work
Essay

Expanding Where, Why, How, and With Whom Artists in the United States Work

Invitation for Participatory Research

6 May 2020

Jan Cohen-Cruz invites theatremakers working in community-based and socially engaged art in the United States to take part in research about commonalities across the field, the practices and principles adhered to, where people work and with whom, and more.

two actors on stage
Theatre for a Climate Crisis in a Globalized World
Essay

Theatre for a Climate Crisis in a Globalized World

A Model for Local Action

27 April 2020

Thomas Peterson urges theatremakers to focus on creating work about the climate crisis specifically for their local communities, drawing on lessons from the current response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

stage view of an actor
Lost Works
Essay

Lost Works

What Could Have Been

1 April 2020

Kristin Idaszak and Kristen Osborn invite you to pay tribute to the work you have lost due to the recent theatre closures.

four actors onstage
Lumbering Toward the New
Essay

Lumbering Toward the New

17 March 2020

In this virtual keynote, Todd London reflects on the nature of new work and the social cooperation inherent to making theatre.

collage of close-up body images, including hands and feet
Gasping Whiteness and New Play Development Inspired by Community Organizing
Essay

Gasping Whiteness and New Play Development Inspired by Community Organizing

25 February 2020

Through the lens of developing his show Gasping Whiteness, Will MacAdams talks about the value of creating theatre in partnership with community organizers.

nine people standing in a large space
My Cultural Cluj
Essay

My Cultural Cluj

Building Community in Post-Communist Romania

4 February 2020

Mihai Mateiu discusses his trajectory as an arts organizer in Cluj, from open-air music festivals to running a bookshop and cultural venue, to working to build arts audiences by partnering with businesses.

three actors onstage
Stories from America’s Death Row
Essay

Stories from America’s Death Row

A Conversation with Lynden Harris

29 January 2020

Summer Robinson interviews playwright Lynden Harris about her work creating theatre with men on death row across the United States.

two actors embracing onstage
Connection, Influence, and Impact as a Playwright-In-Residence
Essay

Connection, Influence, and Impact as a Playwright-In-Residence

11 December 2019

Carlos Murillo and Kira Obolensky talk about their National Playwright Residency Program residencies, creating work for a specific theatre’s audience, playwrights not being part of the sea change of artistic director turnover, and more.

a group of performers outside
Theatre for Development in Malawi
Essay

Theatre for Development in Malawi

5 November 2019

Isaac Mafuel talks about Malawi’s most prevalent form of theatre, its history, and its impact and challenges.

screenshot
Migrating Our Skills as Cultural Workers
Essay

Migrating Our Skills as Cultural Workers

16 October 2019

Cultural organizer and producer Joon Lynn Goh speaks with Janna Graham, a research-based practitioner, curator, and lecturer, about connecting cultural work with political organizing.

shadows of legs walking
All We Need Is Audience Development?
Essay

All We Need Is Audience Development?

13 October 2019

Goran Tomka looks at what audience development is, the phenomenon of an implied or implicit audience, decolonizing institutions, and more.

an audience view of a concert
Cultural Participation Policies
Essay

Cultural Participation Policies

A Poverty of Ambition

8 October 2019

Dr. David Stevenson talks about audience diversification, confronts the dominant hierarchy of cultural activities, and looks to create space for valuing everyone’s chosen cultural experiences the same way.

two actors onstage
The Factory of the Future
Essay

The Factory of the Future

A Collaborative Project for Imagining Otherwise

30 September 2019

Zoë Svendsen discusses working with fellow theatremakers to build and present imagined realities of London and Oslo in post-capitalist and post-fossil-fuel cultures.

Three young actors in school uniforms onstage in front of a graffiti wall.
Caring for Ourselves So We Can Care for Each Other
Essay

Caring for Ourselves So We Can Care for Each Other

Michael J. Bobbitt and Raymond O. Caldwell in Conversation, Part II

16 September 2019

Part II of the conversation between Michael J. Bobbitt, the recently appointed artistic director of Boston’s New Repertory Theatre, and Raymond Caldwell, the new leader of Washington’s Theater Alliance, who talk about post-show conversations and self-care.

"I’m Not Interested in More Allies. I Need Advocates."
Essay

"I’m Not Interested in More Allies. I Need Advocates."

Michael J. Bobbitt and Raymond O. Caldwell in Conversation, Part I

15 September 2019

Michael J. Bobbitt, the recently appointed artistic director of Boston’s New Repertory Theatre, and Raymond Caldwell, the new leader of Washington’s Theater Alliance, sit down to talk about race equity work, the guilt they felt leaving their previous posts, and more.

eight people posing together
The Power of Local
Essay

The Power of Local

Building Community While Building Plays

25 August 2019

Playwrights Will Power and Jonathan Norton talk about what being an artist in residence looks like, championing local playwrights, rejection letters, and more.

four actors in rehearsal
We Didn’t Have Any Role Models
Essay

We Didn’t Have Any Role Models

An Interview with the Founders of Wry Crips Disabled Women’s Theatre Group

21 August 2019

Michaela Goldhaber, current artistic director of Wry Crips, talks to the founding and early members of the disabled women’s theatre group about their history.

a colorful mural that says community
So You Want to Move to the Developing Neighborhood?
Essay

So You Want to Move to the Developing Neighborhood?

25 June 2019

Jordan Schwartz discusses gentrification in developing neighborhoods, how artists moving in need to work with the existing communities, and what kind of change that can bring about.

a group of people with their hands raised
Hearing Each Other Over the Gun Fire
Essay

Hearing Each Other Over the Gun Fire

24 June 2019

Several months after Pittsburgh’s Quantam Theatre programmed The Gun Show, there was a mass shooting at a synagogue in the city. TJ Parker discusses how the company responded to the crisis, both through the play and through community engagement.

audience members inside an enclosed transparent VR tent
Narrative Sharing and Narrative Shifting with Digital Technology
Essay

Narrative Sharing and Narrative Shifting with Digital Technology

10 June 2019

Members of the Detroit-based artist collective Complex Movements discuss the connection between technology, performance, and social justice community organizing.