Disability and Accessibility

How can we make every aspect of theatre practice and participation accessible to people of all abilities? Disability aesthetics, accessibility measures for artists and audience members, and work created by artists with disabilities are all covered here. A great place to start is the 2019 series The Future of Theatre is Accessible, curated by Talleri McRae and Mickey Rowe, or you can dive into Unsettling Dramaturgy’s panel Praxis Sessions for Virtual Collaboration: Cripping Practice or videos from the Neurodiversity Matters Conference. To learn more about HowlRound’s goals and standards for accessibility, you can go here.

The Latest

#DeafWoke with Noah David James III
Video
#DeafWoke with Noah David James III
A virtual consciousness-raising online talk show, led by Black and Native American Deaf host Mr. Antoine Hunter PurpleFireCrow
Thursday 20 May 2021
United States
Disability Representation in Storytelling
Video
Disability Representation in Storytelling
What does responsible representation look like in 2021?
Thursday 20 May 2021
United States
#DeafWoke with Francis Phiri
Video
#DeafWoke with Francis Phiri
A virtual consciousness-raising online talk show, led by Black and Native American Deaf host Mr. Antoine Hunter PurpleFireCrow
Thursday 6 May 2021
United States
#DeafWoke with Noah David James III
Video

#DeafWoke with Noah David James III

A virtual consciousness-raising online talk show, led by Black and Native American Deaf host Mr. Antoine Hunter PurpleFireCrow

Thursday 20 May 2021
United States

Antoine Hunter presented #DeafWoke with Noah David James III livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Thursday 20 May at 5 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 7 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 8 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).

event title text playwrights realm disability representation in storytelling.
Disability Representation in Storytelling
Video

Disability Representation in Storytelling

What does responsible representation look like in 2021?

Thursday 20 May 2021
United States

The Playwrights Realm presented Disability Representation in Storytelling livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Thursday 20 May 2021 at 3 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 5 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 6 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).

event poster with headshot of will wilhelm and text teacakes and tarot.
Teacakes and Tarot with Will Wilhelm and Joshua Castille
Video

Teacakes and Tarot with Will Wilhelm and Joshua Castille

Theatre, Classics, and the future of queer inclusive practices are all in the cards during this intimate interview series with your next artistic crush

Thursday 6 May 2021
United States

Island Shakespeare Festival presented Teacakes and Tarot with Will Wilhelm and and Joshua Castille livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Thursday 6 May 2021 at 6:30 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 8:30 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 9:30 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).

headshots of francis phiri, antoine hunter, and event info.
#DeafWoke with Francis Phiri
Video

#DeafWoke with Francis Phiri

A virtual consciousness-raising online talk show, led by Black and Native American Deaf host Mr. Antoine Hunter PurpleFireCrow

Thursday 6 May 2021
United States

Antoine Hunter presented #DeafWoke with Francis Phiri livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Thursday 6 May at 4 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 6 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 7 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).

A production photo of three actors in front of projections
Envisioning Change
Essay

Envisioning Change

The Future Is Inclusive

29 March 2021

Andrea Kovich argues that inclusive design can be used to change organizations and the work being produced, leading to a more inclusive and equitable theatre field.

a group of people holding a banner saying "MAD Pride"
The Importance of Centering Neurodivergent and Mad Writers
Essay

The Importance of Centering Neurodivergent and Mad Writers

16 March 2021

Cortland Nesley argues that Neurodivergent and Mad writers should be leading the charge in shaping Neurodivergent and Mad narratives.

The backstage area of a theatre, with a red curtain on a raised platform. There are random props and items strewn about. A woman in a 1940s outfit is standing at stage left. Down on the lower level is a ghost light. The entire stage is covered in textured, selective lighting.
Illuminating the Careers of Disabled Lighting Designers
Essay

Illuminating the Careers of Disabled Lighting Designers

25 February 2021

Lighting designers Annie Wiegand and Michael Maag discuss how being part of the Deaf and disability community intersects with their design work.

an empty audition room
Identity-Conscious Casting
Essay

Identity-Conscious Casting

Moving Beyond Color-Blind and Color-Conscious Casting

2 February 2021

Text-based director and adaptor Lavina Jadhwani chats with casting director Victor Vazquez about her shift from using “color-conscious casting” to “identity-conscious casting,” the importance of casting being seen as part of a show’s design and dramaturgy, and more.

a group of actors onstage
The Ableist Effects of Creating “Post-Pandemic Theatre” During a Pandemic
Essay

The Ableist Effects of Creating “Post-Pandemic Theatre” During a Pandemic

8 December 2020

Allie Marotta discusses how a new realm of accessibility opened up with remote performances but argues that the rush to return to in-person events is leaving disabled and high-risk populations behind.

swirling octopus tentacles.
Catalysing Change Through Artful Agitation: Part I: Be Ill-Disciplined
Video

Catalysing Change Through Artful Agitation: Part I: Be Ill-Disciplined

A performative lecture and Q&A with Kai Syng Tan

Saturday 19 September 2020
United Kingdom

performingbordersLIVE20 and Contact presented Catalysing Change Through Artful Agitation: Part I: Be Ill-Disciplined livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Saturday 19 September 2020 at 6:30 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 9:30 a.m. EDT (New York, UTC-4) / 2:30 p.m. BST (London, UTC+1).

an actor onstage
This Is How We Cripped It
Essay

This Is How We Cripped It

12 August 2020

Debbie Patterson talks about the barriers faced by artists with disabilities and how creative teams can “crip” the work—embracing the disruptions created by disability to open up previously unimagined possibilities.

image of cracked land with text unsettling dramaturgy
Praxis Sessions for Virtual Collaboration: Irreconcilable Spaces
Video

Praxis Sessions for Virtual Collaboration: Irreconcilable Spaces

hosted by Unsettling Dramaturgy: Crip & Indigenous Dramaturgies

Friday 15 May 2020
United States

Unsettling Dramaturgy presented Praxis Sessions for Virtual Collaboration: Irreconcilable Spaces livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Friday 15 May 2020 at 3:15 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 5:15 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-5) / 6:15 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-4) / 20:15 p.m. BST (London, UTC+1) / 21:15 p.m. CEST (Berlin, UTC+2).

Daylight lighting. The puppeteer, dressed in black, is sitting on a short black cube on a grey stage in front of bookshelves. The puppet, with white body and light blue costume, is sitting on the puppeteers knee. The puppet head, bald and painted off-white, is blocking the puppeteers face. The puppet's right leg is separate from the rest of its body, connected to the right leg and toes of the puppeteer. There is a large space between the two puppet legs. The gesture of the right hand of the puppet is raised
Puppetry and Disability Aesthetics
Essay

Puppetry and Disability Aesthetics

4 May 2020

Marina Tsaplina examines the complexity of the word “disability,” how puppetry can push forward disability justice, and disability aesthetics, offering what she deems a “grammar of animacy” for artists working with disability.

Stylized event promotion.
Praxis Sessions for Virtual Collaboration: Prefigurative Spaces
Video

Praxis Sessions for Virtual Collaboration: Prefigurative Spaces

hosted by Unsettling Dramaturgy: Crip & Indigenous Dramaturgies.​

Thursday 30 April 2020
United States

Unsettling Dramaturgy presented Praxis Sessions for Virtual Collaboration: Prefigurative Spaces livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Thursday 30 April 2020 at 3:15 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 5:15 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-5) / 6:15 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-4) / 20:15 p.m. BST (London, UTC+1) / 21:15 p.m. CEST (Berlin, UTC+2).

Spectrum Theatre Ensemble logo.
Neurodiversity Matters Conference
Video

Neurodiversity Matters Conference

Topics include Opportunities & Challenges with Neurodiverse Inclusion, Sensory Friendly Awareness, and much much more!

Wednesday 29 and Thursday 30 April 2020
United States

Spectrum Theatre Ensemble presented Neurodiversity Matters Conference livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Wednesday 29 and Thursday 30 April 2020 at 10 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 12 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-5) / 1 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-4) / 18:00 BST (London, UTC+1) / 19:00 CEST (Berlin, UTC+2)

an actor onstage
I Am the Damage We Have Done to the Earth
Essay

I Am the Damage We Have Done to the Earth

Intersections of the Climate Crisis and Disability

28 April 2020

Performance artist Hanna Cormick talks about how she uses her body as a metaphor for the damage humans do to the earth, and calls for a more sustainable relationship to our bodies and nature.

colorful globe with arts connect international logo.
Arts Equity Summit 2020: Creating Culture Shifts (ASL & Captioned)
Video

Arts Equity Summit 2020: Creating Culture Shifts (ASL & Captioned)

A Summit for arts & culture leaders committed to building equity

Friday 24 April - Saturday 25 April 2020
Boston, Massachusetts

Arts Connect International presented the Arts Equity Summit livestreaming on the global, commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv from Friday 24 April to Sunday 26 April 2020.

graphic landscape with text unsettlign dramaturgy
Praxis Sessions for Virtual Collaboration: Cripping Practice
Video

Praxis Sessions for Virtual Collaboration: Cripping Practice

hosted by Unsettling Dramaturgy: Crip & Indigenous Dramaturgies ​​​​​​

Friday 10 April 2020
United States

Unsettling Dramaturgy presented Praxis Sessions for Virtual Collaboration: Cripping Practice livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Friday 10 April 2020 at 2 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 4 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-5) / 5 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-4).

colored earth with text unsettling dramaturgies
Praxis Sessions for Virtual Collaboration: Land Acknowledgements
Video

Praxis Sessions for Virtual Collaboration: Land Acknowledgements

hosted by Unsettling Dramaturgy: Crip & Indigenous Dramaturgies ​​​​​​

Tuesday 31 March 2020
United States

Unsettling Dramaturgy presented Praxis Sessions for Virtual Collaboration: Land Acknowledgements livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Tuesday 31 March 2020 at 2 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 4 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-5) / 5 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-4).

a backstage crew in the process of hanging lights in a theatre
Panel Conversation Backstage with Deaf Artists and Technicians
Video

Panel Conversation Backstage with Deaf Artists and Technicians

Making production processes more accessible to Deaf staff, artists, and overhire folks.

Friday 13 December 2019
Web

Production Managers’ Forum (USA) Diversity and Inclusion Committee presents the panel discussion Backstage with Deaf Artists and Technicians livestreaming on the commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Friday 13 December 2019 at 11 a.m. PST (Los Angeles, UTC -8) / 12 p.m. MST (Denver, UTC -7) / 1 p.m. CST (Chicago, UTC -6) / 2 p.m. EST (New York, UTC -5) / 19:00 GMT (London, UTC +0)

A man is sitting holding a phone up to his ear while a toddler sleeps on him. The toddler is holding a rainbow colored stuffed animal.
Redefining “Radical” In Terms of How We Support Parents
Essay

Redefining “Radical” In Terms of How We Support Parents

4 December 2019

Mickey Rowe, co-founder and co–executive director of National Disability Theatre, talks about the difficulties of being a single parent with disabilities and working in theatre.

three actors onstage
When the World Isn’t Made for Your Body
Essay

When the World Isn’t Made for Your Body

How Interconnected Access Benefits Multiple Communities

1 December 2019

Introducing the second installment of the Parent-Artist Advocacy series, Sally Lobel talks about how the parent-artist community and the disability community have the potential to be excellent accomplices and allies.

two graphs: Are at least half the characters specified as females by the playwright. Are at least half of the characters specified as non-white by the playwright?
What Our New Plays Really Look Like
Essay

What Our New Plays Really Look Like

A Statistical Guide to US World Premieres in the 2019–20 Season

21 October 2019

Marshall Botvinick shares the results of the research he undertook about new plays premiering across the United States in the 2019–20 season: who is being produced, what characters are appearing on stage, and what forms and themes are common.

a person seated and blindfolded
Notes on Making Theatre in the Dark
Essay

Notes on Making Theatre in the Dark

15 October 2019

Ezra Brain discusses the experience of creating a piece of theatre in the dark, the theory of “rasa,” the act of performance, and more.

three actors onstage
You Must Kick Up a Fuss
Essay

You Must Kick Up a Fuss

24 September 2019

Black British writers Matilda Ibini and Oladipo (Dipo) Agboluaje talk about choosing to study theatre at school, crowdfunding, Afrofuturism, and more.