Economics

The Latest

Putting a Value on the Work and Putting the Work in the Community with Coya Paz and Free Street Theater
Podcast

Putting a Value on the Work and Putting the Work in the Community with Coya Paz and Free Street Theater

From the Ground Up Podcast Episode #2

by Jeffrey Mosser
28 January 2019
Economic Precarity and Resiliency in Theatre
Essay

Economic Precarity and Resiliency in Theatre

an American Psalm

by Caridad Svich
29 August 2018
How Can You Turn Awareness into Action?
Essay

How Can You Turn Awareness into Action?

A Roadmap Toward Economic Justice for Theatre Folk

by Matthew Sekellick
29 June 2017
From The Ground Up logo.
Putting a Value on the Work and Putting the Work in the Community with Coya Paz and Free Street Theater
Podcast

Putting a Value on the Work and Putting the Work in the Community with Coya Paz and Free Street Theater

From the Ground Up Podcast Episode #2

28 January 2019

“How can performance be used to cross racial and economic boundaries?”—Coya Paz

Economic Precarity and Resiliency in Theatre
Essay

Economic Precarity and Resiliency in Theatre

an American Psalm

29 August 2018

Playwright Caridad Svich reflects on the economic reality of working in theatre.

How Can You Turn Awareness into Action?
Essay

How Can You Turn Awareness into Action?

A Roadmap Toward Economic Justice for Theatre Folk

29 June 2017

Matthew Clinton Sekellick discusses moving beyond awareness with action, advocating for theatre artists and administrators to join forces with existing social justice movements.

So, You’re Thinking About Becoming an Expat?
Essay

So, You’re Thinking About Becoming an Expat?

A Meditation on Distance and the American Theatre

11 June 2017

Expat playwright Lydia Stryk considers living and working at a distance from the US.

What Do We Really Want? Creating a Union for Actors in Romania
Essay

What Do We Really Want? Creating a Union for Actors in Romania

20 March 2017

In this installment of a new series leading up to the IETM Plenary Meeting in Bucharest, Theodor-Cristian Popescu writes about being an actor in Romania.

Theatre DIY Don’ts
Essay

Theatre DIY Don’ts

Don’t Write Checks You Can’t Cash

3 March 2017

In this final installment, Ricky Young-Howze reflects on self-producing new work in a “theatre desert,” and acknowledges the importance of learning, wisdom, and respect.

Theatre DIY Don’ts
Essay

Theatre DIY Don’ts

Don’t Forget to Take Pictures

6 February 2017

In this installment, Ricky Young-Howze discusses the importance of having archival footage of new work, which serves as a historical document.

Hashtag Fair Wage in the Offices Near the Stage; Or, Wacky Ideas for Finding More Money So We Can Pay Theatre People More
Essay

Hashtag Fair Wage in the Offices Near the Stage; Or, Wacky Ideas for Finding More Money So We Can Pay Theatre People More

16 December 2016

Rosalind Grush discusses why salaries for many arts administrators are lower than they should be, and offers some solutions.

Don’t Forget the Human Element in Marketing
Essay

Don’t Forget the Human Element in Marketing

14 July 2016

In this installment, Ricky Young-Howze discusses his experience marketing his play Last Hope for Twenty Miles, and what he learned for future reference.

I Started My Own Company, Failed Miserably, and I’m Eternally Grateful
Essay

I Started My Own Company, Failed Miserably, and I’m Eternally Grateful

14 March 2016

In this first installment, Ricky Young-Howze shares his experience of starting his own not-for-profit theatre company and offers advice.

Where is the Union for Arts Admin Workers?
Essay

Where is the Union for Arts Admin Workers?

25 November 2015

Thom Dunn makes a case for union protection for the marketers and fundraisers and other theatre administrators who all play important roles, working long hours for little pay or glory.

Acting in Solidarity
Essay

Acting in Solidarity

Working for a Living Wage

16 October 2015

Matthew Sekellick explores what New York’s proposed minimum wage increase would mean for theatre artists.

Ask if it’s Equity—Maybe
Essay

Ask if it’s Equity—Maybe

28 November 2014

Are Equity tours of a higher quality than non-union productions? Very possibly. There’s a larger talent pool to work with and performers tend to be more experienced. That said, whether or not a tour is a union production has never been shown to have a demonstrable effect on ticket sales that I’ve been able to uncover.

Artist Unions, Labor, and Family Traditions
Essay

Artist Unions, Labor, and Family Traditions

1 October 2014

Truthfully, as a Los Angeles-based theater artist working almost entirely under the 99-seat agreement, at a certain point I just gave up on earning my Equity card, and the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC) wasn’t popping up on my radar. While I may not currently carry a union card in my wallet, I do take great pride in how I am following in my grandfather’s footsteps. We both pursued our passion to craft and share stories, and simultaneously held careers working in the arts to pay the bills.

Paying Dues and the Social Contract
Essay

Paying Dues and the Social Contract

9 August 2014

“Paying your dues”—it’s a pervasive refrain, and one that clearly lives deeply within us; it has gotten under our skin and through our veins. I can’t help but think that it’s a lie. The concept of “paying dues” implies a sort of social contract that’s simply no longer present, if it ever was.

A portrait of Andrew Roblyer.
Starting a Theater Company
Essay

Starting a Theater Company

Why You Failed & Getting People-Focused

23 June 2014

Sometimes, the best way to study a theory or philosophy is to implement it and learn from the results. This twelve-part series is the year-long account of one young artist’s efforts to start a new theater company and put into action what he has learned and is learning from the HowlRound and #newplay community.

The letter H stylized as Howlround's original logo.
Melinda Lopez's Playwriting Residency at Huntington Theatre Company, Boston
Essay

Melinda Lopez's Playwriting Residency at Huntington Theatre Company, Boston

5 April 2014

HowlRound is working with playwright residency sites around the country to track the impact of what it means to have a playwright on staff. At each of the fourteen theaters we have a Commons Producer—a theater practitioner from the local community working with the theater and the playwright to tell the story of each residency and make the learning from this experiment accessible as it's happening. Periodically we will post these residency updates on HowlRound in the hopes that it will be useful to field-wide learning on the question of what it means to employ playwrights inside of theaters.

My Non-Acting Job
Essay

My Non-Acting Job

What’s Acting Got to Do With It?

31 March 2014

But this particular day I was walking uphill in ninety-five degrees heat wearing hosiery, a corset, a silk slip, a long sleeved collared shirt, a wool skirt and a wool coat. Oh, and a pretty doofy hat. "Boardwalk Empire" followed the unfortunate schedule of filming its winter scenes in summer and summer scenes in winter. At some point I muttered to myself, "I hate this."

FoolsFURY theatre company logo.
Ensembles
Essay

Ensembles

Exploring foolsFury

28 March 2014

foolsFURY is a theater ensemble from San Francisco that sees advantages in working with playwrights and devisors, and seizes opportunities to become a touring company. As they come up on their fifteenth year, artistic director Ben Yalom sheds some light on their transitions, and lets me in on how they are working toward what is next artistically and financially.

The Private Theater, aka “Dynamic Pricing”
Essay

The Private Theater, aka “Dynamic Pricing”

27 March 2014

In the last couple of seasons I’ve become aware of a ticket scheme already practiced by some of our larger regional theaters, and currently under consideration at some where my plays are produced. And this practice goes by a very catchy and newfangled name. It’s being called “dynamic pricing.” But it’s not a new practice. It’s actually quite old, and has a more familiar name. It’s called "scalping".

Kermit the Frog.
Why Kermit the Frog is a Bad Producer
Essay

Why Kermit the Frog is a Bad Producer

21 March 2014

I grew up entranced by Jim Henson’s Muppets. Performing with wry but gentle humor, they pulled back the curtain to snicker at backstage life and deftly expressed all the joy, camaraderie, and frustration of working as an ensemble. Though televised, it embraced the dynamic liveness integral to puppetry, variety, and vaudeville as art forms. So now, looking back at the films as a young arts manager, I’m shocked to realize that Kermit the Frog—whom I love very, very much—is a pretty bad producer.

Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble logo.
Ensembles
Essay

Ensembles

The Life and Times of Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble

14 March 2014

Alvina Krause, one of twentieth century’s most famous teachers of acting, believed, “if you can act Chekhov, you can act anything!” In the summer of 1976 she was 83 years old, long retired, yet still taking private students in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania. Little did she know that seven students from Northwestern University in Chicago would come to study “acting Chekhov” with her, and end up settling into the town for a much longer stay as the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble (BTE).

Ensembles
Essay

Ensembles

Making and Paying for the Art

25 February 2014

How do you work as a group? How do you work without a script? How do you ask someone to fund a group without a script? And how are you still together—financially, artistically? The non-traditional model of creation is frequently mysterious if only because it is hard to understand without doing.

Economics 101
Essay

Economics 101

Basic Income, anyone?

18 January 2014

Lydia Stryk asks us to change the game and align the industry closer to the human right to make a living wage.

The Unsustainable State of Art
Essay

The Unsustainable State of Art

16 December 2013

A. Nora Long examines our culture's fascination with the starving artist, scrambling to make ends meet... and calls for a movement to dismantle our thoughts about how we make a life in the theater.