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Economics

In this section, theatremakers explore the economic realities of producing art and making a career in our industry. Topics explored include internship culture, economic precarity, unions, dynamic pricing, and more.

The Latest

Notes from the Field: A Frank Conversation on Pay Equity in the American Theatre
Video
Notes from the Field: A Frank Conversation on Pay Equity in the American Theatre
Presented by ART/New York
Monday 6 May 2024
That Which We Call a Struggle: A Response to Ife Olujobi’s “$5000”
Essay
That Which We Call a Struggle: A Response to Ife Olujobi’s “$5000”
by Chris Myers
5 February 2024
Interrogating the Politics of Oppression in The Struggle
Essay
Interrogating the Politics of Oppression in The Struggle
by Eseovwe Emakunu, Dan Kpodoh
4 January 2024
Poster image for ART/New York panel.
Notes from the Field: A Frank Conversation on Pay Equity in the American Theatre
Video

Notes from the Field: A Frank Conversation on Pay Equity in the American Theatre

Presented by ART/New York

Monday 6 May 2024

Notes from the Field: A Frank Conversation on Pay Equity in the American Theatre is the first session in a three-part series on Pay Equity with A.R.T/New York.

Chris Myers sits at a table at the East Village Zine fair.
That Which We Call a Struggle: A Response to Ife Olujobi’s “$5000”
Essay

That Which We Call a Struggle: A Response to Ife Olujobi’s “$5000”

5 February 2024

Theatremaker and political educator Chris Myers writes a companion piece to Ife Olujobi’s “$5000.” He explains the structural reasons behind Ife’s struggle to gain more money for playwrights, why this struggle belongs to us all, and the organizing it will take to change it. 

An actress sings passionately during a performance.
Interrogating the Politics of Oppression in The Struggle
Essay

Interrogating the Politics of Oppression in The Struggle

4 January 2024

Dan Kpodoh’s The Struggle dramatizes governmental and corporate exploitation in the oil-rich Niger Delta by telling the story of a group of militants who sought liberation but became corrupted by financial interests. Eseovwe Emakunu, a Nigerian theatre professional, interviews Kpodoh about the play’s function as protest theatre against political oppression.

A group of actors perform a fight onstage.
How Pay As You Are Changed Theater Mu
Essay

How Pay As You Are Changed Theater Mu

27 November 2023

Theater Mu managing director Anh Thu T. Pham and development director Wesley Mouri discuss the ideology behind the theater’s Pay As You Are program, how it works, and what impact it’s having on the theatre six years after its implementation.

A man in business attire cheers in front of a team of football players.
Dear England/England Now
Essay

Dear England/England Now

19 October 2023

Spurred on by the National Theatre production of James Graham’s Dear England, verity healey discusses the notion that theatre in the United Kingdom might have a few things to learn from football.

Daughters of Lorraine Podcast teaser.
The Influence and Impact of the Negro Ensemble Company
Podcast

The Influence and Impact of the Negro Ensemble Company

18 October 2023

This episode focuses on the iconic Negro Ensemble Company (NEC). Hosts Leticia Ridley and Jordan Ealey delve into the NEC’s founding and history, its track record of producing successful Black plays, and its legacy within Black theatre and performance.

Two actors on stage in a horse stance
Information Session on the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) National Theater Project Creation and Touring Grant Application
Video

Information Session on the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) National Theater Project Creation and Touring Grant Application

Reviewing Criteria and Changes to the Application and Answering Questions About This Year's Application Process

Thursday 3 August 2023
United States

For the first time in its more than ten-year history, New England Foundation for the Arts' (NEFA) National Theater Project (NTP) has moved its flagship Creation and Touring Grant application to a summer cycle. This information session with NTP staff will break down what the National Theater Project is; review the criteria and eligibility requirements for the Creation and Touring Grant; explain changes to the timeline, criteria, and process that have arisen from NTP's ten-year evaluation process; and discuss what makes for a competitive application.

Two men posing for a picture in front of a wall that reads "Experimental Theater".
Ripples of Legacy in California’s Latinx Theatres
Essay

Ripples of Legacy in California’s Latinx Theatres

12 June 2023

Richard Falcon and Fran Astorga discuss the need for inclusive spaces that led to founding their own companies, the road blocks they've pushed against, and the legacy they hope to create as part of the teatro field.

Twelve people sit and stand around a dining table and look upward and smile toward the camera.
Creating Trust Through Money: A Conversation on the Common Wallet Project
Essay

Creating Trust Through Money: A Conversation on the Common Wallet Project

11 May 2023

Tiziana Penna and Anna Rispoli talk about the Common Wallet, an initiative in which everyone involved commits to living out of the same bank account. Together, the group aims to develop more radical forms of solidarity, kinship, and trust, as well as a thorough questioning of and experimenting with different possible relationships to money.

Two people standing in front of a lit whiteboard with an audience.
A Living Intergenerational Conversation
Essay

A Living Intergenerational Conversation

9 May 2023

Star Finch and Ellen Sebastian Chang, friends and artistic collaborators in the Bay Area, have a conversation about their local theatre scene’s recent but long overdue racial reckoning, scraping together a creative life, the institutionalization of artists, and more.

From the Ground Up Podcast image featuring Miranda Wright.
Ensemble as Contemporary Commentary
Podcast

Ensemble as Contemporary Commentary

19 April 2023

Miranda Wright, producer and executive director at Los Angeles Performance Practice, and Jeffrey Mosser discuss how Miranda has developed a presenting organization for sharing ambitious, collaboratively created work over the last ten years, as well as what she’s learned from some major arts funding research.

A performer standing under spotlights on a stage in front of an audience.
The Closing of San Francisco’s “Anti-Theatre” Theater Venue
Essay

The Closing of San Francisco’s “Anti-Theatre” Theater Venue

18 April 2023

Artist and producer Rose Oser interviews Rob Ready and Duncan Wold about the closing of PianoFight, the San Francisco company and venue they co-founded that shuttered in March 2023.

From the Ground Up Podcast Teaser image.
Maintaining Connections from the Hyperlocal to the International
Podcast

Maintaining Connections from the Hyperlocal to the International

5 April 2023

Carlos Uriona and Jennifer Johnson, co-artistic directors at Double Edge Theatre, connect with Jeffrey Mosser to discuss how working in rural Massachusetts for over thirty years has enabled them to share art on the world stage.

Illustration of several different hands all holding needles and working on a sewing project together.
Intentional, Relational, Consensual: A New Framework for Performing Arts Contracts
Essay

Intentional, Relational, Consensual: A New Framework for Performing Arts Contracts

30 March 2023

This dynamic summary of a panel co-curated by Rachel Penny and Nikki Shaffeeullah as part of Parallel Tracks 2.0 brings together several artists, producers, and lawyers in a discussion about contracting, how it has been impacted by COVID-19, and interrogating power dynamics within the contracting process.

Critical Stages in Malawian Contemporary Theatre teaser image with the title at the top and a picture of the guest in the middle.
Melding Spoken Word Poetry and Theatre in Malawi
Podcast

Melding Spoken Word Poetry and Theatre in Malawi

16 November 2022

What does the voice of this millennium sound like? In this interview, Khumbolane Chavula provides one answer to that question by splicing together theatre, poetry, and entrepreneurship as the founder of Millesimal Poetry.

Critical Stages in Malawian Contemporary Theatre teaser image with the title at the top and a picture of the guest in the middle.
Development of Malawian Theatre
Podcast

Development of Malawian Theatre

A Conversation with Maxwell Chiphinga

9 November 2022

Maxwell Ciphinga, better known as Max DC, has weathered massive changes in the audience, form, and funding of Malawian theatre throughout his four-decade career. In this interview, he shares his perspective on the industry and discusses his policy and producorial work as the president of Malawi’s new National Theatre Association.

Critical Stages in Malawian Contemporary Theatre teaser image with the title at the top and a picture of the guest in the middle.
Dance for Change
Podcast

Dance for Change

A Conversation with Robert Magasa

26 October 2022

Robert Magasa is an experienced dancer, choreographer, and actor who trained in Zimbabwe and now runs UjeNi Dance Ensemble Theatre in Malawi. In this interview, Magasa discusses his career, the economics of producing theatre in Malawi, and his current work to bring a combination of traditional and Afro contemporary dance to schoolchildren in Malawi.

event poster for I.E.T.M Brussels focus.
IETM Focus Brussels 2022: "Beyond Fairness: Stories of Solidarity"
Video

IETM Focus Brussels 2022: "Beyond Fairness: Stories of Solidarity"

Brussels-based artist Anna Rispoli talks about the Common Wallet project.

Thursday 7 April 2022
Brussels, Belgium

IETM – International Network for Contemporary Performing Arts – presented a keynote "Beyond Fairness: Stories of Solidarity" by Brussels-based artist Anna Rispoli on the Common Wallet project. Livestreaming on the commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network Thursday 7 April 2022 at 9 a.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4) / 2 p.m. BST (London, UTC +1) / 15:00 CEST (Brussels, UTC +2).

Four actors hold another one in the air.
There’s No Such Thing as an Original Play
Essay

There’s No Such Thing as an Original Play

22 March 2022

In this rethinking of authorship in contemporary theatre, Ezra Brain uses a collaborative definition of creativity to open up opportunities for theatre workers to advocate for pay equity.

event poster for The Long Match livestream.
The Long Match
Video

The Long Match

A Two-Day HowlRound Conversation Exploring the Intersection of Art, Culture, and Commoning (and Beyond)

Thursday 17 March and Friday 18 March 2022
Ashfield, Massachusetts, USA - and online.

Double Edge Theatre and HowlRound presented two conversations exploring the intersection of art, culture, and commoning livestreaming on the commons-based peer produce HowlRound TV network Thursday 17 March and Friday 18 March 2022.

A man in a suit and glasses standing and smiling behind two figures.
You Want Me to Balance What?
Essay

You Want Me to Balance What?

Why the Argument That Fiscal Sustainability is More Important Than Investing in Racial Justice Needs to Go Away

16 December 2021

Ryan Ferrebee discusses the disadvantages of theatres attempting to balance fiscal responsibility with anti-racism work from his perspective as a white fundraising professional.

From the Ground Up Podcast image featuring Rachel Dickstein.
Process Performances and the Completion Commission
Podcast

Process Performances and the Completion Commission

15 December 2021

Rachel Dickstein, Artistic Director of Ripe Time, takes us through her experience with Center Theatre Group’s completion commission for their adaptation of SLEEP. She also spotlights some necessary and helpful relationships with tour presenting partners, the Association of Performing Arts Professionals, as well as champion and friend Diane Rodriguez.

The Future Is Now: Conversations with Ambrose Idemudia Joshua and Rusanda Curcă
Podcast

The Future Is Now: Conversations with Ambrose Idemudia Joshua and Rusanda Curcă

12 November 2021
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.

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.

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