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Festivals

Festivals, often organized within a specific geographic community or around a theme, are a great way for different works to be in conversation with each other. Content in this section primarily focuses around recapping theatre festivals and analyzing multiple works that were featured.

The Latest

Finding Open Channels’ Place in the Caribbean Cultural Landscape
Essay
Finding Open Channels’ Place in the Caribbean Cultural Landscape
by J. Emilio Bencosme-Zayas
20 June 2024
Meet Amleta
Video
Meet Amleta
A livestream discussion with Amleta founder Monica Faggiani
Friday 3 May 2024
A Speculative Love Performance in the Margins
Essay
A Speculative Love Performance in the Margins
by Yaşam Özlem Gülseven, Davit Khorbaladze
12 April 2024
A group of artists sand in front of a brightly painted mural.
Finding Open Channels’ Place in the Caribbean Cultural Landscape
Essay

Finding Open Channels’ Place in the Caribbean Cultural Landscape

20 June 2024

J Emilio Bencosme-Zayas shares the experience of participating in the Festival del Caribe in Santiago de Cuba as part of Open Channels/Canales Abiertos. In reflecting on the festival, he discusses what Open Channels has achieved so far, and imagines what else could happen in the future.

Poster image with event details for the amleta zoom session.
Meet Amleta
Video

Meet Amleta

A livestream discussion with Amleta founder Monica Faggiani

Friday 3 May 2024

Join us for a discussion with Amleta founder, Monica Faggiani, during the In Scena! Italian Theater Festival's 2024 program. 

A group of performers stand in a brightly lit white tiled room.
A Speculative Love Performance in the Margins
Essay

A Speculative Love Performance in the Margins

12 April 2024

Yaşam Özlem Gülseven interviews Davit Khorbaladze about his play UNLOVE: an experimental work based on his personal documentary material about the loss of love during a time of global crisis and the identity crisis that followed. The two explore how UNLOVE and the rest of the “UN-” trilogy highlights the shocking resemblance between intimate experiences and global events.

A photo of an old lockbox.
The Set of Practices We Call Home
Essay

The Set of Practices We Call Home

11 April 2024

Kaneza Schaal shares the community practices she witnessed at her aunt’s home in Rwanda, and how theatremakers should embrace these practices when we create work together.

A group of performers dance onstage.
Building “New” Audiences
Essay

Building “New” Audiences

10 April 2024

After being asked to share his thoughts on the future of international touring, Why Not Theatre founder Ravi Jain offers some of what he’s learned about engaging “new” audiences and building lasting relationships between artists and presenters.

A woman in a black and tan dress speaks to collaborators at a table.
We Were Called to This Moment
Essay

We Were Called to This Moment

9 April 2024

Hana Sharif reflects on lessons learned during the dramatically shifting theatrical landscape in recent years, and the necessity of artistic leaders embracing abundance during this moment. 

Poster image for the Roma Heroes Theatre Festival.
A Roundtable Discussion on Roma Heroes International Theater Festival, Sixth Edition
Video

A Roundtable Discussion on Roma Heroes International Theater Festival, Sixth Edition

Presented by the Independent Theater Hungary

Thursday 28 March 2024

Following a week-long screening of the Roma Heroes International Theater Festival, Sixth Edition, join us for a livestreamed conversation on the featured pieces with the Independent Theater Hungary. Find out more about the individual projects featured in the Roma Heroes International Theater Festival.

Poster for the Roma Heroes Festival.
Roma Heroes International Theater Festival, Sixth Edition
Video

Roma Heroes International Theater Festival, Sixth Edition

Presented by the Independent Theater Hungary

Wednesday 20 March - Wednesday 27 March

Independent Theater Hungary presents the Roma Heroes International Theater Festival, Sixth Edition, livestreaming on the commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv from Wednesday 20 March to Wednesday 27 March 2024 at 11 a.m. PDT (Los Angeles, UTC -7) / 1 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 2 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4) / 18:00 GMT (London, UTC +1) / 19:00 CET (Budapest, UTC +1) / 20:00 EET (Bucharest, UTC +2).

A row of actors read from scripts on music stands.
What Makes St. Louis a Flourishing Ecosystem for New Plays and Cooperative Production Models
Essay

What Makes St. Louis a Flourishing Ecosystem for New Plays and Cooperative Production Models

13 February 2024

Jacob Juntunen traces the collaborative network of theatres and theatremakers in St. Louis that share resources and make the city a rich environment for new play development. 

Under the Radar Event Logo.
Under The Radar Symposium Keynote Event
Video

Under The Radar Symposium Keynote Event

Visioning Emergent Paths for a Stronger Sector of National and International Performing Arts

Friday 12 January 2024
New York City

The 2024 Under the Radar Symposium convened 250 arts presenters, producers, service orgs, funders, and artists toward rigorous, facilitated small-table discussions, taking a deeper dive into visioning emergent paths for a stronger sector of national and international performing arts.

A group of people hold a white sheet between them on a lawn.
Performance, Pro-Democracy Protest, and Activism Across Cultures
Essay

Performance, Pro-Democracy Protest, and Activism Across Cultures

13 November 2023

Kristin Idaszak reflects on experiencing Theatre Du Polet’s Be Water, My Friend at the Prague Quadrennial. This protest art about Hong Kong’s fight for democracy in 2019, performed in the Czech Republic, crosses cultures, political regimes, and time periods.

artists performing on stage in colorful shirts.
PRELUDE Festival 2023
Video

PRELUDE Festival 2023

An Array of Short Performances, Readings, and Panels from the Artists at the Forefront of the Contemporary New York City Artistic Landscape

Wednesday 11 October to Thursday 19 October 2023
New York City

PRELUDE is a place to discover what voices are shaping the future of theatre and performance in New York City, to observe, engage, commune, and critique. PRELUDE offers an array of short performances, readings, and screenings—a completely free survey of the current New York moment and the work being prepared for the next season and beyond—as well as new commissions and panel discussions with artists, scholars, and performers.

Four women play the drums together on stage.
An Art Festival in Rwanda Converses with the Past and Celebrates Our Shared Present
Essay

An Art Festival in Rwanda Converses with the Past and Celebrates Our Shared Present

5 October 2023

Giulianna Marchese discusses productions from the Ubumuntu Art Festival, which is held annually at the Kigali Genocide Memorial in Rwanda. Throughout this year’s festival, performances explored what it means to be a human post-tragedy—the highs and the lows.

A man in white robes looks up to the sky.
Staging Dystopias of Desire and the Poetics of Grief
Essay

Staging Dystopias of Desire and the Poetics of Grief

27 June 2023

Theresa May discusses the way that two contemporary plays with dystopian settings—Transmissions in Advance of the Second Great Dying by Jessica Huang and Somewhere by Melissa Treviño Orta—lean away from typical tropes of destruction and individualism by instead centering care, kinship, reciprocity, and interdependence.

A performer lies down on a set piece that looks like a whale.
The Intimacy of the Climate Crisis
Essay

The Intimacy of the Climate Crisis

26 June 2023

Chantal Bilodeau introduces a new installment of the Theatre in the Age of Climate Change series, which focuses contemporary plays and playwrights that explore the intimate impacts of climate change on both individuals and communities.

From the Ground Up Podcast Teaser image featuring guest profile image.
Ontroerend Goed’s Participatory Metaphors
Podcast

Ontroerend Goed’s Participatory Metaphors

24 May 2023

Artistic director of Belgian theatre company Ontroerend Goed, Alexander Devriendt talks through their process for imagining and developing participatory content. Alexander and Jeffrey Mosser also dig into financing art in Europe, the cost of touring internationally and how COVID has affected it, and sustaining family and art simultaneously.

A woman sitting outside on a scooter in front of a flowering tree.
Taking Care: Supporting Delegates with Invisible Disabilities at Festivals and Showcases
Essay

Taking Care: Supporting Delegates with Invisible Disabilities at Festivals and Showcases

15 May 2023

Second Hand Dance embarked upon research on support for artists with access needs after artistic director Rosie Heafford had to pull out of a festival that did not provide sufficient accommodations for her invisible disability. She shares takeaways from that research in the form of actionable steps that festivals, showcases, and industry events can implement.

Two performers embracing in the middle of the stage.
Black Southern Playwrights Take Center Stage
Essay

Black Southern Playwrights Take Center Stage

27 April 2023

Amelia Parenteau introduces the We Will Dream: New Works Festival, a festival showcasing new plays by Black playwrights originating from or working in the American South.

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.

From the Ground Up Podcast Teaser image.
What Ensemble Touring Can Learn from Dance
Podcast

What Ensemble Touring Can Learn from Dance

29 March 2023

Jeffrey Mosser connects with Willa Jo Zollar, who is founder, chief visioning partner, and MacArthur Genius at Urban Bush Women. Together they talk about touring, the festival circuit, and strategy necessary to sustain a company for thirty years.

An actor dressed as President Zelensky points a prop gun at an unseen target.
Reflecting on the Timeliness of Polish Theatre at Kraków’s Divine Comedy Theatre Festival
Essay

Reflecting on the Timeliness of Polish Theatre at Kraków’s Divine Comedy Theatre Festival

2 March 2023

The Divine Comedy Theatre Festival in Kraków, Poland explored the theme of “Polish Taboo” across its thirty-two productions this year. Howard Shalwitz, who attended the festival as part of an American delegation of artists building connections between the United States and Poland, shares his experience attending the festival.

Two actors in yellow-green outfits standing over another actor in white lying on a table.
Female Stories from Kosovo: How Two Plays Look at the Loneliness of Balkan Women
Essay

Female Stories from Kosovo: How Two Plays Look at the Loneliness of Balkan Women

10 January 2023

Theatremaker verity healey discusses two plays from Kosovo’s 2022 Theatre Showcase that highlight Balkan women’s stories and struggles.

Critical Stages in Malawian Contemporary Theatre teaser image with the title at the top and a picture of the guest in the middle.
Producing Malawi’s First Multidisciplinary Arts Festival
Podcast

Producing Malawi’s First Multidisciplinary Arts Festival

9 January 2023

When filmmaker Thomas Chibambo founded the Blantyre Arts Festival in 2009, it was Malawi’s first multi-disciplinary arts festival. He joins host Fumbani Innot Phiri, Jr. to discuss the Blantyre Arts Festival’s current plans to better support theatrical performance and his own work to establish an Arts Council in Malawi.

An actor sits on a pure white stage with a white background and a human-sized laptop behind them.
Exodus and the Autobiography of War at Tbilisi International Festival
Essay

Exodus and the Autobiography of War at Tbilisi International Festival

5 January 2023

Yaşam Özlem Gülseven interviews Mikheil Charkviani about his work on Exodus, a production that traded grand historical narratives for granular perspectives on the impact of war in Georgia. Their interview, like the production, hinges on an important question: how do we learn to live with the past?

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.

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