Gender Politics

Writing about and video of theatre pieces that deal with gender, as well as gender issues in the field as a whole.

The Latest

The State of Acting Training in Canada
Essay

The State of Acting Training in Canada

A Summary of the Results from Got Your Back’s 2018 National Survey

by Sarah Robbins, Neil Silcox, Jennifer Wigmore
3 November 2019
Drag, Disco, and the Donkey
Essay

Drag, Disco, and the Donkey

Performed Masculinities in American Repertory Theater’s The Donkey Show

by James Montaño
23 October 2019
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

by Marshall Botvinick
21 October 2019
Howlround Theatre Commons
From the World Theatre Map
black and white photo of two women wearing masks
2 Women by Linotip
Video

2 Women by Linotip

presented by Fabrica de Pensule and Tranzit House in Cluj, Romania

Monday 11 November 2019
Cluj, Romania

Fabrica de Pensule presented a performance of 2 women livestreamed from Tranzit House in Cluj, Romania on the global, commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV at howlround.tv on Monday 11 November at 19:00 EET (Cluj, UTC +2) / 18:00 CET (Berlin, UTC +1) / 17:00 GMT (London, UTC +0) / 12 p.m. EST (New York, UTC -5).

The State of Acting Training in Canada
Essay

The State of Acting Training in Canada

A Summary of the Results from Got Your Back’s 2018 National Survey

3 November 2019

Sarah Robbins, Neil Silcox, and Jennifer Wigmore share findings from Got Your Back Canada’s national survey on actor training in the country.

four actors onstage surrounding by an audience standing
Drag, Disco, and the Donkey
Essay

Drag, Disco, and the Donkey

Performed Masculinities in American Repertory Theater’s The Donkey Show

23 October 2019

James Montaño discusses The Donkey Show, cross-gendered performances vs. drag, camp as an aesthetic concept, and more.

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.

three actors onstage
Raising the Dead and Staging the New
Essay

Raising the Dead and Staging the New

Democracy and Identity at Finland’s Tampere Theatre Festival

7 October 2019

Sam Williams dives into several of the productions at Finland’s Tampere Theatre Festival, which ran between August 5 and 11 and which was curated based on the theme of bravery.

two panelists seated in front an audience
Curating Freedom and Power for Women of Color in Leadership
Essay

Curating Freedom and Power for Women of Color in Leadership

26 September 2019

Linda Parris Bailey and Diane Rodriguez talk about their own leadership transitions and what’s next, gender, race, and economic barriers; documenting work; and more.

taylor mac in costume on stage
A Conversation with Taylor Mac
Video

A Conversation with Taylor Mac

at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts

Sunday 15 September 2019
Worcester, Massachusetts

Arts Transcending Borders at the College of the Holy Cross presented “A Conversation with Taylor Mac,” moderated by Scott Malia, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Theatre and Dance, livestreamed on the global, commons-based peer-produced HowlRound TV network on Sunday 15 September 2019 at 5 p.m. EDT (New York) / 4 p.m. CDT (Chicago) / 2 p.m. PDT (Los Angeles). 

an actor onstage
We Have Suffered Enough
Essay

We Have Suffered Enough

The Cost of Performing Trauma for Women of Color

12 September 2019

Melisa Pereyra talks about how suffering goes hand in hand with being a woman of color actor, how trauma is held in the body, and how audiences react when stories lack grief.

five actors onstage
Unmanly Grief
Essay

Unmanly Grief

Performing A Trans Hamlet

10 September 2019

Aley O’Mara reflects on Daniel Winder’s Hamlet and speaks to the lead—trans actor Jenet Le Lacheur—about the titular character in this production being nonbinary and transfeminine.

four actors onstage
Turning Medea into a Telenovela
Essay

Turning Medea into a Telenovela

Melodrama and Luis Alfaro’s Mojada

5 September 2019

Juan Recondo looks at Luis Alfaro’s reimaging of Euripides’s Medea, in which the title character is a Mexican undocumented immigrant who arrived in New York after facing the horrors of the border.

A performance of The Mamalogues
Video

A performance of The Mamalogues

at the VORTEX in Austin, Texas

Friday 30 August 2019
Austin, Texas

Color Arc Productions and The VORTEX presented a performance of The Mamalogues livestreamed on the global, commons-based peer-produced HowlRound TV network on Friday 30 August 2019 at 9 p.m. EDT (New York) / 8 p.m. CDT (Chicago) / 6 p.m. PDT (Los Angeles). 

A performance of TRANSom
Video

A performance of TRANSom

at Ground Floor Theatre in Austin, Texas

Sunday 25 August 2019
Austin, Texas

Ground Floor Theatre presented a performance of TRANSom livestreamed on the global, commons-based peer-produced HowlRound TV network on Sunday 25 August 2019 at 3 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 5 p.m. CDT (Austin, UTC-5) / 6 p.m. EDT (Boston, UTC-4) / 20:00 UTC+0.

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.

two people onstage
New Visions from Slovak Women
Essay

New Visions from Slovak Women

The 2019 Nová Dráma/New Drama Festival

14 August 2019

Dave White dives into the programming at this year’s Nová Dráma Festival in Slovakia, where women were front and center.

two acting pedagogy textbooks
Whiteness, Patriarchy, and Resistance in Actor Training Texts
Essay

Whiteness, Patriarchy, and Resistance in Actor Training Texts

Reframing Acting Students as Embodied Critical Thinkers

13 August 2019

Amy Steiger reflects on some of the classic acting texts—which are overwhelmingly written by cis white men and use colonialist, binary, and patriarchal language and narratives—and how teachers should be approaching them today.

two actors onstage
Provoked and Triggered
Essay

Provoked and Triggered

Content Warnings and Student Spectators

21 July 2019

Professor Christin Essin talks about problematic staging of gendered violence at a production she recently brought her students to and the importance of content warnings and taking care of survivors in theatrical works.

two doors and a wall with post-it notes and large paper notes
Drawing a Line
Essay

Drawing a Line

Addressing Sexual Harassment in our Theatre Communities

17 July 2019

Dawn M. Simmons, John Meredith, and Jen Lewis, from New England’s StageSource, discuss where progress needs to happen to address harassment in the theatre industry.

a lone dancer against a black background
A Manifesto for Staging Gendered Violence
Essay

A Manifesto for Staging Gendered Violence

11 July 2019

Sharanya shares her thoughts on restaging gendered violence, including how the representation of sexual violence has the power to be scripted and also to script, the importance of de-spectacling violence, and more.

actors onstage
Staging Sexual Assault Responsibly
Essay

Staging Sexual Assault Responsibly

Lessons from The Changeling

10 July 2019

Charlene V. Smith talks about asking hard questions around the interpretation of early modern English classics, Brave Spirits Theatre’s production of The Changeling, and five tips for dealing with sexual assault in art responsibly.

a sepia toned photograph
Are We Traumatizing People?
Essay

Are We Traumatizing People?

9 July 2019

Emer McHugh and Jess R. Pfeffer discuss Hamlet’s nunnery scene, how gendered violence onstage is often about the perpetrator’s character development, problematic assaults on TV, and more.

four actors onstage
Try Not to Make a Mess When You Smash That Window In Protest
Essay

Try Not to Make a Mess When You Smash That Window In Protest

8 July 2019

Rebecca Benzie Fraser uses Her Naked Skin as an example in the exploration of the different decisions made when it comes to staging violence by women and staging violence against women.

two actors
Controlling the Narrative
Essay

Controlling the Narrative

Gendered Violence on the Contemporary Stage

7 July 2019

Nora J. Williams launches the staging gendered violence series, talks about the importance of creating responsible cultural representations of assault, and introduces the contributors of the series.

two audiences looking on a stage at two tables with food and pots on them
Sympathy for the Incel?
Essay

Sympathy for the Incel?

On Oklahoma! and Jud Fry in the #MeToo Era 

26 June 2019

Catherine M. Young discusses the recent Broadway production of Oklahoma!, which she believes, despite inclusive casting and adventurous aesthetics, asks audiences to pay more attention to white men than anyone else.

two puppets
Creating a Feminist Punch and Judy Show
Essay

Creating a Feminist Punch and Judy Show

16 June 2019

Roxanna Myhrum looks at the history of the iconic puppet show Punch and Judy and Sarah Nolen’s feminist adaptation of it, Judy Save the Day.

tan textured background, text culture after #metoo
Culture After #MeToo 
Video

Culture After #MeToo 

A panel hosted by Játéktér Theatre Journal — Cluj, Romania

Wednesday 29 May 2019
Cluj, Romania

Játéktér theatre journal presented the panel Culture after #MeToo livestreamed from Planetarium Cafe in Cluj, Romania on the global, commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Wednesday 29 May 2019 at 12 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4) / 16:00 UTC+0 / 5 p.m. BST (London, UTC +1) / 18:00 CEST (Budapest, UTC +2) / 19:00 EEST (Cluj, UTC +3).