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Leadership

Content in this section explores leadership in theatre: best practices, aspects that need to change, and more. It contains one of HowlRound’s most robust Journal series: The Changeover: Leadership in Transition, marking the period of unprecedented turnover of leadership in the nonprofit theatre in the United States and Canada from 2018 to 2021. In this series, incoming or outgoing institutional leaders are in conversation with one another about their tenure leading organizations and their hopes for the future.

The Latest

Redefining Success with Carla Stillwell
Podcast
Redefining Success with Carla Stillwell
by Yura Sapi, Carla Stillwell
23 May 2024
The Soul Work of Theatre with Sharia Benn
Podcast
The Soul Work of Theatre with Sharia Benn
by Yura Sapi, Sharia Benn
16 May 2024
Breaking Boundaries with Jamil Khoury
Podcast
Breaking Boundaries with Jamil Khoury
by Yura Sapi, Jamil Khoury
9 May 2024
Promotional graphic for building our own tables.
Redefining Success with Carla Stillwell
Podcast

Redefining Success with Carla Stillwell

23 May 2024

In this episode, Carla Stillwell and Yura Sapi challenge the "starving artist" trope, offering tips to overcome scarcity mindsets in theatre. Carla, founder of the Stillwell Institute for Contemporary Black Art, shares personal experiences advocating for breaking traditional theatre boundaries and fostering holistic, inclusive environments emphasizing the importance of community and collaboration, and highlighting storytelling's power, especially for people of color.

A promotional graphic for Building Our Own Tables.
The Soul Work of Theatre with Sharia Benn
Podcast

The Soul Work of Theatre with Sharia Benn

16 May 2024

Join us on a journey with Sharia Benn, founder of Sankofa African American Theatre Company, as she shares her inspiring origin story and the challenges of fostering representation in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania's theatre scene. Delve into the challenges of representation, the soul work of theatre, and the transformative impact of art in shaping communities. Join us for a compelling exploration of identity, equity, and the art of social change.

Building Our Own Tables teaser image with guest headshot.
Breaking Boundaries with Jamil Khoury
Podcast

Breaking Boundaries with Jamil Khoury

9 May 2024

Experience the transformational journey of Silk Road Cultural Center, formerly Silk Road Theatre Project and Silk Road Rising, as co-founder Jamil Khoury shares about navigating the landscape of storytelling post-9/11. From combating stereotypes and standards to nurturing diverse voices, follow their evolution from live theatre to digital platforms, culminating in a multidisciplinary approach aimed at fostering connection and understanding. Join the movement towards inclusivity and empowerment in the arts.

A promotional graphic for Teaching Theatre.
On Teaching Dramaturgy
Podcast

On Teaching Dramaturgy

7 May 2024

Dramaturgs serve productions in a variety of ways, which are often dictated by needs of the play and the playwright. Playwright and dramaturg Jacqueline Goldfinger, along with dramaturg and dean of the Theatre School at DePaul University Martine Kei Green-Rogers, join the conversation to discuss the role of the dramaturg in new play development, as well as how to incorporate dramaturgy in the classroom.

A promotional graphic for Building Our Own Tables.
Innovating Theatre with Tiffany Vega
Podcast

Innovating Theatre with Tiffany Vega

2 May 2024

Discover Tiffany Vega's inspiring journey from premature birth to trailblazing theatre professional. From East Harlem to Evolution Management Consultants, she highlights the power of authenticity, perseverance, and innovation in the theatre industry. Gain your insights into challenging norms and fostering diversity for the future of our live entertainment artform.

A promotional graphic for Building Our Own Tables.
Elevating Indigenous Perspectives with Rhiana Yazzie
Podcast

Elevating Indigenous Perspectives with Rhiana Yazzie

18 April 2024

In this episode, Rhiana Yazzie shares her journey of founding New Native Theatre and the importance of Indigenous storytelling. She reflects on the challenges and rewards of carving her own path in the theatre world, emphasizing the significance of staying true to one's cultural identity and values. Rhiana discusses the transformative power of art, community, and connection to the earth and invites listeners to support and engage with New Native Theatre's work.

A promotional graphic for Building Our Own Tables.
Theatre as Medicine with CJ Ochoco
Podcast

Theatre as Medicine with CJ Ochoco

11 April 2024

In this episode, we delve into CJ's origin story, tracing her journey from pre-med student to theatre major and founder of Breaking Wave Theatre Company in Guam. Yura and CJ explore the transformative power of theatre as a healing space, the importance of community and accessibility, and the revolutionary potential of reimagining organizational structures. With passion and insight, we envision a future where storytelling and connection thrive.

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. 

Building Our Own Tables teaser image with guest headshot.
Cultivating Abundance Through Community Care with Nicole C. Limón
Podcast

Cultivating Abundance Through Community Care with Nicole C. Limón

4 April 2024

In this episode, Nicole C. Limón shares her origin story, tracing back to pivotal moments of realizing her worth and breaking through societal invisibility in the theatre world. From co-founding Movimiento Molcajete to birthing Matriarchy Theatre, Nicole unveils her journey, embodying resilience and community care. Tune in to explore the transformative power of authenticity, the art of manifesting abundance, and the future of leadership in the evolving theatre industry. 

Building Our Own Tables teaser image with guest headshot.
Crafting a Global Table for Caribbean Voices with Magaly Colimon-Christopher
Podcast

Crafting a Global Table for Caribbean Voices with Magaly Colimon-Christopher

28 March 2024

In this episode, Yura Sapi is joined by Conch Shell Productions founder, Magaly Colimon-Christopher as she shares her journey in establishing a global platform for Caribbean voices. Learn how Magaly navigates challenges and fosters collaboration to amplify underrepresented voices, and explore the transformative power of storytelling in shaping perceptions and fostering empathy on a global scale.

A promotional graphic for the Daughters of Lorraine Podcast.
The Virtuosity of Black Storytelling with Tarell Alvin McCraney
Podcast

The Virtuosity of Black Storytelling with Tarell Alvin McCraney

6 March 2024

Hosts Leticia Ridley and Jordan Ealey interview Oscar winner and MacArthur genius Tarell Alvin McCraney about his work as a playwright, how Black people tell stories, and what it means to be an artistic leader.

A promotional graphic for the Daughters of Lorraine Podcast.
Completing the Unfinished Sentences of Our Ancestors with Jonathan McCrory
Podcast

Completing the Unfinished Sentences of Our Ancestors with Jonathan McCrory

7 February 2024

Jonathan McCrory is a Tony Award and Emmy Award nominated producer and a two-time Obie Award-winning artist who has served as executive artistic director at the National Black Theatre since 2012. In this episode, hosts Jordan Ealey and Leticia Ridley talk with McCrory about his work with the National Black Theatre and his ongoing commitment to nourishing and cultivating Black creativity and Black life.

A man stands with his back to the camera and stares at an empty set on stage.
Can’t Do Theatre by Yourself
Essay

Can’t Do Theatre by Yourself

23 January 2024

Latinx theatremakers Jorge Piña and Christin Eve Cato sit down for a conversation about their paths through the theatre field and their advice for future generations looking to sustain this work while caring for themselves and each other.

An actress stands onstage in front of a shadow puppet of a man on a horse.
Perspectives from Two Teatros Doing the Work
Essay

Perspectives from Two Teatros Doing the Work

3 January 2024

Alberto Justiniano and Milta Ortiz, artistic leaders at Teatro del Pueblo and Borderlands Theater, respectively, have to balance organizational leadership and prioritizing their art. They discuss this work and the ways they engage their Latine communities while providing them with avenues to reflect on social justice issues. 

Artistic Leadership: Toward Equitable Search and Support Event poster.
Artistic Leadership: Toward Equitable Search and Support
Video

Artistic Leadership: Toward Equitable Search and Support

A Conversation About What Equitable Search and Support Really Looks Like for Artistic Directors

Monday 13 November 2023
United States

Nonprofit professional theatres have expressed commitments to new voices and new visions, and promised more equitable and inclusive practice in building and supporting their teams. But what does equitable search and support really look like for artistic directors?

A woman stands smiling in front of a theatre marquis.
On Field and Fire
Essay

On Field and Fire

16 October 2023

After being asked to weigh in on the “crisis and chrysalis” that currently exists within the theatre field by Theatre Communications Group, Todd London shares his plea for us all as we dismantle and rebuild this field together.

Promotional graphic for "Black and Indigenous Futures Aligning".
Black and Indigenous Futures: Aligning Our Visions and Activism
Video

Black and Indigenous Futures: Aligning Our Visions and Activism

Thursday 21 September 2023
Boston, Massachusetts

This discussion explored visions of activism, advocacy, co-leadership, and solidarity in Afro-Indigenous, Black, and Indigenous futures.

Promotional graphic for "Black and Indigenous Histories to the Now".
Black and Indigenous Histories to the Now: How We Carry Our Past into the Present
Video

Black and Indigenous Histories to the Now: How We Carry Our Past into the Present

Wednesday 20 September 2023
Boston, Massachusetts

This discussion explored the foundations of Black and Indigenous co-leadership solidarity, shared understanding, and movement building.

A man holding cards for a speech and a woman who smiles and claps stand together on stage.
Decolonizing Arts Leadership Through Shared Black and Indigenous Leadership
Essay

Decolonizing Arts Leadership Through Shared Black and Indigenous Leadership

12 September 2023

David Howse and Ronee Penoi, co-leaders of ArtsEmerson, introduce the Black and Indigenous Futures Series with an essay that discusses their commitment to a shared leadership approach that foregrounds solidarity between Black and Indigenous communities.

Collage of the headshots for the members of the Artistic Caucus.
The Artistic Caucus: How Four Theatres Joined Forces to Disrupt Curatorial Practices
Essay

The Artistic Caucus: How Four Theatres Joined Forces to Disrupt Curatorial Practices

13 July 2023

Lauren Halvorsen reports on the origins, development, and learnings of the Artistic Caucus, a collaborative initiative between four regional theatres. By employing a racially and geographically diverse collective of freelance artists to identify new work, scout projects, and facilitate relationships on behalf of all four theatres, the Artistic Caucus seeks to disrupt traditional curatorial practices.

A woman giving a speech at a podium on the left and a man speaking into a microphone on the right.
Projections and Reflections on Chicano Theatre
Essay

Projections and Reflections on Chicano Theatre

15 June 2023

Tony Garcia and Claudia de Vasco share their experiences becoming immersed in the Chicano movement, which has informed both of their careers in artistic leadership.

The cast of a show grouped together on stage under multiple lights.
Vamos a inventarnos algo / Let's Make Something New
Essay

Vamos a inventarnos algo / Let's Make Something New

13 June 2023

Theatremaker Eric Swartz sits down with Rosalba Rolón, co-founder and artistic director of Pregones/PRTT, to discuss ensemble-based theatre, mentorship across generations, and their work to sembrar una semilla—to plant a seed and work to make it grow.

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.

Many multi-colored board game pawns arranged in a circle.
A Revolution in Governance
Essay

A Revolution in Governance

17 May 2023

Jaan Whitehead examines the history of boards in the theatre sector and argues for a better way to approach governance, including through changes to a board’s membership, structure, and values.

Two people standing on a barely lit stage with large photos of faces behind them.
Claim Your Culture, Find Your Power
Essay

Claim Your Culture, Find Your Power

5 May 2023

Jacqueline Flores and Abel López, co-curators of the Latinx Leaders at the Forefront series, discuss their careers, their sense of cultural identity as Latinx theatremakers, and importance of intergenerational dialogue.