Leadership

The Latest

"What does it mean to be a woman of color and in leadership?"
Essay

"What does it mean to be a woman of color and in leadership?"

A Conversation with Nicole Brewer and Sophia Skiles

by Nicole Brewer, Sophia Skiles
19 January 2021
Lauren E. Turner and No Dream Deferred
Podcast

Lauren E. Turner and No Dream Deferred

Building Our Own Tables Episode #2

by Lauren E. Turner, Viviana Vargas
16 December 2020
The Necessity of Pivoting
Essay

The Necessity of Pivoting

Interviews on the Future of our Field

by Janice Rabian
16 November 2020
seven actors onstage
"What does it mean to be a woman of color and in leadership?"
Essay

"What does it mean to be a woman of color and in leadership?"

A Conversation with Nicole Brewer and Sophia Skiles

19 January 2021

Sophia Skiles, the incoming head of acting for the Brown/Trinity MFA program, and Nicole Brewer, who recently joined the acting faculty at the Yale School of Drama, dive deep into a conversation about what it means to be a woman of color in leadership.

Lauren E. Turner and No Dream Deferred
Podcast

Lauren E. Turner and No Dream Deferred

Building Our Own Tables Episode #2

16 December 2020

In the second episode of Build Our Own Tables podcast, host Viviana Vargas interviews Lauren E. Turner of No Dream Deferred, a community anchored theatre production company in New Orleans, Louisiana. Your donation to Advancing Arts Forward supports liberated spaces that uplift, heal and encourage us to change the world.

The Necessity of Pivoting
Essay

The Necessity of Pivoting

Interviews on the Future of our Field

16 November 2020

Janice Rabian shares the discoveries she made during her summer research project about the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the theatre field and how leaders are pivoting after the murder of George Floyd.

a person standing on a balcony
The Carnival
Essay

The Carnival

Leadership in a Time of "What If?"

22 October 2020

Susan Booth, artistic director of Atlanta’s the Alliance Theatre, talks about how we are currently living in what is referred to as “the carnival” and shares ideas of how artistic organizations ought to react during this time.

a large group posing for a photo
From Nicety to Necessity
Essay

From Nicety to Necessity

21 October 2020

Jack Reuler, artistic director of Minneapolis’s Mixed Blood Theatre, reflects on how the pandemic might just be the great equalizer in the American theatre and how it’s time for theatre to move from being something nice to being something necessary.

tamilla woodard in a green blouse seated and talking
The Work of the Imagination
Essay

The Work of the Imagination

20 October 2020

Tamilla Woodard, co–artistic director of Working Theater in New York, talks about why she makes theatre and offers several “what if” thoughts about how the field should move forward.

view from a hallway of a group standing and talking in a conference room
Searching a Way Forward
Essay

Searching a Way Forward

19 October 2020

Earlier this year, Mark Valdez, hungering for public discourse around the future of the American theatre field, prompted three arts leaders with the question, “What is our purpose now?” This piece kicks off the series of responses.

swirling octopus tentacles.
Catalysing Change Through Artful Agitation: Part I: Be Ill-Disciplined
Video

Catalysing Change Through Artful Agitation: Part I: Be Ill-Disciplined

A performative lecture and Q&A with Kai Syng Tan

Saturday 19 September 2020
United Kingdom

performingbordersLIVE20 and Contact presented Catalysing Change Through Artful Agitation: Part I: Be Ill-Disciplined livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Saturday 19 September 2020 at 6:30 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 9:30 a.m. EDT (New York, UTC-4) / 2:30 p.m. BST (London, UTC+1).

three people standing/sitting in a parking lot in front of cars with ribbons on sticks
A Time of Interrogation
Essay

A Time of Interrogation

27 July 2020

Teresa Coleman Wash reflects on how the current state of affairs has fueled an urgency to interrogate all systems of oppression and argues that it’s past time to stop holding Eurocentric theatres up as the pinnacle of success.

a large group posing for a picture
Giving Yourself Permission to Leave
Essay

Giving Yourself Permission to Leave

Two Founding Artistic Leaders Discuss Stepping Down

26 March 2020

Michelle Hensley and Abe Rybeck—former founders and artistic directors of Minneapolis’s Ten Thousand Things and Boston’s the Theater Offensive, respectively—discuss their leadership transition, including knowing when to step back, succession planning, fears of leaving, and more.

two actors embracing
Intimate Reform
Essay

Intimate Reform

Making Space for Leaders of Color

19 March 2020

Ann C. James reflects on the quickly growing field of intimacy direction, arguing that it is vital for the leadership to include people of color so that stories centering on racialized sexual trauma and non-white romantic intimacy can be told in the most truthful ways.

a group standing in a circle with glasses raised
You Say You Want a Revolution…
Essay

You Say You Want a Revolution…

National New Play Network's Continuing Commitment to Radical Change

26 January 2020

Nan Barnett, National New Play Network’s executive director, talks about the organization’s twenty-year evolution; the realization that, as a governing body, they were “really, really white”; and their commitment to turning the organization into a replicable model of a diverse and inclusive ecosystem.

five actors onstage
Balancing Business, Art, and Mission
Essay

Balancing Business, Art, and Mission

A Conversation about Theatre Management

8 December 2019

Early career arts manager Al Heartley speaks with Jennifer Bielstein, executive director of American Conservatory Theater, about active listening, how to balance focusing on the details with looking at the bigger pictures, management values, and more.

lauren e. turner seated at a table
The American Theatre Was Killing Me
Essay

The American Theatre Was Killing Me

Healing from Racialized Trauma in an Art Workspace

18 November 2019

Amelia Parenteau speaks with Lauren E. Turner about racialized trauma in American theatre, Lauren’s experience with it, and healing.

sheet music
To Witness
Essay

To Witness

A Proposal to Build Radical Trust across Difference in the Arts

6 November 2019

Annalisa Dias and Ronee Penoi discuss decolonizing theatre, building trust and relationships across difference, and the act of witnessing.

two people posing for a photo
How To Make Your Leadership Transition a Joyful, Fun Revolution
Essay

How To Make Your Leadership Transition a Joyful, Fun Revolution

6 October 2019

Katy Rubin, founder and former exeuctive director of Theatre of the Oppressed NYC, talks with new executive director Meggan Gomez about how long leaders should hold their roles in an organization, mission drift, founder’s syndrome, and more.

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.

Three young actors in school uniforms onstage in front of a graffiti wall.
Caring for Ourselves So We Can Care for Each Other
Essay

Caring for Ourselves So We Can Care for Each Other

Michael J. Bobbitt and Raymond O. Caldwell in Conversation, Part II

16 September 2019

Part II of the conversation between Michael J. Bobbitt, the recently appointed artistic director of Boston’s New Repertory Theatre, and Raymond Caldwell, the new leader of Washington’s Theater Alliance, who talk about post-show conversations and self-care.

"I’m Not Interested in More Allies. I Need Advocates."
Essay

"I’m Not Interested in More Allies. I Need Advocates."

Michael J. Bobbitt and Raymond O. Caldwell in Conversation, Part I

15 September 2019

Michael J. Bobbitt, the recently appointed artistic director of Boston’s New Repertory Theatre, and Raymond Caldwell, the new leader of Washington’s Theater Alliance, sit down to talk about race equity work, the guilt they felt leaving their previous posts, and more.

three actors onstage
Beyond the Bathrooms
Essay

Beyond the Bathrooms

Cultivating Meaningful Trans Inclusion in Theatrical Spaces

28 July 2019

John Meredith and M Sloth Levine, of StageSource’s Gender Explosion Initiative, discuss ways theatremakers can dismantle stigmas against trans people and continue creating an inclusive theatre scene.

a group posing for a photo in a train station
The Aesthetic Fingerprint with Quinn Bauriedel of Pig Iron Theatre Company
Podcast

The Aesthetic Fingerprint with Quinn Bauriedel of Pig Iron Theatre Company

From the Ground Up Episode #12

1 July 2019

In episode twelve of the From the Ground Up Podcast, Jeffrey Mosser talks to Pig Iron Theatre Company co-founder and co-artistic director Quinn Bauriedel about the history and future of the company, which is celebrating its twenty-fifth year.

The Final Frontier Is the Audience
Essay

The Final Frontier Is the Audience

Nataki Garrett and Bill Rauch in Conversation, Part II

30 June 2019

Part II of the conversation between Bill Rauch and Nataki Garrett—the outgoing and incoming artistic directors of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival—touches on inspiring leadership choices, pacing yourself, and cultivating diverse audiences.

two people sitting onstage
Getting Out of the Way So That You Can Listen to the Challenge
Essay

Getting Out of the Way So That You Can Listen to the Challenge

Nataki Garrett and Bill Rauch in Conversation, Part I

27 June 2019

Part I of the conversation between Bill Rauch and Nataki Garrett—the outgoing and incoming artistic directors of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival—touches on personal values, gratitude, and how the joy lives in the struggle.

a colorful mural that says community
So You Want to Move to the Developing Neighborhood?
Essay

So You Want to Move to the Developing Neighborhood?

25 June 2019

Jordan Schwartz discusses gentrification in developing neighborhoods, how artists moving in need to work with the existing communities, and what kind of change that can bring about.

joe haj and rob melrose
“Who are you when scared?”
Essay

“Who are you when scared?”

Confidence, Fearlessness, and Artistic Direction

23 June 2019

Artistic directors Joe Haj of Minneapolis’s Guthrie Theater and Rob Melrose of Houston’s Alley Theatre talk about confidence and fearlessness, a company of actors, fighting for the classics, and more.