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Organizational Models

There are many different kinds of theatre organizations, and content in this section explores the diversity of models. Dive in with essays on shared leadership and restructuring a company as a worker’s cooperative.

The Latest

How Pay As You Are Changed Theater Mu
Essay
How Pay As You Are Changed Theater Mu
by Lianna McLernon, Wesley Mouri, Anh Thu Pham
27 November 2023
On Field and Fire
Essay
On Field and Fire
by Todd London
16 October 2023
Play as Process at the Latinx Theatre Commons Designer and Director Colaboratorio
Essay
Play as Process at the Latinx Theatre Commons Designer and Director Colaboratorio
by Carla Della Gatta
26 September 2023
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 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.

A designer works on the floor
Play as Process at the Latinx Theatre Commons Designer and Director Colaboratorio
Essay

Play as Process at the Latinx Theatre Commons Designer and Director Colaboratorio

26 September 2023

The Latinx Theatre Commons Designer and Director Colaboratorio gathered dozens of Latinx theatremakers to approach collaboration from a place of inquiry, play, and exploration. Carla Della Gatta writes about this event as an alternate story of what is happening—and what could be happening—in US theatre right now.

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.

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.

From the Ground Up Podcast Teaser image featuring guest profile image.
Looking for Another Way
Podcast

Looking for Another Way

3 May 2023

Playwright and director Karen Malpede joins Jeffrey Mosser to talk about her career and connections from the Open Theater to Theater Three Collaborative, as well as her partner George Bartenieff, an actor and champion for the avant-garde.

From the Ground Up Podcast Teaser image featuring guest profile image.
Philanthropies, Foundations, and Boards (Oh, Wow)
Podcast

Philanthropies, Foundations, and Boards (Oh, Wow)

26 April 2023

Since the “great pause,” funders have shifted their giving models. Ben Cameron has seen it from every side—and he talks all about it. Through anecdotes about his experiences at organizations from Theatre Communications Group to the Jerome Foundation, Ben offers many insights into how ensemble fits in a thriving theatre ecosystem.

A woman stands and gives a speech on a round stage as the audience watches on.
Values-Led, Commons-Based Creative Producing
Essay

Values-Led, Commons-Based Creative Producing

A Conversation with Abigail Vega

20 April 2023

Communications manager Ramona Rose King chats with Abigail Vega on her last day as HowlRound’s creative producer to reflect on her work with HowlRound and the Latinx Theatre Commons, producing using commons-based practices, and advice she’d give to aspiring producers.

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.

A performer in front of a virtual background with trees and bright sunlight.
Digital Theatre Is Here To Stay: Paula Vogel’s Bard at the Gate
Essay

Digital Theatre Is Here To Stay: Paula Vogel’s Bard at the Gate

13 March 2023

Theatre critic Jonathan Mandell discusses virtual playwriting series Bard at the Gate and looks at the impact and future of digital theatre.

Four people stand side by side for a photo.
The International Presenting Commons Convenes at Last
Essay

The International Presenting Commons Convenes at Last

6 February 2023

The International Presenting Now convening brought a collective of US-based presenters of international work together in physical space in January 2023, following almost three years of virtual conversations and events. Janice Paran details the conversations that arose around the convening’s key question: how might international presenters want to work differently?

Building Our Own Tables Season 3 teaser image.
Use Your Voice with Jose Solís
Podcast

Use Your Voice with Jose Solís

25 January 2023

Jose Solís joins Yura Sapi to discuss creating the BIPOC Critics Lab and co-creating the Token Theatre Friends podcast-webseries. This episode’s topics include finding beauty in the internet, how a metaphorical grain of sand can change the world, and a tarot reading for the first three months of 2023.

Two people sitting at a table watching someone gesture at the board on the wall.
Every Production Is a Moonshot: Research on Improving Repertoire Selection
Essay

Every Production Is a Moonshot: Research on Improving Repertoire Selection

19 January 2023

For three years, Kristin Patton and Nick Rabkin worked with five case study theatre companies to study the often fraught, high risk, and complex decision-making process of theatrical repertoire selection. The result of their research project, the Moonshot Report, offers insights into their process and practical recommendations for strategic approaches to season planning.

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.

Eight actors in a space with hardwood floors dancing together.
Worldmaking 101: Imagination and Reparation at Double Edge Theatre and Ohketeau Cultural Center
Essay

Worldmaking 101: Imagination and Reparation at Double Edge Theatre and Ohketeau Cultural Center

14 November 2022

Writer and educator Jonathan P. Eburne details how he first came to know of Double Edge Theatre and the Ohketeau Cultural Center and discusses their unique approach to worldmaking, land sharing, and theatremaking.

Kit Ingui and Jacob Padron sit on a stage facing each other
From the Top Down: The Importance of HR in Theatre
Essay

From the Top Down: The Importance of HR in Theatre

25 October 2022

Iris McQuillan-Grace sits down with Kit Ingui, managing director of Long Wharf Theatre, to discuss Kit’s efforts to create a supportive and inclusive work environment by consciously building Long Wharf’s Human Resources (HR) practices.

Children throwing a parachute in the air.
Are You Really a Parent-Friendly Workplace?
Essay

Are You Really a Parent-Friendly Workplace?

27 September 2022

Michelle Ramos sits down with Ashley Davis, founder and director of the social enterprise Unlock Creative, to discuss Ashley’s experience being a mom in the field and how she works to make her own organization more accommodating of parents and caregivers.

event poster for different leadership models.
Different Leadership Models
Video

Different Leadership Models

A Conversation With Theatres Implementing Alternative Organizational Models

Tuesday 19 July 2022
United States

The Playwrights Realm presented the panel Different Leadership Models livestreaming on the commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Tuesday 19 July 2022.

Two visitors admiring a wall mural.
How We Did It: Collecting Oral Histories to Preserve the foolsFURY Legacy
Essay

How We Did It: Collecting Oral Histories to Preserve the foolsFURY Legacy

30 June 2022

As a part of their permanent closure, San Francisco-based theatre company foolsFURY embarked upon an ambitious oral history project. Emily Weak, the archivist employed for that project, shares the process and insights of an initiative that worked to collect dozens of individual experiences of the company and provide a sense of closure.

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).

event poster for the conversation Developing and Sharing a Values-Centric Accountability Plan.
Developing and Sharing a Values-Centric Accountability Plan
Video

Developing and Sharing a Values-Centric Accountability Plan

Representatives from theaters engaged in anti-racism work share their experiences of creating an actionable plan

Monday 4 April 2022
United States

The Playwrights Realm presented the panel Developing and Sharing a Values-Centric Accountability Plan, livestreaming on the commons-based peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv Monday 4 April 2022 at 1 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 3 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 4 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4) / 21:00 BST (London, UTC +1).

From the Ground Up Podcast image featuring Mara Isaacs.
Connecting Collaborative Passion to a National Network
Podcast

Connecting Collaborative Passion to a National Network

15 February 2022

Tony Award-winning producer Mara Isaacs discusses how she puts collaboratively creative work in front of national audiences through her producing organization, Octopus Theatricals. This final episode of season two holds hot takes on boards, theatricality, and the connective tissue around artist-centered producing.

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.