fbpx Political Theatre | HowlRound Theatre Commons

Political Theatre

Content here focuses on theatremakers, companies, and projects engaging with politics and political action. A great example of the power of this work is the video series Political Theatre as a Civil Right from the British-Romanian political theatre company BÉZNĂ Theatre.

The Latest

Building an Audience for Malawian Political Theatre
Podcast
Building an Audience for Malawian Political Theatre
by Fumbani Innot Phiri, Bright Phumayo Chayachaya
22 November 2022
The Wildcard Workbook: Why Forum Theatre and Why Now?
Essay
The Wildcard Workbook: Why Forum Theatre and Why Now?
by Katy Rubin, Sulu LeoNimm, Liz Morgan
15 November 2022
Freedom Talk at Archives and Resistance
Video
Freedom Talk at Archives and Resistance
How Archives and Archival Interventions Can Challenge Power
Friday 18 November 2022
Belarus
Teaser image for Season 1, Episode 5 of Critical Stages In Malawian Contemporary Theatre featuring the headshot of Bright Phumayo Chayachaya.
Building an Audience for Malawian Political Theatre
Podcast

Building an Audience for Malawian Political Theatre

22 November 2022

Bright Phumayo Chayachaya’s Umunthu Theatre pulls together political theatre, poor theatre, theatre for development, and educational theatre to create productions that centralize Malawian narratives. In this interview, he discusses the company’s genesis and the need to bring audiences back to theatre.

Artistic imagination as force for change event poster.
Animating Democracy Session Three
Video

Animating Democracy Session Three

Artistic Imagination as a Force for Change

Friday 18 November 2022
United States

Art2Action and Animating Democracy present Artistic Imagination as a Force for Change, the third event in the series Animating Democracy: REFLECTING FORWARD, livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Friday 18 November 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).

Poster for Book Launch event.
Book Launch: Different Models, One Goal: Doing Theatre, Democracy, and Social Justice
Video

Book Launch: Different Models, One Goal: Doing Theatre, Democracy, and Social Justice

Socially-Engaged Theatre Through the Lens of Tor Iorapuu's Community-Driven Theatre

Friday 18 November 2022
Nigeria and Canada

The Centre for Socially Engaged Theatre (C-SET), in collaboration with Theatre Emissary International and the University of Jos, Nigeria, presented the online book launch of Different Models, One Goal: Doing Theatre, Democracy, and Social Justice edited by Adediran Ademiju-Bepo, Hussaini U. Tsaku, Awuawuer Tijime Justine, Shadrach Teryila Ukuma, and Bem Alfred Abugh livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network on Friday 18 November 2022 at 9 a.m. CST (Chicago, UTC -6) / 10 a.m. EST (New York, UTC -5) / 3 p.m. GMT (London, UTC +0) / 16:00 CET (Berlin, UTC +1) / 4 p.m. WAT (Lagos, UTC +1).

event poster for the freedom talk at archives and resistance.
Freedom Talk at Archives and Resistance
Video

Freedom Talk at Archives and Resistance

How Archives and Archival Interventions Can Challenge Power

Friday 18 November 2022
Belarus

Safe Havens Freedom Talks (SH|FT) presented a Freedom Talk at Archives and Resistance livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network on Friday 18 November 2022 at 8:30 a.m. EST (New York, UTC -5) / 13:30 GMT (London, UTC +0) / 2:30 p.m. CET (Stockholm, UTC +1).

The cover of a book called The Wildcard Workbook: A Practical Guide for Jokering Forum Theatre. It is purple and yellow.
The Wildcard Workbook: Why Forum Theatre and Why Now?
Essay

The Wildcard Workbook: Why Forum Theatre and Why Now?

15 November 2022

Theatremakers Sulu LeoNimm, Liz Morgan, and Katy Rubin discuss the process of co-authoring The Wildcard Workbook, a guide designed to help others in the field delve into Theatre of the Oppressed practices and devised theatre processes.

headshots of Stacy Klein and Baraka Sele.
The Radical and The Revolutionary
Video

The Radical and The Revolutionary

Stacy Klein and Baraka Sele on their Experiences in Theatre and Life as part of Double Edge Theatre's Fortieth Anniversary

Sunday 16 October 2022
Massachusetts

Double Edge Theatre presented The Radical and The Revolutionary, livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Sunday 16 October 2022 at 11 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 1 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 2 p.m. EDT (Boston, UTC -4).

event poster for The Novelist as Knowledge Keeper Safe Havens Freedom Talk.
Freedom Talk: The Importance of Storytelling
Video

Freedom Talk: The Importance of Storytelling

The Novelist as Knowledge Keeper

Friday 14 October 2022
South Africa

Safe Havens Freedom Talks (SH|FT) presented an Freedom Talk: The Novelist as Knowledge Keeper livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Friday 14 October 2022 at 8:30 a.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4) / 12:30 UTC / 2:30 p.m. SAST (Capetown, UTC +2).

event poster for reflecting forward session two: Art, Race & Dialogue.
Animating Democracy Session Two
Video

Animating Democracy Session Two

Art, Race, and Dialogue

Thursday 13 October 2022
United States

Art2Action and Animating Democracy presented Art, Race, and Dialogue, the second event in the series Animating Democracy: REFLECTING FORWARD, livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Thursday 13 October 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).

Kunafa and Shay Teaser Image.
Buffer Fringe Performing Arts Festival
Podcast

Buffer Fringe Performing Arts Festival

4 October 2022

In this special episode, Marina and Nabra sit down with Lebanese actor, theatremakers, and peacebuilder Raffi Feghali to talk about the Buffer Fringe Festival. Buffer Fringe is an annual festival with a mission for peacebuilding and social justice, organized by Home for Cooperation and situated in the buffer zone in Cyprus. Buffer Fringe runs 7-9 October 2022, presenting three days of international, interdisciplinary, experimental performances under the theme of Pockets (beyond). Join us as we explore improv in Lebanon, experimental theatre in a geographically contentious area, and artistic curation for peacebuilding.

event poster for animating democracy session one voter mobilization and the arts.
Animating Democracy Session One
Video

Animating Democracy Session One

Voter Mobilization and the Arts

Wednesday 28 September 2022
United States

Art2Action and Animating Democracy presented Animating Democracy: Voter Mobilization and the Arts, the first event in the series Animating Democracy: REFLECTING FORWARD, livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Wednesday 28 September 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).

Several actors sitting at two different tables on stage.
No Borders’ Feast: A Reckoning at the Royal Court/On the Square
Essay

No Borders’ Feast: A Reckoning at the Royal Court/On the Square

26 September 2022

verity healey speaks with Polish theatremaker Nastazja Domaradzka about No Borders, an arts program she created in collaboration with the Royal Court Theatre in London that prioritizes migrant artists’ experiences and voices.

Five people sitting around a table on stage.
Polish Connections: A New Generation of Theatre Linkages Between the United States and Poland
Essay

Polish Connections: A New Generation of Theatre Linkages Between the United States and Poland

19 September 2022

For the past two years, LINKAGES: Poland has convened theatre leaders from Poland and the United States to discuss fieldwide issues. When three theatremakers who have been deeply involved in the project traveled from the United States to Poland this summer, they were struck by the changing landscape of Polish theatre and its parallels to the US theatre industry.

event poster for freedom talk in the name of freedom.
Freedom Talk at In the Name of Freedom
Video

Freedom Talk at In the Name of Freedom

Art That Unites, Makes Us Stand Up, and Makes Us Human

Friday 16 September 2022
Oslo, Norway

Safe Havens Freedom Talks (SH|FT), together with Safemuse, presented a Freedom Talk at In the Name of Freedom, livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Friday 16 September at 8:30 a.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4) / 12:30 UTC / 2:30 p.m. CEST (Oslo, UTC +2).

event poster for puppets in the green mountains festival 2022.
Puppets in the Green Mountains 2022
Video

Puppets in the Green Mountains 2022

Access Through The Arts Panel Discussions Exploring the Theme of Roots and Wings

Saturday 10 September - Sunday 18 September 2022
United States

Sandglass Theater presented events from the Puppets in the Green Mountains Festival 2022 livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Saturday 10 September, Saturday 17 September, and Sunday 18 September 2022.

Two book covers side by side.
The Anti-War Play to End All War Plays: The Last Days of Mankind, 1922 to 2022
Essay

The Anti-War Play to End All War Plays: The Last Days of Mankind, 1922 to 2022

16 August 2022

Theatremaker Joel Schechter explains the importance of Karl Kraus’s The Last Days of Mankind and why he believes its anti-war message is still relevant today.

Five women in dresses drinking tea on stage.
Gathering Momentum: Türkiye’s Independent Theatre in President Erdoğan’s Near-Autocracy
Essay

Gathering Momentum: Türkiye’s Independent Theatre in President Erdoğan’s Near-Autocracy

15 August 2022

verity healey describes the power and significance of independent theatre in Türkiye by sharing her experience at the theatre festival, TheatreIST.

A person on the ground writing on a sign.
When Performance Art Is an Anti-War Instrument, Part Two
Essay

When Performance Art Is an Anti-War Instrument, Part Two

4 August 2022

In part two of his essay, Russian theatremaker Viktor Vilisov delves deeper into the performative nature of war itself and how art can create spaces for collective remembrance and grief.

Daughters of Lorraine Podcast teaser.
Staging Reproductive Freedom in Black Feminist Theatre
Podcast

Staging Reproductive Freedom in Black Feminist Theatre

3 August 2022

This episode is inspired by recent and current events regarding Roe v. Wade and their potential impact on birthing people. We think about the representation of reproductive justice (things such as abortion, contraception, and anything regarding decisions to birth or plan a family) especially from Black women playwrights. We discuss plays such as They That Sit in Darkness by Mary Burrill, Rachel by Angelina Weld Grimke, Come Down Burning by Kia Corthron, In the Blood by Suzan-Lori Parks, and Abortion Road Trip by Rachel Lynett.

Person holding a sign.
When Performance Art Is an Anti-War Instrument, Part One
Essay

When Performance Art Is an Anti-War Instrument, Part One

2 August 2022

Russian theatremaker Viktor Vilisov analyzes the power performance protest holds in opposing war, oppressive governments, and state violence.

open channels 2022 poster.
Canales Abiertos / Open Channels
Video

Canales Abiertos / Open Channels

Un Taller de Teatro Popular del Caribe desde Santiago de Cuba y Nueva Orleans / A Caribbean Theatre Workshop from Santiago de Cuba & New Orleans

Saturday 9 July 2022
Santiago de Cuba

The Stone Center for Latin American Studies, The Cuban and Caribbean Studies Institute of Tulane University (New Orleans, Louisiana), and Estudio Teatral Macubá presented Canales Abiertos 2022 livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Saturday 9 July at 7 a.m. PDT (Los Angeles, UTC -7) / 9 a.m. CDT (Mexico City, UTC -5) / 10 a.m. EDT (Santiago de Cuba, UTC -4).

event poster for freedom talk at the power of art.
Freedom Talk at the Power of Art
Video

Freedom Talk at the Power of Art

We Don’t Call It Occupation, We Call It Ihtilal, Suffocation

Friday 8 July 2022
Jenin, Palestine

Safe Havens Freedom Talks (SH|FT) presented a Freedom Talk at Power of Art: We Don’t Call It Occupation, We Call It Ihtilal, Suffocation livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Friday 8 July at 8:30 a.m. EDT (New York, UTC -7) / 12:30 p.m. UTC / 2:30 p.m. CEST (Stockholm, UTC +2) / 3:30 p.m. EEST (Jenin, UTC +3).

event poster for freedom talk at speak up.
Freedom [email protected]
Video

Focusing on the Situation of Artistic Freedom and Public Art in Turkey

Tuesday 14 June 2022
Turkey

Safe Havens Freedom Talks presented a Safe Havens conversation at Speak Up livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Tuesday 14 June 2022 at 8:30 a.m. EDT (New York, UTC -7) / 12:30 p.m. UTC / 2:30 p.m. CEST (Stockholm, UTC +2) / 3:30 p.m. TRT (Istanbul, UTC +3).

A person standing amongst city approved homeless deterrent pegs on a bench.
Humanizing Homelessness: An Interview with Lisa Hoelscher of Gathering Ground Theatre
Essay

Humanizing Homelessness: An Interview with Lisa Hoelscher of Gathering Ground Theatre

19 May 2022

Gathering Ground Theatre—an Austin, Texas collective comprised of people with lived experiences of homelessness and allies—creates performances that aim to influence public opinion and local legislation. Anna Rogelio Joaquin sits down with Lisa Hoelscher to discuss Lisa’s experience as a co-creator and performer of works that expose issues like hostile architecture and camping bans, as well as the company’s current work on a memorial performance.

Five men in white robes sitting in a semi-circle.
Exposing the Ills of Forced Marriage of Women and Young Girls in Nigeria Through the Theatre
Essay

Exposing the Ills of Forced Marriage of Women and Young Girls in Nigeria Through the Theatre

16 May 2022

In 2021, Nigerian director Josephine Awele Odunze directed a powerful production of Wedlock of the Gods by Zulu Sofola. Odunze sits down with Eseovwe Emakunu to discuss the play’s connections to issues Nigerian women face today, as well as her hopes that theatre can contribute to attaining true gender parity in Nigeria.

event poster for safe havens freedom talk Destroying History: Urbicide and Destruction of Cultural Heritage in Bamiyan.
Destroying History
Video

Destroying History

Urbicide and Destruction of Cultural Heritage in Bamiyan

Thursday 12 May 2022
Afghanistan

Safe Havens Freedom Talks presented a conversation Destroying History: Urbicide and Destruction of Cultural Heritage in Bamiyan in Afghanistan livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Thursday 12 May 2022 at 8:30 a.m. EDT (New York, UTC -7) / 12:30 p.m. UTC / 2:30 p.m. CEST (Stockholm, UTC +2) / 5 p.m. AFT (Kabul, UTC +4:30).