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

Livestreaming a Performance: Tilos az abadság - F* Ree Artists / New Year's Eve Revue
Video
Livestreaming a Performance: Tilos az abadság - F* Ree Artists / New Year's Eve Revue
GHOST HOURS OF FREE ART livestreaming from the glorious halls of the Hungarian Metal Workers' Union in Budapest
Thursday 24 June 2021
Hungary
Unrehearsed Futures: (Im)possible Futures
Video
Unrehearsed Futures: (Im)possible Futures
Episode 11: Rehearsing Social Justice at the Margins
Thursday 17 June 2021
South Africa
When Theatre Will Become Fully Itself: Digital Supratheatre and the Fight for an Inclusive Future
Essay
When Theatre Will Become Fully Itself: Digital Supratheatre and the Fight for an Inclusive Future
Translated by Cecilia Laslo
by Mihaela Drăgan
25 May 2021
Panel Discussions around the Sanctuary Movement
Video

Panel Discussions around the Sanctuary Movement

Borderlands Theater in Tucson

Sunday 9 September - Thursday 20 September 2018
AZ, United States

Borderlands Theater in Tucson, Arizona presented a series of panel discussions around their production of Sanctuary by Milta Ortiz, based on real people and events Sanctuary chronicles the Tucson birth of the 1980’s Sanctuary Movement, livestreamed on the global, commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv from Sunday 9 September to Thursday 20 September.

actors onstage
Economic Precarity and Resiliency in Theatre
Essay

Economic Precarity and Resiliency in Theatre

an American Psalm

29 August 2018

Playwright Caridad Svich reflects on the economic reality of working in theatre.

How Post-Colonial Imagination Can Make Theatre into an Agent of Revolution
Essay

How Post-Colonial Imagination Can Make Theatre into an Agent of Revolution

16 August 2018

Using three different plays—M. Butterfly, Iphigenia Crash Land Falls on the Neon Shell That Was Once Her Heart, and QPH—playwright Massi Monfiletto examines theatre’s revolutionary potential.

an actor onstage
The Collaborative Possibilities of Mediaturgy
Essay

The Collaborative Possibilities of Mediaturgy

14 August 2018

Katherine Swimm discusses New Rep Theatre’s Boston production of Ripe Frenzy, and the innovative collaboration between playwright Jennifer Barclay and projection designer Jared Mezzocchi.

a group of people on stage
Talking about Protest with the Language of Actor Training
Essay

Talking about Protest with the Language of Actor Training

17 July 2018

Actor and literature/theatre professor Courtney Bailey Parker talks about national anthem protests, performance as activism, and theatre artists as mediators.

Theatre and Civil Rights: Dr. Julie Burrell on the Importance of A Medal for Willie
Podcast

Theatre and Civil Rights: Dr. Julie Burrell on the Importance of A Medal for Willie

Theatre History Podcast #62

5 June 2018

How did Black theatre connect with the Civil Rights Movement? Dr. Julie Burrell of Cleveland State University joins the Theatre History Podcast to talk about William B. Branch's one-act play A Medal for Willie and the underappreciated radicalism of theatre in the 1950s.

Decolonizing Systems/Our Theatre Ecology
Video

Decolonizing Systems/Our Theatre Ecology

Friday 1 June 2018
Online

This call was a space to gather together and ask questions about the impact of colonization on our current theatre systems and how we can empower interconnected ecologies to break down divisive hierarchies in the work that we do. Livestreamed on howlround.tv and on Facebook on Friday 1 June 2018 at 3 p.m. EDT - 4:30 p.m. EDT (Toronto/New York) / 12 p.m. PDT - 1:30 p.m. PDT (Vancouver/Los Angeles) / 8 p.m. BST - 9:30 p.m. BST (London, UTC +1).

Roma Artists Telling Stories of Resistance, Not Victimhood
Essay

Roma Artists Telling Stories of Resistance, Not Victimhood

24 May 2018

Mihaela Drăgan interviews Sandra and Simonida Selimovic of Mindj Panther about their show Roma Armee, and the activist work they are doing in Austria to fight against Roma oppression.

In Search of Lost Hope
Essay

In Search of Lost Hope

Theatre Against All Odds in Afghanistan

15 May 2018

Theatre activist Hjalmar Jorge Joffre-Eichhorn reflects on the founding of the Afghanistan Human Rights and Democracy Organization, a political theatre group that has been working together for over ten years to create social change.

Taking Action
Essay

Taking Action

An Artist Becomes an Advocate

13 May 2018

Jessica Litwak, artistic director of the H.E.A.T Collective, explores the growing field of artist rights and safety, and talks about her dedication to “art of service,” the work that serves communities by facilitating creative personal and social change.

Re-Reading Oppression
Video

Re-Reading Oppression

One-act plays by Amiri Baraka, Harold Pinter, and Salah Abdul-Saboor

Monday 30 April 2018
New York City, NY, United States

The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center presented Re-Reading Oppression: One-act plays by Amiri Baraka, Harold Pinter, and Salah Abdul-Saboor livestreamed on the global, commons-based peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Monday 30 April at 7:30 p.m. EDT (New York) / 6:30 p.m. CDT (Chicago) / 4:30 p.m. PDT (San Francisco). Follow @HowlRound on Twitter for updates, and use #howlround.

Town Hall: #NeverAgainChicago
Video

Town Hall: #NeverAgainChicago

Sunday 15 April 2018
Chicago, IL, United States

Victory Gardens Theater presents a Town Hall: #NeverAgainChicago archived on the global, commons-based peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Sunday 15 April at 7:30 p.m. EDT (New York) /  6:30 p.m. CDT (Chicago) / 4:30 p.m. PDT (San Francisco).

Working with Students to Reclaim the Revolutionary Roots of Czech Theatre
Essay

Working with Students to Reclaim the Revolutionary Roots of Czech Theatre

4 April 2018

Arts educator Hannah Sachs talks about how introducing Theatre of the Oppressed to her students in the Czech Republic helped address xenophobia in the classroom, and slowly began to change the culture of the school for the better.

The Intersections Summit at Milwaukee Repertory Theater
Video

The Intersections Summit at Milwaukee Repertory Theater

Friday 23 March and Saturday 24 March 2018
Milwaukee, WN, United States

Milwaukee Repertory Theater presented the Intersections Summit livestreamed on the global, commons-based peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Friday 23 March and Saturday 24 March 2018.

Graz, Austria
Essay

Graz, Austria

City of Culture…City of Climate Change Communication

21 March 2018

American Studies scholar and educator Nassim Winnie Balestrini reports on how Climate Change Theatre Action relates to her seminar on cultural studies at the University of Graz in Austria.

Why Do Women Climate More Than Men?
Essay

Why Do Women Climate More Than Men?

18 March 2018

Chantal Bilodeau kicks off this week’s series on Theatre in the Age of Climate Change by suggesting that women in the arts may be our planet’s best bet for survival.

In Kraków, Good Ghosts and Bad at the 2017 Divine Comedy Festival
Essay

In Kraków, Good Ghosts and Bad at the 2017 Divine Comedy Festival

13 March 2018

Robert Duffley reflects on four shows from the 2017 Divine Theatre Comedy Festival in Kraków, Poland.

Resurgence in America’s Roots Region
Essay

Resurgence in America’s Roots Region

8 February 2018

Alex Ates looks at how the Free Southern Theater established a model of artmaking and activism in the South in the '60s and considers how the New South is primed for another generation of civic action artmaking. 

The 30th annual Ashland Martin Luther King, Jr. Day City Celebration
Video

The 30th annual Ashland Martin Luther King, Jr. Day City Celebration

Monday 15 January 2018
Ashland, OR, United States

Join community members for Ashland, Oregon's 30th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day City Celebration featuring music, spoken word, and dance livestreamed on the global, commons-based peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Monday 15 January at 12 p.m. PST-1:30 p.m. PST (Los Angeles) / 2 p.m. CST-3:30 p.m. CST (Chicago) / 3 p.m. EST-4:30 p.m. EST (New York). 

Being Radical or Nothing! / La radicalité sinon rien !
Essay

Being Radical or Nothing! / La radicalité sinon rien !

21 November 2017

Sylvia Botella interviews Belgium-based theatre historian Olivier Neveux about his thoughts on populism, decomocratizing access to culture, and the political responsibility of the artist. / 

Sylvia Botella interview l’historien de théâtre belge à propos de ses pensées sur le populisme,

la démocratisation de l'accès à la culture et la responsabilité politique de l'artiste.

Are We On Stage to Reflect the Audience or Create It? / Est-ce qu’on est sur scène pour refléter un public, ou le constituer ?
Essay

Are We On Stage to Reflect the Audience or Create It? / Est-ce qu’on est sur scène pour refléter un public, ou le constituer ?

21 November 2017

Sylvia Botella interviews sociologist Éric Fassin about his views on the connection between sociology, the performing arts, and politics in the age of populism.

The Artist as Agent for Change
Essay

The Artist as Agent for Change

16 November 2017

Brussels-based choreographer, curator, and writer Michiel Vandevelde argues that artists need to reclaim a place of power in the arts sector.

When the Playwright Has an Agenda
Essay

When the Playwright Has an Agenda

2 November 2017

Jonathan Mandell takes on two recent plays based on real events, considering productions of Ferguson and The Siege.

The Art of Listening Is Political
Essay

The Art of Listening Is Political

27 October 2017

In the fifth installment of this series, Brendan McCall reflects on the work of Norwegian American vocalist Kristin Norderval, and how her art transforms listening into a political act.

Theatre History Podcast #47
Podcast

Theatre History Podcast #47

Translating An Enemy of the People with Dr. Paul Walsh

23 October 2017

Dr. Paul Walsh of the Yale School of Drama joins us to discuss his work translating Henrik Ibsen's An Enemy of the People for the opening production of the Yale Repertory Theatre's 52nd season.