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Religion and Spirituality

This section contains content that grapples with the connection between theatre and religion/spirituality. Some pieces address this theme in an overall sense, like the essay “The Religious Nature of Theatre, the Theatrical Nature of Religion,” while other content focuses on theatre with a religious theme, like the conversation between Caridad Svich and Will Arbery “Keeping the Faith” or the panel Public Perceptions of Islam in Post-9/11 America featuring playwright Ayad Akhtar.

The Latest

Teatro Preto do Candomblé’: The Art of Eco-Reconnection
Essay
Teatro Preto do Candomblé’: The Art of Eco-Reconnection
by Onisajé .
21 April 2022
Unjust Narratives
Video
Unjust Narratives
The Absence of Hazara People in Public Discourse
Tuesday 26 April 2022
Afghanistan, Sweden
Gender Euphoria, Episode 5: Queer of Color Devised Performance, Disidentification, and Spirituality
Podcast
Gender Euphoria, Episode 5: Queer of Color Devised Performance, Disidentification, and Spirituality
With siri gurudev
by Nicolas Shannon Savard, siri gurudev
9 March 2022
event poster for freedom talk with buddha nights.
Unjust Narratives
Video

Unjust Narratives

The Absence of Hazara People in Public Discourse

Tuesday 26 April 2022
Afghanistan, Sweden

Safe Havens Freedom Talks presented a conversation Unjust Narratives: The Absence of Hazara People in Public Discourse livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Tuesday 26 April 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).

Four people kneeling around bowls of water.
Teatro Preto do Candomblé’: The Art of Eco-Reconnection
Essay

Teatro Preto do Candomblé’: The Art of Eco-Reconnection

21 April 2022

Onisajé shares the creative process of Teatro Preto do Candomblé, which trains actors using the rituals and liturgy of Candomblé as a method of actor training. Through immersion in this African diasporic religion, Teatro Preto do Candomblé’s methods center reciprocal relationships with the environment and activate individuals’ connection to their Blackness.

Gender Euphoria teaser image.
Gender Euphoria, Episode 5: Queer of Color Devised Performance, Disidentification, and Spirituality
Podcast

Gender Euphoria, Episode 5: Queer of Color Devised Performance, Disidentification, and Spirituality

With siri gurudev

9 March 2022

Gender Euphoria, the podcast, host Nicolas Shannon Savard sits down with siri gurudev to talk about their devising practice which blends queer of color theory and performance techniques, popular music, and spirituality and to chat about their dissertation research on ritual, trauma, and healing in QTPOC performance.

The Future is Now
The Future Is Now: Conversations with Amirah Sackett, Malika Umarova, and Marat Raiymkulov
Podcast

The Future Is Now: Conversations with Amirah Sackett, Malika Umarova, and Marat Raiymkulov

9 November 2021

In these episodes of The Future Is Now, CEC Artslink invites three of their Future Fellows—Amirah Sackett, an independent artist and activist, and Malika Umarova and Marat Raiymkulov of Art Group 705—to share their vision for how they see the future of arts practice.

Passing Into History
Essay

Passing Into History

Dr. Megan Sanborn Jones on Pageants and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

13 October 2021

In this week’s Theatre History Podcast, Dr. Megan Sanborn Jones discusses the history of Mormons in theatre and the pageant tradition in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Through her deep research on these pageants, Dr. Jones explores the unique fusion of faith, history, and performance in Mormon pageantry.

five actors onstage
Keeping the Faith
Essay

Keeping the Faith

A Conversation with Will Arbery

24 November 2019

Caridad Svich shares a correspondence she had with playwright and theatremaker Will Arbery, touching on topics of writing about bleakness and despair, a play’s relationship to breath, faith and faithlessness, and more.

a group of performers dancing onstage with an audience watching
Performing Gitanidad (Romaniness) On Stage
Essay

Performing Gitanidad (Romaniness) On Stage

14 March 2019

Miguel Ángel Vargas unfolds the history of Gitano (Romani) theatre in Spain, from the eighteenth century to today.

 

a landscape
Writing a Play Begins with Listening
Essay

Writing a Play Begins with Listening

13 June 2018

Playwright Renée Darline Roden talks about her travels to Israel and Palestine to gain inspiration for a new play and encountering what Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie calls “the danger of a single story.”

Queer Climate Performance Art in the Most Unlikely Places
Essay

Queer Climate Performance Art in the Most Unlikely Places

20 March 2018

Peterson Toscano describes his solo show Everything is Connected, which tackles religion, LGBTQ issues, privilege, and climate change.

Interview with Werewere Liking of the Theatre Company Village Ki-Yi M'Bock / Interview avec Werewere Liking du Village Ki-Yi M’Bock
Essay

Interview with Werewere Liking of the Theatre Company Village Ki-Yi M'Bock / Interview avec Werewere Liking du Village Ki-Yi M’Bock

8 January 2018

An Interview with Werewere Liking founder of the Theatre Company Village Ki-Yi M'Bock in Côte d’Ivoire. / Une interview avec Werewere Liking, la fondatrice du Village Ki-Yi M'Bock en Côte d’Ivoire. 

Bodies on the Edge
Essay

Bodies on the Edge

Ximena Garnica and Shige Moriya’s Becoming Pentalogy

20 October 2017

Multidisciplinary artist and cultural producer Ivan Talijancic interviews New York based duo Ximena Garnica and Shige Moriya about LEIMAY ensemble, their recent production Frantic Beauty, and the creation process for their five-part Becoming series.

Farid ud-Din Attar
Essay

Farid ud-Din Attar

The Conference of the Birds

28 July 2017

In this installment, Tom Block explores the work of Sufi poet Farid un-Din Attar.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Essay

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

The Cost of Discipleship

20 July 2017

In his latest installment, Tom Block explores how Dietrich Bonhoeffer's work could impact theatre. 

Dramatizing Faith in the Post-Trump Era
Essay

Dramatizing Faith in the Post-Trump Era

A Conversation between Director June Guralnick and Playwright Suzanne Bradbeer

18 June 2017

Conversation between director June Guralnick and playwright Suzanne Bradbeer about The God Game, plays about faith post-election, and the division of church and state.

The Bible Women’s Project
Essay

The Bible Women’s Project

Shouting to be Heard in a Religiously Conservative Environment

11 May 2017

Director and playwright Tara Brooke Watkins discusses the process of creating The Bible Women’s Project, which fuses women’s stories from the Bible and the stories of women from conservative, Christian backgrounds.

Chuang Tzu
Essay

Chuang Tzu

Mysticism of the Absurd

11 May 2017

Tom Block writes about how Taoist philosopher Chuang Tzu's ideas can provide inspiration for theatre artists.

Afro Blue, un homenaje
Essay

Afro Blue, un homenaje

A Room of My Own

11 April 2017

In this third installment, Jadele McPherson discusses how artists (both past and present) influence each other across the African diaspora, and advocates for more contemporary artists to acknowledge their ancestors.

dat Black Mermaid Man Lady/Oracle Reading
Essay

dat Black Mermaid Man Lady/Oracle Reading

10 April 2017

In this second installment, Playwright Sharon Bridgforth gives a reading based on her performance novel dat Black Mermaid Man Lady.

Mysticism in the Theatre
Essay

Mysticism in the Theatre

What’s Needed Right Now

12 March 2017

Tom Block discusses the benefits of bringing mysticism into the world of artistic creators as we head into a difficult and divisive period in American history, and how a reinvigoration of these ideas could offer a much-needed remedy.

The Christians Invites Political and Intellectual Humility
Essay

The Christians Invites Political and Intellectual Humility

3 March 2017

Kyle Whalen explores the “moments of the unknowable” in the Steppenwolf production of Lucas Hnath’s The Christians in Chicago, Illinois.

Middle Eastern America and the Theatre of Belonging
Essay

Middle Eastern America and the Theatre of Belonging

2 February 2017

Zeina Salame shares her experience attending a reading of Heather Raffo’s Noura produced by Noor Theatre, and discusses the social impact of Middle Eastern American theatre in 2017.

The Religious Nature of Theatre, the Theatrical Nature of Religion
Essay

The Religious Nature of Theatre, the Theatrical Nature of Religion

15 October 2016

Hannah Sachs considers the intersection of theatre, religion, and spirituality.

Spiritually Columned, Performance Inclined
Essay

Spiritually Columned, Performance Inclined

1 June 2016

Actress and spiritual advocate Diandra Rivera offers advice on how performers can spiritually center themselves. 

A New Hope for Wayang Kulit
Essay

A New Hope for Wayang Kulit

Peperangan Bintang Re-Awakens Tradition

9 May 2016

Jenna Gerdsen on a reinvention of wayang kulit—the ancient Southeast Asian puppet theatre form.

Indeed, Disgraced
Essay

Indeed, Disgraced

20 March 2016

Salma Abu Ayyash considers the missed opportunity for Ayd Akhtar’s Disgraced to challenge Islamphobia and the intersection of oppressions.