Social Justice & Political Theatre

Content here focuses on theatremakers, companies, and projects with a political or social justice mission.

The Latest

How the way she spoke Resuscitated the Power of Storytelling Through Minimalism
Essay

How the way she spoke Resuscitated the Power of Storytelling Through Minimalism

by Sean Anthony Chia
10 November 2019
Theatre for Development in Malawi
Essay

Theatre for Development in Malawi

by Isaac Mafuel
5 November 2019
What Our New Plays Really Look Like
Essay

What Our New Plays Really Look Like

A Statistical Guide to US World Premieres in the 2019–20 Season

by Marshall Botvinick
21 October 2019
Howlround Theatre Commons
From the World Theatre Map
woman with flowers and branches titled The Weeping Woman's Contrived Posture
Livestreaming the National Performance Network Annual Conference 2019
Video

Livestreaming the National Performance Network Annual Conference 2019

from New Orleans, Louisiana

Tuesday 10 December - Friday 13 December 2019
New Orleans, Louisiana

The National Performance Network presents their 2019 Annual Conference livestreaming from New Orleans on the global, commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv from Tuesday 10 December to Friday 13 December 2019.

an actor onstage
How the way she spoke Resuscitated the Power of Storytelling Through Minimalism
Essay

How the way she spoke Resuscitated the Power of Storytelling Through Minimalism

10 November 2019

Sean Anthony Chia examines the impact of a powerful story—one without spectacle—through the lens of Isaac Gomez’s the way she spoke.

a group of performers outside
Theatre for Development in Malawi
Essay

Theatre for Development in Malawi

5 November 2019

Isaac Mafuel talks about Malawi’s most prevalent form of theatre, its history, and its impact and challenges.

actors in front of a colorful wall of newspaper
IETM Rijeka Plenary Meeting
Video

IETM Rijeka Plenary Meeting

from Rijeka, Croatia

Thursday 24 October to Saturday 26 October 2019
Rijeka, Croatia

IETM presented the IETM Rijeka Plenary Meeting livestreaming on the global, commons-based peer-produced HowlRound TV network from Thursday 24 October to Saturday 26 October 2019.

two graphs: Are at least half the characters specified as females by the playwright. Are at least half of the characters specified as non-white by the playwright?
What Our New Plays Really Look Like
Essay

What Our New Plays Really Look Like

A Statistical Guide to US World Premieres in the 2019–20 Season

21 October 2019

Marshall Botvinick shares the results of the research he undertook about new plays premiering across the United States in the 2019–20 season: who is being produced, what characters are appearing on stage, and what forms and themes are common.

Cambridge Friends School's logo.
Our Deepest Concerns: A Conversation on Anti-Racism in America
Video

Our Deepest Concerns: A Conversation on Anti-Racism in America

presented by Cambridge Friends School in Cambridge, Massachusetts 

Wednesday 16 October 2019
Cambridge, Massachusetts

Cambridge Friends School presented the panel Our Deepest Concerns: A Conversation on Anti-Racism in America livestreaming on the global, commons-based peer-produced HowlRound TV network on Wednesday 16 October 2019 at 3:30 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 5:30 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-5) / 6:30 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-4).

bucharest international theater platform number 6 logo.
Performances and Conversations from The Bucharest International Theater Platform #6: My Revolution
Video

Performances and Conversations from The Bucharest International Theater Platform #6: My Revolution

HUOOOOO!!! by Auăleu, An tan tina by Nicoleta Lefter, and a conversation with Gob Squad

Friday 11 October & Sunday 13 October 2019
Bucharest, Romania

The Bucharest International Theater Platform #6: My Revolution presented a performance of HUOOOOO!!! by Auăleu, a performance of An tan tina by Nicoleta Lefter, and a conversation with Gob Squad livestreaming on the global, commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Friday 11 October and Sunday 13 October 2019.

two headshots
The Only Thing Black Writers Really Have is Their Relationships
Essay

The Only Thing Black Writers Really Have is Their Relationships

9 October 2019

Producer Tobi Kyeremateng and poet/writer Roger Robinson talk about Black writers in the UK, creative citizenship, activism in the arts, and more.

three actors onstage
Raising the Dead and Staging the New
Essay

Raising the Dead and Staging the New

Democracy and Identity at Finland’s Tampere Theatre Festival

7 October 2019

Sam Williams dives into several of the productions at Finland’s Tampere Theatre Festival, which ran between August 5 and 11 and which was curated based on the theme of bravery.

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.

yellow cartoon car with pink text PRELUDE 2019
The PRELUDE 2019 Festival
Video

The PRELUDE 2019 Festival

at the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center

Thursday 3 October - Saturday 5 October
New York, New York

The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center presented the PRELUDE 2019 Festival livestreamed on the global, commons-based peer-produced HowlRound TV network from Thursday 3 October to Saturday 5 October 2019.

colorful illustrations of folk tale characters with performance information
A performance of :HUMPTY
Video

A performance of :HUMPTY

at The VORTEX in Austin, Texas

Friday 27 September 2019
Austin, Texas

Ethos and The VORTEX presented a performance of :HUMPTY livestreamed on the global, commons-based peer-produced HowlRound TV network on Friday 27 September 2019 at 9 p.m. EDT (New York) / 8 p.m. CDT (Chicago) / 6 p.m. PDT (Los Angeles).

two actors onstage
Gravity and Responsibility in Film, TV, and Choreography
Essay

Gravity and Responsibility in Film, TV, and Choreography

25 September 2019

Choreographer Malik Nashad Sharpe and film & TV director Liza Johnson talk gravity, abstraction and risk, ethics, and more.

a person sitting in a bathrobe eating breakfast cereal
Radical Disruptions
Essay

Radical Disruptions

How Intergenerational Exchange Builds Community

22 September 2019
four actors in rehearsal
We Didn’t Have Any Role Models
Essay

We Didn’t Have Any Role Models

An Interview with the Founders of Wry Crips Disabled Women’s Theatre Group

21 August 2019

Michaela Goldhaber, current artistic director of Wry Crips, talks to the founding and early members of the disabled women’s theatre group about their history.

actors onstage
Anticolonial Creative Collaboration and the Development of Mirror Butterfly
Essay

Anticolonial Creative Collaboration and the Development of Mirror Butterfly

15 August 2019

Ben Barson and Gizelxanath Rodriguez, part of the Afro Yaqui Music Collective, talk about artivism—what it means, what it can look like—in relation to building a jazz opera with various communities around the world.

three actors onstage
Tragedy That Heals Amid Heartbeat Laws
Essay

Tragedy That Heals Amid Heartbeat Laws

Melinda Lopez’s Yerma

31 July 2019

Shari Caplan discusses the Huntington Theatre’s production of Yerma.

politicians giving a press conference
The Necessity of a New Green Federal Theatre Project
Essay

The Necessity of a New Green Federal Theatre Project

30 July 2019

Karen Malpede argues that significant theatrical engagement with the climate crisis cannot occur in the United States without governmental intervention, and looks at the Federal Theatre Project as a model.

four actors onstage
Try Not to Make a Mess When You Smash That Window In Protest
Essay

Try Not to Make a Mess When You Smash That Window In Protest

8 July 2019

Rebecca Benzie Fraser uses Her Naked Skin as an example in the exploration of the different decisions made when it comes to staging violence by women and staging violence against women.

a group of people with their hands raised
Hearing Each Other Over the Gun Fire
Essay

Hearing Each Other Over the Gun Fire

24 June 2019

Several months after Pittsburgh’s Quantam Theatre programmed The Gun Show, there was a mass shooting at a synagogue in the city. TJ Parker discusses how the company responded to the crisis, both through the play and through community engagement.

five women of color in colorful dresses
Calling in the Spirits
Essay

Calling in the Spirits

How Theatre Can Help Us Tell the Truth

20 June 2019

Playwright Pearl Cleage discusses playwriting, activism, and how theatremakers can help save the world in this excerpt from her keynote speech at the 2019 TYA/USA National Festival & Conference.

a dark stage with a spotlight into a pit surrounded by two actors bodies
Risk in the Body and World at Warsaw’s Generation After 3 Showcase
Essay

Risk in the Body and World at Warsaw’s Generation After 3 Showcase

19 June 2019

Amanda L. Andrei reflects on Warsaw’s Generation After 3 festival, which had the theme of “risky projects,” and discusses four pieces she saw on risk as it relates to the body and the world.

two puppets
Creating a Feminist Punch and Judy Show
Essay

Creating a Feminist Punch and Judy Show

16 June 2019

Roxanna Myhrum looks at the history of the iconic puppet show Punch and Judy and Sarah Nolen’s feminist adaptation of it, Judy Save the Day.

audience members inside an enclosed transparent VR tent
Narrative Sharing and Narrative Shifting with Digital Technology
Essay

Narrative Sharing and Narrative Shifting with Digital Technology

10 June 2019

Members of the Detroit-based artist collective Complex Movements discuss the connection between technology, performance, and social justice community organizing.

pink flyer for the hemispheric institute 2019
Encuentro 2019 hosted by the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics
Video

Encuentro 2019 hosted by the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics

The World Inside Out: Humor, Noise, and Performance

Sunday 9 June to Thursday 13 June 2019
Mexico City

The Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics at New York University presented events from their Encuentro 2019 livestreaming from Mexico City on the global, commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv from Sunday 9 June to Thursday 13 June 2019.