Social Justice & Political Theatre

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

The Latest

Responding to Anti-Asian Race-Based Harassment
Video

Responding to Anti-Asian Race-Based Harassment

Healing Over Hate Episode Two: Bystander intervention and safety awareness trainings to combat anti-AAPI harassment and xenophobia

Monday 10 May 2021
United States
Safe Havens Freedom Talks: Ramy Essam and The Balaha Case
Video

Safe Havens Freedom Talks: Ramy Essam and The Balaha Case

Episode 1

Friday 5 June 2020
Egypt
Speculating Black Queer Futures
Essay

Speculating Black Queer Futures

by JD Stokely, Nkenna Akunna
27 April 2021
L to R: headshots of Adriana Li, Program Coordinator & Instructor, Impact Boston and Dax Valdes, Senior Trainer, Hollaback!.
Responding to Anti-Asian Race-Based Harassment
Video

Responding to Anti-Asian Race-Based Harassment

Healing Over Hate Episode Two: Bystander intervention and safety awareness trainings to combat anti-AAPI harassment and xenophobia

Monday 10 May 2021
United States

Consortium of Asian American Theaters and Artists (CAATA) presented the second episode of its ongoing monthly ConFest Virtual Series, Healing Over Hate on Monday 10 May at 1 p.m. HST (Honolulu, UTC -10), 3 p.m. AKDT (Juneau, UTC -8), 4 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7), 5 p.m. MDT (Denver, UTC -6), 6 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5), 7 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).

event details.
Unrehearsed Futures: Carcerality, Ritual and Spectatorship
Video

Unrehearsed Futures: Carcerality, Ritual and Spectatorship

Episode 5: Prisoners Coming Home

Thursday 6 May 2021
South Africa

Presenting Unrehearsed Futures: Carcerality, Ritual and Spectatorship livestreamed on the global, commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv Thursday 6 May 2021 at 6 a.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4) / 11 a.m. BST (London, UTC +1) / 12 p.m. SAST (Cape Town, UTC +2) / 3:30 p.m. IST (Mumbai, UTC +5:30) / 8 p.m. AEST (Hobart, UTC +10).

An Image of four panels. The first has a waste basket and crumbled paper in it it. The second have children looking at a stage with their backs to us. The third is a person in a green shirt with long black hair sitting at a desk in and office talking to a person who has their back to us. The fourth panel has a podium with a slot, and various rectangles and circles surrounding it.
Creating Theatre for Our Future, Together
Essay

Creating Theatre for Our Future, Together

29 April 2021

Mary Kathryn Nagle predicts four main ways the American theatre will devise a future where theatrical storytelling does not directly contribute to white supremacy.

An illustration of two Black people with different hairstyles and outfits, surrounded by clouds and suns, against an orange and blue background.
Speculating Black Queer Futures
Essay

Speculating Black Queer Futures

27 April 2021

JD Stokely and Nkenna Akunna speculate about what a Black queer future looks like, speaking to sleep and rest, spirit, cyclical time, and more.

Several actors as prisoners, civilians, doctors and nurses in Bertolt Brecht's Fear and Misery of the Third Reich.
Towards a Marxist Theatre
Essay

Towards a Marxist Theatre

15 April 2021

Ezra Brain argues that political theatre has largely been reduced to simply calling out the problems in society, effectively preaching to the choir, and believes that in order to save political theatre, it must be re-Marxed.

An image of six actors forming a semi circle around and actor standing on actors block , The actor on the block, is lifting food to their mouth with pained expression.
The Classical Theatre of the Oppressed
Essay

The Classical Theatre of the Oppressed

Adapting The Vagina Monologues in Malawi

13 April 2021

Fumbani Innot Phiri Jr. details the creative process of the production of The Vagina Monologues that took place during 16 Days of Activism in Malawi and offers his thoughts, as an audience member, on the show’s big impact.

actors on stage looking at a newspaper.
Introducing a New Ongoing Virtual Series: Healing Over Hate
Video

Introducing a New Ongoing Virtual Series: Healing Over Hate

Responding to the Rise of Anti-Asian Violence

Monday 12 April 2021
United States

Consortium of Asian American Theaters and Artists (CAATA) introduced a new ongoing virtual series: Healing Over Hate: Responding to the Rise of Anti-Asian Violence livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Monday 12 April 2021 at 1 p.m. HDT (Honolulu, UTC -9), 3 p.m. AKDT (Juneau, UTC -8), 4 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7), 5 p.m. MDT (Denver, UTC -6), 6 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5), 7 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).

illustration of a black woman holding a book titled the tyrant fears the poet with caption text we are the future write our own liberation.
Narrative Power, Cultural Strategies, and New Civic Vision
Video

Narrative Power, Cultural Strategies, and New Civic Vision

A peer learning exchange about how stories, narrative and cultural power can help create a just and liberatory vision for the future

Monday 12 April 2021
United States

Arts & Democracy and Naturally Occurring Cultural Districts NY (NOCD-NY) presented the conversation Narrative Power, Cultural Strategies, and New Civic Vision livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Monday 12 April 2021 at 2 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 4 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 5 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).

protestors at the people's climate march
Puppets in Protest
Essay

Puppets in Protest

6 April 2021

Sarah Plummer discusses how puppets aid socially engaged groups during protests in three key ways: amplifying tension, creating accessible messaging, and evoking solidarity.

Glod: Political Theatre as a Civil Right event poster.
CRIME: A response to Crime and Punishment by Feodor Dostoievsky
Video

CRIME: A response to Crime and Punishment by Feodor Dostoievsky

Performance followed by a panel discussion

Monday 5 April 2021
Romania

Glod: Political Theatre as a Civil Right presented CRIME: A response to Crime and Punishment by Feodor Dostoievsky livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Monday 5 April 2021 at 10 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 1 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4) / 6 p.m. BST (London, UTC +1) / 20:00 EEST (Cluj, UTC +3).

Canceled: A Crisis in Burma: Artists Respond
Video

Canceled: A Crisis in Burma: Artists Respond

Join Burmese painter and performance artist Chaw Ei Thein in conversation on the current situation in Burma

Tuesday 30 March 2021
United States

Asian Cultural Council, CultureHub, La MaMa, and Theatre Without Borders/University of Iowa’s Theatre Arts Department present A Crisis in Burma: Artists Respond livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Tuesday 30 March 2021 at 3 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 5 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 6 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4) / Wednesday 31 March 2021 at 4:30 a.m. MMT (Myanmar, UTC +6:30).

red banner with white text SCHOOL OF RESISTANCE above event detail text.
School of Resistance, Episode Thirteen: Blow the System, Sow Change
Video

School of Resistance, Episode Thirteen: Blow the System, Sow Change

Destruction as a tool for survival

Thursday 25 March 2021
Ghent, Belgium

NTGent presented School of Resistance, Episode Thirteen: Blow the System, Sow Change livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Thursday 25 March 2021 at 11 a.m. PDT (Los Angeles, UTC -7) / 2 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4) / 18:00 GMT (London, UTC +0) / 19:00 CET (Brussels, UTC+1).

Glod: Political Theatre as a Civil Right event poster.
Corp Urban by Giuvlipen
Video

Corp Urban by Giuvlipen

Performance followed by a panel discussion

Monday 22 March 2021
United Kingdom

Glod: Political Theatre as a Civil Right presented Corp Urban by Giuvlipen livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Monday 22 March at 11 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 2 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4) / 6 p.m. GMT (London, UTC +0) / 20:00 EET (Cluj, UTC +2).

artists sitting on chairs in a circle
The Living Presence of Our History: Part III
Video

The Living Presence of Our History: Part III

Healing and reparations through the Land Back movement: a conversation on indigenous land tenure, stewardship, and access

Sunday 21 March 2021
United States

Double Edge Theatre presented The Living Presence of Our History: Part III livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Sunday 21 March 2021 at 10 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 12 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 1 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).

four actors posing for a photo
Beneath the Shadow of the Freeway
Essay

Beneath the Shadow of the Freeway

Virginia Grise’s Stage Adaptation of Helena Maria Viramontes’s Their Dogs Came with Them

17 March 2021

Manuel Muñoz reflects on Virginia Grise’s adaptation of Their Dogs Came with Them, which took place in fall 2019 under the colossal concrete freeway ramps of the I-10 freeway that dissect South Tucson from the edge of the Sonoran Desert.

Glod: Political Theatre as a Civil Right event poster.
GLOD: Political Theatre as Womxn's Right
Video

GLOD: Political Theatre as Womxn's Right

Performance followed by a panel discussion

Monday 8 March 2021
United Kingdom

BÉZNĂ Theatre presented GLOD: Political Theatre as Womxn's Right livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Monday 8 March at 10 a.m. PST (San Francisco, UTC -8) / 1 p.m. EST (New York, UTC -5) / 6 p.m. GMT (London, UTC +0) / 8 p.m. EEST (Cluj, UTC +2).

zoom video chat of several people
Using Critical Fabulation for History-Based Playwriting
Essay

Using Critical Fabulation for History-Based Playwriting

3 March 2021

Holly Derr and Calley N. Anderson sit down to talk about how Calley adopted historian Saidiya Hartman’s theory of critical fabulation when writing her new play The Story and the Teller about the effect of the Memphis yellow fever epidemic of 1878 on African Americans and immigrants.

a bright yellow burst with the following words on individual lines: information, inspiration, invitation. then, "the ghostlight project"
Community Roll Call
Video

Community Roll Call

One part teach-in and one part pep rally to share the many organizing efforts happening in our community

Monday 1 March 2021
United States

The Ghostlight Project presented Community Roll Call livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Monday 1 March 2021 at 4 p.m. PST (San Francisco, UTC -8) / 6 p.m. CST (Chicago, UTC -6) / 7 p.m. EST (New York, UTC -5).

Black Spatial Relics
Video

Black Spatial Relics

Celebrating and learning from the centuries-long Black freedom dialectic between the Caribbean and Philadelphia

Tuesday 23 February to Saturday 27 February 2021
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Black Spatial Relics presented their second annual convening livestreaming on the global, commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv from Tuesday 23 February to Saturday 27 February 2021.

School of Resistance
Video

School of Resistance

A film and discussion series

Wednesday 24 February to Sunday 28 February
Belgium

NTGent presented Schol of Resistance: A film and discussion series livestreaming on the global, commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv from Wednesday 24 February to Sunday 28 February 2021.

text one love on black background
One Love: A Racial Justice Theatre Workshop with Dr. Ayshia
Video

One Love: A Racial Justice Theatre Workshop with Dr. Ayshia

One Love pedagogy, a racial justice method for teaching and learning theatre

Monday 22 February 2021
United States

Dr. Ayshia Mackie-Stephenson presented One Love: A Racial Justice Theatre Workshop with Dr. Ayshia livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Monday 22 February 2021 at 3 p.m. PST (San Francisco, UTC -8) / 5 p.m. CST (Chicago, UTC -6) / 6 p.m. EST (New York, UTC -5).

an actor kneeling onstage
A Summer on Fire, a Harvest Moon
Essay

A Summer on Fire, a Harvest Moon

8 February 2021

Caroline Sprague reflects on Shey Rivera Ríos’s recent piece, Fire Flowers and a Time Machine, transformative justice, the nonprofit industrial complex, and more.

a group marching outside with a banner that reads "NEVER AGAIN IS NOW"
Inventing Worlds
Essay

Inventing Worlds

What Theatremakers Bring to Organizing

1 February 2021

Blair Nodelman discusses why theatremakers are well suited to deeply understanding the political machine and work toward dismantling the status quo, creating a more equitable and community-based iteration of governing.

episode five claudia alick calling up justice
Claudia Alick and Calling Up Justice
Podcast

Claudia Alick and Calling Up Justice

Building Our Own Tables Episode #5

27 January 2021

During this episode of Building Our Own Tables, podcast host Yura Sapi talks with Claudia Alick, founding executive producer of the transmedia social justice company Calling Up Justice.

zoom screenshot
Whose America and Whose Dreams?
Essay

Whose America and Whose Dreams?

26 January 2021

Zeina Salame sits down for a conversation with Leila Buck and Tamilla Woodard to talk about their most recent creative collaboration, American Dreams, online audience interaction, and more.