Social Justice & Political Theatre

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

The Latest

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 Only Thing Black Writers Really Have is Their Relationships
Essay

The Only Thing Black Writers Really Have is Their Relationships

by Tobi Kyeremateng, Roger Robinson
9 October 2019
Livestreaming Performances and Conversations from The Bucharest International Theater Platform #6: My Revolution
Video

Livestreaming 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
Howlround Theatre Commons
From the World Theatre Map
Mugwumpin & Cultural Critic Greil Marcus at Z Space
Video

Mugwumpin & Cultural Critic Greil Marcus at Z Space

Monday 23 July 2012
San Francisco, CA, United States

Mugwumpin presented a conversation with cultural critic Greil Marcus at Z Space, exploring the topic of their next show, American prophecy, livestreamed on the global, commons-based peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Monday 23 July 2012 from 1 p.m. PDT – 3 p.m. PDT / 4 p.m. EDT – 6 p.m. EDT.

Four people in evening wear standing in an ornately decorated room.
Playing Politics
Essay

Playing Politics

14 July 2012

Jules Odendahl-James explores the intersection of theatre and politics. She questions about conventional sense of political theatre and the possible expansion of the definition.

The New Work of Building Civic Practice
Essay

The New Work of Building Civic Practice

9 July 2012

The needs of non-arts organizations, and theatre artists' assets can intersect through Civic Practice. This guide from Michael Rohd offers examples of application and what this work can accomplish.

Theater of War
Essay

Theater of War

5 July 2012

Guillermo Aviles-Rodriguez proposes an idea to get US troops out of Afganishtan and Iraq, in two easy steps. 

A New Iraqi Arabic adaptation of 9 Parts of Desire by Heather Raffo at Georgetown University 
Video

A New Iraqi Arabic adaptation of 9 Parts of Desire by Heather Raffo at Georgetown University 

Thursday 14 June 2012
Washington, D.C., United States

A new Iraqi Arabic adaptation of 9 Parts of Desire by Heather Raffo, and a post show discussion.

Getting Intimate with the Global
Essay

Getting Intimate with the Global

14 June 2012

After Hillary Clinton spoke at Georgetown University on the topic of human rights, it moved Derek Goldman to reflect on why theatre is the tool for global conversations.

Theater for Change
Essay

Theater for Change

8 June 2012

Tami Dixon talks about her company, Bricolage, and how theater can begin important conversations in predominantly-white Pittsburgh.

A portrait of Trayvon Martin as a child.
Trayvon Martin
Essay

Trayvon Martin

Artists Call To Action

22 April 2012

In the wake of Trayvon Martin's murder, Erin Washington asks what is the role of artists when faced with unspeakable collective tragedy?

This Is How We Do It Festival at The Foundry Theatre
Video

This Is How We Do It Festival at The Foundry Theatre

Saturday 20 April and Sunday 22 April 2012
New York, NY, United States

The Foundry Theatre presents talks at the This Is How We Do It Festival livestreamed on the global, commons-based peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv Saturday 20 April and Sunday 22 April 2012.

Water’s Flow
Essay

Water’s Flow

An Artist’s Path in a Trans-local Universe

2 April 2012

Caridad Svitch writes about travel, simplicity, plugged in and plugged out life and the way that the environment, both physical and environmental, informs her writing.

 

There was no Duncan to slay
Essay

There was no Duncan to slay

Comments on Mike Daisey

23 March 2012

David Dower responds to the Mike Daisey controversy.

What’s Done Cannot be Undone
Essay

What’s Done Cannot be Undone

Lies in the Theater and Some Thoughts on Mike Daisey

20 March 2012
Havel, Powerlessness, and Us
Essay

Havel, Powerlessness, and Us

An appreciation

19 March 2012

David Chapman draws attention to the ways we can continue to learn and be inspired  from the multi-facted legacy of Václav Havel, first post-Soviet President of Czechoslovakia. 

On Being a So-Called Political Playwright
Essay

On Being a So-Called Political Playwright

1 March 2012

Karen Malpede discusses the necessity for true political theater in the United States.

 

Kira Obolensky and Michelle Hensley in Conversation
Essay

Kira Obolensky and Michelle Hensley in Conversation

16 February 2012

Kira Oblenskey talks to Michelle Hensley, the founding artistic director of Ten Thousand Things in Minnesota, about the necessity of big stories, and the joys of bringing theater to audiences who have very little experience with it.

 

Friday Phone Call # 7
Podcast

Friday Phone Call # 7

Moisés Kaufman of Tectonic Theater Project

10 February 2012

On this week's edition of Friday Phone Call, David Dower talks to Moisés Kaufman of Tectonic Theater Project about challenging assumptions about theater, how it works, and the artists who make it.

Occupy, Hope, Exchange
Essay

Occupy, Hope, Exchange

A (Sort of) Travelogue

6 February 2012

 

Brandon Woolf describes what he learned from taking part in the Occupy Wall Street movement at University of California Berkley, and how that applies to creating theater that embraces Occupy's spirit of public openness.

 

Friday Phone Call # 1
Podcast

Friday Phone Call # 1

Melanie Joseph of Foundry Theatre

20 January 2012

Introducing Friday Phone Call, where David Dower calls up some of the most interesting and influential voices in theater today. This week, David talks to Melanie Joseph of Foundry Theatre.

Civic Theater
Essay

Civic Theater

Part 2

28 November 2011

Michael Rohd details the how, the why and the what of his approach to making civic theater. 

Photo of Culture Clash.
A Manifesto
Essay

A Manifesto

22 June 2011

Richard Montoya, of the theater group Culture Clash, delivers his theatrical manifesto; one of outside the lines, in every way. 

Civic Theater
Essay

Civic Theater

29 May 2011

Part one of Michael Rohd's look at "How does the work we do impact, intersect with and contribute to a healthy, functional democracy?"

Peace and Trauma, Part II
Essay

Peace and Trauma, Part II

27 March 2011

Erik Ehn furthers his exploration into theatre for social change by focusing on the vocabulary of used to create art that challenges and energizes us to rise above the trauma toward peace.

Trauma and Peace, Part 1
Essay

Trauma and Peace, Part 1

10 March 2011

Erik Ehn takes on theatre for social change, and the need to create art that challenges and energizes us to rise above the trauma toward peace. 

Writing About Myself
Essay

Writing About Myself

23 January 2011

Playwright Dan O'Brien discusses the intersection between the personal and the political, and his findings which indicate that the most compelling stories come from the lives of others.

screen shot of a tweet by @pangmeli that reads "I’m all for activist communities, queer communities etc, but communities are few and far between. what we have more of are scenes. Two signs that it’s a scene: it doesn’t have multiple generations (children, elders) and the members all have a suspiciously similar aesthetic."
Conversations Across Generations
Series

Conversations Across Generations

Dialogues with UK based Performance Artists

Each of the dialogues in this series speaks of the connection between political activism, creativity, and spirituality— and highlights the importance of intergenerational knowledge-sharing for the future of the Live Arts and Theatre sectors of the UK.