Social Justice & Political Theatre

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

The Latest

Creating a Feminist Punch and Judy Show
Essay

Creating a Feminist Punch and Judy Show

by Roxanna Myhrum
16 June 2019
Narrative Sharing and Narrative Shifting with Digital Technology
Essay

Narrative Sharing and Narrative Shifting with Digital Technology

by Complex Movements
10 June 2019
The Search for Truth in Putin’s Russia
Essay

The Search for Truth in Putin’s Russia

How Teatr.doc’s “Civil Theatre” Is Exposing Injustice

by verity healey
4 June 2019
Howlround Theatre Commons
From the World Theatre Map
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.

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.

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.

Black Pain On Stage
Essay

Black Pain On Stage

1 March 2018

Jonathan Mandell looks at several current plays that depict violence by or against African Americans, including  LeKethia Dalcoe's A Small Oak Tree Runs Red, Gabriel Jason Dean's Terminus, and Althea Harris's Is God Is.

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. 

How to be an Active Artist
Essay

How to be an Active Artist

Reflections on Emerson College's Teach-In On Race

31 January 2018

Emerson College student Mary Frances Noser reflects on a campus-wide teach-in about race. 

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.

My Gender is Hot Fire
Essay

My Gender is Hot Fire

The Birth of the Non-Binary Monologues Project

30 October 2017

K. Woodzick talks about creating The Non-Binary Monologues Project, and the need for more resources for non-binary theatremakers.

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.

Sabine Women, Satire, and What Is Truly “Daring?”
Essay

Sabine Women, Satire, and What Is Truly “Daring?”

24 October 2017

Is sexual assault a daring subject for satire? Cassidy Dawn Graves considers Michael Yates Crowley’s The Rape of the Sabine Women, by Grace B. Matthias and how satire may be the perfect tone to portray the empowerment of the disempowered.

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.

Climate Change Theatre Action Still Waving
Video

Climate Change Theatre Action Still Waving

Monday 23 October / Sunday 22 October
Palmerston North, New Zealand

Massey University presented the Climate Change Theatre Action event Still Waving—a series of readings and performances—livestreamed on the global, commons-based peer produced howlround.tv network on Monday 23 October at 2 p.m. NZDT (Wellington, UTC +13) / Monday, October 23 at 12 p.m. AEDT (Sydney, UTC +11) / Monday, October 23 at 9 a.m. SGT (Singapore UTC +8) / Monday, October 23 at 2 a.m. BST (London, UTC+1) / Monday, October 23 at 01:00 UTC / Sunday, October 22 at 9:00 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4) / Sunday, October 22 at 6 p.m. PDT (Los Angeles, UTC -7).

Business per Usual
Essay

Business per Usual

Enterprise

22 October 2017

Enterprise is a satire of American business-speak that is also a critique of capitalism.

Welcome to the Catalan Republic
Essay

Welcome to the Catalan Republic

Street Theatre and Protests in Barcelona / Teatro Callejero y Protestas en Barcelona

18 October 2017

Alícia Hernàndez Grande writes about the theatrical street protests that have been staged since 2012 around the Catalonia independence referendum vote, including this year’s vote on October 1. / Alícia Hernàndez Grande escribe sobre las protestas teatrales que se han presentado en la calle desde el 2012 sobre el voto del referendum de la independencia de Catalonya, incluyendo la votación del 1 de octubre de este año.

After/Life Tells Untold Stories of the '67 Detroit Rebellion
Essay

After/Life Tells Untold Stories of the '67 Detroit Rebellion

16 October 2017

Playwright Lisa Biggs and director Kristin Horton discuss the process of developing After/Life, a new play about the 1967 Rebellion in Detroit, Michigan with Detroit community members.

Undocumented Stories Have Always Mattered / Las Historias Sobre Los Indocumentados Siempre Han Importado
Essay

Undocumented Stories Have Always Mattered / Las Historias Sobre Los Indocumentados Siempre Han Importado

15 October 2017

A conversation between Alex Alpharaoh, David Lozano, and Karen Zacarías about the inspiration for and impact of their works that center the stories of people who are undocumented.

A Chicana Heroine Redirects El Movimiento
Essay

A Chicana Heroine Redirects El Movimiento

12 October 2017

Marci McMahon reflects on how Diane Rodriguez’s The Sweetheart Deal breaks gendered stereotypes about the Chicano Movement of the 1960s and ’70s. 

A Brazilian Coriolanus in the Age of CEO-Politician Heroes
Essay

A Brazilian Coriolanus in the Age of CEO-Politician Heroes

10 October 2017

What is the significance of staging Coriolanus in Sao Paulo where the new mayor is a businessman who was the host of two seasons of the Brazilian version of TV show The Apprentice?

Announcing the HowlRound Challenge Convenings
Essay

Announcing the HowlRound Challenge Convenings

4 October 2017

HowlRound announces the four selected convening proposals for the HowlRound Challenge, a new initiative to incubate ideas and seed action to make a better theatre and a better world.

The Eurydice Project in Dublin and the Trapped Woman
Essay

The Eurydice Project in Dublin and the Trapped Woman

26 September 2017

Laura Marriott considers The Eurydice Project in Dublin in the context of Ireland’s Repeal the Eighth movement.