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
Panel Discussions around the Sanctuary Movement
Video

Panel Discussions around the Sanctuary Movement

Borderlands Theater in Tucson

Sunday 9 September - Thursday 20 September 2018
AZ, United States

Borderlands Theater in Tucson, Arizona presented a series of panel discussions around their production of Sanctuary by Milta Ortiz, based on real people and events Sanctuary chronicles the Tucson birth of the 1980’s Sanctuary Movement, livestreamed on the global, commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv from Sunday 9 September to Thursday 20 September.

Economic Precarity and Resiliency in Theatre
Essay

Economic Precarity and Resiliency in Theatre

an American Psalm

29 August 2018

Playwright Caridad Svich reflects on the economic reality of working in theatre.

Tilikum and Wading into Better Criticism
Essay

Tilikum and Wading into Better Criticism

28 August 2018

Yasmin Zacaria Mikhaiel talks about the importance of “good” criticism through the lens of Kristiana Rae Colón’s play Tilikum.

How Post-Colonial Imagination Can Make Theatre into an Agent of Revolution
Essay

How Post-Colonial Imagination Can Make Theatre into an Agent of Revolution

16 August 2018

Using three different plays—M. Butterfly, Iphigenia Crash Land Falls on the Neon Shell That Was Once Her Heart, and QPH—playwright Massi Monfiletto examines theatre’s revolutionary potential.

The Collaborative Possibilities of Mediaturgy
Essay

The Collaborative Possibilities of Mediaturgy

14 August 2018

Katherine Swimm discusses New Rep Theatre’s Boston production of Ripe Frenzy, and the innovative collaboration between playwright Jennifer Barclay and projection designer Jared Mezzocchi.

Talking about Protest with the Language of Actor Training
Essay

Talking about Protest with the Language of Actor Training

17 July 2018

Actor and literature/theatre professor Courtney Bailey Parker talks about national anthem protests, performance as activism, and theatre artists as mediators.

Eating the Rich
Essay

Eating the Rich

Sweeney Todd’s Vicious Capitalism

18 June 2018

Cassidy Dawn Graves writes about the anti-capitalist narrative present in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street and the significance of producing the musical in 2018.

Theatre and Civil Rights
Podcast

Theatre and Civil Rights

Dr. Julie Burrell on the Importance of A Medal for Willie

5 June 2018

How did Black theatre connect with the Civil Rights Movement? Dr. Julie Burrell of Cleveland State University joins the Theatre History Podcast to talk about William B. Branch's one-act play A Medal for Willie and the underappreciated radicalism of theatre in the 1950s.

Decolonizing Systems/Our Theatre Ecology
Video

Decolonizing Systems/Our Theatre Ecology

Friday 1 June 2018
Online

This call was a space to gather together and ask questions about the impact of colonization on our current theatre systems and how we can empower interconnected ecologies to break down divisive hierarchies in the work that we do. Livestreamed on howlround.tv and on Facebook on Friday 1 June 2018 at 3 p.m. EDT - 4:30 p.m. EDT (Toronto/New York) / 12 p.m. PDT - 1:30 p.m. PDT (Vancouver/Los Angeles) / 8 p.m. BST - 9:30 p.m. BST (London, UTC +1).

Roma Artists Telling Stories of Resistance, Not Victimhood
Essay

Roma Artists Telling Stories of Resistance, Not Victimhood

24 May 2018

Mihaela Drăgan interviews Sandra and Simonida Selimovic of Mindj Panther about their show Roma Armee, and the activist work they are doing in Austria to fight against Roma oppression.

In Search of Lost Hope
Essay

In Search of Lost Hope

Theatre Against All Odds in Afghanistan

15 May 2018

Theatre activist Hjalmar Jorge Joffre-Eichhorn reflects on the founding of the Afghanistan Human Rights and Democracy Organization, a political theatre group that has been working together for over ten years to create social change.

Taking Action
Essay

Taking Action

An Artist Becomes an Advocate

13 May 2018

Jessica Litwak, artistic director of the H.E.A.T Collective, explores the growing field of artist rights and safety, and talks about her dedication to “art of service,” the work that serves communities by facilitating creative personal and social change.

Re-Reading Oppression
Video

Re-Reading Oppression

One-act plays by Amiri Baraka, Harold Pinter, and Salah Abdul-Saboor

Monday 30 April 2018
New York City, NY, United States

The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center presented Re-Reading Oppression: One-act plays by Amiri Baraka, Harold Pinter, and Salah Abdul-Saboor livestreamed on the global, commons-based peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Monday 30 April at 7:30 p.m. EDT (New York) / 6:30 p.m. CDT (Chicago) / 4:30 p.m. PDT (San Francisco). Follow @HowlRound on Twitter for updates, and use #howlround.

Town Hall: #NeverAgainChicago
Video

Town Hall: #NeverAgainChicago

Sunday 15 April 2018
Chicago, IL, United States

Victory Gardens Theater presents a Town Hall: #NeverAgainChicago archived on the global, commons-based peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Sunday 15 April at 7:30 p.m. EDT (New York) /  6:30 p.m. CDT (Chicago) / 4:30 p.m. PDT (San Francisco).

Representation Matters
Essay

Representation Matters

The Monologue Project

8 April 2018

Gab Cody reflects on the birth of The Monologue Project, an initiative that started in Pittsburgh, USA and Dallas, USA to increase the canon of audition-length monologues for women of African Descent.

Working with Students to Reclaim the Revolutionary Roots of Czech Theatre
Essay

Working with Students to Reclaim the Revolutionary Roots of Czech Theatre

4 April 2018

Arts educator Hannah Sachs talks about how introducing Theatre of the Oppressed to her students in the Czech Republic helped address xenophobia in the classroom, and slowly began to change the culture of the school for the better.

Five Grounding Techniques to Cultivate Resilient Ensembles
Essay

Five Grounding Techniques to Cultivate Resilient Ensembles

28 March 2018

US director and health and wellness educator Molly Schenck describes five useful rehearsal techniques for ensembles to adapt when creating work around difficult topics. 

The Intersections Summit at Milwaukee Repertory Theater
Video

The Intersections Summit at Milwaukee Repertory Theater

Friday 23 March and Saturday 24 March 2018
Milwaukee, WN, United States

Milwaukee Repertory Theater presented the Intersections Summit livestreamed on the global, commons-based peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Friday 23 March and Saturday 24 March 2018.

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.