Social Justice & Political Theatre

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

The Latest

Anticolonial Creative Collaboration and the Development of Mirror Butterfly
Essay

Anticolonial Creative Collaboration and the Development of Mirror Butterfly

by Benjamin Barson, Gizelxanath Rodriguez
15 August 2019
Tragedy That Heals Amid Heartbeat Laws
Essay

Tragedy That Heals Amid Heartbeat Laws

Melinda Lopez’s Yerma

by Shari Caplan
31 July 2019
The Necessity of a New Green Federal Theatre Project
Essay

The Necessity of a New Green Federal Theatre Project

by Karen Malpede
30 July 2019
Howlround Theatre Commons
From the World Theatre Map
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. 

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). 

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.

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.

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.