Social Justice & Political Theatre

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

The Latest

Livestreaming a Conversation: Community Roll Call
Video

Livestreaming a Conversation: 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
Livestreaming a Convening: Black Spatial Relics
Video

Livestreaming a Convening: 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
Livestreaming a Convening: School of Resistance
Video

Livestreaming a Convening: School of Resistance

A film and discussion series

Wednesday 24 February to Sunday 28 February
Belgium
Glod in red, a silhouette of a person with their arm raised.
Ashtar Theatre’s Oranges and Stones
Video

Ashtar Theatre’s Oranges and Stones

A screening and discussion of a play without words that portrays the reality of persecution in Palestine

Monday 31 August 2020
International

Glod: Political Theatre as a Civil Right presented a screening and conversation on Ashtar Theatre’s Oranges and Stones livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Monday 31 August 2020 at 10 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 1 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4) / 6 p.m. BST (London, UTC +1) / 8 p.m. EEST (Cluj, UTC +3).

black and white poster of historical figures' faces
A reading of Strange Fruit, Part 1 by Jon Bastian
Video

A reading of Strange Fruit, Part 1 by Jon Bastian

with LA Writers Center's "Breathe" online play reading series

Saturday 29 August 2020
United States

LA Writers Center presented a reading of Strange Fruit by Jon Bastian as a part of their "Breathe" online play reading series livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv beginning Saturday 29 August 2020 at 11 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 1 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-5) / 2 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-4).

Glod in red, a silhouette of a person with their arm raised.
A Discussion on Peace by Piece by Nabil Sawalha
Video

A Discussion on Peace by Piece by Nabil Sawalha

Part of BÉZNĂ Theatre's GLOD: Political Theatre as a Civil Right series

Monday 17 August 2020
International

Glod: Political Theatre as a Civil Right presented Peace by Piece by Nabil Sawalha livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Monday 17 August 2020 at 10 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 1 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4) / 6 p.m. BST (London, UTC +1) / 8 p.m. EEST (Cluj, UTC +3).

text: jeannette, or how to make a musical in a pandemic. six headshots of the event participants.
Arts + Activism: Jeannette and Making Political Musical Theatre
Video

Arts + Activism: Jeannette and Making Political Musical Theatre

with Ari Afsar, Erin Ortman, Martha Nichols, Jen Bender, and Regina Victor

Thursday 6 August 2020
United States

Playwright Lauren Gunderson presented Arts + Activism: Jeannette and Making Political Musical Theatre livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Thursday 6 August 2020 at 12 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 2:00 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 3:00 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).

Glod in red, a silhouette of a person with their arm raised.
A discussion about Common Wealth's I Have Met the Enemy (and the enemy is us)
Video

A discussion about Common Wealth's I Have Met the Enemy (and the enemy is us)

Part of BÉZNĂ Theatre's GLOD: Political Theatre as a Civil Right series

Monday 3 August 2020
International

Glod: Political Theatre as a Civil Right presented a discussion about Common Wealth's I Have Met the Enemy (and the enemy is us) livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Monday 3 August 2020 at 10 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 1 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4) / 6 p.m. BST (London, UTC +1) / 8 p.m. EEST (Cluj, UTC +3).

two actors onstage
Foundations for a Cross-Cultural Community Theatre in Dharamshala
Essay

Foundations for a Cross-Cultural Community Theatre in Dharamshala

29 July 2020

Parvathi Ramanathan talks about the community-based, cross-cultural theatre project, d.r.i.f.t., in India’s Dharamshala region.

Glod in red, a silhouette of a person with their arm raised.
Zoukak Theatre Company’s HEAVENS (audio version)
Video

Zoukak Theatre Company’s HEAVENS (audio version)

Part of BÉZNĂ Theatre's GLOD: Political Theatre as a Civil Right series

Monday 20 July 2020
International

Glod: Political Theatre as a Civil Right presented Zoukak Theatre Company’s HEAVENS (audio version) livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Monday 20 July 2020 at 10 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 1 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4) / 6 p.m. BST (London, UTC +1) / 8 p.m. EEST (Cluj, UTC +3).

an outdoor theatre production
Participatory Research Results and Further Questions
Essay

Participatory Research Results and Further Questions

Expanding Where, Why, How, and With Whom Artists Make Work

20 July 2020

Jan Cohen-Cruz shares the results of her recent survey about community-based and socially engaged theatremakers in the United States, which looked at commonalities across the field, the practices and principles adhered to, where people work and with whom, and more.

purple and green poster with lotus blossoms
A staged reading of “Ravayana”
Video

A staged reading of “Ravayana”

A queer, feminist, modern reinterpretation of the Hindu epic of Ram and Sita presented by Fresh Lime Soda Productions

Saturday 18 July 2020
United States

Fresh Lime Soda Productions presented a staged reading of “Ravayana” livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Saturday 18 July 2020 at 9 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 11 a.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-5) / 12 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-4).

text DECOLONIZED LEADERSHIP PRACTICES on blue and yellow background
Green New Theater Part 2: Decolonized Leadership Practices
Video

Green New Theater Part 2: Decolonized Leadership Practices

hosted by Groundwater Arts

Thursday 16 July 2020
United States

Groundwater Arts presented Green New Theater Part 2: Decolonized Leadership Practices livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Thursday 16 July 2020 at 4 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 6 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-5) / 7 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-4).

five people posing for a photo
Not Another Memory Play
Essay

Not Another Memory Play

Remember2019

16 July 2020

Ashley Teague, in partnership with Carlos Sirah, Arielle Julia Brown, Mauricio Tafur Salgado, and Yazmany Arboleda, talk about their eight-year durational, grassroots engagement with the Black community of the Arkansas Delta, Remember2019.

A performance of A Sample of Immigrant Life
Video

A performance of A Sample of Immigrant Life

the culminating performance of The Square Theatre’s project The Art of Losing

Sunday 12 July 2020
United States

The Square Theater presented a performance of A Sample of Immigrant Life livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Sunday 12 July at 3 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 5 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-5) / 6 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-4).

Gathering of Generation NOW: Freedom Fighter & ARTivists
Video

Gathering of Generation NOW: Freedom Fighter & ARTivists

A virtual gathering for frontline youth/young activists and artists

Saturday 11 July 2020
United States

Gathering of Generation NOW: Freedom Fighter & ARTivists livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Saturday 11 July 2020 at 11 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 1 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-5) / 2 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-4).

[A photo of Lavie. She wears a black beret and turtle neck and red long traditional Maori earrings.]
Anti-Oppression in the Performing Arts LAB with Lavie Williams
Video

Anti-Oppression in the Performing Arts LAB with Lavie Williams

A two hour learning session guiding performers to consider how whiteness, tokenization, appropriation and allyship manifest in their arts practices

Thursday 9 July 2020
Kingston, Ontario

Kingston Circus Arts and anARC Theatre presented Anti-Oppression in the Performing Arts LAB with Lavie Williams livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Thursday 9 July 2020 at 8 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 10 a.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-5) / 11 a.m. EDT (Kingston, UTC-4).

Glod in red, a silhouette of a person with their arm raised.
BÉZNĂ Theatre’s ILLEGALISED
Video

BÉZNĂ Theatre’s ILLEGALISED

An international, multi-lingual production exposing the dehumanising effects of the British State’s anti-immigration policies on migrants and those seeking asylum in the UK.

Monday 6 July 2020
International

Glod: Political Theatre as a Civil Right presented a performance of BÉZNĂ Theatre’s ILLEGALISED livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Monday 6 July 2020 at 10 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 1 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-4) / 6 p.m. BST (London, UTC+1) / 8 p.m. EEST (Cluj, UTC+3).

Group of people posing under the text "Contested Homes: Migrant liberation movement suite"
Contested Homes: a Migrant Liberation Movement Suite
Video

Contested Homes: a Migrant Liberation Movement Suite

A new free jazz opera that combines jazz, hip-hop, spoken word, dance, and visual art animated and illustrated by students and guest artists

Tuesday 30 June 2020
Madison, WI United States

The Afro Yaqui Music Collective, in collaboration with UW-Madison Jazz Studies presented Contested Homes: a Migrant Liberation Movement Suite livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Tuesday 30 June 2020 at 7:30 p.m. CDT (Madison, UTC -5) / 2:30 p.m. HST (Honolulu, UTC -10) / 4:30 p.m. AKDT (Juneau, UTC -8) / 5:30 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 6:30 pm.m MDT (Denver, UTC -6) / 8:30 p.m. EDT (New York City, UTC -4)

Lifting Up What We’re Throwing Down
Essay

Lifting Up What We’re Throwing Down

Company One’s Use of Amplify Language

23 June 2020

Kirsten Greenidge discusses how being the Playwright in Residence at Company One Theatre gave her a stronger appreciation for the work of the staff, particularly around speaking to the social justice goals of all the company’s programming.

Livestreaming a performance of Diana Oh's My H8 Letter To The Gr8 American Theatre
Video

Livestreaming a performance of Diana Oh's My H8 Letter To The Gr8 American Theatre

produced by Ma-Yi Theater Company in partnership with Aye Defy and HowlRound

Tuesday 16 June and Wednesday 17 June 2020
United States

Ma-Yi Theater Company, Aye Defy, and HowlRound present a performance of Diana Oh's My H8 Letter To The Gr8 American Theatre livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Tuesday 16 June and Wednesday 17 June at 4:45 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 6:45 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-5) / 7:45 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-4).

Grantmakers in the Arts Logo
Coronavirus Response: Building a future that reimagines systems for justice
Video

Coronavirus Response: Building a future that reimagines systems for justice

a conversation hosted by Grantmakers in the Arts

Tuesday 16 June 2020
United States

Grantmakers in the Arts presented the conversation Coronavirus Response: Building a future that reimagines systems for justice livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Tuesday 16 June 2020 at 11 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 1 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-5) / 2 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-4).

a group of students in movement with ruther kanner in the center
Throw Away the Script
Essay

Throw Away the Script

How Ruth Kanner Uses Stories to Amplify a Polyphony of Voices

16 June 2020

Flo Low interviews Israeli theatremaker Ruth Kanner about what she calls “storytelling theatre,” her experience teaching in an American classroom, the impact of cross-cultural exchange, and more.

Collage of headshots of With Idris Goodwin, Lauren Gunderson, David Henry Hwang, Robert Schenkkan, and Karen Zacarías.
#ENOUGH presents The Inciting Incident: Playwriting in a Moment of Change - Panel Discussion
Video

#ENOUGH presents The Inciting Incident: Playwriting in a Moment of Change - Panel Discussion

With Idris Goodwin, Lauren Gunderson, David Henry Hwang, Robert Schenkkan, and Karen Zacarías

Tuesday 9 June 2020
United States

#ENOUGH: Plays to End Gun Violence presented The Inciting Incident: Playwriting in a Moment of Change - Panel Discussion livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Tuesday 9 June 2020 at 9 a.m. HST (Honolulu, UTC-10) / 11 a.m. AKDT (Juneau, UTC-8) / 12 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 1 p.m. MDT (Denver, UTC-6) / 2 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-5) / 3 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-4).

an actor onstage with a large projection behind her
In Search of Complexities
Essay

In Search of Complexities

Documentary Theatre in Today’s Russia

13 May 2020

Anastasia Patlay talks about creating documentary theatre with the Moscow-based company Teatr.doc.

two actors onstage
On Art and Activism
Essay

On Art and Activism

12 May 2020

Israel Aloni argues that the lack of governmental support for artists has pushed them to pursue activism but contends that art ought to remain independent of the civil-political sphere.

a person sitting at a large filled-in whiteboard
Expanding Where, Why, How, and With Whom Artists in the United States Work
Essay

Expanding Where, Why, How, and With Whom Artists in the United States Work

Invitation for Participatory Research

6 May 2020

Jan Cohen-Cruz invites theatremakers working in community-based and socially engaged art in the United States to take part in research about commonalities across the field, the practices and principles adhered to, where people work and with whom, and more.

multiple brown sticky notes on a white surface
Willing Change in a World of Many Crises
Essay

Willing Change in a World of Many Crises

5 May 2020

Ragnhild Freng Dale questions what it means to talk about theatre, politics, and activism at a time when we all isolate our bodies from those of others.