Social Justice & Political Theatre

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

The Latest

Livestreaming a Conversation: The Living Presence of Our History: Part III
Event

Livestreaming a Conversation: The Living Presence of Our History: Part III

Healing and reparations through the Land Back movement: a conversation on indigenous land tenure, stewardship, and access

Sunday 21 March 2021
United States
Using Critical Fabulation for History-Based Playwriting
Essay

Using Critical Fabulation for History-Based Playwriting

by Calley N. Anderson, Holly L. Derr
3 March 2021
GLOD: Political Theatre as Womxn's Right
Video

GLOD: Political Theatre as Womxn's Right

Performance followed by a panel discussion

Monday 8 March 2021
United Kingdom
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.

two actors onstage
The Power of Transcripts
Essay

The Power of Transcripts

Waterwell and Immigration

22 April 2020

Lee Sunday Evans, the artistic director of New York City’s Waterwell, discusses the power of transcripts in performance, the topics of immigration and deportation, and the urgent attention that needs to be paid to the United States border right now.

hand sanitizer labeled "don't touch the art"
It Was Always Possible: Centering the Leaders Who Were Here All Along (ASL & Captioned)
Video

It Was Always Possible: Centering the Leaders Who Were Here All Along (ASL & Captioned)

an #ArtistResource talk with Rachel Spencer Hewitt (PAAL); Claudia Alick (CallingUP); Ashley Hanson (Department of Public Transformation); and more

Tuesday 7 April 2020
United States

Livestreaming the #ArtistResource panel It Was Always Possible: Centering the Leaders Who Were Here All Along (ASL & Captioned) on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Tuesday 7 April 2020 at 8 a.m. HST (Honolulu, UST-10) / 10 a.m. AKDT (Juneau, UTC-8) / 11 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 1 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-5) / 2 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-4).

colored earth with text unsettling dramaturgies
Praxis Sessions for Virtual Collaboration: Land Acknowledgements
Video

Praxis Sessions for Virtual Collaboration: Land Acknowledgements

hosted by Unsettling Dramaturgy: Crip & Indigenous Dramaturgies ​​​​​​

Tuesday 31 March 2020
United States

Unsettling Dramaturgy presented Praxis Sessions for Virtual Collaboration: Land Acknowledgements livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Tuesday 31 March 2020 at 2 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 4 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-5) / 5 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-4).

building against blue sky with red text poetry electric
Poetry Electric: Powerful Words/Powerful Women
Video

Poetry Electric: Powerful Words/Powerful Women

at La MaMa Experimental Theater in New York City

Monday 23 March 2020
New York City

La MaMa Experimental Theater and CultureHub presented Poetry Electric: Powerful Words/Powerful Women livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Monday 23 March 2020 at 4:30 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 6:30 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-5) / 7:30 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-4).

there must be happy endings book cover with black paintbrush strokes
Megan Sandberg-Zakian in conversation with Melinda Lopez
Video

Megan Sandberg-Zakian in conversation with Melinda Lopez

at Brookline Booksmith in Boston, Massachusetts

Monday 23 March 2020
Boston, Massachusetts

Brookline Booksmiths presented Megan Sandberg-Zakian in conversation with Melinda Lopez livestreaming on the global, commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Monday 23 March 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).

yellow background with black re-fest text
Re-Fest NYC
Video

Re-Fest NYC

CultureHub’s annual festival brings artists, activists, and technologists together to envision our role in re-shaping the future

Thursday 12 March - Saturday 14 March 2020
New York City

CultureHub presented their annual festival Re-Fest livestreaming on the commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Thursday 12 March to Saturday 14 March 2020.

graphics of feminine heads with text good friday
A performance of the Texas premiere of Kristiana Rae Colón’s good friday
Video

A performance of the Texas premiere of Kristiana Rae Colón’s good friday

at the VORTEX in Austin, Texas

Friday 6 March 2020
Austin, Texas

The VORTEX and New Manifest Theatre Company presented the Texas premiere of Kristiana Rae Colón’s timely drama good friday, featuring an all-female cast and design team, livestreaming on the commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network on Friday 6 March 2020 at 9 p.m. EST (New York, UTC-8) / 8 p.m. CST (Chicago, UTC-7) / 6 p.m. PST (Los Angeles, UTC-5).

WELCOME TO OUR SPACE? A Town Hall on Audience Interactions
Video

WELCOME TO OUR SPACE? A Town Hall on Audience Interactions

at Aurora Theatre Company in Berkeley, California

Monday 2 March 2020
Berkeley, California

The Aurora Theatre Company presented WELCOME TO OUR SPACE? A Town Hall on Audience Interactions livestreamed on the global, commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Monday 2 March 2020 at 7 p.m. PST (San Francisco, UTC-8) / 9 p.m. CST (Chicago, UTC-6) / 10 p.m. EST (New York, UTC-5).

three people writing on a large circular paper hanging on a wall
Visual Storytelling in Socially Engaged Performance
Essay

Visual Storytelling in Socially Engaged Performance

26 February 2020

Irina Kruzhilina discusses the importance of visuals as a means of expression in politically and socially engaged theatre.

collage of close-up body images, including hands and feet
Gasping Whiteness and New Play Development Inspired by Community Organizing
Essay

Gasping Whiteness and New Play Development Inspired by Community Organizing

25 February 2020

Through the lens of developing his show Gasping Whiteness, Will MacAdams talks about the value of creating theatre in partnership with community organizers.

actor holding money against yellow background
A performance of The Hands That Feed You by Annie Danger
Video

A performance of The Hands That Feed You by Annie Danger

at the VORTEX in Austin, Texas

Thursday 13 February 2020
Austin, Texas

The VORTEX presented the debut of Annie Danger’s new work, The Hands That Feed You, livestreamed on the commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network on Thursday 13 February 2020 at 9 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-8) / 8 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-7) / 6 p.m. PDT (Los Angeles, UTC-5).

three actors onstage
Moving Towards a Migratory Dramaturgy
Essay

Moving Towards a Migratory Dramaturgy

11 February 2020

Devika Ranjan talks about the ways in which migration can influence performance structures, what she has identified as “migratory dramaturgy.”

three actors onstage
Roma Futurism and the Future of Roma Theatre
Essay

Roma Futurism and the Future of Roma Theatre

An Interview with Mihaela Drăgan

10 February 2020

HowlRound’s director, Jamie Gahlon, talks with theatremaker Mihaela Drăgan about contemporary Roma theatre and the artistic movement Roma Futurism.

three actors onstage
Stories from America’s Death Row
Essay

Stories from America’s Death Row

A Conversation with Lynden Harris

29 January 2020

Summer Robinson interviews playwright Lynden Harris about her work creating theatre with men on death row across the United States.

two performers in red costumes with a backdrop of the moon.
"French and Yet Never French Enough" / « Français, mais jamais assez français »
Essay

"French and Yet Never French Enough" / « Français, mais jamais assez français »

Caribbean Playwrights Challenge the Monolith of French Identity / Les dramaturges caribéens disputent l’identité française monolithique

13 January 2020

Amelia Parenteau discusses the Actions Caribéennes Théâtrales festival, which brought together francophones, francophiles, and theatre folks from around the world to witness staged readings of six French Caribbean plays in English translation. / Amelia Parenteau parle du festival Actions Caribéennes Théâtrales (ACT), qui a rassemblé des francophones, francophiles et gens de théâtre de partout dans le monde pour assister aux lectures publiques de six pièces franco-caribéennes traduites en anglais.

an actor swinging above stage
Slovakia Searches for Itself at the International Theatre Festival Divadelná Nitra
Essay

Slovakia Searches for Itself at the International Theatre Festival Divadelná Nitra

15 December 2019

Kirsten Bowen reflects on Slovakia’s 2019 International Theatre Festival Divadelná Nitra, which was programmed based on the theme “faces of freedom.”

woman with flowers and branches titled The Weeping Woman's Contrived Posture
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 National Performance Network presents their 2019 Annual Conference livestreaming from New Orleans on the global, commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv from Tuesday 10 December to Friday 13 December 2019.

four actors onstage
Storytelling as an Act of Survival
Essay

Storytelling as an Act of Survival

The Tradition of Hakawati and its Influence on We Live in Cairo

10 December 2019

Lama El Homaïssi reflects on her experience working with American Repertory Theater on their musical We Live in Cairo, diving into representation in storytelling, the oral Hakawati tradition, and more.

HowlRound Twitter Chat
Event

HowlRound Twitter Chat

Theatre's Response to Global Colonization and Occupation 

26 November 2019
Twitter

Theatremakers, companies, institutions, and communities: How are you responding to the history and present reality of colonization and occupation around the world?

a large group of protesters with a Chilean flag
Theatremaking During Political Crisis
Essay

Theatremaking During Political Crisis

A Conversation with Chilean Playwright Guillermo Calderón

19 November 2019

ArtsEmerson Artistic Director David Dower speaks with Chilean playwright Guillermo Calderón about the ongoing protests in Chile.

an actor onstage
How the way she spoke Resuscitated the Power of Storytelling Through Minimalism
Essay

How the way she spoke Resuscitated the Power of Storytelling Through Minimalism

10 November 2019

Sean Anthony Chia examines the impact of a powerful story—one without spectacle—through the lens of Isaac Gomez’s the way she spoke.

a group of performers outside
Theatre for Development in Malawi
Essay

Theatre for Development in Malawi

5 November 2019

Isaac Mafuel talks about Malawi’s most prevalent form of theatre, its history, and its impact and challenges.