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
Theatre after Obama (or with Trump)
Essay

Theatre after Obama (or with Trump)

5 February 2017

Harvey Young, chair of Northwestern University’s theatre department, looks at how American theatre has responded to a rise in conservativism to forecast not only what may appear on the horizon but also to anticipate a renewed attention to political/activist theatre following the 2016 election.

Staging a Conflict
Essay

Staging a Conflict

Israel, Palestine, and the American Theatre

5 February 2017

Jamil Khoury writes about curating a series of six staged readings about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and that power of theatre to speak to controversial issues.

When Family Inspires Political Protest Art
Essay

When Family Inspires Political Protest Art

4 February 2017

Bryn Boice writes about how a rift with her father led her to begin work on a devised piece called I, Snowflake.

Absurd is “the new Normal” in 2017
Essay

Absurd is “the new Normal” in 2017

Interview with Tina Brock, artistic director of IRC, Philadelphia’s only surreal theatre

3 February 2017

Henrik Eger interviews Tina Brock about how her company is responding to the current political climate in the US, and what she feels that absurdist theatre has to offer.

China on Stage
Essay

China on Stage

3 February 2017

Jonathan Mandell digs into three recent productions in New York City—Made in ChinaConfucius, and Caught—that explore US-China relations.

Philoctetes in Jerusalem
Essay

Philoctetes in Jerusalem

The Cost of Growing Up a Soldier

31 January 2017

Abraham Benson-Goldberg discusses Khan Theatre’s production of Philoctetes, examining the intersections of young soldiers, heroism, war, and politics.

Absurdist Theatre and Resistance
Essay

Absurdist Theatre and Resistance

27 January 2017

Edward Einhorn discusses the relevance of absurdist theatre.

Calling All Bad Hombres and Nasty Women for a Nation-wide Day of Performance Protest
Essay

Calling All Bad Hombres and Nasty Women for a Nation-wide Day of Performance Protest

20 January 2017

Sara Warner interviews performance artists Holly Hughes and Lois Weaver and social media coordinator Mary Jo Watts about their initiative Not My Presidents’ Day.

Staged Resistance
Essay

Staged Resistance

19 January 2017

On the eve of the inauguration of Donald J. Trump, Jonathan Mandell looks at how the political resistance of theatre artists is playing out on and off stage in New York.

The 28th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Celebration
Video

The 28th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Celebration

Monday 16 January 2017
Ashland, OR, United States

Celebrate with our community! Ashland, Oregon’s 28th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Celebration features music, spoken word, and dance livestreamed on the global, commons-based HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv Monday 16 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).

What Comes Next?
Essay

What Comes Next?

Theatre and Posttraumatic Growth After the 2016 Election

4 January 2017

Emily White writes about how her research on posttraumatic growth informs her belief that theatre can be an important tool to help America unite and heal.

American Theatre and Palestine
Essay

American Theatre and Palestine

21 December 2016

Gary English, artistic associate at The Freedom Theatre on the West Bank in the Jenin refugee camp, discusses the complications of presenting work on the Palestinian/Israeli conflict in the US.

How to Cure a Plague
Essay

How to Cure a Plague

21 December 2016

Matthew Minnicino discusses what canonical works of theatre we can turn to in light of the current political situation in the US.

Kitchen Theatre
Essay

Kitchen Theatre

Space for Grief, Community, and Activism

20 December 2016

Rachel E. Diken on Aglio e Olio, a “kitchen theatre” piece written and performed by Meg Persichetti and produced and directed by Laura Gilkey in Maplewood, New Jersey.

Where Are the Disappeared Women of the Theatre?
Essay

Where Are the Disappeared Women of the Theatre?

17 December 2016

Rachel Spencer Hewitt talks to members of Mothers Artists Makers, a collective of feminist mothers in Irish theatre with children.

Artistic Identity in the Age of Fascism (or
Essay

Artistic Identity in the Age of Fascism (or

You don’t bring nuance to an iron fistfight)

3 December 2016

Playwright Abbey Fenbert on the new mandate for theatre artists.

The Trump Effect
Essay

The Trump Effect

1 December 2016

Jonathan Mandell asks how perceptions of theatre have changed since November 8 and if and how theatre itself will change as a result of the new regime.

Radical Theatre in Poland
Essay

Radical Theatre in Poland

27 November 2016

Brian Hashimoto travels to Poland and reports on the 2016 Malta Festival.

Party Planning
Essay

Party Planning

The Jubilee Answers Questions, Gives Advice, and Asks for Help

14 November 2016

One year into organizing, the Committee of the Jubilee reports out on progress, answers common questions, and re-extends an invitation to the American Theatre to join the year-long nationwide festival of 2020.

Every 28 Hours at Faultline Theater in San Francisco
Video

Every 28 Hours at Faultline Theater in San Francisco

Thursday 10 November 2016
San Francisco, CA, United States

FaultLine Theater in collaboration with American Conservatory TheaterCampo SantoCrowded Fire Theater, and Lorraine Hansberry Theatre presented Every 28 Hours, livestreamed on HowlRound TV network on howlround.tv on Thursday 10 November at 7:30 PDT (San Francisco) 9:30 p.m. CDT (Chicago) / 10:30 p.m. EDT (New York) / 26:30 GMT / 3:30 a.m. BST (London).

Death and Disenfranchisement
Essay

Death and Disenfranchisement

Anna Deavere Smith’s Notes from the Field

8 November 2016

Jonathan Mandell reviews Anna Deavere Smith’s latest solo performance piece, which presents seventeen real-life characters to establish a connection between school failure, the prison system, and police killings.

The Legacy of Judith Malina and Julian Beck with The Living Theatre
Video

The Legacy of Judith Malina and Julian Beck with The Living Theatre

Monday 7 November 2016
New York City, NY, United States

Martin E. Segal Theatre Center in New York City presented the panel discussion The Legacy of Judith Malina and Julian Beck with The Living Theatr​e livestreamed on the global, commons-based peer-produced HowlRound TV at howlround.tv Monday 7 November at 6:30 p.m. EST (New York) / 3:30 p.m. PST (Los Angeles) / 5:30 p.m. CST (Chicago) / 10:30 p.m. GMT/UTC (London) / 23:30 CET (Berlin). Share your thoughts in Twitter with#howlround, and follow @HowlRoundTV for update

A Performance of Ballot Eats the Bullet
Video

A Performance of Ballot Eats the Bullet

Friday 4 November 2016
Austin, TX, United States

The VORTEX in Austin, Texas presented Ballot Eats the Bullet—6 black women set out to honor the beauty and complexities, heal the trauma, and highlight the joy of what it means to be a black woman in America today, livestreamed on the global, commons-based peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv Friday 4 November at 9 p.m. EDT (New York) / 8 p.m. CDT (Chicago) / 6 p.m. PDT (Los Angeles). Share your thoughts on Twitter and Instagram with #howlround

Seeking Dialogue and Change
Essay

Seeking Dialogue and Change

Objectively/Reasonable Explores the Shooting of Tamir Rice

4 November 2016

Yuko Kurahashi on Playwrights Local’s documentary show about the Tamir Rice shooting at the Creative Space at Waterloo Arts in Cleveland, Ohio.

Theatre History Podcast # 10
Podcast

Theatre History Podcast # 10

Sizwe Banzi Is Dead and the Legacy of Anti-Apartheid Theatre

24 October 2016

Michael Lueger talks with Dr. Gibson Cima of Georgetown University about Sizwe Banzi Is Dead, it’s collaborators, and it’s lasting impact on South African political theatre.