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
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.

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.

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.

Six Hundred and Ninety-Two Million
Essay

Six Hundred and Ninety-Two Million

On Art, Ethics, and Activism

22 October 2016

Theatre practitioner Caridad Svich on art and activism and After Orlando.

Every 28 Hours Play Festival
Video

Every 28 Hours Play Festival

Tuesday 18 October and Wednesday 19 October 2016
Bay Area, CA, United States

Every 28 Hours at A.C.T. and Berkeley Rep livestreamed on the global, commons-based peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv Tuesday 18 October and Wednesday 19 October at 10:00 p.m. EDT (New York) / 9:00 p.m. CDT (Chicago) / 7:00 p.m. PDT (Los Angeles). Follow @HowlRoundTV on Twitter and share your thoughts with #howlround.

Theatre History Podcast # 9
Podcast

Theatre History Podcast # 9

Theatre of Cruelty on Michigan Avenue: Dr. Susanne Shawyer on Street Theatre and 1968

17 October 2016

Michael Lueger talks with Dr. Susanne Shawyer of Elon University about the Democratic National Convention of 1968 and Theatre of Cruelty.

Performance of Burning Doors by Belarus Free Theatre with Pussy Riot's Maria Alyokhina
Video

Performance of Burning Doors by Belarus Free Theatre with Pussy Riot's Maria Alyokhina

Wednesday 12 October 2016
Machester, UK

Belarus Free Theatre presented Burning Doors with Pussy Riot's Maria Alyokhina livestreamed from Contact in Manchester, UK on the global, commons-based peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv Wednesday 12 October at 12 p.m. PDT (Los Angeles) / 2 p.m. CDT (Chicago) / 3 p.m. EDT (New York) / 19:00 UTC/GMT / 8 p.m. BST (London) / 21:00 CEST (Berlin) / 22:00 MSK/EEST (Minsk, Moscow, Beirut). On Twitter, follow @HowlRoundTV@BFreeTheatre, and use #BurningDoors to share your thoughts. Watch the livestream here on HowlRound.TV or on the Belarus Free Theatre's livestream webpage.

Dance the Vote
Essay

Dance the Vote

On Rapid Response, Performance, the Election, and Civic Engagement

11 October 2016

Artistic Director Joan Lipkin discusses the inspiration and process for “Dance the Vote,” a voting registration campaign in St. Louis, Missouri that included performances by local artists. 

Politics and Theatre
Essay

Politics and Theatre

Does Each Serve the Other? Presidential Candidates on Stage

6 October 2016

Jonathan Mandell looks at some recent plays that explore this wackiest of election seasons in novel ways, and asks: Is mockery proper...or even possible?

It Can Happen Here
Essay

It Can Happen Here

5 October 2016

David Dower talks with Tony Taccone about his adaptation of It Can’t Happen Here at Berkeley Rep, and what it means for an institution to program a new work that speaks directly to our present moment.

Theatre History Podcast # 7
Podcast

Theatre History Podcast # 7

Getting (Politically) Radical with Amy Brady

3 October 2016

Michael Lueger kicks off a month of interviews about political theatre by talking with Amy Brady about the Federal Theatre Project.

BITEF and Cultural Diplomacy: Theatre Festivals and Geopolitics
Video

BITEF and Cultural Diplomacy: Theatre Festivals and Geopolitics

Saturday 1 October - Sunday 2 October 2016
Belgrade, Serbia

The Conference BITEF and Cultural Diplomacy: Theatre Festivals and Geopolitics livestreamed on the global, commons-based peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv Saturday 1 October and Sunday 2 October from Belgrade, Serbia. In Twitter, follow @howlroundtv@Biteffestival, and use #howlround#bitef. The conference is a collaborative project of the BITEF Festival and UNESCO Chair in Cultural Policy and Management of the University of Arts in Belgrade, Serbia.

Intermittence
Essay

Intermittence

A Circuit of Theatrical Desires

30 September 2016

Writer and performer Oscar Lozano reports on the artistic and labor movement in France among theatre professionals and in doing so considers the public theatre, social performance, and the role of intermittents (contract and short-term creative professionals) in the global Occupy protests.

Speedo Activism
Essay

Speedo Activism

Intimacy and the Aesthetics of Resistance

26 September 2016

Priscilla Page on Ricardo Gamboa and Sean James William Parris’ Space Age at Free Street Theater in Chicago, Illinois.