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
After Orlando
Essay

After Orlando

An International Theatre Action

23 September 2016

Blair Baker, Zac Kline, and Caridad Svich discuss how they decided to take action and mobilize artists to create theatre pieces after the Pulse Nightclub shooting.

Learning to Listen
Essay

Learning to Listen

“Political Correctness” and the Question of Socially Responsible Theatre

13 September 2016

Playwright Zoe Kamil writes about casting a play of hers, and the difficult conversations that arose because she didn’t specify the race of certain characters.

Roe and the American Revolutions Cycle at OSF
Essay

Roe and the American Revolutions Cycle at OSF

Dramatic, Present, and Human

10 September 2016

In this cultural moment of divisiveness, how is one of the true stories of abortion theatricalized? Holly Derr considers Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s co-production of Roe by Lisa Loomer. 

Illuminated Histories and Imagined Futures
Essay

Illuminated Histories and Imagined Futures

The 2016 National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, South Africa

9 September 2016

Paul Adolphsen on the 2016 National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, South Africa.

Picture from Pryor Truth.
Black Fringe
Essay

Black Fringe

1 September 2016

Jonathan Mandell on the wealth of offerings of African-American theatre at the twentieth New York International Fringe Festival. 

Afro-Latin@ Theatre Series
Essay

Afro-Latin@ Theatre Series

Actor and Activist Gustavo Melo Cerqueira

15 August 2016

In this installment, Jelisa Jay Robinson profiles Gustavo Melo Cerqueira, a Brazilian arts activist based in Austin, Texas.

Art & Survival 2016 at Double Edge Theatre
Video

Art & Survival 2016 at Double Edge Theatre

Saturday 6 August to Sunday 7 August 2017
Ashfield, MA, United States

Double Edge Theatre in rural Ashfield, Massachusetts presented the gathering Art & Survival 2016 livestreamed on the global, commons-based peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv Saturday 6 August to Sunday 7 August. Share your thoughts with #ArtandSurvival16​ in Twitter @doubleedgethtrFacebook, and Instagram @doubleedgetheatre.

Broadway for Black Lives Matter…and Off-Off Broadway Too
Essay

Broadway for Black Lives Matter…and Off-Off Broadway Too

4 August 2016

Jonathan Mandell on “Broadway for Black Lives Matters,” the Theatre of the Oppressed NYC production of Apprehension, and the role of theatre in protest and human rights movements.

Urban Bush Women’s 2016 Summer Leadership Institute Culminating Performance at LIU Kumble Theater
Video

Urban Bush Women’s 2016 Summer Leadership Institute Culminating Performance at LIU Kumble Theater

Saturday 30 July 2016
Brooklyn, NY, United States

Urban Bush Women presented the 2016 Summer Leadership Institute Culminating Performance addressing the theme You, Me, We: Understanding Internalized Racial Oppression and How it Manifests in Our Artistic Community livestreamed from Kumble Theater at LIU Brooklyn on the global, commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Saturday 30 July at 5 p.m. EDT (New York) / 4 p.m. CDT (Chicago) / 2 p.m. PDT (Los Angeles), and then again at 7:30 p.m. EDT (New York) / 6:30 p.m. CDT (Chicago) / 4:30 p.m. (Los Angeles). In Twitter, share with #howlround

Enter Leviathan
Essay

Enter Leviathan

Staging Moby Dick in the Deep South

20 July 2016

Corey Bradberry’s theme and production considerations for staging Moby Dick for a contemporary audience in the deep South.

Runaways by Elizabeth Swados Four Decades Later
Essay

Runaways by Elizabeth Swados Four Decades Later

7 July 2016

Jonathan Mandell looks at the new production of Runaways, thirty-eight years after the first, and asks: Should a work of theatre allow us to escape from, or force us to engage in, the world?

Unaccompanied Minors Seek Shelter
Essay

Unaccompanied Minors Seek Shelter

28 June 2016

Susan J. Terrio reflects on Marissa Chibas Preston’s new play, Shelter, about journey of unaccompanied minors from Mexico to the US, directed by Martin Acosta.

The 2016 TCG National Conference: Theatre Nation
Video

The 2016 TCG National Conference: Theatre Nation

Thursday 23 June to Saturday 25 June 2016
Washington, D.C., United States

Theatre Communications Group presented the 2016 TCG National Conference: Theatre Nation (ASL-interpreted) livestreamed on the global, commons-based peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv Thursday 23 June to Saturday 25 June. Share your thoughts and media with hashtags #TCG16 and #howlround in all social media platforms. Follow @TCG and @HowlRoundTV in Twitter for updates.

The Art of Change
Essay

The Art of Change

REMAP Bay Area and Future Aesthetics

18 June 2016

Laura Brueckner reports on the recent Arts in a Changing America’s REMAP Bay Area convening.

Thunder in Blunderland
Essay

Thunder in Blunderland

10 June 2016

Rob Orchard writes about Robert Brustein’s career of writing political theatre, and shares an audio recording of a new satirical skit.

The Edwin Booth Award: Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir
Video

The Edwin Booth Award: Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir

Monday 9 May 2016
New York, NY, United States

The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center in New York City presented Reverend Billy & The Stop Shopping Choir—the winner of this year’s Edwin Booth Award—livestreamed on the global, commons-based peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Monday 9 May at 3:30 p.m. PDT (Los Angeles) / 5:30 p.m. CDT (Chicago) / 6:30 p.m. EDT (New York). On Twitter use #HowlRound.

A New Hope for Wayang Kulit
Essay

A New Hope for Wayang Kulit

Peperangan Bintang Re-Awakens Tradition

9 May 2016

Jenna Gerdsen on a reinvention of wayang kulit—the ancient Southeast Asian puppet theatre form.

DC’s Ambassador Theater Takes on Dario Fo’s They Don’t Pay? We Won’t Pay!
Essay

DC’s Ambassador Theater Takes on Dario Fo’s They Don’t Pay? We Won’t Pay!

3 May 2016

Patricia Davis on Ambassador Theater’s production of They Don’t Pay? We Won’t Pay! by Dario Fo in Washington, DC.

Performance of The Most [Blank] City in America
Video

Performance of The Most [Blank] City in America

Sunday 1 May 2016
Flint, MI, United States

Flint Youth Theatre in Flint, Michigan presented a performance of The Most [Blank] City in America livestreamed on the global, commons-based peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Sunday 1 May at 2 p.m. EDT (New York) / 1 p.m. CDT (Chicago) / 11 a.m. PDT (Los Angeles) / 18:00 GMT / 7 p.m. BST (London). In Twitter, use #howlround and follow @howlroundtv.

Claiming Your Space: a Conversation about Writing and Performing Identity with Cuban-American Performer/Playwrights Marissa Chibas and Melinda Lopez
Video

Claiming Your Space: a Conversation about Writing and Performing Identity with Cuban-American Performer/Playwrights Marissa Chibas and Melinda Lopez

Saturday 30 April 2016
Boston, MA, United States

ArtChangeUS@ArtsEmerson, and HowlRound presented Claiming Your Space—a conversation about writing and performing identity with acclaimed performer/playwrights Marissa Chibas and Melinda Lopez moderated by Dr. P. Carl livestreamed from Boston on the global, commons-based peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv Saturday 30 April at 4 p.m. EDT (New York) / 3 p.m. CDT (Chicago) / 1 p.m. PDT (Los Angeles) / 20:00 GMT / 9 p.m. BST (London). In Twitter, use #howlround and follow @howlroundtv

The REMAP: BAY AREA Conference with Arts in a Changing America
Video

The REMAP: BAY AREA Conference with Arts in a Changing America

Friday and Saturday, 15-16 April 2016
Bay Area, CA, United States

ArtChangeUS: Arts in a Changing America presented REMAP Bay Area livestreamed on the global, commons based peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Friday and Saturday, 15-16 April 2016. See the livestream schedule below. In Twitter, use hashtags #ArtChangeUS and #HowlRound. Follow @ArtChangeUS and @HowlRoundTV.

Meta
Essay

Meta

A Quiet Theatrical Revolution

14 April 2016

verity healey on Cardboard Citizens’ Meta in London, England, and theatre for social change. 

Could A Play Stop A Demagogue? Theatre and Electoral Politics
Essay

Could A Play Stop A Demagogue? Theatre and Electoral Politics

7 April 2016

Have jokey depictions of elections on stage and screen helped cause a joke of a real-life presidential campaign?  Jonathan Mandell visits two experimental theatre projects that are tackling this year’s presidential election in serious and intriguing ways.

Discussion: Arts/Culture: Social Justice and Social Change in relation to Indigenous Communities 
Video

Discussion: Arts/Culture: Social Justice and Social Change in relation to Indigenous Communities 

Safe Harbors Indigenous Arts/Theater Collective, La MaMa, and CultureHub

Wednesday 6 April 2016
New York, NY, United States

La MaMa in New York City presented Safe Harbors Indigenous Arts/Theater Collective at Culturehub's Arts/Culture: Social Justice and Social Change discussion livestreamed on the global, commons-based peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Wednesday 6 April at 12:30 p.m.-5 p.m. EDT (New York) / 11:30 p.m.-4 p.m. CDT (Chicago) / 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m. MDT (Alberta) / 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. PDT (Vancouver) / 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. AKDT (Alaska) / 6:30 a.m.-11 a.m. HAST (Hawaii) / 16:30-21:00 GMT / 5:30 p.m.-10 p.m. BST (London) / 18:30-23:00 CEST (Brussels). On Twitter, use #howlround and follow @LaMamaETC@CultureHubNYC, and @HowlRoundTV

Making Theatre in the Season of Trump
Essay

Making Theatre in the Season of Trump

3 April 2016

Marshall Botvinick contemplates how the theatre community can respond to Donald Trump’s political rise.