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
What is the Role of the Artist/Arts Presenter in a Community in Crisis?
Essay

What is the Role of the Artist/Arts Presenter in a Community in Crisis?

26 March 2016

Paul S. Flores traces the path to creating and touring his play PLACAS through community engagment with acknowedgment and palabra, and offers suggestions to supporting peace within extremely marginalized communities in conflict when making theater.

Socially Engaged Performance
Video

Socially Engaged Performance

A Global Conversation

Sunday 13 March 2016
New York City, NY, United States

La MaMa and Theatre Without Borders presented a one-day international convening Socially Engaged Performance: A Global Conversation livestreamed on the global, commons-based peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Sunday 13 March at 7 a.m. PDT (Los Angeles) / 10 a.m. EDT (New York) / 14:00 GMT (London) / 15:00 CET (Berlin) / 16:00 EET (Ramallah / Johannesburg) / 19:30 IST (New Delhi) / 22:00 SGT (Singapore) / 23:00 KST (Seoul / Tokyo). In Twitter, tweet your comments and questions @_TWB_ and use hashtag #howlround. Additionally follow @HowlRoundTV for updates.

Another Word for Beauty
Essay

Another Word for Beauty

Finding Freedom in The Moment

10 March 2016

David Dudley on The Goodman Theatre production of José Rivera’s Another Word for Beauty, directed by Steve Cosson in Chicago, Illinois.

In Praise of The Civilians at Fifteen
Essay

In Praise of The Civilians at Fifteen

3 March 2016

Jonathan Mandell writes about the work of The Civilians, which he says "may be the most vibrant socially conscious, avant-garde, investigative theatre company in the country."

From Gaza, with Love
Essay

From Gaza, with Love

25 February 2016

Patricia Davis on Mosaic Theatre's US premiere in Washington, D.C. of I Shall Not Hate, based on the life of Palestinian doctor Izzeldin Abuelaish.

The Ellen Stewart International Award for Social Change
Video

The Ellen Stewart International Award for Social Change

Wednesday 24 February 2016
New York City, NY, United States

ITI (International Theatre Institute)La MaMa New York and Italy, and the Spoleto Festival of 2 Worlds presented the award ceremony for the Ellen Stewart International Award for social change livestreamed on the commons-based peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Wednesday 24 February at 6 p.m. EST (New York) / 5 p.m. CST (Chicago) / 3 p.m. PST (Los Angeles) / 23:00 GMT (London) / 00:00 CET (Rome). Livestream operated by CultureHub. In Twitter, follow @HowlRoundTV and use #howlround.

Ay, Carmela! Divided Politics for the Ages
Essay

Ay, Carmela! Divided Politics for the Ages

18 February 2016

Carlos Morton on the recent Los Angeles production of José Sanchis Sinisterra’s Ay Carmela

Public Perceptions of Islam in Post-9/11 America panel
Video

Public Perceptions of Islam in Post-9/11 America panel

With Ayad Akhtar, Pulitzer Prize-winning Playwright of Disgraced

Monday 15 February 2016
St. Louis, MO, United States

The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis presented the panel discussion Public Perceptions of Islam in Post-9/11 America livestreamed on the global, commons-based peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Monday 15 February at 8:30 p.m. EST (New York) / 7:30 p.m. CST (Chicago) / 5:30 p.m. PST (Los Angeles). In Twitter, follow @howlroundtv and use hashtag #howlround

The Crucible Returns and We’re Still Pointing Fingers
Essay

The Crucible Returns and We’re Still Pointing Fingers

12 February 2016

Billy McEntee traces the social history connected to Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, which premiered on Broadway in 1953 during the height of McCarthyism.

BODY & SOLD
Essay

BODY & SOLD

Playwright Deborah Lake Fortson Addresses the Teenage Sex Trafficking Crisis

5 February 2016

Charlotte Meehan and Adara Meyers sit down with playwrights Deborah Lake Fortson and Amy Merrill, director Robbie McCauley, and law enforcement and community stakeholders to talk about youth sex trafficking and The BODY & SOLD Project.

Puppets and Politics in South Africa
Essay

Puppets and Politics in South Africa

29 January 2016

Josh Williams discusses the Barrydale Reconciliation Day Puppet Parade and its socio-political impact in contemporary South Africa.

Lynn Nottage Talks Research, Collaboration, and the Fracturing of America
Essay

Lynn Nottage Talks Research, Collaboration, and the Fracturing of America

28 January 2016

Holly Derr speaks with Lynn Nottage about her new play Sweat, a co-commission of Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Arena Stage, currently playing in Washington, DC.

Power vs. Truth in Belarus Free Theatre’s Being Harold Pinter
Essay

Power vs. Truth in Belarus Free Theatre’s Being Harold Pinter

21 January 2016

verity healey reviews Belarus Free Theatre’s Being Harold Pinter at the Young Vic in London, England.

27th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration
Video

27th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration

Monday 18 January 2016
Ashland, OR, United States

Join community members for Ashland, Oregon's 27th annual Martin Luther King Jr., Holiday Celebration featuring music, spoken word, and dance. Keynote speakers: Mildred Ruiz-Sapp and Steven Sapp of UNIVERSES—livestreamed on the global, commons-based HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv Monday 18 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). Follow the live-tweeting @AshlandMLKDay, and use #SOMLK.

Theatre and Social Justice
Essay

Theatre and Social Justice

Everything Has to Come Out of Session

16 January 2016

Martha Steketee talks with Associate Artistic Director Estelle Parsons about a public series on social justice that has been created out of Actors Studio session work.

The Artists of Change: Conversations with the Ford Fellows
Video

The Artists of Change: Conversations with the Ford Fellows

Friday 15 January 2016.

As a culmination of the Art of Change initiative, the Ford Foundation is hosting The Artists of Change: Conversations with the Ford Fellows livestreamed on the global, commons based peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Friday 15 January. On Twitter, use #ArtOfChange and follow @HowlRoundTV. To submit questions to the Fellows, follow @FordFoundation and look out for the prompts.

Workshop on Art and Social Engagement at the Ford Foundation’s Art of Change
Video

Workshop on Art and Social Engagement at the Ford Foundation’s Art of Change

Tuesday 6 January 2016
New York City, NY, United States

Ford Foundation’s Art of Change initiative livestreamed an inter-generational workshop on art and social engagement Tuesday 6 January 2016. In Twitter, use #ArtOfChange and follow @HowlRoundTV.

Staging the Anti-Immigrant Hysteria
Essay

Staging the Anti-Immigrant Hysteria

20 December 2015

José Torres-Tama writes about the development of Aliens, Immigrants & Other Evildoers, a sci-fi Latino noir performance about the Latino immigration experience.

My America Too; New Civil Rights Panel Discussion at Center Stage
Video

My America Too; New Civil Rights Panel Discussion at Center Stage

Sunday 13 December 2015
Baltimore, MD, United States

Center Stage in Baltimore, Maryland presented a panel discussion about new civil rights in conjunction with My America Toolivestreamed on the global, commons-based peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv Sunday 13 December at 22:30 GMT (London) / 5:30 p.m. EST (New York) / 4:30 p.m. CST (Chicago) / 2:30 p.m. PST (Pacific). To participate in conversation, direct your comments on Twitter to @centerstage_md and use hashtag #AskMyA2.

My “One Thing”
Essay

My “One Thing”

Achieving Gender Parity through Legislation

3 December 2015

Citizen-artist Yvette Heyliger discusses the aftermath of her petition and advocates a call to action for gender parity legislation.

Invisible Thread
Essay

Invisible Thread

Turning Well-Meaning into Well-Done

3 December 2015

Jonathan Mandell reviews the Second Stage production of Invisible Thread, a musical based on the real-life experience of theatre artists Matt Gould and Griffin Matthews creating a charity in Uganda.

Steel Hammer
Essay

Steel Hammer

A Living Cubist Portrait of John Henry

1 December 2015

David Dudley reflects on Steel Hammer and the John Henry myth, at the Krannert Center in Urbana, Illinois.

Complex Movements’ Beware of the Dandelions
Essay

Complex Movements’ Beware of the Dandelions

19 November 2015

Jeff Chang on Detroit-based Complex Movements’ Beware of the Dandelions, a narrative, concert, visual installation, architectural piece, and convening space to distribute revolutionary ideas and activate creative ecosystems and economies of change. 

Discussion of Political Correctness in Comedy
Video

Discussion of Political Correctness in Comedy

Friday 13 November 2015
Boston, MA, United States

Emerson College presented the panel discussion Comedy and Campus Culture livestreamed on the global, commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Friday 13 November at 11 a.m. PST (Los Angeles) / 1 p.m. CST (Chicago) / 2 p.m. EST (Boston) / 7 p.m. GMT (London) / 8 p.m. CET (Amsterdam). Submit your questions for the panel via email to comedy@emerson.edu. In Twitter, Follow @ECSoArts@HowlRoundTV, and use hashtag #howlround.

Performances in the Temps d’Images Festival / Independent Performing Arts Platform
Video

Performances in the Temps d’Images Festival / Independent Performing Arts Platform

Thursday 12 November - Saturday 14 November 2015
Cluj, Romania

Temps d’Images Festival / Independent Performing Arts Platform in Cluj, Romania presented She’s a Good Boy by Compania 28, Cunthate [ură] by BÉZNĂ Theatre, and Domestic Products livestreamed on the global, commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv Thursday 12 November to Saturday 14 November. In Twitter, use #howlround and follow @HowlRoundTV