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Theatre History

There’s so much to be learned from history, and theatre is no exception. If you’re looking to dive into theatre’s past, the Theatre History Podcast is the perfect place to start.

The Latest

Opening the Channel with Masi Asare
Podcast
Opening the Channel with Masi Asare
by Masi Asare, Leticia Ridley, Jordan Ealey
28 February 2024
Towards a Sustainable Theatre Model
Essay
Towards a Sustainable Theatre Model
by Scott Walters, Munroe Shearer
27 February 2024
Can’t Do Theatre by Yourself
Essay
Can’t Do Theatre by Yourself
by Christin Eve Cato, Jorge Piña
23 January 2024
A promotional graphic for Daughters of Lorraine.
Opening the Channel with Masi Asare
Podcast

Opening the Channel with Masi Asare

28 February 2024

Masi Asare is an assistant professor of theater and performance studies at Northwestern University. She is a songwriter and dramatist and also works as a performance scholar specializing in the study of race and vocal sound and musicals. On this episode, hosts Jordan Ealey and Leticia Ridley interview Masi on her experiences as a Black woman working in musical theatre and why Black women’s vocal training is so important. 

A group of people ask questions to a panel.
Towards a Sustainable Theatre Model
Essay

Towards a Sustainable Theatre Model

27 February 2024

Scott Walters, author of Building a Sustainable Theater: How to Remove Gatekeepers and Take Control of Your Artistic Career, sits down with Munroe Shearer to discuss the ways artist-owned theatres can succeed and best serve their communities. 

A man stands with his back to the camera and stares at an empty set on stage.
Can’t Do Theatre by Yourself
Essay

Can’t Do Theatre by Yourself

23 January 2024

Latinx theatremakers Jorge Piña and Christin Eve Cato sit down for a conversation about their paths through the theatre field and their advice for future generations looking to sustain this work while caring for themselves and each other.

A promotional graphic for Daughters of Lorraine.
The Thriving Legacy of Black Theatre: The Making of a Movement
Podcast

The Thriving Legacy of Black Theatre: The Making of a Movement

20 December 2023

Hosts Leticia Ridley and Jordan Ealey discuss Woodie King, Jr.’s 1978 documentary, Black Theatre: The Making of a Movement. They explore the documentary’s different themes, its impact on Black theatre history, and what it means for our present and future. 

A promotional graphic for the Daughters of Lorraine Podcast.
We’ve Got Trouble in Mind
Podcast

We’ve Got Trouble in Mind

29 November 2023

Hosts Jordan Ealey and Leticia Ridley discuss the contributions made by Alice Childress and the historical and contemporary significance of her play, Trouble in Mind, including the filmed 2021 production at the National Theatre in London.

Ten actors link arms with each other during a performance.
Balancing Trauma and Joy While Teaching Queer Theatre History
Essay

Balancing Trauma and Joy While Teaching Queer Theatre History

24 October 2023

Theatre professor John Michael DiResta reflects on teaching queer theatre history to students who have had very different lived queer experiences than he had growing up. By investigating queer theatrical history from a contemporary lens and with an invitation to engage and make something new, his students were able to find the joy in history where they previously only saw trauma.

Daughters of Lorraine Podcast teaser.
The Influence and Impact of the Negro Ensemble Company
Podcast

The Influence and Impact of the Negro Ensemble Company

18 October 2023

This episode focuses on the iconic Negro Ensemble Company (NEC). Hosts Leticia Ridley and Jordan Ealey delve into the NEC’s founding and history, its track record of producing successful Black plays, and its legacy within Black theatre and performance.

Gender Euphoria teaser image featuring guest profile images.
Queer Archival Praxis Roundtable
Podcast

Queer Archival Praxis Roundtable

With Guests David Silvernail, Janet Werther, Victoria Lafave, Jordan Ealey, and Kelli Crump

6 September 2023

What role does white supremacy play in the creation of the queer theatre canon? What power and what responsibility do we—as queer theatremakers, historians, and educators—have to challenge canons and archives that define “queer” almost exclusively as white and cisgender? Artist-scholars Janet Werther, Victoria LaFave, Jordan Ealey, David Silvernail, and Kelli Crump join host Nicolas Shannon Savard to tackle these questions and to queer the archive.

Many multi-colored board game pawns arranged in a circle.
A Revolution in Governance
Essay

A Revolution in Governance

17 May 2023

Jaan Whitehead examines the history of boards in the theatre sector and argues for a better way to approach governance, including through changes to a board’s membership, structure, and values.

Two people standing on a barely lit stage with large photos of faces behind them.
Claim Your Culture, Find Your Power
Essay

Claim Your Culture, Find Your Power

5 May 2023

Jacqueline Flores and Abel López, co-curators of the Latinx Leaders at the Forefront series, discuss their careers, their sense of cultural identity as Latinx theatremakers, and importance of intergenerational dialogue.

From the Ground Up Podcast Teaser image featuring guest profile image.
Looking for Another Way
Podcast

Looking for Another Way

3 May 2023

Playwright and director Karen Malpede joins Jeffrey Mosser to talk about her career and connections from the Open Theater to Theater Three Collaborative, as well as her partner George Bartenieff, an actor and champion for the avant-garde.

On the left, a headshot of Nidia Medina; on the right, a headshot of Jose Luis Valenzuela.
Reflecting the United States Latinx Experience on Stage
Essay

Reflecting the United States Latinx Experience on Stage

2 May 2023

Nidia Medina, associate artistic director of INTAR Theatre, interviews José Luis Valenzuela, artistic director of the Latino Theater Company, about his path into artistic direction, his mentors, and the legacy he has cultivated.

A large group stands on a stage and smiles at the camera.
El Movimiento Continua/The Movement Continues
Essay

El Movimiento Continua/The Movement Continues

1 May 2023

Latinx Theatre Commons producer Jacqueline Flores introduces the Latinx Leaders at the Forefront Series, which amplifies the history and work of Latinx teatros through conversations between established theatremakers with future leaders of the field.

Linda Chapman and Jim Nicola posing for photo.
Linda Chapman and Jim Nicola: Thirty Years at New York Theatre Workshop
Video

Linda Chapman and Jim Nicola: Thirty Years at New York Theatre Workshop

Joined by Jean Passanante and Patricia McGregor and moderated by Frank Hentschker

Thursday 27 April 2023
New York

Join us for an evening celebrating the work of Linda Chapman and James C. Nicola at the legendary New York Theatre Workshop. In their thirty-four-year run, Linda and James, at the 199-seat East Village theatre, gave birth to hundreds of important theatre works including Tony-winning best musicals Rent, Once, and Hadestown, as well as What the Constitution Means to Me and Slave Play.

An illustration of a clothesline with a film strip in front of it.
Making Then Is Now During a Pandemic with Our Chinese Canadian Feminist Elders
Essay

Making Then Is Now During a Pandemic with Our Chinese Canadian Feminist Elders

28 March 2023

Julia Hune-Brown and Keira Loughran discuss crafting Then Is Now, a concept album/video playlist they created through conversations with Chinese Canadian women who grew up in Toronto’s Chinatown during the era of the Chinese Exclusion Act.

A man with glasses looks at something outside of the frame.
Grupo Tapa's Papa Highirte: A Brazilian Masterpiece About Bolsonaro’s Fall
Essay

Grupo Tapa's Papa Highirte: A Brazilian Masterpiece About Bolsonaro’s Fall

14 February 2023

Theatre researcher and journalist Eduardo Campos Lima discusses Grupo Tapa’s production of Papa Highirte and explores the history of the powerful play.

Daughters of Lorraine Podcast teaser.
I Write What Comes Up in My Body: Robbie McCauley's Theatre
Podcast

I Write What Comes Up in My Body: Robbie McCauley's Theatre

24 August 2022

In this episode, Jordan Ealey and Leticia Ridley look at the life and legacy of playwright Robbie McCauley, who recently passed away. They discuss her work as a pioneer of solo performance as a Black woman and how she impacted the world of Black feminist theatre.

Two book covers side by side.
The Anti-War Play to End All War Plays: The Last Days of Mankind, 1922 to 2022
Essay

The Anti-War Play to End All War Plays: The Last Days of Mankind, 1922 to 2022

16 August 2022

Theatremaker Joel Schechter explains the importance of Karl Kraus’s The Last Days of Mankind and why he believes its anti-war message is still relevant today.

Daughter of Lorraine teaser image
When and Where We Enter: Black Feminist Theatre
Podcast

When and Where We Enter: Black Feminist Theatre

20 July 2022

In this episode, Leticia and Jordan finally explain what they mean when they say Black feminism, especially in theatre and performance. They engage Lisa M. Anderson’s tenets of Black feminist drama, alongside other contemporary scholars and artists expansion of Black feminist theatre. They discuss Black feminist theory, black feminist practice in creative work, and black feminist theatre theory.

Daughters of Lorraine Podcast teaser.
Working Her Own Tune: Revisiting the Life, Legacy, and Work of Micki Grant
Podcast

Working Her Own Tune: Revisiting the Life, Legacy, and Work of Micki Grant

6 July 2022

This episode honors the life and work of composer, writer, and performer Micki Grant, who passed away in August 2021. Grant was the first Black woman to write and compose a musical that made it to Broadway, and she is also the subject of Jordan's dissertation.

Creating a Space for Black Theatre Audiences
Podcast

Creating a Space for Black Theatre Audiences

With Addae Moon

29 June 2022

This episode is an interview with Addae Moon, the associate artistic director at Theatrical Outfit in Atlanta, Georgia. We discuss his journey as a theatre artist; his playwright development lab, Hush Harbor Lab; and his own artistry and creativity.

Singin' a Black Girl's Song- Ntozake Shange and for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf
Podcast

Singin' a Black Girl's Song- Ntozake Shange and for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf

22 June 2022

This episode explores the recent revival of Ntozake Shange’s for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf, directed and choreographed by Camille A. Brown. Hosts Leticia Ridley and Jordan Ealey contextualize the production, its ongoing relevance and legacy, and its resonance in Black feminist theatre, dance, and performance.

sepia photo of a man at a desk looking at a paper.
Book Talk: Negotiating Copyright in the American Theatre: 1856-1951
Video

Book Talk: Negotiating Copyright in the American Theatre: 1856-1951

With author and Stanford Center for Law and History Fellow, Brent Salter

Thursday 5 May 2022
United States

The Stanford Center for Law and History and the Department of Theater and Performance Studies, Stanford presented a conversation around the book Negotiating Copyright in the American Theatre: 1856-1951 livestreaming on the commons-based peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Thursday 5 May 2022 at 12:40 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 2:40 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 3:40 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).

A crowd of people watching a makeshift dragon and horse in the street.
Returning to the Streets: Street Theatre in Modern Society
Essay

Returning to the Streets: Street Theatre in Modern Society

26 April 2022

Sebastiano Spinella explores the importance of street theatre and the modern significance it still holds.

Close on the faces of  three actors staring into the camera.
The Fight for the Right to Vote
Essay

The Fight for the Right to Vote

13 January 2022

Carlyle Brown’s Down in Mississippi is a celebration of a movement that gave birth to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Brown sat down with Todd London in October 2020 to discuss the creative process, historical context, and contemporary resonance of his play.