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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

Passing Into History
Essay
Passing Into History
Dr. Megan Sanborn Jones on Pageants and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
by Michael Lueger
13 October 2021
Learning About the History — and Future — of Stand-up Comedy
Podcast
Learning About the History — and Future — of Stand-up Comedy
With Rachel Blackburn
by Michael Lueger
29 September 2021
Iranian Blackface Clowns are Racist, No Matter How You Sugarcoat Them in Obscure Archaic Mythology
Essay
Iranian Blackface Clowns are Racist, No Matter How You Sugarcoat Them in Obscure Archaic Mythology
A Fragmented Argument in Five Acts
by Hesam Sharifian
10 May 2021
Passing Into History
Essay

Passing Into History

Dr. Megan Sanborn Jones on Pageants and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

13 October 2021

In this week’s Theatre History Podcast, Dr. Megan Sanborn Jones discusses the history of Mormons in theatre and the pageant tradition in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Through her deep research on these pageants, Dr. Jones explores the unique fusion of faith, history, and performance in Mormon pageantry.

Learning About the History — and Future — of Stand-up Comedy
Podcast

Learning About the History — and Future — of Stand-up Comedy

With Rachel Blackburn

29 September 2021

Michael Lueger is joined by director, performer, and educator Dr. Rachel Blackburn to discuss diversity and intersectionality within the stand-up comedy world and how comics are engaging with social issues and movements.

Outline of iran with Quote
Iranian Blackface Clowns are Racist, No Matter How You Sugarcoat Them in Obscure Archaic Mythology
Essay

Iranian Blackface Clowns are Racist, No Matter How You Sugarcoat Them in Obscure Archaic Mythology

A Fragmented Argument in Five Acts

10 May 2021

Hesam Sharifian reflects on how the blackface mask of the Hāji Firuz and Siāh-Bāzi clowns in Iran is reminiscent of an ugly past and should not be used in performance today.

A picture of puppets on stage.
La Máquina Real / La Máquina Real
Essay

La Máquina Real / La Máquina Real

Reviving a Baroque Puppet Tradition / Recupera los títeres de una tradición perdida

8 April 2021

Emilio Williams sits down with Jesús Caballero to talk about the lost puppetry genre called la máquina real and Jesús’s company in Spain that works to reimagine this Baroque art form. / Emilio Williams entabla una conversación con Jesús Caballero sobre un género de teatro de títeres olvidado de nombre la máquina real y los esfuerzos de Jesús y su compañía en España por recuperar esta tradición barroca.

protestors at the people's climate march
Puppets in Protest
Essay

Puppets in Protest

6 April 2021

Sarah Plummer discusses how puppets aid socially engaged groups during protests in three key ways: amplifying tension, creating accessible messaging, and evoking solidarity.

an actor onstage
Write the Software and Let the World Have It
Essay

Write the Software and Let the World Have It

Forty Years of Internet Performance

14 January 2021

In this article for the Performing the Internet series, Miller Puckette and Onyx Ashanti get together for a conversation about the changing landscape of multimedia technology in the arts, how technologically mediated performance practices have taken on new relevance in the post-COVID era, and more.

black and white photo of a large group with one person at a microphone
Beyond the Raisin: The Incredible Brief Life of Lorraine Hansberry
Podcast

Beyond the Raisin: The Incredible Brief Life of Lorraine Hansberry

Daughters of Lorraine Podcast Episode #7

9 September 2020

The Daughters of Lorraine Podcast returns for another episode where hosts Jordan Ealey and Leticia Ridely discuss Lorraine Hansberry's life, legacy, and other works of theatre and literature.

madeline sayet holding a paper shakespeare mask
Interrogating the Shakespeare System
Essay

Interrogating the Shakespeare System

31 August 2020

Madeline Sayet argues that promoting Shakespeare as the best writer of all time is a dangerous and white supremacist viewpoint, and she believes it’s time to interrogate the Bard’s placecent as the pinnacle of theatrical achievement.

scan of a vintage text
The New Antitheatrical Prejudice
Essay

The New Antitheatrical Prejudice

18 August 2020

Seth Wilson argues that the relatively low reputation of the study and pursuit of theatre is the primary way antitheatricalism manifests itself today.

two actors onstage
Female Playwrights, Hispanic Comedia
Essay

Female Playwrights, Hispanic Comedia

A Jubilee Primer

16 March 2020

Barbara Fuchs and Rafael Jaime argue that beyond the English-language theatrical canon lies a rich corpus of classical work that remains remarkably hospitable to women, focusing their discussion on two playwrights: Ana Caro and Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz.

four people seated
The Ambassadors Defining Culture
Essay

The Ambassadors Defining Culture

10 March 2020

Jonathan McCrory talks about the JUBILEE’s initiative of spotlighting “cultural architects”—theatre organizations that have been producing work of historically marginalized voices for years, before it was a “trendy” thing to do.

black and white drawing of a large interior
The Theatrical Heritage of the City of Cluj
Essay

The Theatrical Heritage of the City of Cluj

3 February 2020

Anca Hațiegan looks at the history of theatre in Cluj-Napoca, from the first production in the 1600s, to the power dynamics between the Romanian and Hungarian companies, to what transpired after the communist era, and beyond.

daytime rooftop view of the city of cluj, romania
The Cities We Live In
Essay

The Cities We Live In

Exploring the Multiple Identities of Cluj

2 February 2020

Zenkő Bogdán and Viktória Barazsuly introduce the Cluj-Napoca series, speaking to the history, diversity, and theatrical heritage of this Romanian city.

a photocopy of an image in a book
Staging Slavery by Black Playwrights
Podcast

Staging Slavery by Black Playwrights

Daughters of Lorraine Podcast #4

9 December 2019

In this episode of the Daughters of Lorraine Podcast, Jordan Ealey and Leticia Ridley focus on representations of slavery on stage by Black playwrights beginning from the early 19th century to the 1960s.

two actors onstage
Early Black Feminist Theatre and Lynching Dramas Revisited
Podcast

Early Black Feminist Theatre and Lynching Dramas Revisited

Daughters of Lorraine Podcast Episode #2

12 November 2019

For this episode of the Daughters of Lorraine Podcast, Jordan Ealey and Leticia Ridley focus on the histories and enduring legacies of lynching dramas, covering early twentieth century history of Black women playwrights using theatre for protest ends, and situating them in Black feminism and Black radical tradition.

a group of performers outside
Theatre for Development in Malawi
Essay

Theatre for Development in Malawi

5 November 2019

Isaac Mafuel talks about Malawi’s most prevalent form of theatre, its history, and its impact and challenges.

a book cover
A Time to Grow Our Souls
Essay

A Time to Grow Our Souls

On the Foundry Theatre’s New Book A Moment on the Clock of the World

4 November 2019

David Dower writes about the sunsetting of New York City’s Foundry Theatre, the company’s new book, A Moment on the Clock of the World, and the impact co-founder Melanie Joseph has had.

Ellen Stewart.
La MaMa's Coffeehouse Chronicles #155: Ellen Stewart
Video

La MaMa's Coffeehouse Chronicles #155: Ellen Stewart

La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club, New York City

Saturday 2 November 2019
New York City

La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club in New York City presents Coffeehouse Chronicles #155: Ellen Stewart livestreaming on the global, commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Saturday 2 November 2019 at 12 p.m. PDT (Vancouver, UTC -7) / 3 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4) / 7 p.m. GMT (London, UTC +0) / 20:00 CET (Budapest, UTC +1) / 21:00 EET (Bucharest, UTC +2). 

two headshots
The Only Thing Black Writers Really Have is Their Relationships
Essay

The Only Thing Black Writers Really Have is Their Relationships

9 October 2019

Producer Tobi Kyeremateng and poet/writer Roger Robinson talk about Black writers in the UK, creative citizenship, activism in the arts, and more.

white background with blue text Analogio: in memory we trust
Analogio Theater Festival 2019
Video

Analogio Theater Festival 2019

in Athens, Greece

Wednesday 25 to Thursday 26 September 2019
Athens, Greece

Events from the International Meeting on Ancient Greek Drama at the Analogio Theater Festival in Athens, Greece on the global, commons-based peer-produced HowlRound TV network on Wednesday 25 and Thursday 26 September 2019.

a person sitting in a bathrobe eating breakfast cereal
Radical Disruptions
Essay

Radical Disruptions

How Intergenerational Exchange Builds Community

22 September 2019
two acting pedagogy textbooks
Whiteness, Patriarchy, and Resistance in Actor Training Texts
Essay

Whiteness, Patriarchy, and Resistance in Actor Training Texts

Reframing Acting Students as Embodied Critical Thinkers

13 August 2019

Amy Steiger reflects on some of the classic acting texts—which are overwhelmingly written by cis white men and use colonialist, binary, and patriarchal language and narratives—and how teachers should be approaching them today.

a group posing for a photo
A New Identity for Oklahoma
Essay

A New Identity for Oklahoma

7 August 2019

Tara Brooke Watkins discusses how Oklahoma! has shaped the state’s cultural identity, the Tulsa Race Massacre, and Spinning Plates’s production of the musical with an all-black cast.

actors onstage
A Lover’s Guide to American Playwrights
Essay

A Lover’s Guide to American Playwrights

Octavio Solis

16 July 2019

Todd London celebrates one of the most prolific and prominent Latino playwrights in America, Octavio Solis.

The World Reads Jan Kochanowski poster
The World Reads Jan Kochanowski from New York, Athens, Warsaw, London, Madrid, Los Angeles
Video

The World Reads Jan Kochanowski from New York, Athens, Warsaw, London, Madrid, Los Angeles

A project of Adam Mickiewicz Institute, Zbigniew Raszewski Theatre Institute, and Aleksander Zelwerowicz National Academy of Dramatic Art in Warsaw, Poland

Sunday 30 June 2019
International

The World Reads Jan Kochanowski from New York, Athens, Warsaw, London, Madrid, and Los Angeles on the global, commons-based peer-produced HowlRound TV network on Sunday 30 June.