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Aesthetics

In this section, dive into conversations focused on beauty, taste, and the artistic choices made while creating performance. Check out Brendan McCall’s Beyond Ibsen series, which features contemporary Norwegian theatremakers, and Jonathan Mandell’s essay “Pandemic Theatre Aesthetic,” which discusses the immediate artistic responses of theatremakers in the first weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States.

The Latest

The Amateur Botanist Talks Merrily Into the Night: Some Notes on Neurodivergent Performance (and How to Make It)
Essay
The Amateur Botanist Talks Merrily Into the Night: Some Notes on Neurodivergent Performance (and How to Make It)
by Rob Onorato
12 December 2023
Digging for Bones with Topdog/Underdog
Podcast
Digging for Bones with Topdog/Underdog
by Leticia Ridley, Jordan Ealey
15 November 2023
Scattered, but Not Apart: A Two-Sided Story
Essay
Scattered, but Not Apart: A Two-Sided Story
by Carl(os) Roa, Rula(s) A. Muñoz
26 October 2023
Three performers in chicken suits during a performance.
The Amateur Botanist Talks Merrily Into the Night: Some Notes on Neurodivergent Performance (and How to Make It)
Essay

The Amateur Botanist Talks Merrily Into the Night: Some Notes on Neurodivergent Performance (and How to Make It)

12 December 2023

How might neurodivergent adults like to experience theatre? Taking this question as his starting point, Rob Onorato explores an approach to performance that embraces elements of neurodivergence as catalysts for formal innovation.

A promotional graphic for the Daughters of Lorraine Podcast
Digging for Bones with Topdog/Underdog
Podcast

Digging for Bones with Topdog/Underdog

15 November 2023

Hosts Leticia Ridley and Jordan Ealey dig into the dramaturgies and theories of Suzan-Lori Parks and discuss Canadian Stage’s production of Parks’s Topdog/Underdog.
 

An abstract rendering of a small room.
Scattered, but Not Apart: A Two-Sided Story
Essay

Scattered, but Not Apart: A Two-Sided Story

26 October 2023

Carl(os) Roa and Rula(s) A. Muñoz share a multi-vocal, non-linear account of their group’s work at the Latinx Theatre Commons (LTC) Designer and Director Colaboratorio. Through both text and images, they document their group’s explorations of non-hierarchical generative process, as well as the challenges they faced.

Daughters of Lorraine Podcast teaser.
What Is Black Theatre?
Podcast

What Is Black Theatre?

20 September 2023

This episode will discuss the age old questions of what is Black theatre? What is a Black play? How do you know one when you see it? Leticia Ridley and Jordan Ealey provide an overview of the some of the most popular commentary on this question from Black theatre theorists of the past such as W.E.B Dubois, Alain Locke, and Alice Childress.

Gender Euphoria teaser image featuring guest profile images.
Making Space for Queer Futurity in Texas
Podcast

Making Space for Queer Futurity in Texas

16 August 2023

Austin’s pop princess, p1nkstar, shares the story of her evolution from performance artist creating a pop star persona for Instagram to real life pop star to community leader creating spaces for fellow trans artists to showcase their work in Texas. This episode also features guest co-host Melissa Lin Sturges, coordinator of the annual Doric Wilson Panel for the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) LGBTQ+ Focus Group.

A group of people surrounds recording equipments in a radio station.
Turning Political Violence into Entertainment in Hate Radio
Essay

Turning Political Violence into Entertainment in Hate Radio

27 July 2023

Through a combination of testimony and reenactment, Milo Rau’s Hate Radio stages a broadcast from a notorious media operation that spread racist propaganda during the Rwandan genocide. Joseph Dunne-Howrie discusses the way that Rau’s work, when produced in 2023, reveals a contemporary parallel in the rightwing radicalization that is facilitated by networks like Fox News and GB News.

Gender Euphoria teaser image with guest headshot.
Making Space for Self-Authorship through Audio Description
Podcast

Making Space for Self-Authorship through Audio Description

With Guests H. May and Liz Thomson

26 July 2023

Host Nicolas Shannon Savard, Dr. H. May, and Dr. Liz Thomson discuss the creative and collaborative possibilities that emerge when audio description (AD) is made an integral part of the artistic process, as opposed to solely an accommodation for individual audience members. They critique traditional models of AD that demand objectivity and propose alternative approaches that embrace self-determination, specificity of lived experience, and universal design.

A tree's branches stretch skyward among the brush.
How Magical Realism Can Make Climate Change Matter
Essay

How Magical Realism Can Make Climate Change Matter

29 June 2023

Playwright Raul Garza discusses the potent connections between environment and Latinx heritage that he explores by employing magical realism in his play Arbolito.

A smiling man lifts a sword in one hand and holds onto a bike's handlebar with the other.
The Making of the Shiny Knight of Chicanos, Part Two
Essay

The Making of the Shiny Knight of Chicanos, Part Two

A Conversation with Octavio Solis

11 April 2023

Glenda Y. Nieto-Cuebas and Erin A. Cowling continue their interview with Octavio Solis, focusing primarily on the development of his most recent adaptation from Spanish Baroque literature: Quixote Nuevo.

Three performers stand in front of a fire-like backdrop where a sign above them reads "Bienvenidos a Ciudad Juarez."
The Making of the Shiny Knight of Chicanos, Part One
Essay

The Making of the Shiny Knight of Chicanos, Part One

A Conversation with Octavio Solis

10 April 2023

Playwright Octavio Solis reinvents early modern Spanish theatre in several of his plays, often instilling these classics with a Texano perspective. Glenda Y. Nieto-Cuebas and Erin A. Cowling interview Solis about his adaptation process and the way that growing up on the Mexico-United States border has shaped his work.

Two people speaking on stage with one person standing behind them.
Surviving in the States: Audience Rejection on the Road with Oklahoma!
Essay

Surviving in the States: Audience Rejection on the Road with Oklahoma!

3 April 2023

The 2022 national tour of Oklahoma! brought Daniel Fish’s critically acclaimed revival to commercial theatre audiences nationwide. Those audiences met the production with overwhelming disapproval and animosity rooted in its departures from decades-old conventions. Actor Christopher Bannow, who played Jud in the touring production, details his experience of enduring audience rejection while remaining committed to engaging audiences in challenging conversations through risky theatrical choices.

A still from Things Hidden Since the Foundation of the World.
How Javaad Alipoor’s Fourth World Trilogy Disrupts What We Think We Understand About History, Politics, and the Internet
Essay

How Javaad Alipoor’s Fourth World Trilogy Disrupts What We Think We Understand About History, Politics, and the Internet

14 March 2023

Joseph Dunne-Howrie examines the way that three of Javaad Alipoor’s plays infuse the internet into theatrical performance, creating intersecting narratives that interrogate identity formation in the age of global interconnectivity.

An actor dressed as President Zelensky points a prop gun at an unseen target.
Reflecting on the Timeliness of Polish Theatre at Kraków’s Divine Comedy Theatre Festival
Essay

Reflecting on the Timeliness of Polish Theatre at Kraków’s Divine Comedy Theatre Festival

2 March 2023

The Divine Comedy Theatre Festival in Kraków, Poland explored the theme of “Polish Taboo” across its thirty-two productions this year. Howard Shalwitz, who attended the festival as part of an American delegation of artists building connections between the United States and Poland, shares his experience attending the festival.

An actor sits on a pure white stage with a white background and a human-sized laptop behind them.
Exodus and the Autobiography of War at Tbilisi International Festival
Essay

Exodus and the Autobiography of War at Tbilisi International Festival

5 January 2023

Yaşam Özlem Gülseven interviews Mikheil Charkviani about his work on Exodus, a production that traded grand historical narratives for granular perspectives on the impact of war in Georgia. Their interview, like the production, hinges on an important question: how do we learn to live with the past?

Two performers embrace each other with their foreheads touching.
The Queer Theatre We Need Now
Essay

The Queer Theatre We Need Now

13 December 2022

David Valdes explores the limitations of queer theatre historically and makes the case for a more expansive future—one that includes a wider range of characters living more complex lives, created by more queer theatremakers.

Critical Stages in Malawian Contemporary Theatre teaser image with the title at the top and a picture of the guest in the middle.
Melding Spoken Word Poetry and Theatre in Malawi
Podcast

Melding Spoken Word Poetry and Theatre in Malawi

16 November 2022

What does the voice of this millennium sound like? In this interview, Khumbolane Chavula provides one answer to that question by splicing together theatre, poetry, and entrepreneurship as the founder of Millesimal Poetry.

A performer in a wheelchair suspended in midair by a wire.
Moving from Disability Visibility to Disability Artistry
Essay

Moving from Disability Visibility to Disability Artistry

20 October 2022

Morgan Skolnik argues for theatre that goes beyond physical accessibility and disability representation to actively center disabled artists and the creative potential the disability community holds.

Concept art for a mostly red stage with a starry sky backdrop.
Practical Artificial Intelligence for Stage Design
Essay

Practical Artificial Intelligence for Stage Design

6 October 2022

Projection designer David Forsee, who brings artificial intelligence into his own design workflow, creates a toolkit for other designers interested in effectively and ethically integrating text-to-image models into their design processes.

Five people sitting around a table on stage.
Polish Connections: A New Generation of Theatre Linkages Between the United States and Poland
Essay

Polish Connections: A New Generation of Theatre Linkages Between the United States and Poland

19 September 2022

For the past two years, LINKAGES: Poland has convened theatre leaders from Poland and the United States to discuss fieldwide issues. When three theatremakers who have been deeply involved in the project traveled from the United States to Poland this summer, they were struck by the changing landscape of Polish theatre and its parallels to the US theatre industry.

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.

Daughters of Lorraine Podcast teaser.
Writing Detroit: Dominique Morisseau’s Practice of the Possible
Podcast

Writing Detroit: Dominique Morisseau’s Practice of the Possible

10 August 2022

Jordan Ealey and Leticia Ridley interview award-winning and acclaimed playwright Dominique Morisseau about her recent Broadway productions of Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of The Temptations and Skeleton Crew; the future of Detroit theatre and performance; and reckoning with American history. Ealey and Ridley discuss Morisseau’s practice of reparative creativity and the ability for theatre to serve as a rehearsal for true change.

A woman in a traditional garb stands outside facing an audience.
“The Ills We Do, Their Ills Instruct Us So”: Indigenous Futurism at the South Dakota Shakespeare Festival
Essay

“The Ills We Do, Their Ills Instruct Us So”: Indigenous Futurism at the South Dakota Shakespeare Festival

25 July 2022

Robert Hubbard discusses the South Dakota Shakespeare Festival production of Othello, which Tara Moses adapted and directed through an Indigenous Futurist lens. The resulting production employed its Shakespearean source text to model solidarity between Tribal Sovereignty and Black Liberation movements.

Full cast sit together for a picture.
Seeing Double: Double Consciousness as a Black Theatre Practitioner
Essay

Seeing Double: Double Consciousness as a Black Theatre Practitioner

14 July 2022

Ekemini Ekpo applies W.E.B. Dubois’ concept of “double consciousness” to the experience of performing Blackness for a predominantly white audience that may or may not be interested in disturbing the primacy of their own lived experience.

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.

LTC attendees standing in front of a mural at Su Teatro.
Why Comedy? Why Now?: On the 2022 Latinx Theatre Commons Comedy Carnaval
Essay

Why Comedy? Why Now?: On the 2022 Latinx Theatre Commons Comedy Carnaval

23 June 2022

Trevor Boffone reflects on the 2022 Latinx Theatre Commons (LTC) Comedy Carnaval that convened at Su Teatro in Denver, Colorado, which was comprised of productions, readings, panels, and special sessions that showcased the depth and range of Latinx comedy in theatre.