HowlRound Anthology: Essays and Conversations from the First Ten Years Fifty essays from 2011 to 2020 Published by HowlRound Theatre Commons Edited by May Antaki Copyright 2022 Paperback, 514 pages ISBN: 978-1-939006-06-6 $20.00 First edition, May 2022 Purchase the Anthology
Book review by Kitty Drexel
“We make rituals and allow communities to witness new propositions with an emotional vulnerability that unites us in our humanity, and in our greater universal connectedness.”
From “Walking the Awkwardly Heroic Yet Often Depressing Path of Near-Impossible Catastrophe Evasion Through Kick-Ass Poetics” by Elizabeth Doud, 24 April 2015.
BOSTON — HowlRound Anthology: Essays and Conversations from the First Ten Years is not a dainty book of light reading. It is a girthy 514 pages wrapped between a Halloween orange front and back cover, with small font and no fluffy filler. Its only pictures are black-and-white headshots of contributing authors arranged next to author biographies. It’s taken me a month to write this review and I’m only three-quarters of the way through. You could fight off a fascist with this weighty book and win.
The contents aren’t light either. HowlRound clearly strived to be anti-racist, intersectionally feminist, transparent, diverse, and equitable while remaining fully loyal to its mission of amplifying progressive, disruptive ideas about art forms and facilitating connections between diverse practitioners. These articles will challenge your current practices and beliefs and, hopefully, enable you to be a better theatremaker, ally, and person. Continue reading →
ZOOM — Working towards a future for Black creative spaces that foster exploration, community, and liberation, Black Spatial Relics (BSR) hosts their second annual convening in celebration of their five-year anniversary. Running February 23rd to February 27th, the Black Spatial Relics Annual Convening is free and open to the public.
At its February 25th session, Black Spatial Relics presented three workshops hosted by 2020 BSR artists-in-residence Danielle Deadwyler and Ada Pinkston, and guest artist Angel Edwards.
In the first workshop, Deadwyler shared her documentary busitopen. Exploring Black womanhood and motherhood through the lives of four Black women, Deadwyler juxtaposed the repetition of sound, movement, and various historic images of working class Black women. Through each woman’s relationship to labor and love, Deadwyler focused on the practices of recollection, ritual, and their significance. Continue reading →
Presented by Sparkhaven Theatre & Homesick Play Project Written by by M Sloth Levine Original music composed by Alissa Voth Directed by Hannah Pryfogle Musicians: Rebecca Elowe, Bri Tagliaferro, Andrew Gaffney
Disclaimer: This review is a response to the experience of a Zoom performance of Nosferatu, The Vampyr.
ONLINE, Everywhere — Nosferatu, The Vampyr, a play with original music about a mysterious plague with mysterious origins, is the dramatic queering that society needs. It was meant to run at Chelsea Theatre Works March 19 – 28, until the coronavirus, our factual plague, prevented its run. While it would have been brilliant to review Nosferatu, The Vampyr in real life, the Zoom version proves that great theatre can be created specifically for internet viewing with time, ingenuity, and some creative tweaking. Not all streamed theatre content is worth viewing. Nosferatu is. Continue reading →
ArtsEmerson – The Together Apart series presents Sequence 8. Sequence 8 from The 7 Fingers will be available to view from April 13-27, 2020. From the ArtsEmerson website:
“Contemporary circus arts require the utmost faith in your fellow performers. When it comes down to it, your life is quite literally in their hands. The lessons we, as the audience, learn from circus take on a new importance in light of our current circumstances; while we cannot physically hold each other, we prop each other up through zoom calls with family and friends, encouraging text messages, and sharing a common knowledge that by acting together, we help each other. We care for each other deeply, standing together by standing apart.”
Flat Earth Theatre – Coming to Facebook Live, their new radio play Fine-Tuned Universe by A. Lehrmitt will stream weekly on Saturday nights at 7 P.M. from April 25th – May 30th. Each week brings a new 20-minute chapter. Fine-Tuned Universe: a radio play by A. Lehrmitt. Directed by Jake Scaltreto Saturdays, April 25th – May 30th, 7pm EST, Streaming on Facebook Live Featuring: Juliet Bowler, Kristen Heider, James Hayward, Chris Chiampa, Melissa de Jesus and Liz Salazar. With sound design by James Rossi
Homesick Play Project and Sparkhaven Theatre present a performance of Nosferatu, The Vampyrby M Sloth Levine with original music by Alissa Voth. HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Thursday 30 April 2020 at 3:30 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 5:30 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-5) / 6:30 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-4).
HOWL Shakespeare – HOWL Shakespeare presents their first livestreamed event! Over a dozen of the Boston area’s boldest young Shakespeare performers performing a Socially Distanced reading of A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM.
This reading is to raise money for Massachusetts General Hospital’s efforts to fight COVID-19. Don’t want to wait to donate? Donate to MGH here: https://tinyurl.com/HowlMSND Send us a screenshot of your donation receipt and we’ll give you a shout-out in the livestream
From Our Homes to Yours – Everything Possible – Boston Gay Men’s Chorus
(Our eyes are leaking.)
Huntington at Home – Huntington @ Home is a series of new programs to connect with our audiences right now and includes:
Sign up for Huntington @ Home and receive a phone call from a Huntington artist or staff member. Choose for a staff member to deliver a short monologue from a past Huntington production or have a discussion with a member of the Huntington’s acclaimed production team about how the theatre created one of your favorite plays or musicals. We want to do our part by sharing our collective love of theatre and storytelling on a personal level.”
MassCreative – Every Friday at 9:45AM, MassCreative will host a 15-minute COVID-19 Virtual Policy & Action Update to help you make sense of what Congress and the MA Legislature are doing to strengthen the social and economic safety net during this public health emergency. Their goal “is to keep these webinars short, sweet, and to the point.” REGISTER
MassMouth – “Live shows may be postponed, but this is still a good time to continue improving your storytelling skills. Join our online events, including coaching sessions, webinars and virtual classes. Learn more below HERE.”
Craft your story. Tuesday, April 28th. 7:30 ET. – Each story featured on Stories from the Stage is unique, but the principles behind a good piece are universal. Explore key story elements and hear about the experience of a former teller, Cecilla Viveiros. Free. Massmouth will share the World Channel registration link with the community shortly.
Story workshop. Sunday, May 3rd. 4:30pm ET. – One of the best ways to improve a story is to share it with others and get their feedback. In this workshop, exchange a story with five other participants and one of Massmouth’s coaches. Hear what they love about your piece, as well as their ideas for improvement. Free. Register online.
Story workshop. Sunday, May 17th. 4:30pm ET. – One of the best ways to improve a story is to share it with others and get their feedback. In this workshop, exchange a story with five other participants and one of Massmouth’s coaches. Hear what they love about your piece, as well as their ideas for improvement. Free. Register online.
Museum of Science – ArtsBoston has a super convenient list of sites to access the Museum of Science online.
New Repertory Theatre — NEW! In the Wings Artist Salon Series Presented by Artistic Director, Michael J. Bobbitt. Head over to New Rep’s Facebook page on Sundays at 2:00 for a live panel. Host Michael J. Bobbitt will be joined each week by local artists, to discuss the state of theatre post-COVID-19. This week: Boston area Playwrights
The Hatchery: Virtual Project Night/ Tuesday, April 21 | 6:30 – 8:30 pm. FREE Virtual “Drop-in” Event – Donations Welcome – Join Resident Artist Sarah Nolen for Puppet Showplace Theater’s first-ever digital Hatchery! Now, from the comfort of your home or studio, connect with fellow puppeteers and puppet-curious artists in a low-stress Zoom Room setting. Participants can share and discuss project ideas, works-in-progress, and strategies for creative resilience during a pandemic. Join for all or part of the time!
April 30 – Next Live Performance! – Celebrate the power of DIY theater in miniature! In early April, the amazing artists of Great Small Works gathered Toy theater practitioners from all over the world the world to share original short shows, many of which were created in response to the present circumstances. All performances are still available to watch, and a new festival is coming April 30th. Don’t have time to watch two full nights? Check out Resident Artist Sarah Nolen’s performance “Don’t Stop the Pot!” on Day 2 at 1:41:35.
Faye Dupras’ new children’s series, Cozy Corner(It has a catchy theme song and puppets!)
GAME NIGHT! Online Improv Playground Apr 25, 2020 to Apr 25, 2020
ONLINE! Let’s come together, all ages and abilities, to play using skills and techniques from the world of Improvisation.
Civil Discourse Society: The Art of Persuasion– Apr 30, 2020 to May 28, 2020 ONLINE! Join our newest club! Civil Discourse Society is for mastering the art of persuasion. Consider the language you use, and your approach to truly activating dialogue in your private and public.
All our love from six feet away,
Kitty, Queen of the New England Theatre Geeks
And now my eyes are leaking.
Apollinaire Theatre Company – Apollinaire Play Lab Families announces that it will be hosting free virtual theater and games classes taught on Zoom./ Nos da mucho gusto informarles que vamos a ofrecer una serie de clases gratuitas en línea en teatro y juegos para niños on Zoom.
ArtsEmerson – ArtsEmerson’s Together Apart will give audiences access to offer high-quality archival videos and unique opportunities to hear from the artists behind them. This series will also include two town hall conversations with artistic director David Dower and executive director David C. Howse.
Boston Underground Film Festival BUFF-o-Stream – A collection of feature films from previous editions of BUFF, from BUFF alumni, and/or films in the spirit of BUFF, streaming on a platform near you. (Looks to be horror. If that’s your thing, you do you and enjoy! I’m not willing to investigate more because I’m not a fan of horror. -Kitty)
Fresh Ink Theatre – Fresh Ink announces the Homesick Play Project. “Homesick Play Project is a virtual space for new play development filling the vacuum of opportunity created by the COVID-19 crisis. Homesick produces virtual, pop-up readings and performances of new work at all stages of development through digital, in-process workshops and performances of plays, providing a platform to cultivate an audience, feedback, and artistic fellowship.” Go to THIS Google doc to sign up.
HowlRound – HowlRound has new streaming content coming to the site!
Monday 13 April 2020 – Tlaloc Rivas presents Latinx Superfriends Playwriting Hour livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv beginning Monday 13 April 2020 at 3pm EDT (New York) / 2 p.m. CDT (Chicago) / 1 p.m. MDT (Denver) / 12 p.m. PDT (Los Angeles).
Tuesday 14 April 2020 – Playwright Lauren Gunderson presents a conversation Dramaturgs + Playwrights – Lauren and Martine Greene-Rogers talk livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Tuesday 14 April 2020 at 12 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 2 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-5) / 3 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-4).
Friday 17 April 2020 – Playwright Lauren Gunderson presents a conversation Directors + Playwrights – Lauren talks with Evren Odcikin livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Friday 17 April 2020 at 2 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 4 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-5) / 5 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-4).
Thursday 16 April 2020 – Playwright Lauren Gunderson presents a conversation Theatre Journalist + Playwright – Lauren talks with Diep Tran livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Thursday 16 April 2020 at 11 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 1 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-5) / 2 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-4).
Friday 17 April 2020 – La MaMa and CultureHub present Downtown Variety livestreaming on the global, commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Friday 17 April 2020 at 5 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 7 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-5) / 8 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-4).
ImprovBoston has online content: Mainstage, Family Show and “The ImprovBoston Baking Challenge with Gwen Coburn & Julie Snyder.” Please go to IB Live! for scheduling and content info.
Juventas New Music Ensemble at Online/Virtual Space – Stay Home with Juventas: 11 Wednesdays Evenings, 10 Musicians Who Love You, Hope, Light and Beauty in a difficult time. Juventas musicians invite you to join us Wednesday evenings for live-streamed solo performances from our homes. Go to THIS WEBSITE at 8PM on Wednesday evening to attend a concert.
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA) at Online/Virtual Space– Discover Basquiat and the Hip-Hop Generation online: View a slideshow and listen to the accompanying playlist at mfaboston.org. Starting Saturday, April 4, the MFA will take a week-long deep dive into the artworks and history of Basquiat and his post-graffiti peers, guided by exhibition co-curators Liz Munsell and Greg Tate.
WonderSpark Puppets – Free streaming content on Facebook Live with options to donate or purchase merchandise. Crafts (4pm Weekdays / 10am Weekends EST). Live Puppet Show (Fridays 11am EST)
Paper Heart Projects – Brad Shur of Paper Heart Puppets has launched a series of puppet craft videos making creative use of minimal supplies.
Chat with Audrey Duck – Audrey Duck, as seen on Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, is available to Skype-chat with kids (age 3-8). Audrey and her puppeteer Susan Linn will be available Mon, Wed & Fri between 4 and 5 pm EST. Email Audreydduck@gmail.com to set up a 10 minute slot.
Make-A-Monkey Craft – Make your own monkey with this fun finger puppet activity inspired by resident teaching artist Honey Goodenough’s “Sock Monkey Circus.” Print the template, color in your monkey, cut out the figure, hole-punch the circles, and use your fingers for legs.
Here is the latest list with online community happenings and be-ins.
Zoombombing is a threat. Please keep yourselves safe by implementing security measures against these fuckboi trolls.
Articles for context: The Verge,”Zoom adds new security and privacy measures to prevent Zoombombing.” The New York Times, “‘Zoombombing’ Becomes a Dangerous Organized Effort.” Buzzfeed News, “Here Are 8 Quick Tips To Keep You From Getting “Zoombombed” By Trolls”
Keep washing your hands, stay at home, and know that you are necessary and loved,
Queen of the New England Theatre Geeks
Rockettes Dance Class: The Radio City Rockettes offer live dance classes on Instagram every week beginning on April 2 at 12PM EST. Additional classes will take place on successive Thursdays at noon.
Trinity Repertory Theatre – Rhode Island’s Tony Award-winning theater is generating digital content and creating virtual events and classes, so that “the show goes on.” Content is being delivered through its social media channels and is aggregated at
*Registration for all adult and kid’s classes and/or the knitting circlecan be found HERE.
*Streaming of the movie I Am A Seagull by directors Brian Mertes, Melissa Kievmanis, and The Chekhov Project is available to steam until April 15 by clicking HERE.
*Virtual tickets are available here for a streamed version of Asolo Rep’s production of Into the Breeches!, which had its world premiere at Trinity Rep in 2018. Available through April 14.
WGBH, ArtsEmerson, Huntington Theatre Company – WGBH will present a special broadcast of Mala, a poignant drama written and performed by local playwright and performer Melinda Lopez. This award-winning play will air on WGBH 2 and YouTube TV on Thursday, April 9 at 9 p.m.
Following the broadcast, ArtsEmerson will host a pre-recorded online conversation between playwright/performer Melinda Lopez and director David Dower at ArtsEmersonBlog.org.
Like you, we at the New England Theatre Geek are starting to go stir-crazy during these times of social distancing #COVFEFE19. Below is a small collection of links to streaming content, classes, and performances to occupy your days.
We wish you all the best! Please wash your damn hands, get enough exercize, Zoom your friends, and stay home as much as you can.
Cloud Cafe – Tune into Cloud Cafe tonight at 6 p.m.! Each night of this performance series will be curated by a different Boston based artist–all of whom have been forced to cancel gigs and tours to protect the community from COVID-19. Each curator will hand-pick members of their community who have been directly impacted by the pandemic to build creative performances that bring people together to heal and find joy.
There Must Be Happy Endings: On Theatre of Optimism & Honesty By Megan Sandberg-Zakian Published by The 3rd Thing Press Olympia, 2020 Available on Kickstarter with a $24.00 pledge Paperback, 230 pages
LIVE ONLINE EVENT! Megan Sandberg-Zakian in conversation with Melinda Lopez March 23, 2020, 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm Free on the HowlRound website! More info below.
Event on Facebook
Review by Kitty Drexel
“An ending doesn’t have to be happy to be satisfying. A good ending, happy or not, draws a line around the experience of story hearing and telling. It picks the story up, holds it in its hands, and offers it out, whole. It gives us the opportunity for a collective breath. A good ending is honest: a boundary we can feel, the knowledgable edge of a reliable container. It is a ritual threshold between story and not-story.”
— Megan Sandberg-Zakian, “There Must Be Happy Endings,” There Must Be Happy Endings: On Theatre of Optimism & Honesty, 2020.
Somerville, Mass — There Must Be Happy Endings by Megan Sandberg-Zakian is an exploration in the personal dramaturgy of the mind and spirit. In her first book of essays, the author takes a deep dive into the works that have made a lasting impression upon her. They are an extension of her need to share stories through theatre. Whether by quoting Homer, The Dark Knight or Annie, these essays draw the reader into the author’s personal story by circumnavigating the landscape of the greater western narrative. She tells us why happy ends are important and why they are especially important to her. Her title essay isn’t demanding sappy closure but commanding a divine right to culminate our narratives with an end to the suffering within them. Continue reading →
FEATURING: The Tempest (or Bark’s Dream): a storm in one act
written by Kate Snodgrass
performed by Steven Barkhimer
directed by Melia Bensussen Shameless to the Bone!
written and performed by
Jazz ‘n Class: a performance meditation
written and performed by
Robbie McCauley Continue reading →