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HowlRound: Working With/In Communities: Modeling Decolonized Practices

This week we are holding space for a series on decolonizing theatre practice, which is not an easy thing to do. Instead of asking for single-narrative articles from multiple individuals, we have asked communities to have discussions and share them to keep the conversation around decolonization diverse and complex. Each piece is itself a conversation and we hope you'll join! We couldn't possibly cover everything, so please add your voice and perspective from wherever you sit/stand/breathe in the circle.—Madeline Sayet and Annalisa Dias, series curators.

The interviewees:

Indigenous Direction (ID), a consulting firm for companies and artists who want to create accurate work about, for, and with Indigenous/Native American/First Nations peoples.

Michael Rohd, Artistic Director, and Rebecca Martinez, Ensemble Member, of Sojourn Theatre, an ensemble-based company comprised of fifteen diverse artists who live around the US, and make performance through a process that demands long periods of investigation, participation, and experimentation.

Michael John Garcés, Artistic Director of Cornerstone Theater Company in Los Angeles, CA, which makes new plays with and about communities.

Sulu LeoNimm, Joker and Program Director at Theatre of the Oppressed NYC (TONYC), which partners with community members at local organizations to form theatre troupes. These troupes devise and perform plays, and after each performance, actors and audiences engage in theatrical brainstorming—called Forum Theatre—with the aim of catalyzing creative change on the individual, community, and political levels.

Maia Directors, founded in October 2017 by four theatre directors (Kareem Fahmy, Evren Odcikin, Pirronne Yousefzadeh, and Megan Sandberg-Zakian, the author of this article), offers consulting services for projects centering stories and artists from the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia (MENASA).

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