Theatre and Social Action

deadline for submissions: 
October 1, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Methuen Drama Handbooks series
contact email: 

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Theatre and Social Action

Call for Papers for the Methuen Drama Handbooks series

Theaters have closed everywhere. Theaters are reopening. And at the same time, the global pandemic and recent social movements have urgently been measured, mediated, and aided by the arts and theater makers to reshape the way we must now represent, facilitate, and protest.

With a revealing, fatal, and shape-shifting pandemic; street demonstrations; massive accumulations of wealth and simultaneous impoverishments; and an ongoing climate crisis; people around the world are profoundly bereft of resources, cannot access clean water, or feed their children. As these material and moral recessions—corporate high jackings and stealing of public resources in broad daylight—persist, so too may our demonstrations and performances work to implore our governments and institutions to come clean, change, or move aside.

This edited volume brings together writings on some of the most inspiring and innovative theater and performance makers working to change the art form—its structures and distribution networks—and the world in which they work. “Theater and Social Action” is both a philosophy and a call for action. This book will put forward the potential for artistic engagement to support intelligent political change for people whose lives are bearing the brunt of inequalities and who should be the leading voices and shapers of that change, as well as creativity as a tool for connection and celebration. This edited volume may also demonstrate a particular focus on issues of care and mutual aid: how do we—theaters and practitioners— provide for and recognize each other in the context of intersecting concerns, histories, methodologies, research methods, current debates, battlefields, interventions, sites of gathering and convening for theater and social action?

The following topical areas broadly outline some of the subject matter that we see as most relevant to the documentation and analysis of theater and social action around the world. Clearly, each group of activists and practitioners will have their own lists, agenda items, and pressing issues.

Theater and ...
• The impact of the pandemic on theater work • theater and #metoo movement
• theater and Black Lives Matter
• Climate Crises
• Water and land rights
• Health

• Hunger
• Anti-racism
• Brexit
• Refugee Crises
• Women’s and reproductive rights • Mental health
• Prison/incarceration
• Voter suppression
• Applied theater

Submission Process: Expression of interest and short proposal for chapter submissions, no longer than two pages, should be emailed to Andrew Martinez at sjandymartinez@ucla.edu by October 1, 2021. Author(s) must include all identifying information on the proposal, including name, title, institutional affiliation, and email. After the deadline, we will review proposals and contact authors as to which manuscripts we will pursue for the special issue.