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Why We Theater

ABOUT

Social justice meets theatre in this podcast from Playbill’s former Executive Editor Ruthie Fierberg. Artists and experts unite for curated panels, using plays and musicals (Broadway, Off-Broadway, and works in development) as a jumping-off point to confront societal issues such as racism, colorism, voting rights, fake news, digital technology addiction, the school-to-prison pipeline, anti-Semitism, raising LGBTQIA+ kids, and more. We help listeners grapple with hard questions inside a play or musical in order to create change in our offstage lives. And don’t worry if you haven’t seen an individual episode’s show or if you’re not a theatre buff. Award-winning writers and directors of pieces like SCHOOL GIRLS; OR, THE AFRICAN MEAN GIRLS PLAY and THE PROM break down the message inside their stories and how they created that story. Then, real-world experts in the corresponding field (like NSA Jake Sullivan or THIS AMERICAN LIFE’s Ira Glass) offer advice and action steps (thought patterns to monitor, petitions to sign, organizations to support, etc.) so we can manifest progress. “Theater” is not only a place or a presentation, it is an action. “To theater” is to engage with art presented onstage. Why we theater? We’re about to find out.

WAYS TO SUBSCRIBE

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Episodes

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Ep10 – Season1 Finale: Save the Arts and Arts Education

What is the current state of theatre? Right now, the theatre industry and the pipeline to it (a.k.a. arts education) needs change ...
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Ep9 – THE PROM and LGBTQIA+ Rights and the Well-Being of Our Queer Youth

Broadway’s The Prom takes center stage in this raw discussion about LGBTQIA+ teens and the discrimination they often face ...
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Ep8 – IF I FORGET and American Jews, Anti-Semitism, and Tribalism

Steven Levenson (DEAR EVAN HANSEN Tony winner) talks about his Off-Broadway play IF I FORGET. Set in 2000, the play focuses on a Jewish family as three adult children (Holly, Michael, and Sharon) return to their parents’ house in Maryland for their father Lou’s 75th birthday ...
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Ep7 – Usual Girls and Femme Sex and Sexuality, Part Two

Ming Peiffer and our four experts return for more of the unfettered, vulnerable conversation about what it means to be femme and sexual, inspired by the play USUAL GIRLS ...
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Ep6 – Usual Girls and Femme Sex and Sexuality, Part One

The first of a critical two-part discussion, this episode focuses on Ming Peiffer’s USUAL GIRLS. The play premiered in 2018 at Roundabout Underground for an extended, sold-out run ...
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Ep5 – Soft Power and Democracy, U.S.-China Relations, and Asian-American Culture

David Henry Hwang, three-time Pulitzer Prize finalist and Tony-winning playwright, and director Leigh Silverman join former policy director for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, and U.S. policymaker and now NSA Jake Sullivan and journalist, media consultant, author, and “Asian Pop” columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle Jeff Yang to ...

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