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Why We Theater

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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.

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Episodes

Why We Theater Now: April 2022

Why We Theater Now: April 2022

In this Season 2 finale, Ruthie recommends currently running Broadway and Off-Broadway shows that speak to Why We Theater. Paradise Square, now on Broadway Alex Edelman's Just For Us Ruthie Fierberg, ...
ADDRESSLESS meets Choose-Your-Own Activity

ADDRESSLESS meets Choose-Your-Own Activity

In this week’s mini-episode, Ruthie recommends books—some novels, some memoirs—and television episodes that tell stories about homelessness. Then, taking a page out of Addressless’ book, Ruthie ...
ADDRESSLESS and Homelessness

ADDRESSLESS and Homelessness

ADDRESSLESS: A Walk in Our Shoes played Off-Broadway at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater in February 2022 as a virtual, interactive production. The play intimately and personally illustrated what it means ...
DAVID BYRNE’S AMERICAN UTOPIA meets The Prophet

DAVID BYRNE’S AMERICAN UTOPIA meets The Prophet

Last week, American Utopia performer Tendayi Kuumba and experts Drs. Vinoo Alluri and Alejandro Lleras helped host Ruthie Fierberg take step back and welcome a broader perspective to problem-solving, beyond ...
DAVID BYRNE’S AMERICAN UTOPIA and Expanding Our Thinking to Solve Problems

DAVID BYRNE’S AMERICAN UTOPIA and Expanding Our Thinking to Solve Problems

You might think David Byrne’s American Utopia on Broadway is a concert. It’s not. Yet, it’s not exactly a play or a musical. It’s something else outside the box. The Talking Heads frontman— along ...
Re-Release: IF I FORGET and American Jews, Anti-Semitism, and Tribalism

Re-Release: IF I FORGET and American Jews, Anti-Semitism, and Tribalism

With the recent controversy surrounding Whoopi Goldberg and her remarks about the Holocaust, with the recent hostage situation at a Texas synagogue, with generational trauma and anti-Semitism on the brain, ...

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