New Play Map Connects Artists Across the Globe

Howlround's New Play Map

If you haven’t checked out Howlround’s interactive New Play Map, you probably should. Seriously.

Let me give a little context. Howlround is primarily an online theater journal and livestreaming TV channel. The site is devoted to connecting artists in not-for-profit theater, encouraging collaboration, and providing open-source tools and information to users. Basically, it’s a great place to find out what is going on in theater right now and to discover other artists who are interested in collaborating on new work.

The New Play Map takes Howlround’s mission and turns it into a visual tool. Think Google Maps, only  for theater. The first thing you’ll see beside the New Play Map is a list of all the shows happening today. Click on a show, and the map will show you every place it’s being performed today. (The first event I clicked on today was Act A Lady. It was pretty cool to realize that today, the same play is being performed on both coasts of the U.S. and as far away as Tokyo.)

You can search the map by play, location, organization, artist, or date. It also has a search function for event type in case you’re curious about new plays that are receiving a rolling première, world première, or workshop production.

Not surprisingly, members of the National New Play Network helped to create the New Play Map (You can read Stephen’s article about the National New Play Network here) and in 2011, Arena Stage in Washington D.C. hosted a convening to further develop and define the New Play Map. The result is a tool that is not only great for research, but also for demonstrating your own impact as an artist. Just log in, add your work to the map, and start finding new collaborators. It may feel like the world is getting smaller, but the opportunities to connect with other artists have never been greater.

Colleen Ahern