Arts & Culture Features

Person receives a haircut in front of a round mirror

The New Orleans Hair Salon Where Customers Fly In for Appointments

Hair holds power, especially for members of the LGBTQ+ community, for whom a good haircut can be life changing. Not only is hair a tool for self expression and gender presentation, but an outlet for creativity and self care. New Orleans, a city with an abundance of queer pride, has one of the few places in the country where you can get a gorgeous gender-affirming cut and gossip openly about your love life, whatever it looks like: Bandit Hair Company.
Black-and-white picture of a woman holding a fish in one hand and a postcard in another wearing large headdress

Why April Fools Day in France Involves Fish Pranks

If you find yourself in France on April 1, don’t be surprised if something seems fishy. Maybe someone gives you a chocolate or a pastry in the shape of a cod? Perhaps you find a paper haddock stuck to your back, and then everyone erupts into laughter and starts pointing and shouting “poisson d’avril”? Don’t be alarmed, you’ve simply immersed yourself in the centuries-long French tradition of April Fool’s Day, known as poisson d’avril or “April Fish.”
Ice cream man wearing blue apron and red shirt smiles for portrait

Sam Caruso Is Forging a New Path With French-Style Custard in New Orleans

Salvatore “Sam” Caruso started making ice cream at home in 2018 with a two-quart Cuisinart machine, but he could never get the texture right. Despite his best efforts, it was always too icy, not smooth enough for his taste. Then, as the world shut down in March 2020, Caruso found himself with ample free time after being let go from his job. He used a serendipitous tax return check to buy a higher-quality ice cream machine for $1,300 and started experimenting.

Theater Journalism

Surreal theater characters around campfire

New Orleans’s Intramural Theater Centers Consent in Their Devising Model

Within the swirling sea of weird experiments in making that is New Orleans theatre, Intramural Theater, founded in 2015, has managed to stake out its own particular brand of weird. While Intramural produces traditional plays and hosts community events, such as a twenty-five hour play festival, their signature work is reflected in their devised shows, which are collectively created according to a specific devising method developed by the company’s founding artistic director, Bennett Kirschner.

On Translating Nobel Laureate Jon Fosse’s Works for American Audiences

Sarah Cameron Sunde is an interdisciplinary artist and director working at the intersection of performance, video, and public art. Her current practice, rooted in the visual arts, explores deep time, embodiment, and ecological crisis, and it is informed by her decades of experience as a theatremaker, director, and translator. Amelia Parenteau is a writer, translator, and theatremaker who has translated fifteen plays from French into English.
Two men hug on stage in spotlight

Black Southern Playwrights Take Center Stage

The interruption of the COVID-19 pandemic gave way to a time of reckoning for theatre and theatremakers. As we collectively emerge from the pandemic’s crucible, let me present a beacon of hope for what theatre in the United States can be, at its best: “adaptable, emergent, sustainable, and well.” I am quoting Lauren E. Turner (she/her), the founder and producing artistic director of New Orleans-based theatre company No Dream Deferred and the We Will Dream: New Works Festival.

Eva Doumbia and Chef Alexandre Bella Ola Interviewed

I first met Eva Doumbia while she was on a research trip to New Orleans. I was enthralled by her explanation of the show she was creating which used elements of documentary theater and religious ceremony to address food history, its connections to the transatlantic slave trade, and colonialism. I was honored when she asked me to translate the show from French into English and produce its United States tour.

HowlRound Anthology: Essays and Conversations from the First Ten Years

As HowlRound approached its ten-year anniversary in 2021, those of us who steward the platform began thinking about appropriate ways to celebrate a decade of publishing essays, livestreaming events, and bringing theatre practitioners together to amplify progressive and disruptive ideas. How could we offer gratitude within our commons-based frame while reflecting on the immense contributions of so many?

From Awareness to Action: Facilitating Change in the American Theatre

Amelia: We’ve seen radical transformation! That keeps me going. To break it down for people who might not be familiar with our terminology, we are doing anti-racist work, which is assuming a context of white body supremacy culture, yet it’s not just about race. The collective liberation we are steering organizations towards is not about “diversity and inclusion” and filling a quota of how many global majority people you’ve hired at your organization.

The Shows That Got Away and/or Found a Way

One of the most important jobs of theatre journalism—some would say its central, even only, job—is to bear witness to and commemorate a fundamentally ephemeral medium in words and pictures. That’s plenty true in normal times, but this documentary mission has become especially urgent in a time of deep uncertainty and constant reshuffling due to an airborne virus, which has disproportionally encroached on art forms and social practices that rely on appointment gathering and shared (indoor) space.
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Personal Essays

Looking for Absence

The story goes, in my family, I’m a bad driver. This narrative is not unfounded — as a teenager, learning to drive, I had a series of slips-ups in a short number of years. Rear-ending our high school’s Chinese teacher when I skidded on black ice pulling up to a stop sign. Clipping a startled deer’s hoof in the dim-dark of the early morning, on my way to school. Sliding off our driveway into a snowy ditch, requiring the whole family’s help to push the car back out.

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