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Saturday, April 20, 2019
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World Theatre Map to Connect Stages Around the Globe

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Theater makers around the world can now connect with each other in an instant and see what productions are happening anywhere on the planet, with HowlRound’s World Theatre Map, launched earlier this week in English and Spanish.

HowlRound, a “knowledge commons by and for the theatre community” based out of Emerson College’s Office of the Arts, created the user-generated map with the Global Theater Initiative, a partnership between Theatre Communications Group and the Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics at Georgetown University.

“In a historic moment of global interconnectedness, we’re excited to launch this map that brings together theater makers from all parts of the world,” HowlRound Director P. Carl said in a statement. “The World Theatre Map is a place to find where our work and our values intersect.”

The map itself, in public beta version through June 2017, is actually a two-dimensional randomly spinning globe pinpointing all the plays and performances taking place that day on every continent except Antarctica. Below the map are all the shows in list form, with links to more information.

There is also a searchable database of companies, institutions, shows, and events. The site will  recommend related people/recommendations for every search result.

The aim of the World Theatre Map is to connect isolated theater makers with information and with each other, according to a statement from HowlRound. It’s a free and open digital commons, where users can create profiles for themselves and add information about their plays and events.

A sampling of listings for Friday, February 3, include performances in metropolises like Los Angeles, New York, Shanghai, and São Paulo, as well as shows in Graulhet, France (pop. 12,300), and Addison, Texas (pop. 13,000).

“For years, there have been efforts to develop an online resource to identify and connect theater artists and productions across the globe,” Theatre Communications Group Executive Director Teresa Eyring said in the statement. “We applaud HowlRound for creating this resource, and we are honored to collaborate with them by bringing our decades of international programs and relationships to the map.”

As of February 3—two days after release—there were about 6,800 theater makers and organizations and a little more than 13,000 shows and events, checking in from nearly 10,000 locations on the map.

The map is aimed at playwrights, producers, directors, designers, performers, programmers, theater companies, service organizations, and theater institutions of all sizes. Currently available in English and Spanish, the creators hope that version 2, scheduled to launch in July, will include more languages.

“It’s hard to imagine a more vital moment to be fostering a way for the global theater community to make connections, build relationships, and share resources, information, and stories across borders, and to find strength and inspiration from one another,” Derek Goldman, founding director of the Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics, said in a statement.