The Public Humanist

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We Are All Racist: Using Storytelling to Overcome Implicit Bias


How can we respond to the recent increase in racism? One way could be to acknowledge our shared implicit bias, then tell stories to help overcome it.


Why is American Theater Afraid of Climate Change?

The 1993 play Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes by American playwright Tony Kushner unflinchingly tackled AIDS and homosexuality in America in the 1980s.

I am particularly grateful when a book comes along that illuminates what our culture is really afraid of, those repressed realities that make our arts so docile, so fearful of challenging the status quo. The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable by Indian novelist Amitav Ghosh, sheds light on an embarrassing failure of nerve that […]


“Hamilton” and My Kids

"Hamilton" in production, photo by Sara Krulwich/The New York Times

Sometimes it takes an immigrant’s perspective to recognize what is truly great about the American experiment.


Interview with Harley Erdman, Playwright for Nobody’s Girl

The Northampton Academy of Music Theater will debut the new play, Nobody’s Girl, a screwball-style comedy based on a true story from the early 1940s. The events involve Mildred Walker, a cashier at the Academy (then a movie theater), who was promoted to Manager when the Academy’s longtime manager was suddenly called to military service. The men leasing the Academy attempted to oust her, Mildred and the Academy’s Board resisted, accusations flew – and the case ended up in court.


Layered Time and the Force of Gravity in Frankenstein

Lindel Hart and Linda McInerney have been collaborating for two years on an adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. In the first year, they researched, imagined, and Lindel wrote. They spent endless hours on Linda’s couch dreaming out how the show might be put together; which characters, scenes, themes, and ideas were right for the stage and important for the story in this time. Over the months a play emerged. They recently offered a development performance of the first version of the play in Greenfield.


Why Am I Doing This?

>One night in August, I was soaking wet from having just been in a pond, under the moonlight in rural Ashfield. I was walking around the side of a barn and I was listening to the applause from the audience who had come to see our performance of the Arabian Nights. They had just reached the end of a travelling performance spectacle that travels around a former dairy farm, from scene to scene outdoors and inside, culminating at our pond.


Breaking News on New WORLD Theater & Reflections on the Possibility of Hope

When I was first asked to write a blog post for The Public Humanist, I was unsure whether or not it would be wise in these uncertain times. Uncertain for the arts, definitely, for our communities and the nation. New WORLD Theater’s multiracial, multidisciplinary youth arts program, Project 2050, which had just celebrated its 10th year with the Best of 2050! show, was cancelled for the summer.