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David Henry Hwang and More Featured in 'The Flashpaper: Theatre's Thoughts on Right Now'

David Henry Hwang and More Featured in 'The Flashpaper: Theatre's Thoughts on Right Now'

Arts journalist and editor Mark Blankenship announced the debut of The Flashpaper: Theatre's Thoughts on Right Now, a new journal dedicated to the urgent ideas of contemporary theater artists. Each issue of this print-only publication features original content created in response to a timely prompt from a diverse group of artists working in a variety of forms. Contributions can take shape in any printable form including playscripts, comics, essays, photo diaries, and more. Utilizing the speed of on-demand printing and an innovative approach to editing, each issue of The Flashpaper can be conceived, written, and produced within six weeks. The first issue of The Flashpaper is currently on sale at

What Will It Be Like When Social Distancing Ends? is the prompt for the debut issue. It includes contributions by Raquel Almazan, Clare Barron, Sarah Einspanier, Kelley Nicole Girod, Ayun Halliday, Kinesis Project dance theatre, The Living Theatre, Tara Moses, National Asian American Theatre Company, Parallel Exit, Meropi Peponides, and Theater Breaking Through Barriers, along with a foreword by David Henry Hwang and an afterword by Sarah Treem.

"The debut issue of The Flashpaper: Theatre's Thoughts on Right Now is a physical testament to what over two dozen artists think it will be like when social distancing ends," says Mark Blankenship, editor and founder of The Flashpaper. "They've imagined the future via manifestos and plays, parodies and poems, photo essays and comic books. They've laid themselves bare with a clarity that only comes from being in the thick of it. In a few weeks or a few years, when we need to remember what this time was like and what we hoped it would produce, we can dog-ear their pages."

"The Flashpaper: Theatre's Thoughts on Right Now gathers together a new and vital community," says Tony-winning playwright David Henry Hwang. "On these pages, we will share our lives and work during this pandemic, our discoveries in isolation, and our innovations as we emerge to rebuild the theater. In doing so, we may even rediscover our roots."

The Flashpaper is dedicated to financial transparency. The debut issue costs $27.50 and for each copy sold, $1 goes to each of the 12 contributing entities; $1 goes to both journal staffers; and $2.50 goes to the Indie Theater Fund. The remaining $7 covers printing costs and other expenses.

The debut issue of The Flashpaper: Theatre's Thoughts on Right Now includes the following contributions, listed in print order:

Putting the Community Back into Theatre by David Henry Hwang

An essay that challenges our expectation of what "community theatre" means.

Manifesto From Quarantine (v 1.0) for the Theatre of the Future by Meropi Peponides

An incisive and poetic manifesto that gives marching orders to the artists, producers, and audience members who will need to rebuild the theatre in the wake of the pandemic.

Andrew Cuomo's Nipple Rings: An Oral History by Ayun Halliday

A hand-drawn comic about a theatre troupe of talking animal that finds an ingenious solution for escaping bad reviews in the time after the plague.

About Alice, or When Social Distancing Ends by Kelley Nicole Girod
An autobiographical essay about surprising intersections of race, love, politics, and family during the pandemic.

What Was (To Have Been), What Is, What Will Be by Mia Katigbak

A poignant essay in which the artistic director of the National Asian American Theatre Company asks company members of a canceled production to help her imagine the future.

What This Will Be Like When It's Over by Clare Barron

A new play about the uncomfortable transition from sexting to physical intimacy.

Framing Forward by members of Kinesis Project dance theatre

Six photo essays about life after social distancing, created under the constraints of social distancing.

Let's Fuse Theatre, Medicine, and Community Engagement by Brad Burgess, Jenna Coalson, and Rob Mowring

A lively Q&A with the artistic director of the Living Theatre, an epidemiologist, and a community organizer about how their three fields can create a meaningful responses to the pandemic.

Making a Scene (with Cornell Whitlow) by Joel Jeske and Mark Lonergan of Parallel Exit

A satirical critics notebook reviewing immersive theatre productions created in the aftermath of social distancing.

#18 by Sarah Einspanier

A new play about two Trader Joe's employees navigating the rules of love, sex, and check-out lines.

Leveled by Nicholas Viselli of Theater Breaking Through Barriers

An essay about how the pandemic has essentially made all of disabled, and how we can look to the disabled community on where to go from here

I Imagine a Just Theatre by Tara Moses

An epic blueprint of a more just theatre that can be built after the pandemic, drawing on the author's own experience as a Native artist and audience member.

The Theatre Of... by Raquel Almazan

A new poem-play about the many voices of theatre people struggling to agree on what will happen next.

Theatre Is the Form by Sarah Treem

An essay about why theatre will outlast anything we see on a screen.

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