Writing about theatre comes from passionate engagement for me. For years I wrote and spoke about the theatre I read and saw and consumed in personal handwritten journals, in academic papers, in quiet conversations with friends and colleagues. Over the past six years this passionate and personal engagement has become something else, something more public and professional. Writing for several on-line outlets. Participating in area theatre awards initiatives (including the Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee in Chicago). Mentoring theatre criticism to young people through guest speaking and teaching artist gigs in Chicago and New York. And now, for the 2012-2013 season, I am a member of the Drama Desk’s nominating committee.
From the press release dated July 5, 2012:
“The Drama Desk has announced the nominators for the 2012-2013 season, led by chairperson Barbara Siegel of TheaterMania.com and TalkinBroadway.com. The nominating committee members will also include David Kaufman (author); Samuel L. Leiter (Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Theatre, Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center); Martha Wade Steketee (dramaturg); Adrian Wattenmaker (Theater Faculty, Brooklyn College; Director, School of Creative and Performing Arts); and James Wilson, (Professor of Theatre, CUNY; co-editor of Journal of American Drama and Theatre). The Drama Desk was founded in 1949. Each year, the group hands out awards in a number of categories and are the only major New York theater honors for which productions on Broadway, Off-Broadway and Off-Off Broadway compete against each other in the same category.”
This new exciting status as a Drama Desk nominator has presented scheduling and new-routine-learning sets of impediments to my old review posting routines. Ah, more change in the wind. I plan to continue to review as before. It should be noted that my personal opinions in my reviews will always reflect my own thoughts and not the impressions of the confidential deliberations of the nominating committee. While I expect that this year will bring the opportunity to see more productions over the course of the season than ever before (filling my theatre glutton’s soul), I may have less time to craft reviews than has been my norm in the past. Time will tell. Let us begin.