Addicted to novelty since 2001

Where are the Theatre Blogs?

UPDATE: Ironically, I started a theatre blog of my own, about the play I wrote for the Vancouver and Victoria 2006 Fringe Festivals.
Today I noticed that Robert Scoble linked to a weblog by the artistic director of Wayside Theatre in Middletown, VA. I was pleased, because I’ve never actually seen a decent, ongoing weblog about theatre by a theatre professional. Unfortunately, the AD in question is also a Tablet PC enthusiast. There are plenty of posts like ‘Top 10 Benefits of Tablet Computing’ and few meditations on a life in the theatre. There’s nothing wrong with blogging about your gadgets, but I want to hear about his play selection process, or his tricks for getting through general auditions with his sanity intact.

I was talking to a friend of mine recently who did some work on theatreSKAM’s website. I told her she ought to set them up with a blog. I know the Skamsters, and they’re all smart, articulate people. They could probably own the theatre blog space, and get a decent readership pretty quickly. It probably wouldn’t help much with show attendance–theatre and the Internet have yet to meaningfully converge. It would help with professional development, and might make them some good connections elsewhere on the planet.

19 Responses to “Where are the Theatre Blogs?”

  1. Cyn

    I’ll be working on a ‘Theatre Blog’ soon. The musical I ma producing with Campbell Webster, “Anne & Gilbert” will have a blog when the time is right.
    The idea I’d like see come to fruition is to have everyone involved in the production participating in on going discussion, planning events and genral communication. From the producers to the stage hands, actors, musicians…tout la gang.
    If it works, I think it will create a stronger bond, and in the end make for a better show.

  2. Elisa Camahort

    As part of my marketing consulting business, Worker Bees, I decided to focus on theatre (and eventually other arts and non-profit organizations) because that’s a world I know very well.

    Right now I have one very active theatre blog:
    http://42stmoon.blogspot.com

    And one that’s more sporadic, since they only do a couple of shows per year:
    http://fmtcurrent.blogspot.com

    When you combine the blogging with online community outreach and direct email to opted-in subscribers and past attendees I have found that the blog *can* drive increased attendance.

    However it’s like any other marketing tool…to achieve results you need consistency, and you need to have an offer with trackability.

    Since I started this business, my theory has been that the type of person who goes to the theatre would love to have a “backstage pass” to what goes on at the theatre. And that people go most often to a particular show at the theatre when they feel like they know or are connected to someone involved….with the blog they can feel like they know everyone involved in every show.

    So, when you ask where are the theatre blogs, I say I’m working on it out here in the Bay Area!

  3. Warner Crocker

    As the author of the blog you mentioned, I’m glad you stopped by. Still trying to figure out a balance between my various interests and which to Dog about most. hook for more theatre entries after the first of the year. I actually had thought about bloggig about our casting season.

  4. shel

    Darren,

    Blogging is new, and has always happened technology zealots are the first adopters and evangelists. They talk about what interests them. But if it stays with the techcentric, it’s just a fad and blip. The book that I’m working on with Robert intends to get people talking about other subjects–all other subjects. Jeesh, right now,if you’re not obsessed with politics and tech, the Blogosphere is bore and a bubble. Blogging is about tools. Yoy have passion and knowledge. Go blog. Get other people who are interested and knoweledgeable about theater to join your conversation and start blogs of their own. Over time, theater blogs should eclipse geeks like Robert who believe Longhorn and Firefox are the center of the universe.

  5. Darren

    Elisa: Thanks for the tip–I subscribed to one of those blogs.

    Jon: Indeed–I used to read the Moxie blog, but I must have stopped when I went to an RSS-only approach. I see they have RSS now, so I’ve resubscribed. Thanks for the reminder.

    Warner: Thanks for visiting. Feel free to write about your Tablet PC. Lots of people want to read about that. Me, I want to read about your auditions.

    Shel: True enough. We’re singing from the same hymn book here. That’s why I was telling the SKAM dudes that I thought they could be premier theatre bloggers–there’s very little competition. I look forward to the day when (if) there’s an even-playing field for blogs about everything.

  6. darren o'donnell

    hey darren,

    i was asking this very question recently. vancouver’s adrienne wong just set one up to ask some specific questions and gather content for theater company ruby slipper’s newsletter. the blog is
    http://www.theaudienceproject.blogspot.com
    please post some comments. we need more.

    you can also read the blog i kept while presenting a show during the edinburgh festival in august. no new postings, just an account of my time there:

    http://www.darrenodonnell.blogspot.com

    later,
    darren

  7. Paul Miller

    I am a theatre director based in London and have been trying a blog for a few months now. I thought it might be of interest to some theatre people in the States.

    It’s called My London Life and it’s at pm67.blogspot.com

  8. kellie

    interesting that you think that theater and the internet haven’t merged. I’m currently interning for the marketing department of a theater company in philly, and I’m pretty sure they already use the internet as a source of marketing on several levels, and are looking to expand. That’s actually why I stumbled across your blog – they are looking to create a blog themselves, and wanted me to find some examples of already existing blogs. I must say, I’m not having the easiest of times. But I still don’t agree with what you said about theater and the internet.

  9. Nathaniel

    I’m working with Eclipse Theatre Company in Chicago, and I just started a blog – right now it’s a “post-show discussion blog,” meaning that it’s focused on the discussions we’re having after our currently running show (Spinning into Butter by Rebecca Gilman). I’m not sure if this is the best approach, or if we should expand it to talk about the process of running a theatre company in general.

    It’s at http://www.eclipsetheatrecompany.wordpress.com – if anyone has feedback, let me know by leaving a comment here or there. I’m glad to see people are having this conversation, anyway – I think blogging is a fantastic extension between the audience and the artists, and I’m hoping to see a lot more of them develop (Steppenwolf in Chicago has an excellent blog too, by the way).

  10. Komedy Kollective Theatre

    When internet listings and reviews, takes over from free newspapers like in the UK, the Metro listings, for instance, what people read on the internet about a show, for instance, might make a difference. Then, theatre blogs will be meaningful, and will boost attendance for a show, we in the Komedy Kollective, think.

  11. Corey Jackson

    I work on a blog. I mostly direct children’s theatre for regional theatre’s in Massachusetts and some community theatre when there’s a project I really want to do. I am a professional actor as well. My blog may be of interest to you. I often wish more directors and actors would comment on my blog so I can grow as an actor and director through many people’s experiences.

    http://coreyjackson.wordpress.com/

  12. LouieThePrawn

    Personally, I’d like to see more theatre ON the internet, not just talk about it.
    This is exactly what we’ve been experimenting with on our website: http://www.underwing.tv.

    I’m glad to share in a theatrical experience regardless of the medium. The trick is to try to incorporate the internet’s strengths with effective storytelling, which necessitates embracing spatial elements as well as linear ones.

  13. Matt

    I agree with Louie, I would love to see more theatre on the internet (and I’m not just talking youtube)! I know the AD of Wayside, he’s a great guy. The issue with theatre professional, especially of smaller non-profits, is that it’s there job – they do and talk about theatre all day so it can get tiring after awhile.

    Matt

  14. Aurora

    If you want a place where you can talk with other people who love theater, I recommend checking out http://www.BroadwaySpace.com! It’s a great place for people from all over to connect with people who love theater.

  15. Todd Wallinger

    My blog, Backstage Babble, features info and reviews for the national Broadway tours. I also throw in some general theatre talk and humor and will soon be adding exclusive interviews with touring Broadway stars.

    As a professional theatre critic, I try to keep my commentary honest but not too snarky.

    Check it out at http://www.backstagebabble.com.

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