My life has always been full of new beginnings in September.
When I was a kid, it was the start of the school year, then college, where the start of the fall semester was the start of the “new year” (it always felt different from the start of the spring semester, though thinking about it there should have been very little difference). As I stepped into my career in the performing arts, I found my year changed very little, with the start of each new theater’s season generally correlating with the start of the fall. I have always found it apt that as we watch nature start to pass into its resting season, we start to concentrate on the blooming of our artistic seasons, as though we are filling a void in our souls which we may not have even notice opening.
I feel it is fitting that I take over the editor duties for the theater section in a September. I wanted to thank Nicholas Thornburg for his amazing work with the section these past few years, and for making me cry a little with his outgoing message. We have all been working hard here both at AltDaily and out in the community to make sure that Hampton Roads theater is the best that it can be, and we plan to continue that mission as long as we are able.
Which brings me to my next point — we are in need of more people! We are an all volunteer writing staff, and although we love and are passionate about the work we do (much like those of you who volunteer with our local community theaters), every single one of us also has at least one paying commitment as well (most of us actually have more than one — we are the gig economy). Many hands make light work, and we are looking to expand our staff to be able to continue the quality coverage you have come to expect from our section.
You probably already know that all of our theater reviewers all have either professional experience in the performing arts, are theatrical educators, or have equivalent years of non-professional experience in community theaters so that our reviewing voice retains the credibility of our (varied) experience. (And if you didn’t, well, now you know!) If you think you would be a good fit on our reviewing team, please drop me a note, and we can talk about our process!
In an attempt to better serve the Hampton Roads arts community, however, we are going to need to expand our audiences (just ask anyone who works with any arts non-profit), and the best way we as a section can help with that is if we can better discuss the relevance of our art in today’s world. We are looking to bring you more previews of upcoming events, and to expand our staff to include other professionals who can bring fresh perspectives to the table. Think that might be right up your alley? Please drop me a line, we’ll talk about our vision and direction!
Finally, I need to say a HUGE public thank you to Nic, Jesse, the current theatre writing staff, and the local community that we all work so closely with for their patience during this transition! I’m hoping to expand my experience and knowledge while we grow as a community, and I look forward to doing that with all of you!