GLBT Reviewers Circle Editorial Board (left to right) Kathy Pawloski, Tommy Wedge, Amy Spadafore, Dexter Brigham
Great Lakes Bay Theatre Reviewers Circle
There are as many ways to write a review of a theatre production as there are personal responses to any production. In Community Theatre where most people are unpaid volunteers the purpose of a review is not to hurt people’s feelings but to help the local theater improve and market their productions.
Just recently the Great Lakes Bay Theatre Reviewers Circle was formed to provide honest, civil, and objective reviews of each individual production from local theater groups. The GLBT Reviewers Circle has a 4 member editorial board and several individual reviewers. The board provides guidance and advice for the production review process while the reviewer’s role is to view the productions and write the reviews. There are clear standards and criteria for both the process of writing reviews and how reviewers are selected.
We asked the following Editorial Board members for their input on why they created the GLB Theatre Reviewers Circle.
Amy Spadafore, Operations Manager, Pit and Balcony Theatre – The GLBT Reviewers Circle was created with the intent to give the opportunity to have multiple thoughtful, well-balanced reviews of community theatre productions in the GLB Region. These reviews are a benefit to casts and companies alike, aiding in marketing, providing educational opportunities and allowing for an outside perspective to give considerate feedback.
Dexter Brigham, Director of Theatre Programs, Midland Center for the Arts – Community theatres often fall victim to both ends of the spectrum of theatre criticism: they are held either to an impossibly high standard, or to not standard at all. By creating a forum for theatre criticism that grows out of our theatre community itself the GLBT Reviewers Circle, with our working knowledge of each artist and each theatre’s production history, is able to place each production into proper context and provide thoughtful, accurate and respectful reviews that are useful to both the producing organizations and the public at large.
Tommy Wedge, Assistant Professor of Theatre, Saginaw Valley State University – When thinking of the Reviewers Circle, I think it’s critical to keep in mind that this circle of friends are volunteers determined to support and enrich our already vibrant theatre community. It’s theatre lovers helping theatre lovers and it’s an extension of the work local theatre have been doing over the past five years to bring artists and audiences from the Great Lakes Bay region together. I’m so proud of the work these volunteers have done, and I’m looking forward to an even busier season to come.
Kathy Pawloski, Operations Manager, Bay City Players – With the retirement of Janet Martineau the theatre scene was left without feedback from a neutral source. The Great Lakes Bay Theatre Reviewers Circle was formed to fill that void. The editorial board and volunteers work very deliberately so reviewers who have a “home theatre” aren’t reviewing their own shows. We’ve already expanded the reviewer’s pool by three and I am looking forward to an exciting season. The response to this project has been very positive and it’s heartwarming to see the growth in the Great Lakes Bay Theatre community.