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TBA Online: News & Features: March 2014

Editor's Note March/April 2014: Content May Have Shifted

Tuesday, March 4, 2014   (0 Comments)
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By Sam Hurwitt      

What's this? The annual youth issue and the spring preview? How can one magazine contain so much useful information? It's all in a day’s work, citizen. Or, you know, weeks and weeks of work. Either way. 

We decided to move our listings of summer camps and yearlong theatre classes for young'uns from the May/June issue to the March/April issue to give any aspiring stage moms and dads more time to make summer plans for the budding thespians in their family. In related content, check out Kristin Brownstone
's Company Spotlight on Young Actors' Theatre Camp in the Santa Cruz Mountains and Nirmala Nataraj's profile on Oakland's new youth theatre, Gritty City Rep.

Editor-in-Chief Sam Hurwitt. 

I know I'm preaching to the choir when I talk about the value of theatre classes for kids, but I'll say it again anyway, because what's the point of getting older if you don’t get to repeat the same stuff over and over? It's one of the perks. So here it is: Youth theatre classes can change your life and help you become a more confident person, whether you wind up becoming an actor or a lawyer, a plumber or an accountant. No time learning new skills is ever wasted. 

And then, of course, there are all the spring and summer shows you can handle from our company members all over the Bay Area, listed for your perusing pleasure in our mammoth 2014 spring preview. Behold them and wonder anew at how freaking lucky we are to live and work where there’s so much great theatre going on all the time. I saw 138 shows over the course of last year and still felt like I was only scratching the surface. 

I'd noticed that this season seemed to be heavy on popular classics at some theatres that had been experimenting more recently with new work and forgotten plays from long ago, so I asked Jean Schiffman to see what's up with that. She came back with a delightfully detailed look at the various factors that artistic directors take into account when planning the season, making it possible for trends to emerge that may be the farthest thing from the minds of the people who made them happen. 

Our Encore Q&A this month is with actor Catherine Castellanos, interviewed by erstwhile associate editor Laura Brueckner, who’s been newly promoted to the new post of digital content manager. 

Speaking of digital content, ours may have shifted, with the intent of everyone being more content with it than ever. As I write this, we're about to launch the latest and greatest iteration of our website. And sure, it was not quite three years ago that we launched our last website, but in internet years that's like the Pleistocene Era. Stop living in the past! Besides, the last version never quite worked the way we wanted it to, so at some point it was time to stop tinkering and just trade it in. The new features searchable member profiles, blogs, groups, member forums, expanded listings, a functional online store, a streamlined system for submitting job openings, and much, much more. 

Many of you will likely have already met this website, fallen in love with it, and started staying up all night hanging out in our new online forums, until your new obsession with how ridiculously awesome our new website is starts to interfere with your work and family life. Sorry about that! We didn't mean to make it so awesome. It just kind of happened. The point is, all those pesky snafus of internet life will be a thing of the past, and it’ll be cyberbunnies and robodaffodils from now on.

Sam Hurwitt is editor-in-chief for Theatre Bay Area. He is also the author of The Idiolect, a blog about theatre, movies, comics, media and the decline and fall of Western civilization.