THEATER | DANCE | CLASSICAL MUSIC | OPERA | COMEDY

NORTH TEXAS PERFORMING ARTS NEWS

ABOUT US

About TheaterJones.com
Photo: Jones Family Archive
Margo Jones

Founded in 2009, TheaterJones seeks to fill the void in arts coverage left by the diminishing print media, and to expand coverage of the performing arts on the Web. Our goal as journalists and critics is to cover the North Texas performing arts scene—theater, dance, classical music, opera, comedy and related media—as thoroughly and with as much energy, integrity, attitude and enthusiasm as mainstream broadcast and print media cover sports and politics.

We do this through reviews, features, news, essays, video, photography and opinion on a visually stimulating, clean and easily navigable website. In doing so, we provide a platform for arts journalists and critics to practice the craft of writing. Additionally, our site includes searchable event listings and audition notices as a service to the arts community and to the arts-going consumer.

Our inspiration is theater legend Margo Jones (pictured), who helped start the regional theater movement in Dallas in the 1940s. Jones also inspired hundreds of professional regional theaters across the country. Read more about her in this Handbook of Texas Online bio, written by Helen Sheehy, author of the biography Margo: The Life and Theatre of Margo Jones. You can also learn more about her from the KERA-produced documentary Sweet Tornado: Margo Jones and the American Theater.

We're always looking for ways to improve our product, so contact us if you have suggestions or thoughts. Contact the editor if you're interested in joining our team.

TheaterJones.com is a division of Cloudbusting Media, Inc.

 

Our review policy: We review professional and semi-pro performing arts events in North Texas, and while we don't make a habit of reviewing community theater and amateur performance, we will consider non-professional productions on a case-by-case basis.

 

CONTACT

 

Publishing Editor and Co-Founder: Mark Lowry | marklowry@theaterjones.com

Operations Manager and Designer: Michael Warner | michaelwarner@theaterjones.com

Submit listings, auditions and news releases: listings@theaterjones.com

Advertising Inquiries: ads@theaterjones.com

 

Mailing Address:

TheaterJones.com

P.O. Box 225826

Dallas, TX 75222-5826

 

Contacts for contributors are in the bios below:

Mark Lowry
Co-Founder, Editor and Chief Theater Critic
Photo: Mark Oristano

Mark was a staff writer and theater critic at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram from 1998 to 2008, where he also wrote about dance, opera, dining, music and pop culture. He was a proud drama geek in high school and studied theater in college before turning his focus to journalism at the University of Texas at Arlington. 

He is a member of the American Theater Critics Association. In 2003, he was selected for a fellowship at the National Critics Institute at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center in Waterford, Connecticut, for which he received a scholarship from the New York Times Foundation.

He co-founded TheaterJones in early 2009, and now serves as its editor-in-chief as well as the CEO of Cloudbusting Media, Inc. He has written for the Dallas Observer, Dallas Morning News, FW Weeky, Auditoria and other publications, and is frequent contributor to the Star-Telegram, DFW.com and Dallas Voice. He lives in Dallas.

Follow Mark on Twitter

Gregory Sullivan Isaacs
Chief Classical Music and Opera Critic

Gregory is a professional musician and music journalist who has held numerous musical directorships of opera, choral and symphonic organizations. In 2009, he was honored by being chosen as a fellow for the sixth annual NEA Arts Journalism Institute in Classical Music and Opera.

Other honors include a Pulitzer Prize nomination in composition, a Peabody award for performance, and an ASCAP award for his commitment to American Music. He holds a Master's degree in music from the prestigious music program at Indiana University in Bloomington. He also writes for other publications such as Arts+Culture Magazine and The Dallas Voice. He is a member of the Music Critics Association of North America and ASCAP.

Email: gregoryisaacs@theaterjones.com

Follow Gregory on Twitter

Amy Martin
Chief Comedy Critic

Amy Martin stayed up late to watch Johnny Carson as a child and has been a comedy addict ever since, living proof that an hour-a-day minimum dose of comedy keeps you sort of sane. She included comedy as part of her beat at the Dallas Observer, where she originated the music coverage. At the Dallas Times Herald she made her mark as a comedy critic and eclectic arts reviewer, and was the first journalist outside of Houston to cover legendary comedian Bill Hicks.

A journalist with a yen for variety, Martin has done environmental journalism at The Dallas Morning News and national magazine Garbage, served as commentator and substitute talk-show host at KERA, and now writes weekly for The Dallas Morning News interfaith blog Texas Faith.

Regarded by many as the "Moonlady," (www.moonlady.com) Martin operates a 3200+ member online news service and website for North Texas called Moonlady News, covering non-mainstream spirituality, holistic, nature and progressive communities. As executive director of Earth Rhythms, Martin presented seasonal events for 20 years, including Winter SolstiCelebration, along with concerts by national spiritual musicians such as Deval Premal and R Carlos Nakai.

Margaret Putnam
Chief Dance Critic

Margaret Putnam has been writing about dance since 1980, with works published by D Magazine, The Dallas Observer, The Dallas Times Herald, The Dallas Morning News, The New York Times, Playbill, Stagebill and Dance Magazine.

 

Alexandra Bonifield
Contributing Theater Writer

An NEA/Annenberg fellow in theatre criticism, Alexandra Bonifield has enjoyed life-long involvement in performance arts as performer, director, producer, arts manager and advocate in both Texas and California. She has lectured in theatre criticism at the University of North Texas and has been honored for her writing at UNT’s Mayborn Non-fiction Writers Conference. She brings perspective, grounded understanding and committed passion to her commentary. A Texas native, she is a graduate of The Hockaday School. Find her stage reviews and interviews online at her blog, criticalrant.com.

Follow Alexandra on Twitter

Cheryl Callon
Contributing Dance Writer

Cheryl holds a BFA and MFA in Dance from Sam Houston State University. Her extensive dance studies at Sam took her beyond choreography and performance into the realms of technical production, research and administration. She danced with Kista Tucker Dance Company and SHSU Dance Company but has also worked behind the scenes as stage manager, concert director, box office manager, lighting and costume designer, costume crew and backstage crew.

Upon graduation in 2008, Cheryl moved to the Metroplex with her husband and immediately started teaching at Collin College. Richland College was added to her list of employers in August 2011. She has taught dance appreciation, jazz, ballet, modern, musical theater dance, and tap.

She took on the new title of "Mommy" in 2009 when her daughter was born. As if being a professor, writer and mommy weren't enough, Cheryl also enjoys cooking and creating new recipes. She looks forward to branching out into other areas of dance and watching her kids grow to be good dancers like their mom—maybe even better.

J. Robin Coffelt
Contributing Music Writer

As a little girl, Robin fell in love with words first and music soon after, and is delighted to be able to combine both her favorite things as a music writer for TheaterJones. Robin has a B.A. in English from Baylor University, and an M.A. in Literature and Ph.D. in American Literature from the University of North Texas, where she is a Lecturer in the Department of English. Robin began studying violin at age eight, and currently plays in the Flower Mound Symphony, a community orchestra. Robin also is a yoga teacher and practitioner, a rock climber and mom to three dogs.

Katie Dravenstott
Contributing Dance Writer

Katie Dravenstott is a dance teacher and freelance dance writer based in Dallas. Her work has been published in Dance Teacher, Dance Spirit and Dancer magazine. She also manages her own blog and contributes articles on the studio scene to the Dance Council of North Texas quarterly publication, DANCE! North Texas.

Jan Farrington
Contributing Theater Writer

Jan Farrington is a freelance writer and editor based in Fort Worth. She was for many years an editor and contributing writer for a publishing house in Chicago, working on educational magazines including Writing! and Current Health. Jan was a contributing writer on a five-book history series for Contemporary Books, The Amazing Century, and an editor/contributor to college texts (Contemporary Stage Directing and Understanding the Film) for Holt Rinehart and Winston and National Textbook Company. She is the winner of nine “EdPress” awards for excellence in educational journalism.
 
Jan graduated from the University of Dallas with a degree in English literature (plus lots of theater classes!), and earned a journalism master’s from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in Chicago. Her passionate interest in arts journalism dates to those years in Chicago, when the local theater scene was in full flower. (“Steppenwolf and St. Nicholas theaters were starting up, David Mamet was writing for the local stages, and for a $5 ticket you could see tremendous performances from John Malkovich, Gary Sinise, William H. Macy—great days.”)
 
She dates her theater bug back to childhood, when she ran lines with her father for his role in a Fort Worth production of Christopher Fry’s Sleep of Prisoners. More recently, she has acted as an arts journalism writing coach for her daughter Kate, the resident dramaturg (and artistic associate) for The Pearl Theatre Company, an off-Broadway classical rep group now in its 29th season. Jan is delighted to be writing about the North Texas theater scene.

Robert Hart
Staff Photographer

Robert Hart is a Pulitzer Prize-winning photo editor who has worked as a photojournalist, editor and corporate media executive for the past 30 years. His photographs have been published in every major newspaper in America as well as several national magazines. Robert's team received the 2001 Editor & Publisher award for Best Special Section in a Newspaper Online Service for DallasNews.com's "Toxic Traps." Robert won the 1994 Pulitzer Prize in International Reporting for his work on The Dallas Morning News team project "Violence Against Women." He is currently a member of the journalism faculty at Southern Methodist University, where he teaches Digital Photojournalism.

Robert was Associate Editor of DallasNews.com, Managing Director of Arlington.com, a picture editor at The Dallas Morning News a former city editor at The Arlington Morning News and Director of Photography at The Times-Picayune. He holds a bachelor's degree in communications from the University of Texas at Arlington. Robert is married to the beautiful and brilliant Mary Ann Hart and they have two sons, Michael and Jesse, who are both professional dancers in NYC.

Email: Robert@roberthart.com

Martha Heimberg
Contributing Theater Writer

Martha Heimberg has been writing about theater, the arts and historic preservation for over 30 years for numerous Texas newspapers and magazines, including Dallas Weekly, D Magazine and Texas Monthly. She currently writes a weekly theater column for Turtle Creek News. She has won awards from the Dallas Press Club and the Texas Historic Commission, and is a founding member of the Dallas Fort Worth Theater Critics Forum. She coordinates DART’s Poetry in Motion program, and serves on the WordSpace board. Her degrees in English and comparative literature are from Southern Methodist University. She is associate professor of English at Northwood University in Cedar Hill, Texas.

Teresa Marrero
Contibuting Theater Writer

Teresa Marrero (Ph.D., University of California, Irvine and currently Associate Professor of Latino/a  & Latin American Theater in the Department of World Languages/Literatures/Cultures at the University of North Texas) is a scholar, fiction writer, playwright, theater director and avid Argentine tango dancer. Born in Havana, Cuba, she is the author of the short story collection Entre la Argentina y Cuba: Cuentos nómadas de viajes y tangos/ Between Argentina and Cuba, Nomad Stories of Travels and Tangos (Buenos Aires, 2009).  In 2010 her Spanish language play, La familia, premiered in Dallas at the Bathhouse Cultural Center with Cambalache Teatro en Español. She has directed several plays , including Nilo Cruz’s challenging Lorca in a Green Dress. With Caridad Svich, she co-edited the anthology of plays Out of the Fringe: Contemporary Latina/Latino Theatre and Performance (TCG, 2000). Her essays in books include: Negotiating Performance: Gender, Sexuality, and Theatricality in Latin/o America, Tropicalizations: Transcultural Representations of Latinidad , Latinas on Stage, Conducting a Life: a Tribute to María Irene Fornés , The State of Latino Theater in the United States,  and recently Theatre & Performance in Small Nations (Intellect,  2013). She is a member of TANTO (Teatro Alianza of North Texas Organizations). 

M. Lance Lusk
Contributing Theater Writer

M. Lance Lusk studied and acted at St. John’s College in Annapolis (the “great books” school), where he was a member of the King William’s Players, The Colonial Players, and Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre (players).  Lance earned a graduate degree from the University of Dallas in the Institute of Philosophic Studies where he acted in as many Shakespeare productions as his studies allowed. Some of Lance’s favorite roles are Job in The Book of Job; Hector in Troilus and Cressida, Orsino in Twelfth Night, Leontes in The Winter’s Tale, and most importantly, his continuing rom-com role as a hapless husband, and sitcom dad to two brilliant sons. Lance is currently a doctoral student in the Humanities at the University of Texas at Dallas. He is a great fan of baseball, the Bard, flavorful brews, British motorcycles, and the Oxford comma. Lance has written for TheaterJones and D Magazine, and then TheaterJones again. 

Kris Noteboom
Contributing Theater Writer

Kris first knew he wanted to be involved in theater early in life when his mother took him to Casa Mañana. Kris became involved in theater in high school, eventually appearing in The Importance of Being Earnest, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Annie Get Your Gun and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. In college, Kris won acting awards in Poetz Corner (Edgar Allen Poe), The Rivers and Ravines (Caleb Stratman) and Murder By Natural Causes.

After receiving a Bachelor's in Rhetoric from Hardin-Simmons University, Kris began graduate study in Rhetoric and Performance Studies at the University of North Texas. While at UNT, Kris wrote, directed and appeared in a number of performance art pieces, receiving special recognition for his role in the adaptation of the book Feet on the Street: Rambles Around New Orleans, as Diego Rivera in Frida Kahlo in Love, and for his adaptation of Shirley Jackson’s haunting short story, The Lottery. Kris has traveled to conferences and performance festivals around the country as a director, performer and academic, presenting papers and performances on Stephen Colbert, Jon Stewart, and Andy Kaufman, in conjunction with his study of the satirical grotesque. He has taught classes in Performance of Literature, Storytelling and Public Speaking and Public Speaking and Critical Thinking at UNT and KD Studio Actors’ Conservatory.

Follow Kris on Twitter

David Novinski
Contributing Theater Writer

Dallas native and professional, tall actor David Novinski earned his B.A. in Drama from the University of Dallas. It was there that he mastered the spelling of "theatre," which marked him from the beginning and sent him on to the University of Pittsburgh to earn his MFA in Acting.

After some regional Shakespeare festivals and summer stock and he returned home to the metroplex with his beautiful wife to start a family, at which they became very proficient. His usual conceited air is really just a combination of hearing loss and indigestion- a by-product of raising four boys.

Presently he makes his living as a designer/artist with novinskistudio, a design firm he founded with his father. When not in a chair, he is usually found standing or lying down. In his spare time, he longs to find out why the excitement of document storage never lives up to the of thrill document retrieval.

He would like to thank the DFW Theater Critics for being so gracious. He would also like to thank all the little people. Considering his height that is pretty much all of you. You may consider yourself thanked.

Cathy O'Neal
Contributing Theater Writer

Cathy O’Neal’s first live theater experience was attending Julius Caesar at Casa Mañana on a school field trip. She later became a board member (and eventually board president) at Theatre Arlington, but it take long to realize that the real fun was not in the boardroom looking at the budget, but backstage with the theater trash. In 1995, she nervously took her place in the tech booth as a spotlight operator for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and has been theater trash ever since.

Cathy has worked her way through almost every theater production job and settled on two favorites, stage managing and props design. She has worked in one or both of those capacities at several area theaters. Cathy has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Arlington, where she has taught Media Writing, Public Relations Case Studies, Public Relations Management and Intro to Speech as an adjunct teacher.

She has been a staff writer for the The Dallas Times Herald and the arts and entertainment editor for the Arlington Star-Telegram, and still works as a freelance writer. Cathy’s day job is communications director for the Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts in Arlington. The only person with a cooler job is her son, Sean, who is on the national writing team of The Onion’s AV Club.

Follow Cathy on Twitter

Penelope Taylor
Contributing Theater Writer
Photo: Courtesy

Penelope Taylor has a BFA from Hofstra University. She moved to Dallas after a seven-year stint of acting in NYC, and performed with Theatre Three, Stage West, Pegasus Theater and Dallas Children’s Theater, among others. She was also a founding member of the Gryphon Players. Writing has always been an avocation and it’s been her chosen profession for almost 20 years. A contributor to The Dallas Morning News, Edible DFW, Texas Jewish Post and Greensource DFW, she finds reviewing theater a unique opportunity to support the artistic community in Dallas from a different angle.

Adrianne Traylor
Contributing Theater Writer

Adrianne Traylor is a native Texan, former massage therapist, lover of classic film, avid theatergoer, social justice advocate, writer and former actress who gave up her dreams of life upon the wicked stage… just in time to move to New York City! A former Broadcast Journalism student at SMU, Adrianne went on to earn a BA in Psychology and Sociology from Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, and a M.S. in Counseling and Development from Texas Woman’s University. She now toils as a college administrator and licensed psychotherapist while soaking up as much of the NYC theatre scene as possible, and writing about it when she can. She has also contributed, under a pseudonym, to several social justice and feminist blogs and websites, including Persephone Magazine, PostBourgie, Racialicious, Afropunk and Bitch Ph.D. She plans to venture back into acting again, through the craft of voice-over and audiobook narration.  She hopes to follow in the multi-hyphenated footsteps of her dad, Denver-based director-actor-writer-documentarian donnie l. betts, and is acting as a research assistant on his latest documentary, on African-American historian, religious scholar and civil rights activist Dr. Vincent J. Harding.

Emily Trube
Arts Reporter

Emily Trube started a career in broadcast journalism in 2003, after spending 11 years in the downtown theater scene in New York. She’s currently the morning reporter for CBS Radio’s KRLD Radio in Dallas. Before coming to the Metroplex, she covered Austin’s local and state politics for NewsRadio 590 KLBJ. She has appeared on CNN’s Headline News and Court TV. During the 2009 Fort Hood shootings, she provided live reports for KCBS Radio in San Francisco and for BBC Radio. Emily went to New York from her hometown of Tyler, Texas to attend New York University, Tisch School of the Arts, where she graduated with a BFA in theater, after studying directing, acting, dramaturgy, playwriting and design via Tisch’s Playwrights Horizons Studio. Emily’s decision to switch gears from theater to journalism came about because of her experiences following 9/11.

 

Follow Emily on Twitter

Zachariah Stoughton
Contributing Music Writer

Zachariah Stoughton is a North Texas musician, writer, educator, and administrator.

As a pianist, Mr. Stoughton has an intense interest in music of living composers, frequently performing works by Lowell Lieberman, Bright Sheng, Dan Welcher, and many others. These concerts have opened a new dimension of the piano repertoire to audiences while establishing that new music can be both accessible and enjoyable.

Mr. Stoughton lectures regularly on a wide variety of topics ranging from piano pedagogy, musical temperaments, sound theory, and medieval counterpoint to keyboard literature, American music, music in contemporary society, and new music compositional techniques.

In 2011, he was appointed to the faculty of the Texas Christian University School of Music in Fort Worth, teaching chamber music and music history in addition to serving as the assistant teacher for the piano studio of Tamás Ungár. In that same year, he was selected to lead operations at the PianoTexas International Academy & Festival.

 

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