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 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 highly recommended 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. We are always looking for talented, knowledgeable writers who love the arts. If you're interested in joining our team, contact editor Mark Lowry (see email below). 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 performances, we will consider non-professional productions on a case-by-case basis.




Publishing Editor and Co-Founder: Mark Lowry |

Operations Manager and Designer: Michael Warner |

Submit listings, auditions and news releases:

Director of Sales and Marketing: Bren Rapp |

Advertising Inquiries:


Mailing Address:

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. Since 2014, he has served on the ATCA Executive Board and on the Harold and Mimi Steinberg/New Play Award panel. 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, 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 Fort Worth Star-Telegram and The Dallas Voice. He is a member of the Music Critics Association of North America and ASCAP.


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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," ( 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.


Cheryl Callon
Contributing Dance Writer

Cheryl Callon holds a BFA and MFA in Dance from Sam Houston State University. Her extensive dance studies at SHSU 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 and has also worked behind the scenes as stage manager, concert director, box office manager, lighting and costume designer, costume crew and backstage crew.  Since 2008, she has been teaching at Collin College, including classes in dance appreciation, ballet, modern, tap, jazz, and hip hop. She is also a certified yoga teacher and instructs barre fitness classes.

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.


Gary Dowell
Contributing Film Writer

Gary Dowell is a Dallas-based writer and former journalist who writes catalog copy for Heritage Auctions by day, and fights crime as a freelance film critic by night. In between, he works as a consultant for the USA Film Festival and Dallas International Film Festival, and is the assistant editor for the Far Fetched Fables audio magazine podcast. His inane ramblings can be read at and He occasionally sleeps.


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.

Janice L. Franklin
Contributing Music and Theater Writer

Janice is Coordinator for Humanities, and professor of Humanities and Music at Mountain View College. She earned a Ph.D. in Humanities – Aesthetic Studies from the University of Texas at Dallas, and her B.M. and M.A. in Music (piano performance) from Stephen F. Austin State University. Trained as a classical pianist, her career path veered unexpectedly into musical theater, and then into jazz and cabaret. This path also included composition, scoring, arranging, and vocal coaching actors. She has an extensive background as a musical director working in theatre in Texas and New York. Her résumé includes work in the non-profit arts management sector, and service on several Boards of Directors. She has channeled her love for research and storytelling into working as dramaturge. Janice is a writer of fiction, preferring the short story form.

Jessica Fritsche
Contributing Theater Writer

Jessica Fritsche is a Dallas-based freelance writer and editor who has been involved in the local arts scene since her days at Southern Methodist University, where she studied music and theater while obtaining her degree in Corporate Communications and Public Affairs. She got her start as a journalist writing for niche industry publications and expanded into arts as the theater writer for D Magazine. Jessica has also served as a fiction editor for literary magazines and small presses and was the founding managing editor of Connote Magazine, a business publication for marketing executives. An accomplished singer, Jessica studied voice for 12 years and has performed throughout Dallas as a solo artist and in choral groups such as the Women's Chorus of Dallas.


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'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, Managing Director of, 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.


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. 


Rob Laney
Contributing Music Writer

Rob Laney directs, teaches, and blogs about every kind of music. As Music Department Chair at Weatherford College he guides students to a richer musical future. As Director of Music at South Hills Christian Church he points the way to higher and deeper relationships through music. Rob is a son and grandson of teachers and a choral musician since the day his Sunday school teacher asked him to lead the other children in "Happy Birthday." Because music lessons are life lessons, Rob encourages his choirs and students to listen more closely to the music around them and to each other. Because learning more about music one can understand more about their place in the world, Rob’s motto for the value of music education is "Be Hear Know." A Dallas native, Fort Worth resident and Texas Christian University alumnus, Rob spends the rests in his musical life with his beautiful wife and son. 


Katy Lemieux
Contributing Features Writer

Katy Lemieux works in non-profit development and is a freelance writer based in Bedford. She holds a BA in English from the University of Dallas. When she isn’t wrangling her two daughters or telling people to go see her husband’s plays, she enjoys putting clothes on her pets.


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. 

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). 

Eunice Nicholson
Contributing Features Writer

For more than two decades, Eunice Nicholson has been motivated by her passion for effective communications.  In the 1990s and early 2000s, she worked as a consultant and workshop facilitator with the Dale Carnegie organization, one of the world’s largest people skills training companies.  In 2006, she pursued a long time goal – a degree in journalism – and discovered that she loved writing personality profiles.

In 2009 and 2010, she interned in the communications department for the national headquarters of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, located in Irving. After earning a B.S. in Mass Communications (emphasis in journalism) in 2010 from Texas Wesleyan University, she received a call from MADD’s CEO asking her to consult. In this role she wrote features for their online magazine, MADDvocate, as well as editing the magazine.

Three years ago, Eunice accepted a part time position with MADD, allowing her to pursue other journalistic opportunities, which includes writing features for TheaterJones and her blog, Human2Human.

Canadian born, Eunice lives in Denton, where she shares a home with her partner, Bob.



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

Jason Philyaw
Contributing Comedy Writer

Jason Philyaw is a writer in Dallas. He has been typing words into sentences into paragraphs professionally for 17 years. He writes frequently about the comedy scene in Dallas. He's worked as an editor for Dow Jones Newswires in New York and a reporter for The Bond Buyer newspaper in Dallas. He also has been a copy editor for a mortgage finance  magazine in Plano and has covered high school sports as a stringer for The Dallas Morning News since 2008. Most recently, he has worked as a content marketing provider for various newspapers, websites and public relations firms in Dallas, although he's not entirely sure what that actually entails. In early 2015, he moved with his wife and three preschoolers to Richardson from Oak Cliff because he isn't hip enough anymore. The minivan was last straw.


Lisa Ross
Contributing Features Writer

Lisa Ross is a lover of all things art. She is an author and poet and has served as guest editor for Society Life Magazine and Her career spans radio and television reporting, public relations and public affairs consulting, motivational speaking and leadership development.  She is currently founder and President of the LJR Group, Inc., a Public Relations and Public Affairs firm located in Irving Texas. She is the author of Red, Beans, Rice and Chopstix Too; Sapphires and Satin Beauty of Black Soul; and "The Maafa: A Commemoration of the Transatlantic Slave Trade."


Linda Smith
Contributing Features Writer

Linda Smith has a B.A. in History with minors in Journalism and Spanish from the University of Dallas. In those four years, she learned how to run on little sleep and lots of cappuccinos, research ideas pretty well, and turn that information into accurate, developed pieces. She is currently an editorial intern for Southwest: The Magazine, the in-flight publication for Southwest Airlines, and a writer for the Denton Record-Chronicle. Her passion for news reporting never died, but she discovered her love for arts journalism and feature writing after realizing three things: almost all of her friends are art or drama majors, she could tell stories about people adding to the culture of their society, and that random Creative Nonfiction class with Dr. Gregory Roper was probably the best, most life-changing class she's ever taken. She hopes to continue her education in journalism through both continuing to work in the field and obtaining her Master's, hopefully from University of North Texas. She also hopes to remain a "student of the world," and wants to become more confident in her Spanish, learn multiple other languages, and travel for both service and fun.

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.

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