Who are we? How can I become a reviewer? Awards?…There are a lot of questions starting to make their way through the digital grapevine and here is our attempt to answer a few of them.
What is UTBA?
The Utah Theater Bloggers Association is comprised of a group of theater patrons and professionals dedicated to the creation and support of theater in Utah. We’re local theatre lovers and practitioners, just like you.
What are the goals of UTBA?
UTBA’s primary goal is to provide a forum for news, reviews, and opinions about Utah theatre. Right now our mainstay is reviews of productions, but we plan to branch out into awards and non-review content to engage theatre audiences, professionals, educators, and practitioners in a meaningful way.
Who are the reviewers for UTBA?
UTBA reviewers are a diverse group of theatre lovers. Most have some sort of formal training in theatre, but insightful audience members are also reviewers.
How many reviewers do you have?
We’re still adding reviewers, but we hope to have 30 by April 1st. We plan to eventually have enough reviewers to write reviews about every locally produced show in the state.
Every show in the state? Are you serious?
Yes. Right now we’re concentrating on the Salt Lake, Utah, Davis, and Weber counties. As we get more reviewers, we’ll expand to other areas of the state.
Can I be a reviewer?
I want UTBA to review my show. How do I do that?
Simply email email@example.com and give us the available date(s) for us to attend and a deadline for us to RSVP. Please be aware that we expect UTBA reviewers to be provided with at least 2 complimentary tickets to your production, preferably on or near opening night. Also be aware that we are more likely to be able to review your show if you give use plenty of notice (preferably at least two weeks). We also encourage you to advertise your show on the site. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Free tickets? Advertising money? How do I know that the reviewers will be fair in reviewing a show?
The free tickets are merely to help us ensure that the theater is serious about the review. It is also to help our reviewers with the financial burden of being a UTBA reviewer. We don’t pay our reviewers for their time or transportation expenses, and any advertising money goes to site maintenance.
We also don’t permit any major non-financial conflicts of interest. For example, reviewers cannot critique a show for UTBA if they are involved with the production or have a family member who is. Reviewers also cannot be an employee or student of the producing organization. We also ask interviewers to excuse themselves from an assignment if they are not able to review the show fairly for any reason that we’re not aware of.
What kind of shows won’t you review?
UTBA will not review dance and ballet productions, opera, or performance art. Other special types of performances, like staged readings, musical revues, improvised productions, and foreign language theatre may be reviewed, depending on the circumstances and the availability of reviewers.
Do you review student shows?
We believe that some of the most innovative theatre in Utah is happening on the campuses of the state’s universities. Therefore, we do review most university student shows as we would any other production. We have not yet reviewed any high school productions, but we’re cautiously open to the idea. Before we review high school productions, we must be assured that the director and the principal have approved a public review. Both should be aware that we almost always mention actors’ real names in our reviews, a fact that some parents might be uncomfortable with.
Why do you review productions that only run for one night?
Even though a one-night production would close before our audience is able to read the review, we think that a review is nonetheless an important aspect of the show. Reviews provide honest feedback to theatre artists and may help them with their next production. Also, our audience may become aware of the type of short-term productions that certain groups produce. This may cause them to try to attend the next production.
What are the UTBA Awards?
The UTBA Awards are a way we hope to start honoring local theater productions. Awards are divided into Equity and Non-Equity awards. For more information, visit the UTBA Awards page. We hope to have enough reviewers and judges in place by the end of the summer to start the judging process with this next season (2010-2011).
What does it mean for a play to be “UTBA Recommended”?
The designation of “UTBA Recommended” is given to a production when, after the opening night of its run, at least ONE ELEMENT of the show was deemed outstanding by the opening night judges of the UTBA Committee. The entire production is then eligible for nomination for awards at the end of the season. Once a production is designated “UTBA Recommended,” our judges and reviewers are encouraged to see the play before it closes and be able to vote on it for the UTBA Awards.
Who are the UTBA judges and how can I become one?
UTBA judges and reviewers are often—but not always—the same people and the eligibility requirements are somewhat similar. You may email email@example.com to apply. Judges are expected to submit content to UTBA periodically.