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BY U.S. MAIL:
20222 Farmington Rd.
Livonia, MI 48152
Donald V. Calamia
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EncoreMichigan.com is Web-based publication focused on Michigan's professional theater industry. Established in 2008, it is the state's premier source for free, up-to-the-minute news and information about this often-ignored segment of the arts community.
Designed as a one-stop shop for consumers, industry professionals and others with an interest in the performing arts, EncoreMichigan.com is updated daily and packed with informative interviews, insightful reviews, comprehensive show listings, thoughtful commentary, audition notices, original podcasts, special offers and much, much more.
Original content is created by a dedicated team of veteran freelance journalists and theater professionals. In addition to material created exclusively for EncoreMichigan.com, links are also provided to reviews and stories of interest that appear in other local and national publications. Together, this makes EncoreMichigan.com the most complete source for professional theater news in Michigan.
EncoreMichigan.com also produces:
EncoreMichigan.com was created in 2008 by Livonia, Michigan-based Pride Source Media Group and originator Donald V. Calamia, PSMG's highly-regarded theater and arts editor. The company was acquired by the Michigan Equity Theatre Alliance, a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation, in fall 2012. Upon the sudden closure of META effective July 1, 2014, EncoreMichigan.com is in search of new owners or partners.
ABOUT DONALD V. CALAMIA:
As a theater and education major at Mercy College of Detroit, Donald V. Calamia learned an important life-lesson: A career as a professional actor in Detroit in the mid-1970s was not all it was cracked up to be!
However, life as a theater executive proved otherwise.
After serving stints as public relations director, box office manager, administrative director and producer with two local professional theater companies in the mid-to-late 70s, Calamia co-founded Crossroads Productions, Ltd., a nationally recognized, award-winning touring educational theater company, and served as its executive director for 14 years. When fate took him down yet another path in 1993, it was decided to go out on a high note, and the company quietly lowered the curtain for the last time.
In the meantime, Calamia found an outlet for his journalistic talents: From late 1979 through August 1982 he worked as a freelance writer for the Observer & Eccentric Newspapers for which he wrote feature stories and served as a theater critic. He has also written or co-authored a half dozen professionally-produced plays that address such issues as divorce, AIDS and substance abuse. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, they played to tens of thousands of young people all across Michigan.
Besides his current work as editorial director of EncoreMichigan.com, Calamia also serves as theater and arts editor for Pride Source Media Group, publishers of Between The Lines, for which he created The Wilde Awards, a "must attend" annual event that honors the work produced by Michigan's professional theater companies. He is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Theatre Critics Association.
Martin F. Kohn is former chief drama critic for the Detroit Free Press and has taught journalism at Michigan State University. He received the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award for music journalism and was a critic fellow at the O'Neill Theater Center, His work has appeared in American Theatre, Back Stage, the Best Plays Theater Yearbook, Dramatics, Entertainment Weekly, Humanities, Parenting, Parents and USA Today.
While growing up in Brighton, Michigan, Jenn McKee appeared as a maid in Agatha Christie's "The Hollow" and as one of the Major General's many daughters in Gilbert and Sullivan's "The Pirates of Penzance." She then decided to spare the world from her, ahem, "acting" and pursue writing about theater instead. She wrote her first theater reviews for The Michigan Daily while a student at U-M, and continued to write freelance arts articles for local newspapers while earning an MA in English at University of Georgia, and then an MFA in creative writing at Penn State University. She's published a poem (that's right, one) and a handful of short stories in literary journals, and one of her stories, "Under the Influence," was selected by Joyce Carol Oates for inclusion in the anthology, "Best New American Voices 2003." Currently, she's the staff theater critic/arts writer for AnnArbor.com, and she lives in Farmington with her lovely husband Joe and daughter Lily.
Sue Merrell has been a reporter, editor and entertainment writer for almost 40 years, working for newspapers in Texas, South Carolina, Illinois and Michigan. In 2009 she retired from The Grand Rapids Press where she served as fulltime theater critic since 2000. While continuing to review select theater productions, Sue devotes most of her time to writing books including a memoir, "Laughing for a Living," and two mysteries: "Great News Town" and "One Shoe Off." She's currently working on her third book in the Jordan Daily News mystery series, "Full Moon Friday," which will be released in 2014. http://suemerrellbooks.com
Bridgette Redman has been reviewing for more than 20 years. She started out as a book reviewer, moved on to restaurants and has been reviewing theater for nearly 10 years. A journalism graduate from Michigan State University, she was a 2007 Fellow of the NEA Arts Journalism Institute in Theater and Musical Theater. She reviews theater for the Lansing State Journal and Encore Michigan. For 16 years she was a textbook editor and writer for a non-profit hospitality association. She is a past blogger of Flyover: Art in the American Outback, at ArtsJournal. She was the founding publisher of BookHelpWeb and former category lead for the book, newspaper and magazine section of Epinions.com. She taught drama for four years to grades K-3 at a Montessori school and now assistant directs plays at Waverly Community Schools, where a play she wrote was produced in 2010.
Judith Cookis Rubens is former theater critic for The Oakland Press. Now based in West Michigan, she has reviewed theater, dance and dining throughout Illinois and Michigan. She earned her journalism degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and started her career covering politics, crime and education for suburban Chicago newspapers. A wanna-be dancer-turned-critic, she studied ballet and jazz at Chicago's Lou Conte Dance Studio. Her freelance work has appeared in The Detroit News, the Detroit Free Press, AOL, Metro Parent Magazine, and many other print and online publications. She won a Society of Professional Journalists award for arts criticism in 2003.