David Kiley: Publisher and Editor-in Chief
Publisher/Editor-in-Chief: David Kiley acquired EncoreMichigan in March 2015. Kiley is an award winning journalist, having held staff correspondent and editor positions at USA Today, Businessweek, AOL, The HuffingtonPost, and Adweek. Kiley is currently owner and principal of New Road Media LLC, a diversified company specializing in web content, social media and marketing strategy. He is part owner of the Ann Arbor Distilling Co. An author, Kiley has written three books: Getting The Bugs Out: The Rise, Fall and Comeback of Volkswagen in America (2001); Driven: Inside BMW–The Most Admired Car Company in the World (2004); (Co-author) Writing The War: Chronicles of a World War Two Correspondent (2015).
The first Broadway shows he remembers seeing as a kid were “Fiddler On The Roof” with Zero Mostel and “Shenandoah” with the great John Cullum, who Kiley describes as his “Broadway hero.” A graduate of Fordham University in New York City, Kiley was Arts Editor at WFUV-FM (taking over the role from SiriusXM Broadway Channel host Christine Pedi), and saw many a show with reviewer tickets. Kiley is also a part-time professional actor, having worked in Michigan for the Encore Musical Theatre in Dexter, The Pennyseats Theatre Company in Ann Arbor, The Michigan League Dinner Theatre and The Purple Rose Theatre in Chelsea. Kiley most often seems to get cast as mean, egomaniacal, evil characters (Jonathan Brewster in Arsenic and Old Lace and Cladwell in Urinetown). This, however, does not reflect his real-life character, he says. Born in New Jersey, Kiley has called Ann Arbor home for most of the last sixteen years, and plans to continue as a proud and progressive Michigander until the curtain closes. Dream roles and shows he wants to play and produce before he dies: Adams or Franklin in “1776”; Foreman in “Twelve Angry Men,” Henry Drummond in “Inherit The Wind,” Scrooge, Tevya and The Man of LaMancha.
Don Calamia: Editor-at-Large
Don Calamia is cofounder of EncoreMichigan and editor-at-large providing editorial and organizational guidance. Don attended Mercy College of Detroit, with a focus on theater and education. 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.
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.
He is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Theatre Critics Association.
Anne Kiley: Managing Editor
Anne Kiley has combined writing, graphic arts and computer programming in her professional career since the 1990s, working freelance as both a writer and an editor, as well as a photographer, photo editor, graphic designer and art director. She studied theater arts at Emerson College, Boston and photography at The School of Visual Arts in New York City. Ms. Kiley is a serious opera fan and enjoys gardening and travel.
Marin Heinritz: Critic
Before joining Encore Michigan in 2015, Marin Heinritz wrote features and live performance reviews for the Kalamazoo Gazette/mlive.com for 12 years. In addition, she was on the editorial staff of Mother Jones Magazine, Boston Review, and Third Coast; and her writing has appeared in Hippocampus, Juxtaprose, Second Wave Media, and The Collagist, among other publications. She holds an M.S. in journalism from Boston University and a doctorate in creative writing from Western Michigan University.
Once upon a time Marin danced in the corps de ballet of “Swan Lake” and “Giselle” with Farrell Ballet Theatre, and she has also enjoyed acting in community theater from time to time, with favorite roles including Irene Adler in “Sherlock Holmes: the Final Adventure” and Gretchen in “Boeing Boeing” at the Kalamazoo Civic as well as Elaine in “Last of the Red Hot Lovers” at the New Vic.
Originally from Dallas, Texas, Marin teaches journalism and creative writing at Kalamazoo College.
Martin F. Kohn: Critic
New York native Martin F. Kohn saw his first Broadway play at age 7; it starred Helen Hayes as a woman who could turn children into broomsticks and Marty has been a little afraid of actors ever since. Nevertheless, as a 22-year-old intern at the New Haven (Conn.) Register, Marty volunteered when the editor asked if anyone wanted to review a show. It was a summer-theater production of “Sweet Charity” starring Chita Rivera. Decades later, Marty–and Chita–are still going strong.
Marty was the Detroit Free Press theater critic from 1998 through 2007. Besides EncoreMichigan, Marty’s work has appeared in American Theatre, Entertainment Weekly, Humanities, Back Stage, Best Plays Theater Yearbook, Dramatics, Parents, Parenting and USA Today. He received the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award for music journalism and also once won an award for writing about bowling. Really. He is a member of the American Theatre Critics Association. In his other life he’s a singer-songwriter-guitarist and performs locally, sometimes with his wife, Laura.
Sue Merrell: Critic
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 three mysteries: “Great News Town” and “One Shoe Off,” and “Full Moon Friday.”http://suemerrellbooks.com
Bridgette Redman: Critic
Bridgette 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. In addition to reviewing for EncoreMichigan, she also covers theater for the Lansing State Journal. 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.
Frank Anthony Polito: Critic
Frank received his MFA in Dramatic Writing from the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama. His plays have been produced in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington DC. He is the published author of four novels, including the Lambda Literary Award-winning “Drama Queers!” and “The Spirit of Detroit.” Other work has appeared in The Advocate and Instinct magazines, and on the “Episode” mobile game app. Also an actor, Frank has worked off-Broadway and in regional theaters, and on TV and in film. He made his professional stage debut at Meadow Brook Theater in 1994, before moving to New York City where he resided for over 18 years. Frank and his partner, actor Craig Bentley, moved back to the Detroit area in 2013. Their first-time home-buying experience was captured on HGTV’s reality series “House Hunters.”
Tanya Irwin: Critic
Tanya Gazdik Irwin is a freelance writer and editor who has covered marketing and advertising for 15 years for MediaPost and Adweek. She is excited to be reviewing again, something she did frequently during her tenure as Entertainment Editor at The State News at Michigan State University. Irwin previously worked at The Toledo Blade, Ward’s AutoWorld and The Associated Press. She holds a JD specializing in animal law. Irwin lives in Detroit with two Chihuahuas and too many cats.
Jenn McKee: Critic
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 a staff entertainment reporter for MLive.com/The Ann Arbor News, and she lives in Farmington with her lovely husband Joe, daughters Lily and Neve, and a cat named Pumpkins. She chronicles parenting absurdities at www.AnAdequateMom.com.
Amy J. Parrent: Critic
Amy fell in love with theatre at age 11 at a high-school production of “Carousel.” (In her own first time onstage a few years earlier she recalls “saving” a scene in a skit performed by her Brownie troop.) She began violin lessons at age 10, and appeared with professional symphonies and theaters such as the MOT Orchestra.
Amy has wide-ranging experience in communications, having managed PR/marketing for major cultural institutions (including the DIA) and other large nonprofits. In addition to EncoreMichigan, Amy has written free-lance extensively for Between The Lines, the Detroit Free Press, the Detroit News, Patch.com, the Metro Times, the Oakland Press, The Washington Post and numerous cultural magazines. She has been a scriptwriter in all media, and has produced video advertising which has run in such diverse platforms as movie theaters and GasStationTV (yes, those ads you watch while filling up!). Several years ago her passion for another kind of “star” led to participation in one of the first NASASocials (tweetups) at Kennedy Space Center surrounding the launch of spacecraft Juno. She also still loves the score from “Carousel.”
Tom Emmott: Critic (North Michigan)
Tom Emmott was able to fulfill his boyhood dream of becoming an actor and a singer. Theatre gave him the confidence that he had lacked while growing up. Stage acting and singing later evolved into directing, teaching, voice over work, producing, and film acting. It’s been a long road, covering most of his life, but the rewards have been extremely fulfilling. Favorite stage plays include “Three Sisters,” “The Sign In Sidney Brusteins’s Window,” “West Side Story,” “The Fantasticks,” “El Capitan” with Dick Shawn, and 75 others, 40 0f which were musicals. Favorite film roles include a starring role in “Undaunted: The Early Life Of Josh McDowell” and the role of Frederick Duke in a modernized version of Shakespeare’s “As You Like It,” set in Death Valley, CA with Academy Award Nominated Actor Graham Greene.
Barton Bund: Podcast Host
Barton Bund is an actor, with extensive experience in film, television and the stage. He is founder and instructor at Professional Coaching for Michigan Actors, based in Ypsilanti. He began his career working in commercials and regional theatre in the Detroit area. He is the founder of the Blackbird Theatre and Shakespeare West. As Michigan’s film industry began to flourish, Barton landed roles in Age of Ice, AMC’s Low Winter Sun, and the upcoming Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.