Celebrating the members of the League of Professional Theatre Women

Archive for the category “Journalist/Editor”

Sandi Durell

Sandi Durell, member of the League of Professional Theatre WomenTheatre & Cabaret Critic, Producer
New York, New York USA

My inspiration comes daily as world events keep spiraling and it’s like “beat the clock” – continue to have even a small voice in a cluttered society in my areas of joy and pleasure; music and theatre and the fun of tennis, art, travel.

I guess it’s called “my bucket list.”

There is no one favorite book in my cart as many are worthwhile and inspirational. However, I continue to get lost in the nostalgic pleasures of “The Wizard of Oz” movie (was it actually a gentler time?).

Here’s a line from William Shakespeare’s All’s Well that Ends Well that has particular meaning – “No legacy is so rich as honesty.”

Pop culture guilty pleasure? Hmmmm – think, think. I don’t have any! But I do love Margaritas!

Plays or productions that change lives are multi-facted. As I think about the variety of productions I’ve seen over many years, if the content and acting is really good, I can get lost in it. Once that happens, I (as many others) will make comparisons as to how we view a person or situation, would we have a similar response, feel more or less challenged, important, demeaned, functional or dysfunctional. I believe good theatre (and movies) has tremendous influence on its viewers; sometimes as a healing factor, sometimes as brainwashing – telling us how to behave, what to think, feel, fear, love, hate. Like the media!

I’ve always had this dream of becoming a lawyer – they do rule our society, don’t they? However, I feel most like myself when I have the opportunity to ply my old trade – get up and sing a tune.

When I want to escape, I watch old movies. Love ’em.

What’s the one thing nobody knows about me? It’s probably more than one thing. But I am very pragmatic.

Sandi Durell currently reviews theatre for, is Managing Editor/Cabaret Critic for Times Square Chronicles and produces, with partner Shari Upbin (ShaRell Productions), the revues Broadway Live! and Hollywood Live! booked nationwide. She is also a Drama Desk & Outer Critics Circle Voter.

Lauren Yarger

Lauren Yarger, member of the League of Professional Theatre WomenTheater Writer/Producer
Granby, Connecticut USA

A Marriage Made in Heaven
Being a critic allows for a perfect marriage of two of my passions: theater and writing. Both passions have known each other for a long time, but I always thought they would be incompatible for a long-term relationship.

As a newspaper editor my writing was ruled by my head. Journalism is a straight-forward, impersonal reporting of the facts without bias or emotion. It was satisfying to be part of the arm of democracy and to know that my work influenced decisions of average Americans and lawmakers alike. Theater, on the other hand, was fun and ruled by the heart. I could be moved as an audience member or immerse myself emotionally in the cause as I produced, directed and wrote scripts. There is nothing impersonal about productions you start to think of as your “baby.”

Both were important parts of my life and I was attracted to them like friends from two different areas of life, for different reasons. It seemed unlikely the two had much in common, though, until I set them up on a date at the O’Neill Theater Center.

There, as a Fellow in the National Critics Institute, I discovered how to wed the passion for theater with the joy of writing and a perfect union was consummated. A honeymoon followed: several opportunities to review theater for New York and Connecticut media. Developing a relationship with readers who rely on my information and opinions to decide which shows to see is very satisfying – and humbling.

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, a blessed event was added. I have been given an opportunity to combine writing and theater with another part of my life about which I’m passionate: my faith. There’s nothing more fulfilling than doing something you love for someone you love. It just doesn’t get any better than that. It is a match made in heaven.

Lauren Yarger is Executive Director of Masterwork Productions, Inc… A former newspaper editor, she reviews Broadway, Off-Broadway and Connecticut theater as a voting member of The Drama Desk, The Outer Critics Circle and The American Theater Critics Association. She freelances, writes plays and screenplays and is a reviewer for Publisher’s Weekly.

Sherry Eaker

Sherry Eaker, member of the League of Professional Theatre WomenEditor, Writer, Producer
New York, New York USA

Collaboration is the key to working and being successful in this industry, and perhaps that’s what makes the theatre world so attractive to me. For every event and production that I work on, I look forward to working with a team that I can count on to inspire me to do better than I would ever imagine.

Producing an event or a play or musical is very similar to being an editor of a newspaper: Someone comes to the editor (aka producer) with an idea, and the editor puts together a team that will help develop and nurture this idea (copy editor, research editor, photo editor, graphic artist) and make it read and look its best when laid out on a page, just as a producer would collaborate, perhaps, with a dramaturg, director, and set, costume and lighting designers to bring a stage project to its fullest potential. It’s the developing of a project that I love best, seeing something develop from just a mere idea……

Is there anything that I still dream of doing? Attaining the “dreams” that I have is my goal….. making them into a reality.

I feel most like myself……when I’m on the dance floor! Music and dancing…a great escape!

Sherry Eaker is the producer of the annual Bistro Awards show, now in its 27th year, and is the former Editor-in-Chief of Back Stage (1977-2008). She compiled and edited the four editions of the “Back Stage Handbook for Performing Artists” and the “Cabaret Artists Handbook.” She serves on the board and/or is an advisor to a number of theatre-related organizations.

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