Best new features

by Alan M. Berks • Nov. 1

News and notes | Management

Once you get accustomed to the colorful new look, you'll probably notice that the website now features audience and critic reviews at the bottom of each performance listed in the calendar.

  • Anyone can post a review for any show listed in our performance calendar. We ask you to login on the site only to help us avoid abuse and spam.
  • For those of you who prefer your criticism to come with institutional authority, we're also aggregating the primary critics in town and linking to their articles.

We believe that the more information people have about anything, the better for everyone — including the performing arts.

Also, from past experience with the Fringe Festival, we know that once a show receives a critical mass of reviews (approx. 12+), the impression those reviews provide is often pretty accurate. There is sometimes wisdom in crowds. We encourage you to take full advantage of this new feature by directing your audiences to this website after they see your show. (We have lots of "Read a review. Write a review" bookmarks you can put in your programs if you want. We're happy to give them to you. Just ask.)

After you've worked through your complicated emotions about unfiltered reviews, you should notice that we've added a couple new, free sections to our classified advertising service: Free Stuff and Volunteers.

  • For the type of unskilled labor that performing arts companies always need (ushers, box officers, build), you can post a call for volunteers. We know you're not paying them, so you don't need to pay us.
  • We also want to help you share resources. In the Free Stuff section, let people know about the props and set pieces you would just throw out (and feel bad about wasting), unless someone wants to take them off your hands.

In so many ways, performing artists are accustomed to making work with so little. We'd like to help connect people to people and things that can help make the outer margins of the work easier.

At the same time, we also believe that performing artists should build a better model of what it really costs to work in this industry. Therefore, we still ask for a small fee to post classifieds relating to jobs, classes, and auditions from which you will be - or should be - earning revenue through specialized skills. The revenue we earn through our tiny classified advertising rate goes a long way toward making this website possible at all.

You can post reviews, you can post more kinds of classifieds, and you can also post your thoughts about theater right on the home page.

  • Simply include the #mnpl hashmark in any twitter post you make, and your comments will appear on the website. Review a show while it's happening, link to important information about the performing arts, share your insights. In 140 characters or less.

Finally, you may notice that we're taking a slightly different approach to how we present the magazine contact. However, as MinnesotaPlaylist co-founder, partner, and design guru Matthew Foster keeps reminding me, no one really cares about how you deliver it, only what it is. Hopefully, whatever we do with it, you'll only notice how much you're enjoying it.

There's more but it's more fun to explore.

If you have any comments or questions, feel free to email me your thoughts.

We welcome your feedback, and thank you for playing.