After nearly a decade of publishing reviews and essays here at BiteThumbnails, I’ve decided to close the book on this writing venue. It’s an entirely happy ending, one that derives from having too many writing obligations so that I am unable to devote energy and intentionality here.
Between 2010 and 2018, I wrote 80 reviews of live performances, mostly in the Chicagoland and central-Illinois region, but also of productions in Boston, LA, Utah, and the Blackfriars in Virginia. There were another three dozen television reviews, more than a dozen film reviews, and nearly as many essays on casting practices, gender parity in performance, and the shifting landscape of early theatre archaeology.
For nearly a decade this little blog offered me a sandbox to focus and hone my reviewing skills. It gave me a space and a small, kind audience with whom to practice watching for performance, using elements occasioned by and beyond text as evidence, and motivate me to see a wide range of theatre well beyond Shakespeare. From my undergraduate days, through my doctoral education and into my first academic post, I wrote about university troupes like What You Will, guerrilla ensembles like the Back Room Shakespeare Project and Strange Tree Group, and formal venues including Steppenwolf, the Court, the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, and Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
I am particularly grateful to the Original Practice Shakespeare Festival and Artists Repertory Theatre, who let me into their rehearsals and be a part of their creative processes four three wonderful years, and then, better yet, let me write about it here and elsewhere.
In addition, so much of what first entered the world in these posts has now been published, if not with Shakespeare Bulletin, Scene, and Shakespeare Newsletter, than as the foundation for articles and chapters in Shakespeare and performance studies. Given this professional writing, I’ve not had time to devote to this blog or convert it into my timely formats being so well executed by others.
If you’re looking for this kind of content, I recommend Pete Kirwan’s Bardathon, the wonderful substacks #TheatreClique from Brian Eugenio Herrera and Dramatis Personae by Hailey Bachrach, the numerous excellent podcasts such as That Shakespeare Life, Hurly Burly Shakespeare Show, Not Another Shakespeare Podcast, and the YouTube series from A Bit Lit and Beyond Shakespeare, among so many others.
Never fear: digital humanities continues to be part of my praxis, as a researcher, writer, and teacher. Specific platforms serve specific needs: while Wakelet was a great home for student-driven twitter plays, WordPress has been better for a multi-modal podcast on Aphra Behn and regional reviews journal, Ripple Arts Review. And then sometimes you just need to collaborate with colleagues to build things from scratch, such as the ongoing development of the mobile game, SyllaBits.
If you’re interested in any of this work, you can find out more and access digital copies at my professional profile. While I have made private all the posts that had previously appeared here, please do not hesitate to get in touch should you want access to any of those materials for your own work.
With many thanks and very best wishes,