Lauren Gillett is a drama queen (her words!) and fab conversationalist. She’s a lady who makes things happen; including, starting one of the biggest theatre blogs in the city.
Mad respect for that of course!
Find out more about this woman of the T.O. theatre scene right here!
1. What do you do for the theatre world? Can you sum it up in 3 sentences or less?
I run a Toronto theatre blog called Theatromania.ca. We mostly review shows, but we also feature artist interviews, local news and listings. My goal is to promote Toronto’s diverse arts scene and get more people–especially younger audiences–out to the theatre.
2. Why the arts? What’s made you focus your extra energy on theatre?
Let’s see: as a child my dolls performed in classic Hollywood musicals; I directed and starred in my own grade-one production of The Wizard of Oz; and I played the Cat in the Hat in high school. I should have probably pursued a career in the performing arts, but I chose English literature and media instead. So, the blog is my way of staying connected to the drama – at the end of the day (literally) my heart lies in the theatre.
3. When you began to write about theatre, what was the feedback/reception like from the arts community?
The reception from the arts community has been amazing–very warm and supportive. When I launched Theatromania with my friend Kate Lorriman back in May 2010, we had no idea what people would think of us–two admittedly untrained drama queens posing as theatre critics. But the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive (so far). I hope we can continue to grow the website and support the arts in Canada.
4. What’s the best thing about theatre in Toronto?
I love the eclectic mix of ideas and talent in this city. Toronto’s theatre scene is such a reflection of its people: the writers, actors, directors, producers, designers, stage managers, musicians, arts workers, critics and fellow theatergoers make it special.
5. What’s the worst thing about theatre in Toronto?
There’s too much of it! I wish I could cover everything but I can only do so much at one time.
6. What adjective describes most of your days at your job?
Fast-paced, unpredictable, improvisational, educational, inspiring and fun! (Sorry, that was more than one adjective.)
7. Describe (in 3 sentences or less) what your favourite memory is from your job.
My favourite memories include: paddle boat rides in Stratford, running around the city during the Toronto Fringe Festival and SummerWorks, hanging out in beer tents, exploring outdoor/site-specific theatre venues, admiring various Canadian actors from afar and hobnobbing with lovely people (such as yourself).
8. What’s the last play that you saw that really made an impression on you?
That’s a tough one. I would have to say Studio 180’s production of Tadeusz Slobodzianek’s OUR CLASS. That play really got to me.
9. If you could do any other job, arts professional or not, what would it be?
Well, I have worked in publishing/media for the last five years, and I love that. But being able to work on the blog full-time would be pretty awesome.
10. If the Toronto theatre scene was a woman, what advice would you offer her?
Don’t try too hard. Be yourself!