Community Critics: Town Hall Theatre Talk Across Generations

This project was inspired by attending an arts engagement panel at the Theatre Bay Area Conference. One of the panelists, John Wilkins, Theatre Critic for KQED Arts, presented these closing remarks, "We want people to talk about theatre", and "Theatre has a responsibility to create a place of conversation", to which Town Hall Theatre has begun to ask:

How can Town Hall Theatre get more people, across generations, talking about theatre, together? 

Community Critics will engage in critical discourse on our blog about:

1.) Our overall season. (1 post)

2.) Our individual shows. Pre Show writing and Post Show writing in order to reflect intrinsic impact of your experience. (8 minimum statements/post)


3.) Participate in our 7 post-show talkbacks. (These will be video taped with the possibility of being shared on THT social media.)

4.) Participate in a Theatre Bay Area Conference session in March 2018 sharing your experience thus far with the greater Bay Area theatre community..

Town Hall will provide writing prompts when you receive your scripts in late June as well as tips at a meeting in late August 2017-early September 2017. TBD

What are the generations you are looking for?

Based on the work of Neil Howe and William Strauss, whose expansive work covers, “social generations regarding a theorized generational cycle in American history”, (Generations: The History of America's Future, 1584 to 2069) we are using the following ways to describe the generations. Reference:

We are calling for two persons from each generation:

2 Homeland Generation (2000-present)

2 Millennial (1982-1999)

2 Gen X (1961-1981)

2 Boom Generation (1943-1960)

2 Silent Generation (1925-1942)

That's right! 10 people from five different generations engaging in the arts by writing and talking together in front of our audiences, face to face and on our social media platforms, about the art they have just experienced! This is a one-year commitment, so make sure you want to read the plays in our season, as well as see and talk about all four shows in our next season! (See season description and dates below.)

This is an immersive experience with Town Hall Theatre, its season and its patrons. It is also a relationship with the public at large. We want this to be a fun and engaging experience for all!

Which Community Critic Generation position are you interested in?

Please submit: DUE DATE MAY 31, 2017


-The Generation you represent

-Cover Letter (include mailing address, phone number and email address, more details below.))

-Resume (a bit about yourself)

-And/or writing sample(s)

-And/or a video expressing your interest. (no more -than 1 minute)

You don’t have to be an academic scholar to apply or fancy writer! We are looking for community members!

You should:

-Have a passion for theatre.

-Have a strong desire and interest in seeing the shows in our 2017/18 Generations Season.

-Have a strong desire to write/talk about theatre in a way that is fun, interesting, and reflects your personal insights!

-Be skilled at meeting deadlines.

-Enjoy meeting people/some informal public speaking.

*In your cover letter, please tell us: No more than 2 pages

1 Why should we choose you to be a Community Critic?

2 What do YOU anticipate this experience will bring to YOUR life?

3 Share your specific thoughts on how you might provide a unique perspective to our audiences and the community at large.

Please provide any writing samples you might want to share (blog posts, essays, reviews). Maybe add a video of yourself if that's how you best express your enthusiasm! Not required! Questions:

Support and training:

The program coordinator will edit and synthesize your work to best fit our blog format. We may only be able to use portions for each experience, however, you are free to use your personal online platforms to record and share your work!

Program coordinator: Suzie Shepard, Community Engagement Specialist

Selection Committee: Katie Zeigler, Lynda Divito, Susan Evans, Dennis Markam, Suzie Shepard

We anticipate announcing our Community Critics Across Generations by June 26, 2017.


Our Season:



The remarkable plays in our next Town Hall Theatre Season are all stories about Generations, the relationships between the old and the young, past and present. Whether it’s a Chinese Emperor gaining wisdom from a young kitchen maid, a mother and daughter fleeing to freedom at the end of the Civil War, a suburban English housewife ping-ponging between two families, or Jane Austen’s romping story of two sisters’ lost fortunes and love affairs – these are stories about the connections and bonds between us. Please join us for this 2017-2018 THT Season, a celebration of theatre and community.

The Song of the Nightingale

A Musical Fairy Tale

Book, Music & Lyrics by Award-Winning Bay Area playwright Min Kahng

Directed by Michael Mohammed, with Music Direction by Margaret Halbig

Based upon the Hans Christian Andersen fairy-tale, this magical story of enlightenment and “girl power” will delight the whole family!

Nightingale: Previews 9/28 & 9/29/17, Run 9/30/17-10/21/17

A Civil War Christmas: An American Musical Celebration 

by Paul Vogel, Music by Daryl Waters

Directed by Dawn Monique Williams

“A beautifully stitched tapestry of American lives in transition …” NYT

Featuring hymns and carols of the period, this warm and deeply moving musical play masterfully interweaves stories of lives from both sides of the Civil War.

Civil War Xmas: Previews 11/30 & 12/1/17, Run 12/2-12/16/17

Woman in Mind by Alan Ayckbourn

A dark comedy by “the comic poet of middle class life”

Directed by Dennis Markam

Woman in Mind: Previews 3/1 & 3/2/18, Run 3/3-3/24/18

A dark comedy by “the comic poet of middle class life” about a housewife named Susan who experiences hilarious hallucinations in which her oppressive and boring everyday life is replaced by a fantasy in which she is an ideal wife and mother with an ideal family.

Sense and Sensibility by Kate Hamill, based on the novel by Jane Austen

Directed by Susan E. Evans

“…an unconditional delight… a bouncy, jaunty take on Austen….” —NY Times.Join us for the adventures (and misadventures) of the Dashwood sisters – sensible Elinor and hypersensitive Marianne – When reputation is everything, how do you follow your heart?

Sense & Sensibility: Previews 5/31 & 6/1/18, Run 6/2-6/23/18

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