I’ve gotten some pushback (okay, nudgeback) about not reviewing any Indy Fringe shows this year. And for being more selective about what other arts events I write about.pushback

I thought maybe some clarification might be in order.

Here’s the situation: With a few exceptions, I’m no longer getting paid to review, except by some non-Indy markets.

“But you get free tickets, isn’t that enough?” I’ve heard said.

Well, not really. Attending and taking the time to write thoughtfully about a show takes multiple hours. Say what you want about my writing, but I don’t do thumbs up/thumbs down and plot description. That’s not my thing. I’m passionate about theater and love writing about it, but there are only so many hours in a week.

Finding the time for that kind of writing poses a greater challenge now that I’m back to a 40-plus hour workday, especially with other projects in the mix (SiteLines, Indy Actors’ Playground, the Lou Harry Gets Real podcast, my own play writing and other paid freelance work). It is difficult to turn down paid freelance work to make time for additional unpaid reviewing.

In short, I will continue to review–for www.louharry.com, on social media, and for other markets that will have me. But you won’t see the quantity of writing I produced while at IBJ, when it was a part of my full-time job.

So please know that:

1) My not attending your show is nothing personal.

2) I will continue to write about projects that excite me, as time permits.

3) If you want to keep me on your press list and invite me to shows–and you are comfortable with a review at www.louharry.com, my thoughts shared via social media, and/ or simply attending in order to add to my working knowledge of the theater and the talent involved in the production–please do continue. I won’t ask for tickets if not invited–unless I know for sure I will be reviewing.

4) I’m still doing IBJ’s A&E Season Preview, which will be out in a few weeks.

5) I include a Cultural Update as a sideline podcast highlighting area arts events that I believe look promising. So keep the notices coming via louharrywriter@gmail.com.

6.) I am still on the ExCom of the American Theatre Critics Association and chair its New Play Committee, so I remain administrator for the Steinberg and Osborn Awards, vote on recommendations for the regional Tony Award and Theatre Hall of Fame, and will, I hope, soon try to pull together another Indianapolis conference with out-of-town critics

Keep creating.

As always,