Theater Dogs and the Zombie Chicken Award

The geniuses over at Great Hera!, which translates into my friend and nerd queen Sarah Kuhn, have seen fit to award this humble little theater Web site a Zombie Chicken Award.

It’s our first award of any kind, and we’re bursting with pride. And gratitude.

We’d like to thank the Academy, the Board of Tony voters and our agents, who have believed in us from the start. And mom and dad, we’re pounding our hearts and pointing to the sky even though you’re still here with us.

Part of the responsibility of winning a Zombie Chicken Award is to pass it on to at least five other worthy bloggers. The criteria is as follows: bloggers must produce content so remarkable that their readers would brave a raving pack of zombie chickens just to be able to read their inspiring words. So the following fine folks are now, thanks to us, award winners as well:

Prince Gomolvilas’ Bamboo Nation: Formerly San Francisco-based playwright Gomolvilas puts the pop in pop culture as he traverses the LA scene. Current major project: a kitten named Pork Chop.

Peter Sinn Nachtrieb’s I Will Dance for You: Current San Francisco playwright Nachtrieb offers glimpses into the life of a successful, award-winning crafter of the art we call play. Current, possibly award-winning project: sprouting an avocado pit.

Chloe Veltman’s Lies Like Truth: SF Weekly theater critic Veltman writes for people with brains, which is unusual here on the Interweb. She also writes about a whole lot more than theater. She tackles music, art and anything she cares to discuss.

Tim Bauer’s Direct Address: Bauer, a playwright and all-around theater fan, has his finger on the proverbial pulse of the theater scene. And he’s an engaging, entertaining, opinionated writer, which keeps things fun.

The Berkeley Rep Blog: Unlike a lot of theater companies trying hard to appear him by Tweeting or Facebooking to no avail, Berkeley Rep has seized upon the trend of blogging and really doing it. Various members of the Berkeley Rep community volunteer to write entries, and the result is a genuine, and genuinely interesting peek behind one of the Bay Area’s best and brightest big theater companies.

Winners, you must now spread the Zombie Chicken love and award five deserving bloggers with accolades.

Theatrical blogosphere

We here at Theater Dogs love the idea of blogs, obviously. We used to love newspapers, but now, not so much. They’re so…what’s the word?…pagebound. Sure there are good writers at newspapers (really good writers, actually), but on blogs, you can be sassy (snap!), you can be quick and you can add as many photos and videos and Web links as you want. Do that dumb ol’ pile of newsprint.

I just got back from a trip to the Midwest (and the dang airlines couldn’t get us back in time for the opening of High School Musical at the Orpheum Theatre in San Francisco, so you’ll just have to go yourself and send me the review so I can share it with other Theater Dogs, or you’ll just have to re-read my interview with the delightful star of the show, Arielle Jacobs, from Half Moon Bay). Anyway, in the Great Midwest (Indianapolis, actually) I found myself with some time on my hands at a computer with a dial-up modem. That made blogging not such a possibility, but I did spend 12 hours looking at two Web sites (dial-up is slooooow). Kidding. I checked out a bunch of theater-related Web sites, some local some not, some blogs, some not, and wanted to make sure you knew about them as well.

The two big nationals I check all the time are and They have a lot of the same news, but they also have a lot of original content and make a genuine effort to include news from outside New York. Other good ones include TheatreMania and

A really cool site that gathers theater news from around the country is the Ohio-based Theatreforte.

A national site with really good local coverage with an excellent (and active) chat board is The chat board is called All That Chat, and you want the West Coast edition.

One of my favorite local bloggers is San Francisco playwright Tim Bauer, whose Direct Address blog directly addresses local productions as well as the daily life of a — you guessed it — San Francisco playwright. Another is Peter Sinn Nachtrieb, whose I Will Dance for You is just a delight to read and will keep you up to date on the life and work of the Hunter Gatherers author. And speaking of local playwrights, Prince Gomolvilas used to be local, but he’s in the Bay Area a lot, so he qualifies. Check out his Bamboo Nation blog for a very good time.

Berkeley’s Impact Theatre maintains a pretty active blog called Impact Splatter. Check it out.

Foothill Music Theatre keeps up a terrific blog with great input on theatrical subjects of all kinds (especially FMT when there’s a show going). Check it out.

When the California Shakespeare Theater season gets rolling, they have excellent blogs — usually directors, actors, etc. checking in when the rehearsal process starts, right up through the production. Check it out here.

And then there are some of my favorite newspaper writers who maintain excellent blogs: Karen D’Souza at the San Jose Mercury News and Chloe Veltman at the SF Weekly.

I know that’s just the tip of the theatrical blogosphere iceberg, so to speak, so please let me know what I’ve missed. I’d love to include more.

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