Mooney on Theatre shuts its (virtual) doors

After a lot of deliberation, I’ve made a tough decision. It’s time for me to put Mooney on Theatre on an indefinite hiatus.

Things in other parts of my life mean I cannot devote the time and energy needed to maintain MoT. It is time to let go, at least for now.

It’s been such a pleasure and privilege to be a part of the performance community in Toronto over the last 14 years.

The hard-fought-for increase in diversity in the past decade and a half — both on and off stage — has been incredible to witness. It gives me hope for the future of art in our city.

Over the years, I’ve seen so much art on stage (and off) that has fed my soul. I’ve been delighted and heartbroken by plays, dance pieces, stand-up comedy, poetry slams, site-specific pieces, virtual/digital pieces, opera… the list goes on.

I often marvel at all that Toronto has to offer us. I’m grateful to have provided a place for people (including me) to write about them.

To Editors and Writers – past and present

I want to express my appreciation and admiration for the editors and writers who joined me on this journey.

Without your passion for spreading the word about the performing arts in Toronto, Mooney on Theatre would not have become what it did. I could not have done this without your invaluable contributions, and I have loved having you on my team.

Working with Mooney on Theatre required following editorial guidelines that you may not have always agreed with but followed anyway. It required a level of professionalism that some may have argued was steep for a volunteer position – but you met that bar confidently.

You attended training sessions and accepted edits with grace. I had the privilege of seeing your writing improve as time passed. I also learned so much from you.

During Fringe time, you stepped up and worked late into the night (early into the morning?) to deliver multiple reviews. For editors, you pulled all-nighters to edit said reviews at Fringe time. Those all-night editing sessions were filled with fun banter, shot back and forth through sometimes lagging emails, making them fun instead of a painful slog.

I am grateful to have worked with you and am so proud of you. Thank you.

To Artists, Companies and Publicists

Thank you for welcoming us to your shows. You trusted us with your hard work and artistic vision.

Putting art on public display comes with unavoidable vulnerability.  Inviting people to review it always comes with risks.

We certainly did not like or agree with everything we saw. But, I hope we earned your trust by always endeavouring to respect the work that went into creating it.

Thank you to the people who took the time to correct us when we made mistakes. Especially when the mistakes were big ones. Of course it’s never easy to learn you’ve screwed up, but it was how we learned and grew. Without those people, it would have been a far slower process.

Working with all of you was key to the success of Mooney on Theatre.

My Wish for Readers

My fervent wish for you is to keep seeing live performance.

Keep demystifying theatre for yourselves. Remember theatre isn’t something you have to save for a special occasion, get all dressed up for, and spend lots of money on.

Even better – remind your friends and family of that.

Next time you’re looking for something to do with your night out, and someone suggests a movie, think about giving them some live entertainment options. You can likely find some that won’t cost much more, and your financial support will go directly to people in your community.

When writing this (March 2022), a regular movie ticket costs $13.50.

You don’t have to dig too deep for affordable performances in the city.

Thank you to everyone who has joined me along with way on Mooney on Theatre. Hopefully, I’ll be back someday, and if I am, I hope you will return too. Until then, keep supporting the great artists in Toronto.

Megan Mooney
Founder, Mooney on Theatre

15 thoughts on “Mooney on Theatre shuts its (virtual) doors”

  1. dear Megan thanks for all your yrs of good service to
    the e news letter – i t sure has been a help to me as a theatre
    goer – best to you – peggy whorpole

  2. Thank you Megan
    I have enjoyed and been enlightened by you and your writers reviews
    I’m grateful to you all

  3. Thank you for all you do! As a young human new to the Toronto Theatre Community in 2011, MoT was the first to review my Fringe Show and it made me feel like I had arrived in this city. Hope your next adventure is everything you want it to be AND MORE!

  4. Very sorry to see you go. Your reviewers provided an intelligent everyman/woman’s point of view, that I appreciated as translator, producer, and theatre-goer. All of us will miss you.

  5. Dear Megan,
    Thank you for all the words that demystified theatre for so many theatre goers and intrigued readers. With deep gratitude and a sense of an incredible loss I am reading this post.
    With gratitude kindly

  6. Your commitment to reviewing countless shows and your interest in discussing new works, successful and less successful, has always been astounding. Thank you for all you gave to the community.

  7. Sorry to see this and thank you for your work. I hope you find a way to return. There is so little coverage of theatre and live performance and you have filled a void.

  8. Very sad to hear this and hope this doesn’t take much to hear Mooney is back.
    Thank you for everything..

  9. Such an intelligent and readable source you have provided over the years! I have seen so many shows that I would not have considered if I had not read about them in MoT. You leave a gap that will be missed. Thank you for everything you have done for theatre and the people who need support, and for those of us who have been moved to attend.

  10. Ditto to everything said in the letters above. We often relied on your recommendations and will miss receiving this information.
    Best wishes for the future – both for you and for theatre in Toronto.

  11. Many thanks and much respect for the years of reviews and reminders, always interesting, often illuminating. I can’t help feeling this as another pandemic loss. But as with all the others I hope our wonderful community will build back, as well if not better.

  12. Thank you Megan Mooney, the site editors and reviewers, and the readership.

    You were a wonderful resource and support for the Toronto Theatre community, for Fringe shows and attendees, and virtual shows too.

    You were proactive in your support of shows and in educating artists on media pitching.

    Instead of punishing artists for not providing what the reviewer demanded, you worked diligently to share perspectives in a way that helped audiences understand what they might (or might not) enjoy.

    I benefitted from years of reading wonderful reviews before I ever sought reviews for my shows.

    Thank you. I hope you have an amazing hiatus and great success in future ventures.

    With fond nostaliga, solemnity, and love
    Velvet Wells
    Velvet Duke Productions

  13. Thank you Megan and to all the writers and editors over the years, Mooney on Theatre is a unique place that does exactly what you describe, demystifies theatre for audiences and allows all types of artist and performances a chance to be seen and heard. I remember checking in faithfully during Fringe to see the latest review since I knew MoT would try to review EVERYTHING. I liked getting to see familiar faces as a Front of House Manager on the pick-up sheet for shows. This site is a really important part of Toronto theatre history! Thank you for all that you do and have done, hoping the best for you all.

  14. Thanks you Megan Mooney and to your team for your years of reviews. You have been my go-to source for trusted, fair, quality reviews. I don’t know what I will do without you! Best of luck on whatever lies ahead and I hope to read you again soon.

Comments are closed.