Three core principles guide Mooney on Theatre:
- Demystify Theatre – People in the theatre industry often seem so shocked when they hear that people are intimidated by theatre, but the truth is, they are. So, we try to let people know what to expect from a show to minimize the feeling of intimidation so many have about theatre. We want to remind people that they don’t have to have theatre training or be ‘culturally rich’ or anything like that to enjoy theatre. They just have to go.
- Enable Diversity – When I started Mooney on Theatre, I was appalled by the lack of diversity on stages and in reviewers. I figured I couldn’t do anything about what was happening on stage, but I certainly could do my best to uplift diverse voices of writers and highlight diversity on stage when it happened. Diversity is a broad word with a lot of meanings. I meant it in as many ways as I could think of: BIPOC folks, genders, sexuality, age, disabilities, and with my writers, even types of previous experience with theatre.
- Write with Respect – When I say respect, I mean for both the reader and the artist. Respect the artist by understanding the work that has gone into making the production and that real human feelings are on the other end. But also respect the reader by being honest. Never be nasty, but always be honest.
So, what is Mooney on Theatre?
Mooney on Theatre is a website about live performance in Toronto, founded by Megan Mooney (which you likely already figured out). It includes contributions about specific productions from writers with a variety of levels of experience with theatre.
MoT reviews are intended to be experiential reviews. What the piece felt like for the writer, whether they liked it or not, recognizing that all art is subjective. We strive to give our readers enough specific detail on why and what the writer liked or didn’t like to know that they will not like a piece even when a writer loves it, or vice versa. Ultimately these reviews are only one person’s opinion.
In my dream world, theatre becomes an art form of the masses again. These days, all too often, theatre is seen as an elite art form, something fancy. I want it to be available, accessible, and considered an option for “Whaddaya wanna do tonight” conversations.
– Megan Mooney, Publisher
A bit of a PostScript on this: Mooney on Theatre celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2018. I wrote something for that which might scratch that itch if you’re burning for more information about us.