The end of an era looms

This is a column that has probably been a long time coming – I just didn’t quite know how to write it, nor was I sure about the direction in which I was heading.

This is a column that has probably been a long time coming – I just didn’t quite know how to write it, nor was I sure about the direction in which I was heading.

However, it now seems like the right time to make a rather huge announcement.

That announcement is that 2011 will be the final year of We will bring down the curtain on an initiative that I believe has played an important, and historic role in modern day Australian theatre. launched in 2003, and by the time it closes at 5pm on December 23, 2011, I would have put nine years of my life into this concept.

The website has been a great success, and as a business, has also ensured its financial viability. However, as is the case with so much in theatre, it doesn’t quite create what would be needed to make it a full-time job, hence the job-juggle that has ultimately led to this decision.

You see, it is time to take some time out. Time to come home from work and relax, and time to focus on different priorities.

Overall, it is time for a change. I have an undiluted passion for theatre, but after nine years in any job, you start to get itchy feet.  Moving on is the right thing to do, and I’ve made the decision to close the site, rather than sell it, to ensure its place is remembered for what it should be.

There will be many opportunities to say thank you to so many people over the next year and a bit, so I am not going to take up space by doing it today.

There’s a few reasons why I made the decision to make this announcement so early.

One reason is that I’m aware of a couple of rumours doing the rounds about the site’s future, which I wanted to clear up.

But the primary reason is that I wanted to announce what will be a very special final year for the website.

Instead of having the site fade away, we plan to make 2011 a very remarkable year, which will run under the special banner: “ – The Historic Final Year”.

Our readers, advertisers and supporters will hopefully be blown away by what we present next year.

Each month, we will be doing something special – details of which will be announced later in 2010.

Included will be our biggest Rising Star ever, with a brand new audition and voting process, the biggest prizes ever and unprecedented coverage for the winner.

In December next year, we will have a massive farewell party, including great performances and the launch of a special historical site marking’s nine-year history.

Most importantly, our coverage of theatre in 2011 will be bigger and better than ever before. I’m planning on doing a bit of a ‘farewell’ reviewing tour, and will probably attend more shows than in any other year.

Our news coverage will expand into delivering regular audio news – which you may have seen trialled previously – and we plan to partner with more shows to ensure a strong relationship between and some of Australia’s best productions.

Much more is being planned and I plan to leave this industry with a bang, not a whimper.

I will remain a devoted theatre attendee and supporter beyond December next year.

Theatre has provided me with so many wonderful moments – moments that I treasure and will treasure for a lifetime. It has introduced me to people I would have never got the chance to meet, and has delivered experiences that rate as some of the highlights of my life.

I truly believe that has played a significant role over the last decade or so at transforming the way theatre news is presented, and provided. When we started the site back in 2003, there was no legitimate theatre news website, and the print media paid more attention to the industry than they do today.

I thank everyone for the extraordinary support that has come my way since 2003. There’s been good times, and some rocky times. More importantly, there’s more good times to come.

I hope firstly that you understand this decision, and secondly that you will support is through what will be a fun and exciting final year.

I’m always happy to hear your feedback at [email protected].

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