Theater is probably my greatest passion. And train travel, for me, has a strange romance about it. So I'm excited to tell you that I'm off on a round-the-country train trip soon, for a magazine assignment that's about finding great theaters and theatermakers that are profoundly rooted in their communities. The idea is to highlight theater whose character is shaped by place.
But I need your help to cover expenses. A 30-day Amtrak USA Rail Pass is roughly $700. Beyond that I'll need to pay for sleeper-car accommodations on some of the longer routes, plus hotels, meals, and transit/car rentals in the cities I visit.
So if you're passionate about theater or travel, or if you're just a fan of my work, please show your support by making a contribution, large or small. It'll make me crazy happy, and you'll be helping me accomplish one of my life goals -- seeing the United States by train.
Check out the "Join Me Live" reward level: If you donate $50 or more, I'll invite you to join a private Facebook group where I'll be chronicling my journey in something close to real time. Photos, video, updates about the Amtrak experience, and quick introductions to the theatermakers I meet along the way. And of course it'll be a two-way conversation, if you've got questions or recommendations for me.
So dig deep. And please, spread the word. The more the merrier on this epic ride.
A LITTLE ABOUT ME
I've been a theater critic at the Washington City Paper since 1995, but I kicked off my career as an arts writer at the Washington Blade. I spent five years in the Life section at USA Today, including a stint as the music and theater editor. My most recent gig was at NPR, where I spent seven years as an arts editor. I helped launch the pop-culture blog Monkey See, led the overhaul of NPR Books a couple of years back, and was part of the Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast from its inception.
I was a fellow at both the 2002 O'Neill Critics Institute and the inaugural NEA Arts Journalism Institute in 2005, and in December 2004, I won the George Jean Nathan Award for distinguished drama criticism. (For the record, I did a fairly exuberant happy dance when I got that call.)
I wrote the theater section for two editions of the Time Out Guide to D.C. And I've written about books, travel, movies and the arts for a variety of publications, including The New York Times and The Washington Post.
I was born in New Orleans and brought up in South Carolina, but I've been a D.C. boy since 1990. Well, except for that stretch in 2001 and 2002, when I lived in Zimbabwe. Which was waaaaay more fun than life in a collapsing economy should be.
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