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   David Coddon   Carol Davis    Bill Eadie

            James Hebert    Pam Kragen  Pat Launer

  Ruth Lepper   Jean Lowerison    

       Jeff Smith   Anne Marie Welsh  

Pam Kragen, the president of the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle, is a feature writer and backup theater critic for the U-T San Diego newspaper. From 1999-September 2012, she served as arts and features editor and theater critic of the North County Times newspaper. She is a fellow from the National Endowment for the Arts' Institutes for Arts Journalism at USC (2005) and Columbia University (2010). She has worked full-time at daily newspapers in the San Diego area since 1981, when she joined the staff of the Daily Aztec at her alma mater, San Diego State University. She is an adjunct journalism professor at Cal State San Marcos and mom to Matt, 23, and Aubrey, 19.

Anne Marie Welsh, the treasurer for the Critics Circle and former theater critic for the San Diego Union-Tribune, is a freelance writer and regular contributing theater critic for CultureBuzzSD, the U-T San Diego and The Los Angeles Times. Welsh earned her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in English and drama from the University of Rochester. In 1976, she joined the staff of the Washington Star where she was dance critic and backup theater critic until the paper's demise. Welsh came to the San Diego Union in 1983 serving as the paper's dance critic, second theater critic and arts reporter before a ten-year stint as the paper's theater critic. She co-edited The Longman Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Drama: A Global Perspective and co-authored Shakespeare: Script, Stage and Screen. She has served on the jury for the Pulitzer Prize in drama and is a member of  the editorial board as well as a regular essayist for Best Plays, the national yearbook of American theater. She is also the proud mother of three sons — Adam, Martin and Casimir Morawski.
Jeff Smith has been the theater critic for the San Diego Reader since 1980, and also writes a local history column. He has a Ph.D. in literature and critical theory from the University of California, Irvine. He wrote his doctoral dissertation on Shakespeare. He has dramaturged dozens of shows. Favorites include Sam Shepard's The Tooth of Crime, Peter Barnes's Red Noses (both at SD Rep), Tom Stoppard's Arcadia (North Coast Rep), Shakespeare's Hamlet (New Village Arts) and Romulus Linney's Holy Ghosts (Sullivan Players).
James Hebert is the vice president of the Critics Circle and the theater critic for The San Diego Union-Tribune, and has served as an arts writer for the newspaper since 1997. He spent his early childhood in Japan before the family moved to California in 1967. After graduating from SDSU, he earned a master's degree at Columbia University in New York, then moved to Boston with his now-wife, Sophy Chaffee (a Columbia classmate), where he became assistant editor of Offshore magazine. He shortly got out of the yachting racket and returned to San Diego, joining the U-T as a copy editor. Hebert has written about pop music, film and media, and has reviewed theater here since 1995. He's a proud dad of two highly entertaining kids, Audrey and Zander. Likes: Surfing, running, Greek food. Dislikes: Weak coffee, "Starlight Express."

David Coddon is a longtime voice on the San Diego arts, entertainment and cultural scene. The former editor of the San Diego Union-Tribune’s “Currents Weekend” and “Night&Day” sections, he wrote a popular column on the arts, “For What It’s Worth,” and chronicled in particular the glitter and impetuosity of the film industry. He is now a freelance writer, an adjunct faculty member at Mesa College and theater critic for San Diego CityBeat magazine. He possesses an MFA in English from San Diego State University and a BA in journalism from the University of Southern California.

Carol Davis writes for examiner.com/san_diego and sdjewishworld.com. She was entertainment columnist for the San Diego Jewish Times for more than 20 years, five of which she shared a byline with her late husband, Gerry. She has been a member of the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle since 1986. Carol is a past member of the American Theatre Critics Association. Carol can be reached at davisc@sandiegojewishworld.com.  CarolDavis.jpg (9569 bytes)

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Ruth Lepper has been reviewing plays throughout San Diego County for the past 25 years. She has had feature articles published in international, national and regional publications, and has been on staff for several local newspapers over the years. She is currently a free-lance writer for the San Diego Union-Tribune and North County Times. Her entertainment column, "The Play's the Thing," is published regularly in the Ramona Home Journal and Julian Journal news magazines.

Bill Eadie reviews theatre for SanDiegoStory.com and TalkinBroadway.com. He is also a professor of journalism and media studies at San Diego State University, where he coordinates the undergraduate media studies major.  Bill earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in communication at UCLA, where he studied reviewing with Robert Kirsch, then book critic for the Los Angeles Times.  He went on to earn a Ph.D. in communication at Purdue University.  He’s had an academic career that’s included serving as editor of the Journal of Applied Communication Research and the Western Journal of Communication.  He is the current editor of the latter journal, and he is responsible for peer reviews of scholarship appearing in volumes published between 2012 and 2014.  Bill has a long connection to the San Diego theatre scene, having seen his first professional production at the Old Globe (King Richard III, directed by Allen Fletcher) in the early 1960s, and he had a 25-year consecutive run of seeing at least one Old Globe play per season, despite living outside San Diego. Bill has directed and performed in local amateur theatre productions, and he sings with two community choruses.


Native San Diegan Jean Lowerison has been watching theater for (mumble, mumble) years – since Starlight and the Old Globe were all San Diego had in theater companies – and writing about film and theater for the past decade. A Berkeley graduate and college librarian for (mumble, mumble) years. She is an enthusiastic chorister, currently singing with the La Jolla Symphony Chorus. A favorite appearance was a chorus role in the opera “Dido and Aeneas.” She reviews theater (and sometimes film) for the online San Diego Gay and Lesbian News (sdgln.com).

Pat Launer, secretary for the Critics Circle, attended her first theater production in utero. Fortunately, growing up in New York, she was readily able to feed her theatergoing habit. When she moved to San Diego in 1979, she started Sign of the Times, the San Diego Theatre of the Deaf. Pat earned her Ph.D. in Communication Arts and Sciences from the City University of New York, and taught at San Diego State University for 24 years, where she was named Most Influential Faculty seven times. She won an Emmy Award for “Center Stage,” the theater variety show she created, wrote and hosted on KPBS-TV. She garnered two Emmy nominations for the Patté Awards for Theater Excellence, which she created, produced and hosted for 13 years. Her theater documentaries have won local and national awards. In 2005, the Women’s International Center named her a Living Legacy. For more than 25 years, she’s been San Diego’s only regularly broadcast theater critic. Her reviews air on KSDS-FM; she also writes regularly for patch.com and San Diego Metro magazine. Her reviews (dating back to 1990) can be found at www.patteproductions.com.

 
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  Former Members
Charlene Baldridge writes about theater and the arts for numerous local and regional publications including Performances Magazine, Gay San Diego, San Diego Uptown News and Downtown News. She also writes theater, opera and classical music reviews as well as poetry for her blog at charlenebaldridge.com. She is the author of the book San Diego: Jewel of the California Coast, and served as editor for "The Warrior's Stance," a collection of poetry by the late Laura Jeanne Morefield.

Jennifer Chung


 

 


 

Jennifer Chung Klam is Special Sections Editor for the San Diego business paper The Daily Transcript, where she previously served as arts editor, copy editor and staff reporter. The nearly native San Diegan writes about theater, arts and culture for a variety of online and print publications including The San Diego Union-Tribune, San Diego CityBeat and sandiego.com. Before jumping into journalism, the UCSD grad dipped a toe or two in technical publications, marketing communications, higher education and vocational rehabilitation.

Frankie Moran, a former freelance theater critic for sandiego.com, is a graduate of the 2008 NEA Arts Journalism Institute in Theater and Musical Theater at USC's Annenberg School of Communication.  Before that, he was a Phi Theta Kappa valedictorian at San Diego's own Mesa College and went on to graduate from UCLA's School of Theater, Film, and Television. Frankie got his start in criticism writing reviews of Broadway shows during a short stint studying law at Columbia University. Since then, he has written in scenic New Mexico for the Las Cruces Bulletin, and for Back Stage Magazine, the North County Times and sandiego.com. In November 2008, he relocated to Manhattan, where he's now works as a Broadway talent agent.

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George Weinberg-Harter was born in San Diego in 1944 as George Harter, and graduated from San Diego High School in 1962. He spent the rest of the '60s at San Diego State University earning degrees in literature (and draft avoidance) and doing graduate work on Joseph Conrad and Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. In 1972, he married and combined surnames with Susan Weinberg. He has been an observer of, and a participant in, San Diego theater all his life, and for more than two decades has written freelance theater articles for the San Diego Union-Tribune, Drama-Logue, Back Stage West and sandiego.com. He has also worked occasionally as a graphic artist, has taught calligraphy, is a co-founder of the San Diego Fellow Calligraphers and has designed many theatrical posters.