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An introduction to “Backstage at the Globe with Nick Miliokas” by Ruth Smillie

October 9, 2012

Fourteen years ago, Nick Miliokas was the Arts and Entertainment Editor for the Leader-Post and I was just beginning my tenure as Artistic Director and CEO of Globe Theatre. We met on a beautiful summer morning for what I expected would be a relatively brief interview. The conversation lasted more than two hours. Nick’s questions were insightful and challenging; demanding far more than the formulaic answers I had been accustomed to providing to less engaged and knowledgeable members of the media in other cities where I had worked. As our conversation wound down, Nick Miliokas asked me what I expected from him as the Arts and Entertainment Editor of the Leader-Post. The question stunned me. It had never occurred to me that there might be a reciprocal relationship between the leader of a theatre organization and a theatre reviewer/commentator. I said, “I want to be in a respectful, critical dialogue with you about the work on our stages. I will tell you what we’re doing, why we’re doing it, and what we aspire to in producing the play. And you will thoughtfully let us know if we succeeded or failed.” Or words to that effect.

And that is what Nick did through his reviews, previews and features over the years. We also continued to meet every so often for longer in-depth chats about everything from firing costume designers to the vision for creating a professional actor training program for Saskatchewan actors to the roller-coaster ride that can be the life of an artistic director. I deeply valued those conversations and I think Nick did too. So when Nick Miliokas decided to retire as the Arts and Entertainment Editor of the Leader-Post, I felt like I’d lost a theatre colleague as well as a member of the media who was passionate about the art of theatre.

Last week, Nick resumed his conversation with me and theatre with an offer to write an insider blog about the work onstage and off at the Globe. In short, Nick will be our resident critic and journalist. He will write about whatever he wishes and nothing he writes will be subject to the approval of the Globe. Everything he writes will be posted on our website.

Watch for Nick’s continued coverage of Globe events.

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