The Bad Oracle Needs Help, Once Again


We were so, so sorry to say goodbye to our lovely and talented River Styx in February 😦 😦 😦 :(.  She bids The Oracle adieu as she recommits herself to her full-time pet fur dying/taxidermy business (j/k, Styx has a really important Big Girl job that calls her, sadly, away).  It’s a tough act to follow, admittedly.  But if you ever wondered what it would be like to have all-you-can-eat small theater tickets and be able to snarkily !yet kindly! share your opinion on plays on the Internet, read on!

Here are the specs:

1.  It’s a one-year gig.  This is the biggest change we’ve made: in order to keep things fresh and clean around here, we’re going to be engaging reviewers for one year stints.  That means the commitment isn’t forever.  We’re looking for someone to start April 2016 and go until March 2017.

2.  You gotta love theater.  Duh.  And you sort of have to know something about it.  Formal education is nice, real world experience is better, a combo of the two is ideal.

3.  You gotta be able to follow through.  TBO doesn’t have the strictest deadlines in the world, but we need to know that you can turn your reviews around fairly quickly.  Many small theaters have pretty limited runs, so it doesn’t help them to get the world out two weeks after they close the show.

4.   You gotta be able to accept criticism.  You dish it, you take it.  Your reviews will be edited prior to being published.  That’s just the way it is.  If you are the type that likes to throw whiny tantrums, pass on this puleeze.

5.   You gotta be local.  Someday, TBO will take over the world but this is not that world and today is not that day.  So, for now, we limit our scope to small theaters in and around Baltimore city.  It’s our beat, it has to be yours, too.

6.  You gotta be anonymous.  We’re serious.  Now, we’re not, like, Batman or anything, in fact, our identities are sort of the worst kept secret in Baltimore, but we don’t publish our names on the site.  And that means that you won’t, either.  You will be published under a pseudonym.  After you quit, you can use the work you’ve written for us any way you choose, but you can’t ever out anyone else currently working for TBO.  It’s just the way it is.

7.  You have to be funny and honest, not sadistic.  This is not a Lester Bangs “be unmerciful” situation.  If you’re thinking you want to review shows so that you can be as mean as you can be, keep looking.  The point of this site is to bring more visibility to the Baltimore small theater scene, not to rip it a new one.  We’re all friends here and yes, we are honest with our friends.  It’s a fine line, sure, but if you’re the right one for us, you’ll understand how to walk it.

8.  You have to be willing to speak in public.  One of the most important parts of the job is being a presenter at the annual Baltimore United Local Stage and Hidden Independent Theater (B.U.L.S.H.I.T.) Awards in January.

Oh, also – Yep, you get paid.  $25 per published piece, $15 per feature (like The Rat Report).  It’s a pittance, sure, but you do of course get free theater tickets thrown into the bargain.

Still into it?  Okay, instructions:

1.  Send an e-mail to

2.  Include the reason that you are interested in this position, a little about you (background, etc.) and a writing sample.  It has to be a critique of something, I don’t care what.  A show, a movie, an album, a restaurant.  I want to get a feel for how you write and what your priorities are.

3.  Sit tight.  I’ll respond to everyone either yay or nay within a week of the deadline.

4.  Deadline for applications is Monday, March 21st.

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