New digital hub MyTheatreMates.com is co-founded by Mark Shenton and Terri Paddock, and takes its name from the Ma in Mark and the Te in Terri. In addition to hosting the Also Recognised Awards, it collates the best content from our individual websites and social channels – and, we hope, will soon host additional content from other independent theatre voices.
We previously worked together for several years at WhatsOnStage.com, where Terri was co-founder and editorial director and Mark was chief critic. The idea for a new, independent portal arose from our disillusionment with existing media models.
We consider ourselves ‘mates’ to anyone who shares our values and our passion for theatre
In December 2013, we were both unceremoniously dismissed by our media owner bosses after long and dedicated service; Mark from the Sunday Express after more than a decade and Terri, after nearly 17 years, from WhatsOnStage, now owned by US corporation, TheaterMania.com, Inc. During 2014, we supported one another through long and arduous legal battles as a result of these dismissals.
Our experience inspired us to form a new type of arts media venture, centred around collaboration, cooperation and passion, in which we could work with like-minded people who truly love and support theatre and who want to be their own bosses for collective gain.
We consider ourselves ‘mates’ to anyone who shares our values: theatre-makers who want to produce great art (commercially and artistically) and theatre-goers who want to support it with bums on seat and word of mouth.
Really and truly, MyTheatreMates as Your Theatre Mates – you can trust what we say, what we recommend, and that our intentions are always for the good of theatre overall.
Brief bio bits
Mark Shenton is one of the UK’s leading theatre critics and correspondents, whose regular credits include Playbill.com and The Stage, where he is associate editor and chief critic. He is also chair of the drama section of the Critics’ Circle, and hosts the annual Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards, held at the Prince of Wales Theatre each January. He blogs independently at www.shentonstage.com and tweets @ShentonStage.
Terri Paddock founded WhatsOnStage.com and the WhatsOnStage Awards, running the company and its events from 1996 to 2013. She is also the author of two novels, Come Clean and Beware the Dwarfs, and has previously written for myriad publications, including the Evening Standard, Independent and the Times. She now acts as a digital, content and event strategy consultant for theatres, producers and other clients, blogs at www.terripaddock.com and tweets @TerriPaddock.