DC Theatre Scene Founder Moves On to Other Projects
Jan 1, 2008 – Walter “Ronnie” Ruff, who founded DC Theatre Scene nearly four years ago as a small-theater blog titled DC Theatre Reviews and grew it to a 9-reviewer arbiter of Washington theatre, announced today that he is leaving the website in order to pursue his own projects.
“I’m proud of what we’ve been able to do with DC Theatre Scene,” Ruff said, “but now I’d like to move on to other projects.”
Ruff inaugurated his website’s venture into theatre criticism with a full-scale review of American Century Theater’s production of Eugene O’Neill’s The Emperor Jones in June of 2005 written by Noelle Wilson. Ruff went on to be a prodigious critic, reviewing 34 of the site’s first 50 reviews, and covering nearly 100 shows in all.
“His energy is incredible,” said Senior Reviewer Tim Treanor, who, next to Ruff, has been with the site longer than anyone. “He could work all day on developing new technology for us, and then go out and cover a show.”
Ruff significantly expanded the website’s reach by joining forces with Lorraine Treanor, who at the time edited Brian Dragonuk’s theatre newsgroup Dragonuk Connects. Later, Ushers’ founder and theatre maven Joel Markowitz joined them.
“I first met Ronnie the night we had both seen Journeymen Theater’s Experiment with an Air Pump.“ Lorraine Treanor said. “We went out for coffee and talked about our visions for Washington theatre ‘til dawn. That meeting changed my life.”
Ruff’s vision included recording podcast interviews as well as building a site which not only gave fresh reviews to both large and small theaters, but linked to other critics’ reviews as well. During Ruff’s term as publisher, DC Theatre achieved both objectives.
“Because of Ronnie’s vision, guidance and friendship, I have had the incredible privilege to be able to interview the people who make theatre happen in this community,” said Markowitz, who records many of DC Theatre Scene’s podcasts.
As for his plans, Ruff’s interest in theatre is undiminished. In addition to turning his energies to new projects over the next month, after that he will be “looking to find a theatre company to donate some time to.”