Starla Smith launches a new column, "Playbill Backstage," April 21 on Playbill On-Line. In the column, writer-photographer Smith goes backstage at Broadway and Off-Broadway shows to offer a personal portrait of real life among the casts and crews who make magic every night on stage.
The weekly column will be posted each Tuesday in US Theatre News.
Smith has been a journalist for more than 20 years and a regular contributor to Playbill. Her photos have been a component of Playbill On-Line since its launch in 1994, including live coverage of "Countdown to Curtain" events, the Tony Awards and opening night parties on Broadway.
A speech writer, photographer, columnist and feature writer, she helped launch Theater Week magazine 12 years ago and became publisher for a period of time.
She was a Fine Arts Editor, theater critic and columnist for an award-winning daily Gannett newspaper in the Midwest, and specializing in .interviews of high profile entertainment celebrities. She also had a weekly television interview show on cable television, and helped develop arts awareness l programs in the public school systems. Her work has been published in The New Yorker magazine's "Talk of the Town," Vibe, After Dark, The Daily News and through the Gannett News Service. She wrote the book "The Russian Tea Room: A Tasting" for Faith Stewart Gordon which was published by Clarkson Potter in 1993. Smith was featured in the New York Times "Style" section for her "Word Portraits," specialized tributes and presentation profiles.
As an undergraduate, she studied theater and journalism. She received a Master of Arts in Journalism and Arts Promotion from the University of Iowa, and is also a graduate of the Connecticut School of Broadcasting, where she focused on advertising copywriting and radio broadcasting. In her speech writing work, Smith specializes in women and children's issues as well as the entertainment industry.
"Starla" is her real first name.