Playbill On-Line has joined forces with Camp Broadway and the Columbia Scholastic Press Association at Columbia University during the 2002-03 season to create opportunities for four high school student journalists, covering Broadway news for Playbill's teen readership. From September 2002 until May 2003, four students who were selected for the program will be responsible for writing an article every other month. One such article appears below:
Theatre lovers starved for stage-related publications will find some solace in the launch of a new publication, "On and Off," which is solely dedicated to discussing the many productions New York City has to offer. "On and Off" is filled with celebrity interviews and CD reviews. It also contains descriptions of all the presentations on Broadway, Off-Broadway, Off-Off Broadway; ways to get great tickets at reasonable prices; and ideas for activities before and after the show with the help of detailed restaurant displays.
"On and Off," was first published in September 2002 by Ron Lasko and Chip Duckett, two guys who started Spin Cycle, the East Village publicity outfit and publishing office of "On and Off."
Why found "On and Off"? Lasko said that major publications, such as the New York Times, Daily News, and the New York Post have rapidly cut articles on theatrical presentations. Instead, space that were once dedicated to stage shows is going to movies. Lasko and his pal decided to take matters into their own hands by creating a simple prototype version of their magazine for the September issue. They then printed 1,000 copies and distributed them to journalists and advertisers.
"In a week, all copies were gone. We received calls every day from writers who wanted to submit articles. Our first letter was from a parent thanking us for creating a special section just for children," said an excited Lasko. Lasko, Duckett, and the rest of the staff are constantly promoting "On and Off" through classified ads and radio and by attending special events to attract new subscribers. "We just want to be out there and visible. Communities everywhere can benefit from our hard work," Lasko explains.
"We even found two huge N'Sync fans to see Joey Fatone's performance in Broadway's Rent, attend a special dinner, and speak about their memorable experience. We are really just simply looking at all favorable possibilities of giving theatre a voice."
"On and Off" can be picked up at many restaurants, hotels, etc. You can even email your questions and/or comments directly to the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. A subscription is also available for a full year for a minimal amount.
—Stephanie Nancy Nolasco
Playbill On-Line Stringer