“All the filmmakers you love, all the writers you love … put their fingerprint on your imagination, on your heart, on your soul….”
— Bruce Springsteen, interviewed by Ed Norton during Toronto International Film Festival, October 2010
My hope is that this website can “put a fingerprint on your imagination” by highlighting plays, movies, music, art and writing that I love—and that I want to share with others. I’m a writer based in Chicago, with 30+ years of experience in business writing, public relations and marketing for professional services firms. My main interests are politics and popular culture, especially rock and roll music, film and theater. I’m a proud progressive, committed to liberal causes.
You’ll find most of my writing at thirdcoastreview.com, where I’m editor and publisher. Third Coast Review is a Chicago arts and culture website, which I launched in January 2016 with six other writers. The site is thriving with lots of great content and a lively events calendar. Stop on by and read my theater reviews and posts on film, lit, music, art and food by our team of 30+ writers.
I also contribute reviews and articles on theater and art to berkshirefinearts.com, a national arts website. For several years, I wrote theater and art reviews and served as arts editor for Gapers Block, a 12-year-old Chicago website that went on hiatus as of January 1, 2016.
I’m a member of the American Theatre Critics Association and a 2014 fellow of the National Critics Institute at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center.
My book of essays published in October 2020 is Chicago Girl: Essays on the Arts, Politics and Life. You can find it here and here. One section features stories about me, but most of it is devoted to my commentaries on films, theater, books, art, politics and technology. And please don’t miss the poem at the end, titled “City Lady Blues.”
In the past, I served on the boards of directors of two local theaters: Famous Door Theatre and Bailiwick Repertory, so I lived and breathed the financial and creative problems that beset small nonprofits. I also was a board member of the ACLU of Illinois for 18 years. I’m currently a volunteer mentor for SCORE, a nonprofit organization that helps startups and small businesses develop and grow their businesses.
On passion for life
This quote from William Saroyan (his advice to a young writer) sums up the approach I try to take to theater, art and life. It’s good to remember these things even if I can’t live up to them all the time.
“Try to learn to breathe deeply; really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell.”
About the photos on my site
The theater photos that accompany my mini-reviews are publicity photos, courtesy of the theater companies. For other photos, I request permission to use a photo if it’s copyrighted and don’t use it if I don’t receive permission. When ownership isn’t clear, I give credit to the institution that I think owns it. And I take many photos for my blog myself. If one of the photos on my blog is yours and you want it down, message me.
Get in touch
Hang out with me on Twitter @nsbishop — or see nancybishopsjournal on Facebook. .