Laura Tahja Johnson  Artistic & Executive Director

Laura Tahja Johnson
Artistic & Executive Director

Michael Conroy  Box Office Associate

Michael Conroy
Box Office Associate

Lyric Arts has evolved drastically since its humble beginnings in 1995 as the Pocket Theatre on Johnson Street, but one thing that hasn’t changed throughout the years has been the mission to enrich the lives of the community, by creating meaningful performing arts experiences that ignites imaginations and inspire the spirits of those it serves. To help maintain the high quality of art that our patrons and artists have come to expect of us, especially now as the only full-time professional theater company in Anoka County, we rely on evaluations of our work from outside reviewers, as well as those who know first-hand what Lyric Arts is capable of.

This is where you come in.

The Artistic Review Panel was created a few years ago with the purpose of cultivating opinions from people outside our productions to supplement our internal evaluation processes – from people just like you. As we continue to expand and improve upon our Artistic Review Panel, we hope you are willing to be a part of it as an Evaluator. Some of you may have already been asked to participate in previous seasons, and while what we are looking for in our reviews is the same as before, we are hoping to make the process less complicated than in the past.

What we are looking for is simple; following guidelines created by Ivey Awards member Scott Mayer for their review system, we would like you to evaluate a minimum of four shows from Lyric Arts' 17-18 season, including at least one musical and two plays. The benefits for you, besides supporting a theater you know and love, include two complimentary tickets to the performance you are evaluating and, new this year, complimentary popcorn cards to sweeten the deal. 

If you have any questions, feel free to contact Box Office Associate Michael Conroy at or 763-233-0812. We look forward to having your help as we continue improving Lyric Arts as a company and as a community.

How to Become an Artistic Review Panel Evaluator

1. Accept the invitation to the Panel by completing the Registration Survey

Please accept the invitation and complete the survey below by Friday, September 8, 2017. Requests will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.

This brief survey, created to help coordinate who will be evaluating which shows in the 2017-2018 season, ensures that all shows will be reviewed as equally as possible while taking personal preferences into consideration.

Once the Production Preferences Survey is closed, we will contact you about which shows you will be asked to evaluate, based on the results of the survey. All Evaluators will be given three productions, one musical and two plays, in order to help meet their minimum requirements. The fourth required production, plus any additional productions, are open for Evaluators to choose.

2. Reserve your two complimentary tickets through the Box Office

We encourage you to submit all ticket requests by opening night of the production, but we will send a reminder email to all Evaluators for all shows, and will accept requests until the start of closing weekend. All performances in a production are open to all Evaluators unless sold out, with a limit of 8 Evaluators per production. No previews, please. To set up your complimentary tickets, contact Box Office Associate Michael Conroy at 763-233-0812 or

Please notify the Box Office when setting up your reservation if you only need one ticket. 

3. Review the Evaluator Forms

Please read and review these forms before attending the performance.

Artistic Review Panel Guidelines

Companion Sheet

Evaluations will ask for feedback on the direction, music direction, and actors, as well as technical aspects, including set, lighting, costume, and sound design. These forms are similar to ones used by the Ivey Awards and their Review Panel.

4. Enjoy the performance

5. Complete the Evaluation

Click on the button to complete an evaluation. Evaluations must be submitted within one week of seeing the production

All evaluations are confidential; these reviews will only be seen by Artistic & Executive Director Laura Tahja Johnson. They will be kept anonymous and will not be shared with the cast/crew. Likewise, please do not discuss your evaluation with anyone, especially other judges, friends, and members involved in the production.

6. Repeat Steps 2-5 until you've seen a minimum of four shows, including one musical and two plays!

Additional Notes

  • Evaluators must review a minimum of 4 productions per season, including at least 1 musical, and at least 2 plays.
  • Requests for tickets shall be processed on a first come, first served basis, with a limit of 8 Evaluators per production.
  • Please do not evaluate a production if you are participating in it as a performer or a member of the production staff.
  • If two Evaluators live in the same household, they cannot both attend and evaluate the same production. 
  • Avoid reading other critiques (or listening to Original Broadway Cast recordings) for the production until after evaluations are complete. The survey is meant to evaluate each production not against the work of others, but on the weight of its own merits, strengths, and weaknesses.