Retta Blaney

freelance writer/blogger

Biography

Retta Blaney is the author of Working on the Inside: The Spiritual Life through the Eyes of Actors, which features interviews with Kristin Chenoweth, Dudu Fisher, Edward Herrmann, Liam Neeson, Phylicia Rashad, Vanessa Williams and many others. Her freelance work has appeared in The Washington Post, New York Newsday, National Catholic Reporter,The Jewish Week, The Living Church, American Theatre, Back Stage and other publications. She is editor of the anthology Journalism Stories from the Real World, a book of essays for which Walter Cronkite wrote the introduction, and has taught at Brooklyn College, New York University and Marymount Manhattan College.

As a full-time reporter, she worked for newspapers in Maryland and New York, winning a half dozen reporting awards, five of which were for first place.

She holds a Master of Arts in modern drama from New York University, a Master of Fine Arts in playwriting from Brooklyn College and a Bachelor of Arts in English from the College of Notre Dame of Maryland.

She is founder and producer of Broadway Blessing, an interfaith service of song, story and dance that has been bringing the theatre community together every September since 1997 to ask God’s blessing on the new season.  Among those who have taken part are Kathleen Chalfant, Boyd Gaines, Edward Herrmann, Anna Manahan, Ken Prymus, Lynn Redgrave, Marian Seldes, Frances Sternhagen, KT Sullivan, Elizabeth Swados and Three Mo’ Tenors.

In December 2005 Retta produced the revival of Elizabeth Swados’ choral drama Missionaries, about the lives, work and murders of four American churchwomen in El Salvador in 1980. It was done at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine in honor of the 25th anniversary of their deaths.

Her blog, Life Upon the Sacred Stage, features news, reviews and insights into the worlds of faith and the performing arts. The address is: http://uponthesacredstage.blogspot.com.

Courses

Spring Journalism Sessions

March 14th, 2010

WJI will offer five sessions at the annual spring convention of College Media Advisers, held in New York City at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square, March 14-16, 2010.