About Steven Stanley

As editor of StageSceneLA.com, Steven Stanley is one of Los Angeles’ most prolific theater reviewers.

He is also the author of Moroccan Roll, available at Amazon.com.

He has been an ESL instructor in the English Language Program (formerly the American Culture And Language Program) at California State University, Los Angeles since 1979.

In the early 1970s, Steven Stanley taught English at Lycée Ibn Sina in Beni-Mellal, Morocco—an experience which led him to write Moroccan Roll (2007, iUniverse) , a multiple-plot novel which has received favorable comparison to Armistead Maupin’s Tales Of The City and TV’s Sex In The City.

Steven Stanley’s love for theater began at an early age, as a young audience member at L.A. Civic Light Opera productions. In 1993, he returned to acting for the first time since a handful of teenage appearances with a featured role in The Pajama Game at the San Gabriel Civic. This was followed by numerous appearances on Los Angeles area stages including the Lillian Theatre, the Actor’s Group Theatre, the Stephanie Feurie Studio Theatre, the Gardner Stages, the Sierra Madre Playhouse, and the Whittier Center Theatre.

StageSceneLA.com debuted in August of 2007 as Steven Stanley was concluding two years as an Ovation Awards voter, during which time he attended and voted on over 375 productions. Each September, StageSceneLA.com presents its Scenie Awards to the finest Southern California theater talents.

On the occasion of StageSceneLA.com’s 3rd Anniversary, Los Angeles theater professionals and theatergoers alike joined their voices in praising Steven Stanley’s incisive, well-written reviews and his passionate advocacy of Los Angeles theater. Here’s what they had to say:

Maria Cominis, actor/director/professor of theater
In a world where everyone is a critic, StageSceneLA points out the positive work that often goes unnoticed. Steven Stanley gives theater artists hope that theater is not dying, that it is a cultural and social necessity.

Jon Cortez, director/producer
Steven Stanley gives a voice to the thousands of theatergoers in the L.A. area who go to see small theater that does not always receive the attention it deserves and accentuates the positive things about it. Even when criticism is offered, it is constructive and useful. I appreciate Stevens’s words of encouragement and support, and I read his reviews before most of the others, because I know he is someone who really loves theater and wants to support it and keep it alive.

Douglas Crawford, actor/singer/writer/director
I can think of no other single person that has done more to positively promote theater in Southern California over the past few years than Steven Stanley. The immense amount of coverage he gives to productions (ranging from Broadway national tours to the tiniest of L.A.’s 99 seat theaters) and the actors and creatives who bring them to life is a testament to his passion for keeping our often forgotten art form relevant in today’s tabloid-television obsessed culture. In an age where it has become increasing difficult for this art form to survive, the theater benefits far more from people like Steven (and the tireless work he puts into his StageSceneLA) than it does those who merely judge, criticize, and often close those doors we are struggling mightily to keep open!

AnnaLisa Erickson, Actor, Director, Teacher
Steven knows theater and any show is lucky to have him walk through the front door. When he’s in the house, actors feel his positive presence. An audience cannot be passive, or we don’t have a show. Steven comes to a theater as an active participant — ready to take a ride with the characters and dive into the story. Look at Steven’s face after a good show — That is joy!

Joshua Finkel, director/choreographer/performer/teacher
Steven Stanley is such an amazing support to L.A. Theater and his site is a tremendous resource to the community. He makes it a point to see, support and review as much as he can. Steven really is an amazing guy. I’m grateful to call him friend and colleague.

Diana Hale, actor/publicist
Steven always finds something positive about every production he sees. Actors need that kind of support. We all thank him for his generosity.

Ben Hensley, entertainer
Steven Stanley is the Wikipedia of Los Angeles theater.

James C. Kaufman, Director of the Learning Research Institute/Associate Professor of Psychology at California State University San Bernardino
I’m “just” a theater fan, but Steven Stanley’s reviews help me find out what’s going on locally and what is worth checking out. His reviews are often the only ones I get to read about such local groups as Musical Theatre Guild, etc. His passion and support for theater is contagious!

Janet Krupin, actor/singer/dancer
What sets Steven Stanley apart?
The same thing that makes a good story.
The same thing that engages an audience time and again.
The same radiant, meteor-rare, only attained through sweat and study thing that every actor aspires to be.
Steven Stanley is specific.

Lily Lim, theater fan/photographer
Steven is the most enthusiastic and knowledgeable theater expert I’ve ever met. He is a great source of information about Los Angeles theater. Whenever I need information about which show to see, I visit StageSceneLA. Steven’s reviews are well-written, accurate, and informative. Steven Stanley is a real asset to L.A. theater. Keep up the good work, Steven! And congratulations on three years of StageSceneLA!!!

Matt Lutz, actor/singer
I love knowing Steven Stanley is in the audience. I find myself really wanting to please him. The rest of the “critics,” I don’t worry about. But Steven’s opinion counts, and it should. The man supports L.A. theater, and L.A. actors, like no one else.

Monette Magrath, actor
Steven Stanley actually likes theater. No, he delights in it! His reviews are intelligent and extremely thoughtful. His enthusiasm is refreshing. He is a perfect example of what is right with L.A. theater!

TJ Marchbank, actor/fight choreographer
Steven Stanley understands the pressures that sometimes arise while being on stage. He knows that with live theater, things happen, but can still find the good performance under an off night. He truly loves theater, and, in his own way, is putting forth a great part in helping L.A. become a theater town.

Michael Landman-Karny, avid theatergoer
Steven is not only a passionate expert about theater but is a wonderful writer. In a field all too often dominated by malicious wit and grandiose self-importance, Steven’s reviews are fresh, readable, fair and informative.

Jack Messenger, actor/director/producer
Steven Stanley’s StageSceneLA is unabashedly enthusiastic, accentuating all the good things about L.A. theater and its performers/artists/directors community. Steven has been an influential promoter of theater to all of us in the biz and has many friends.

Jon Mullich, actor
I have never encountered anyone who was as devoted to or knowledgeable about theater in Los Angeles as Steven Stanley. Some say theater is a dying art, but that will never be the case as long as Steven is around to offer his keen insights and raise awareness and interest in what’s being produced in our community. They call L.A. the City of the Angels, and Steven earned his wings a long time ago.

Rob Nagle, actor
Arguably, one of the greatest supporters of theater in Los Angeles. When I moved here from New York thirteen years ago, I was told that Los Angeles was not a theater town. But with the help of our remarkably talented theater artists and tireless advocates like Steven Stanley, we are all changing that misperception.

William Reilly, actor/director/musical director/artistic director/writer
It’s high time someone in this town offered his readers a “how not to get your pocket picked while attending L.A. theater” guide. By eliminating the vanity productions, the workshop productions and the scene study showcases from his roster, Steven Stanley focuses his readers attention on the best that L.A. theater has to offer.

Ryan Spahn, actor
Steven Stanley has been an actor and performer, so he knows what goes into making theater. He is acutely aware that there’s so much passion and work that goes into a show. When a critic watches a show and then runs home to their safe little computers in order to sputter out a laundry list of what worked and didn’t work, their opinions can potentially ruin the suspension of disbelief for future audience members. They can crush a production. Steven Stanley lifts productions with his supportive words and understanding.

Laura Stegman, publicist
Steven’s perspective is a welcome one at my clients’ shows, and we’ve frequently used quotes from his reviews in press and promotional materials. In a market where theater coverage is decreasing, his site spotlighting productions is great.

Paul Storiale, director/writer
Steven Stanley has had his share of bullies and his share of respect. This man moves on creating his own story of success like one you would find in a show he reviews. He stubbornly continues no matter what advice he’s given, creating what so many people look forward to each and every day. Sometimes 3 times a day.

August Viverito, artistic director/director
Steven Stanley is an indispensable friend to theatre professionals and theatre-goers in Los Angeles in countless ways. By deliberately selecting performers and companies that he knows he can trust, he is able to create a one-stop shop for all the best theatre in town. This makes his reviews enjoyable to read, and immensely beneficial to those looking for a play to see. Additionally, Steven goes out of his way to evaluate every element of a production in significant detail. When you go to see something Steven Stanley recommends, you have an excellent idea of what you are going to get for your money. I can’t think of anything more valuable than a full, intellegent, detailed review in a town where capsule reviews can be hard to get. We’re very lucky to know Mr. Steven Stanley.

Marc Wheeler, actorvist/theatergoer
One would be hard pressed to find a more knowledgeable and uplifting theater reviewer in town. Steven’s heart radiates theater; it flows through his veins. Shining a gorgeous spotlight on the immensely talented people who work both on and off stage around Los Angeles, Steven has made it his life mission to showcase to the world the brilliance and magic that is happening in both small and large venues all around them. His intelligent and positive reviews reflect his passion for this vibrant art form that is full-speed ahead in Tinseltown! If anyone needs a star map — ask Steven!