Articles

How did drama critics and theater journalists fare in this year’s Broadway audience survey?

Every year the Broadway League conducts a survey of Broadway audiences to determine, among other things, what motivates individual audience members to attend a particular show. They don’t ask the question the same way each year and respondents can choose more than one reason. Statisticians...

Russian critics denounce treatment of director Serebrennikov

Kirill Serebrennikov The Russian Theatre Critics Association, ATCA’s co-member in the International Association of Theatre Critics, has denounced the arrest of controversial Russian stage/film/opera director Kirill Serebrennikov. Described as “always fresh, unconventional, and truly innovative,” he has been selected to receive the New Theatrical Reality prize this December by...

Furor over Chicago critic

Hedy Weiss (Photo by Rich Hein/Sun-Times) Long-time Chicago Sun-Times theater critic Hedy Weiss (ATCA’s 2015 Perspectives in Criticism speaker) has stirred up a hurricane (not for the first time) with a June 13 review of Antoinette Nwandu’s “Pass Over,” a re-write of “Waiting for Godot” featuring two young African-Americans, now at Steppenwolf...

Isherwood leaves NY Times; paper affirms ideals of theater criticism

SOME FOLLOWUP STORIES Update, March 1: High profile playwrights (Marsha Norman, David Henry Hwang, Lynn Nottage, Doug Wright, etc., etc.) are among 800 signers of a petition to the N.Y. Times to fill the second string theater critic slot with a woman or transgender person of color,...

Statistics and perspectives on the decline in newspaper coverage of the arts

The Columbia Journalism Review has published a thought provoking piece by Boston’s Jeb Gottlieb, former music and theater writer for the Boston Herald. In a section he titled “the end of the age of the critic” Gottlieb provides statistics on the decline of full time...

IATC Young Critics Seminar in Poland in October, 2016

ATCA’s Russell Warne (managing editor, Utah Theatre Bloggers Assn.) files a very interesting report on the YCS he recently attended in Poland, commenting especially on the similarities and differences between the concerns and issues addressed there and in the U.S. (To read, cick link here or below.) Such seminars are sponsored...

Better Living through Criticism

“Everyone in this world has someone else whom he can look down on,” wrote George Orwell in 1946, “and I must say, from experience of both trades, that the book reviewer is better off than the film critic, who cannot even do his work at home.” Now, of...

McNulty on why we do what we (should) do

Sometimes we post essays about criticism in the right-hand column. But this piece by Charles McNulty for the LA Times earrents the front page.  Charles McNulty Nowadays, he says, “criticism isn’t always readily distinguishable from the salesmanship and hype that have corrupted not just our politics but the arts,...

Couple of Critical Controversies

Sarasota’s Asolo Rep was slapped down by Brian Friel for making significant changes in “Philadelphia, Here I Come,” as reported by Jay Handelman (Sarasota Herald-Tribune). In “Who Thinks It’s OK to ‘Improve’ Playwrights’ Work?,” Howard Sherman points out the issues are legal as well as moral and aesthetic. In the debate over...

Controversies: text changes and play to movie.

Sarasota’s Asolo Rep was slapped down by Brian Friel for making significant changes in “Philadelphia, Here I Come,” as reported by Jay Handelman (Sarasota Herald-Tribune). In “Who Thinks It’s OK to ‘Improve’ Playwrights’ Work?,” Howard Sherman points out the issues are legal as well as moral and aesthetic. In the debate over...