BWW Feature: The Anatomy of a Critic
Theatre is the reflection of the human experience back to ourselves. How incredible is THAT? It's a wonderful and complicated thing to write about theatre, because since it is that reflection of human life, most humans feel that they're experts at maybe not creating the artwork, but at assessing it.
As a columnist and critic, I get a lot of feedback, some of it not altogether pleasant, some of it rather negative, and some downright hateful. We learn, early on, that there will be people who vehemently disagree with our opinions - there's simply no accounting for taste. We also learn - and it's hard to accept - that we will get hate mail from people who are furious that our WRONG criticism has been published for all the world to see.
I've been verbally battered for an array of things: My reviews aren't "fair." I favor some companies over others. I cover too many people from too few companies. I don't feature a diverse enough cross-section of artists, I talk about myself too much, I don't ask the right questions, I ask rude questions that are none of my (or anyone's) business ...et cetera.
In the spirit of transparency, open communication and full disclosure, I hereby speak to the above concerns, in no particular order.
On the subject of reviews:
On the subject of interviews:
If there are artists you'd like to see profiled, or shows you want to see reviewed, or if you think I've made a gross error, please contact me and say so. I'm a grown up, and I can take it - I may even look at the show again and write a follow-up, or maybe revise the initial review, if I'm convinced I made a mistake and/or if the show improved to the point that my review is moot. If you call me names, I will delete your note, and if such missives are anonymous, I will report them. Too much ugly stuff swirling around out there, as it is. And, hey. Feel free to pass along praise - I'm an actual human being over here, and I appreciate the occasional compliment as much as the next gal.
Life is short, friends. Take care of yourselves and each other, and DO THEATRE - make it, see it, celebrate it, perpetuate it! Keep it alive!