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When theatre critics attack, should a theatre fight back?


Theatre critics aren’t always nice, or fair.  Is there anything we can do about reviews we don’t like?

Episode 94

Critics in the audienceLashing back at theatre critics makes for some interesting news stories, and there isn’t a community theatre actor or director who hasn’t wanted to give a theatre critic a piece of their mind.  But is it really a good idea?

Inspired by this article by Robert Simonson, the Geeks explore this issue as it relates to community theatre.  Marcia, a theatre critic herself, has some special insights into what reviewers, editors and theatres deal with.  When reviewing community theatre, a reviewer has to be honest with the reader, but still be supportive of the performing arts, especially in smaller communities.  It’s not always easy.

But sometimes, a theatre critic has an axe to grind that has nothing to do with the show, or, in some cases, is plainly ignorant of the material he or she is viewing.  What can (or should) a theatre do?

The Geeks also discuss the impact of social media vs traditional media in the lives of theatre critics, theatres and audiences alike.

Here’s a link to the article, “When Artists Attack: Does Criticizing the Critic Ever Work?”  It’s a fun, interesting look at the history (and advisability) of artist backlash against critics.

All this, plus a special “rant” from Marcia!

Music provided by Music Alley.