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The Critic-Artist Relationship

A Story from @NYTcriticwatch

 

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We were recently told of a rather beautiful and rare critic-artist relationship.
A young director, Anne, was honing her skills in the professional scene. The local theatre reviewer was often tough, but Anne found her reviews articulate, understanding, and very smart. Every time Anne reached out to Paula she would engage in an honest conversation about her reactions to a show. Anne told us that she grew to trust Paula's reviews ("If she panned us I knew I probably deserved it. If I didn't think we deserved it I'd tell her exactly why"). Even if they disagreed, Anne knew they could talk it out and both learn something. This went on for 5 years.

 

We wondered what it would be like if this were normal relationships to have. What would it be like if the careers of theatre artists and theatre critics truly co-existed instead of existing in parallel?

 

One opening night Anne saw the critic in the house. She came up to Anne and said "I wanted to let you know that this is going to be my last review for the paper. I insisted it would be one of your shows." Anne told us how moved she was that Paula would end her career reviewing Anne's project. It made her think of how unique it is these days to have a productive, honest, thorough relationship with a critic.

We wondered what it would be like if this were normal relationships to have. What would it be like if the careers of theatre artists and theatre critics truly co-existed instead of existing in parallel?
Take a few minutes and help us by completing a short survey at NYTcriticwatch.com

* Names have been anonymized, genders are accurate.

Thoughts from the curator

A reader-fueled experiment attempting to chart the NYT's effect on American theatre.

New York Times Critic Watch Project

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