Here, you’ll find content about the art and practice of theatre criticism. Many pieces grapple with questions of how to diversify the field, making it more accessible for young people, queer folx, and critics of color. This section also contains all the pieces of criticism in the Journal, which we call “NewCrits.” NewCrits analyze productions and go beyond “thumbs up, thumbs down” reviews, placing the work(s) in question in a larger, broader context—whether that’s the context of the time or place it’s done in, the artists’ body of work, or its genre. Are you interested in writing a NewCrit? Check out our guidelines and best practices!
A series that brings artists and community leaders together
Thursday 10 June 2021
Seattle Rep presented (Re)Imagine Arts Criticism livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Thursday 10 June 2021 at 5 p.m. PDT (Seattle, UTC -7) / 6 p.m. MDT (Denver, UTC -6) / 7 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 8 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).
There’s an Array of Theatrical Talent on Display in Kosovo. So Why Won’t Its Government Support It Properly?
25 January 2021
verity healey, who spent time in Kosovo for its Theatre Showcase last October, discusses the precarious nature of Kosovo’s independent theatre sector and shares her thoughts about the plays she saw while visiting.
Priscilla Solis Ybarra reflects on her experience watching Virginia Grise’s a farm for meme at home, during the pandemic, with her eighty-two-year-old mother whose life shares parallels with the story in the play.
Making Site-Specific Theatre About Climate Change that Could Be Threatened by Climate Change
17 December 2020
Playwright and environmentalist Alice Stanley Jr. shares her experience of Capital W’s newest immersive theatre piece, Fire Season—a play about climate change that took place in the Santa Monica Mountains during this year’s wildfires.
Dr. Ayshia E. Stephenson revisits the 2016 Signature Theatre production of The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World, which she believes stands as a testament to why Black theatre matters and is essential to resisting white supremacy.
Rebecca Salzhauer writes about Finish the Fight, a piece of online theatre that reminds viewers how theatre is a communion, a two-sided contract between storyteller and story-hearer, bound by the terms of being alive.
Esther Fernández talks about closing the gap that separates classical and contemporary theatre and discusses the piece En otro reino extraño, a polyphonic work composed of scenes from Lope de Vega’s plays; snippets of informal conversations between the actors in Zoom chats; poems transmogrified into electrocumbia, punk, and pop songs; and video montage.
Moderated by Nabilah Said, with panelists Loo Zihan, Teo Xiao Ting, and Jocelyn Chng
Tuesday 4 August 2020
ArtsEquator presented Can Critics Criticise during a Pandemic? livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Tuesday 4 August 2020 at 7:30 p.m. SGT (Singapore, UTC +8) / 8:30 p.m. KST (Seoul, UTC +9) / 12:30 BST (London, UTC +1) / 13:30 CEST (Berlin, UTC +2) / 7:30 a.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4)
Chloe Hyman reflects on M Sloth Levine’s play Nosferatu, The Vampyr, which she believes serves to dismantle anti-Semitic tropes, due to the fact that Jewishness and queerness are inextricably bound in vampire lore.
Barbara Fuchs writes about Game Over, a devised piece by the Spanish company Grumelot, which was a profound exploration of storytelling across multiple platforms, including Zoom, WhatsApp, Instagram, and Spotify.
Theatre Journalist + Playwright - Lauren talks with Diep Tran
with playwright Lauren Gunderson
Thursday 16 April 2020
Playwright Lauren Gunderson presented a conversation Theatre Journalist + Playwright - Lauren talks with Diep Tran livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Thursday 16 April 2020 at 11 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 1 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-5) / 2 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-4).
Jordan Ealey and Leticia Ridley discuss the transformative power of Aleshea Harris' What to Send Up When it Goes Down by centering Black rage, ritual, and healing on this episode of the Daughters of Lorraine podcast.
Linnea Valdivia discusses the weight of reviews in theatre, the failure in arts journalism to approach queer stories with respect and empathy, how a critic should react if they misgender an artist, and more.
On this episode of the Daughters of Lorraine Podcast, Jordan Ealey and Leticia Ridley review Arena Stage's production of August Wilson’s Jitney, directed by Black theatre legend, Ruben Santiago-Hudson.