Essays on Criticism

by G.L. Horton

G.L. Horton's newest essays are now being posted on her stageblog.

Do Dramaturgs Care About Criticism?
One of my pet peeves is that there are not enough women working as reviewers. The theatre audience, which is 67% female, would be better served if the Voice of Criticism wasn't so lopsidedly male. But I was shocked---shocked! at Anita Gates' review [of Les Belles Soeurs] in Tuesday's NYTimes...

Critiquing local theatre
A reader says: Most of the major media decided that The Complete History of America - Abridged was not worth their time. (The smaller local papers raved about both shows.) GLH replies: Alas, the majors weren't the only ones who ducked "History of Am". I finked out on writing about it for AisleSay myself . . .

Critic's worst sin
GLH writes: The worst sin a critic can commit is to decide early on what his/her "hook" will be and spend the rest of the performance gathering evidence . . .

Critic keeps identity secret
A critic gave several "reasons" for keeping one's identity and address secret and never "fraternizing" with theatre people . . . death threats . . . GLH replies: I've reviewed local theatre for a decade, and never had a death threat-- or any other threat. I did get a long letter telling me I'm full of shit about five years ago . . .

Write thank you note to critic?
A playwright asks: Is it OK to write the critic a thank you note when my show gets a positive review? GLH replies: If you think the review was perceptive and well written, yes, say so--- why ever not? Especially if the critic "saw through" the production to the script . . .


See also other G.L. Horton essays on . . . actors & acting . . . criticism . . . literature . . . miscellaneous . . . modern plays . . . political commentary . . . Shakespeare . . . women's issues . . . writing & directing & producing

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