Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Fraternizing with vampires

re Misha Berson's "Communing with the Enemy," American Theatre, July-August '08, p. 58:
Misha says -- she's the theater critic at the Seattle Times -- that critics need to steer a middle course between hanging out all the time with / absolutely avoiding actors and directors. Passages to which Bobo says 'Amen':

"But contact with artists I've admired, or whose work I'm very curious about, has often enriched me. And though it happens rarely, when somebody has boldly taken the time to question or answer a negative review of mine ,in the spirit of honest discourse, it cand lead to an interesting, even enlightening conversation."

"I believe that communication between artist and critic, when it's unforced and organic, may actually strike a blow for civility."

An out-of-town director at Interplayers once e-mailed Bobo about a line in his review criticizing the lighting design of a show he/she had directed. And that led to a useful, interesting, still-agreeing-to-disagree exchange. We ought to have more of that, instead of anonymous snipes -- which are, let's face it, pretty juvenile.

So take a critic to lunch. (It's not true that we only come out at night.) And have a _real_ conversation about what has been done well (and poorly) and what could be done better in this isolated, small-city theater community of ours.


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