Happy Birthday to Me (or Blow Out the Candles, Make a Wish)

The New Ottawa Critics is celebrating its 5th birthday this week, so this Dark Day Monday Tuesday, we’re here to tell you a little bit more about our plans for the upcoming year and why we need your help more than ever. Over the last 5 years, the New Ottawa Critics and I have been … Continue reading Happy Birthday to Me (or Blow Out the Candles, Make a Wish)

Momentum

In the wake of the Magnetic North cancellation last week, (to say nothing of the hopefully non-permanent Puppets Up cancellation) I’ve been thinking a lot about the way momentum works in the theatrical ecosystem. Festivals of all kinds are effective because they create an environment where many different creators can come together, and do the administrative … Continue reading Momentum

The Collaborative Audience

It was brought to my attention last week that I was talking about theatre criticism as a collaboration between theatre artist, critic, and spectator without really exploring what that means. I touch on the relationships between these types of people a bit in the article on The Separation of Art and Critic, but I think it might … Continue reading The Collaborative Audience

The Critic is Dead (Long Live The Critic)

    The critics panel last week at undercurrents Festival had some interesting discussion about the future of arts journalism. I am going to take this opportunity to further flesh out some of the emerging trends that were discussed at the conclusion of the panel. Principally, I want to talk about our long-form brand of criticism, … Continue reading The Critic is Dead (Long Live The Critic)

Where We Live (New Ottawa Critics in Residence)

   I’ve been talking for weeks now about what the critical landscape currently looks like in this country, what the New Ottawa Critics thinks it’s trying to accomplish, and the theory behind that. Now it’s time to talk a bit about how exactly we are hoping to address some of these issues. So this edition … Continue reading Where We Live (New Ottawa Critics in Residence)

Scarcity Culture (or Attitudes for Making Art)

Scarcity culture is the persistent systemic feeling that there’s not enough of something to go around. In theatre, that usually means one of two things. In the first place, usually from the mouths of artists: there isn’t enough audience for their work. In the second place, usually from the mouths of people who consume art: … Continue reading Scarcity Culture (or Attitudes for Making Art)

Approval Creep (or why I won’t say everything is amazing)

This week I am going to talk about a rather insidious process I am calling ‘approval creep.’ We’ve touched on something like this before, in a discussion about star ratings, but this part of the conversation is a more constructive (rather than deconstructive) look at the way our particular brand of criticism works (and doesn’t … Continue reading Approval Creep (or why I won’t say everything is amazing)