“How do you pick up the threads of an old life? How do you go on, when in your heart, you begin to understand, there is no going back”- Frodo Baggins, Return of the King (2003) When the hobbits return to Hobbiton after their epic quest through Middle Earth, Frodo Baggins finds himself unable to … Continue reading Serendipitous Indifference: Diving Deeper into David Yee’s “carried away on the crest of a wave”
We’re at the point where a brand new year is around the corner and we find ourselves asking “what did we do this year?” In the spirit of a round-robin Christmas letter, we thought we’d let you know what our 2017 has been like… January proved to be an exciting start to the year for … Continue reading 2017 In Review: What Have We Been Up To?
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)
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)
Critics are positioned in a middle ground between the artist and audience, each of whom perceive the critic (in their ideal form) to be in uniquely service to their interests. From the perspective of theatre creators, the critic is part of their publicity machine. We write reviews principally for the purpose of steering audiences towards … Continue reading Idealism in the Theatre (Or: The Role of the Critic)
Confession time: I am writing a play. I hope you come see it at the Fringe this summer. Now that that’s out of the way, I want to address a common misconception about theatre critics and criticism. Namely, that critics speak objectively about the art they critique. Wrapped up with this idea are all … Continue reading The Separation of Art and Critic
What’s a theatre critic good for anyway? Theatre Critics, and art critics more generally, are going extinct; at least in the form we have known them for a few centuries. An article by Stephen Hunt ran in the Globe back in October, discussing the midwinter ecosystem of cultural criticism in this country: Postmedia has pared … Continue reading The New Criticism (We are all Bloggers)