This month, MADE HERE explores criticism and how artists interact with it. The artists in these episodes have navigated a seemingly endless stream of criticism over the course of their careers—using negative reviews to better their performance, weeding out criticism that does not have at heart the best interest of art, and learning to maintain their identity while under a critical lens. The situation is even more complex in today’s critical landscape where everyone can have a blog and post an opinion.

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episode 2: The Critic

Critics can often be viewed as the enemy of the artist because they are judges on the outside. Yet for every critic who gives rash, thoughtless criticism, there are many more who work to further the artistic cause. The artists in this episode have learned to discern valid, thoughtful criticism from hurtful criticism that does not have the best interests of the performing arts world in mind.

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A video of a recent panel of artists and critics discussing the future of arts criticism.

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An article about an English playhouse using open journalism to promote and reimage a classic play.

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A blog post by Seth Godin analyzing today’s critical landscape.

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An interview with critic David Cote on theater criticism.

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An interview with Chloe Veltman on arts criticism today compared to arts criticism in the past.

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A blog post that brings together several excerpts with different views on the state of theater criticism today.

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An article about critics reviewing the work of other critics.

Two Considerations for Criticism

An article on what critics should take into consideration when reviewing theater.


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An article on the purpose of arts criticism.

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New York Drama Critics’ Circle

An organization of 24 of New York City’s top drama critics who vote on the annual New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award, the second oldest theater award in the United States.

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An analysis of the current data collected HowlRound’s New York Times Critic Watch project.

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International Association of Theatre Critics

The IATC draws together more than two thousand theatre critics from all over the world. Its principal aim is to foster theatre criticism as a discipline

American Theatre Critics Association

The American Theatre Critics Association is the only national association of professional theatre critics. Membership is open to all who review theatre professionally.

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Seven Tips for the Arts PR

Tips from an arts journalist on how PR departments can better the working relationships between themselves and journalists.

New York Times Critic Watch

A research project that uses user input on New York Times reviews to analyze the tone, temper and trends in theater reviews.

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Season 3 Episode Feedback

What did you think about the episode?

  • David Cote said:

    I’ve written theater reviews for the past 13 years. And I read my colleagues’ work pretty regularly to see what they’re saying or what they choose to cover. As an artist, I’ve only gotten brief and superficial reviews here and there, nothing in New York. As an audience member I tend not to read reviews until after I see a work. Also, there are very few theater critics I trust or put much stock in. I’m more interested in critics in different fields: art, music, movies, etc. If an art show gets very positive reviews, I’ll go. Same for new opera or new production of an old opera.

    05/13 - 06:21 PM

  • Mia Anderson said:

    Yes. Criticism is a necessary component of creating art. It is a relationship that is symbolic and to make this relationship work we need both parties to be invested and knowledgeable about each of their arenas. Not just the generic yes or no but a thoughtful analysis that can support the development of art.

    05/19 - 06:34 PM

  • Jeremiah Clancy said:

    Yes! Absolutely. Critics need to have a historical context in which to base their views on. Or at least a working knowledge of the art of performance they are speaking about. Otherwise, criticism is reduced to opinion.

    05/19 - 06:34 PM

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