The Critics Say…

57 Theater Reviewers in New York and Beyond Discuss Their Craft and Its Future

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About the Book

What will happen to the theater when there are no more critics? With the decline of print media and the rise of online journalism, theater critics are facing hard times. As their influence fades, will the industry they cover be adversely affected or can bloggers and message boards fill the void? Can a new economic model be created for theater criticism? How can critics lucky enough to still have jobs stay relevant in the age of social media?
Speaking of which, what does a theater critic really do, and how do you become one? In this book, Matt Windman, a theater critic himself, interviews more than 50 critics from New York and around the country, including Ben Brantley, Charles Isherwood, John Lahr, Terry Teachout, Linda Winer, Chris Jones, David Cote, John Simon and Peter Filichia. They discuss their long careers and the nightly process of evaluating plays and musicals, and offer their thoughts on the future of the profession.

About the Author(s)

Matt Windman is the theater critic of the newspaper amNewYork and an attorney. He lives Fair Lawn, New Jersey.

Bibliographic Details

Matt Windman
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 244
Bibliographic Info: index
Copyright Date: 2016
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9670-9
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2469-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments v

Foreword by Robert Simonson 1

Preface 3

Meet the Theater Critics 7

1. Why We Exist 13

2. How I Became a Theater Critic 30

3. Education and Personality 48

4. The Theater Community 70

5. Ethics 82

6. The Writing Process 94

7. Readers 125

8. Evaluation 135

9. Crisis 162

10. Economics 180

11. Online 193

12. Spider-Man 205

13. Regrets and Advice 213

Epilogue 223

Index 225

Book Reviews & Awards

“gives us the opportunity to sit at the feet of some of the country’s top critics and hear their thoughts”—Examiner.com; “an in-depth exploration of the lives, mentalities, and views of notable writers about theatrical criticism in the present…a vivid document of the changing terrain of media coverage”—TheaterScene.net; “a one-of-a-kind survey of a profession that has gone hand-and-hand with theatre for centuries. Windman’s subjects address every possible topic”—Playbill; “students will relish the educational nature of the text”—CT News; “essential reading for Broadway lovers everywhere”—Goldderby.