Category: theater (general)

A Collective Call Against Critical Bias

[image caption: Playwrights Lucas Hnath, Lynn Nottage, Paula Vogel , and J.T. Rogers nominated for Best Play Tony Award 2016-2017. Photo by Marc J. Franklin.] I am one voice among two dozen signatories to this piece that addresses selected critical response to several New York shows in the 2016-2017 season, and raises some questions about the

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Parity, Politics, and Survival: WiTFESTNYC 2017

[article as originally published in  The Brooklyn Rail, June 2017, posted May 28, 2017.] This June, the Women in Theatre Festival (with its creatively capitalized WiTFESTNYC tag) will unfurl its second year of programming, helmed by Project Y Theatre Company artistic director Michole Biancosino. Project Y, which Biancosino co-founded nearly 20 years ago in Washington,

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Roundtable: Is Jesse Green the right choice for the New York Times?

[I am one voice among many in this article originally published by “Exeunt Staff” in Exeunt Magazine, April 10, 2017.] As yet another white man is hired to the most prestigious job in US theatre criticism, Exeunt’s New York writers ask when the conversation will really change.   After theater critic Charles Isherwood was fired,

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Chris Rawson, Theater Critic, On Honoring August Wilson

[article as originally published in The Clyde Fitch Report, March 12, 2017.] It is fashionable to debate the importance of cultural criticism. The debate questions what criticism is and who is and is not a critic, challenges us to imagine what the audience for criticism should be, and considers proper critical comportment. We believe critics themselves

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Wrestling With the Legacy of a Real-Life Attorney

[article as originally published in TDF Stages, March 1, 2017.] A new play takes on William Kunstler — Playwright Jeffrey Sweet was inspired by a shock of hair and a lanky swagger. “It started off as a fairly pedestrian impulse,” Sweet says of his play Kunstler, about the activist attorney William Kunstler. “As I was watching the

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Catherine Filloux and Poetic Political Theater

[article as originally published in The Clyde Fitch Report, February 28, 2017.] Poetry, design concepts, political themes and strong female characters distinguish the work of playwright and activist Catherine Filloux. My first exposure to her theatrical style was Luz in 2012, about abused women seeking political asylum and an attorney who works with them. I

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Bill Hirschman: Theater Criticism’s Cockeyed Optimist

[article as originally published in The Clyde Fitch Report, February 12, 2017.] It is fashionable to debate the importance of cultural criticism. The debate questions what criticism is, who is and is not a critic, challenges us to imagine what the audience for criticism should be and to think about proper critical comportment. We believe critics themselves

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A Most Visible Baby Mama on Multiple Births

[article as originally published in The Clyde Fitch Report, January 24, 2017.] [feature image caption: Mariah MacCarthy. Photo: Kacey Stamats.] Edgy and sweet, tenacious and joyous, raucous and calm, crude and demure: Mariah MacCarthy long has been refining a theater of extremes. This self-described “writer/producer/creatrix” co-founded Caps Lock Theatre in 2012 and has been perfecting her craft for years.

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Exeunt New York’s Most Memorable Shows of 2016

[I am one voice among many in this piece that asked NYC based Exeunt contributors to nominate one (or in some cases two) productions that haunted us, rather than our top 10 or 15 or more. Originally published by “Exeunt Staff” in Exeunt Magazine, December 31, 2016.] Rather than a Top 10 list, the critics

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2016: excavation review themes

  After six annual marathons captured in “what Martha has seen” lists of theater and film adventuring (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016), I’ve learned a few things. I’ve learned that sometimes theater gluttony can build personal knowledge but impede creative critical output. I’ve learned that it’s a great privilege to be among the frequent

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