A sample text widget

Etiam pulvinar consectetur dolor sed malesuada. Ut convallis euismod dolor nec pretium. Nunc ut tristique massa.

Nam sodales mi vitae dolor ullamcorper et vulputate enim accumsan. Morbi orci magna, tincidunt vitae molestie nec, molestie at mi. Nulla nulla lorem, suscipit in posuere in, interdum non magna.

Bad Reviewers

I had the luxury of producing my play  “Slut” several times in different venues and with two different actors. So I have lots of published reviews of the play and it reminds me how important it is to remember how differently people can react to the same work, and I believe strongly suggests that critics are not representative of the average person.  They don’t even talk like a normal person, instead they write as if they have some kind of theatrical authority that simply doesn’t exist.  I don’t know who they think they are talking for but I am certain it is not anyone I know.

I am really lucky to have a great example of differing opinions of two so-called impartial experts.  One critic, Jennifer Chung,  wrote that my play Slut was “an ultimately benign, if charming, light comedy”  while Tom Penkrath  from NY’s Backstage didn’t feel Matilda’s behavior was anything close to benign, he writes;  “To hear her [Matilda] tell it: “Sex is a gift [ from a generous and benevolent Universe and all we’ve got to do is figure out is] how to unwrap it.”  In reality, she’s acting out, and her aberrant behavior creates a conflict with an elderly neighbor, which leads to her arrest.”

Benign,  aberrant or neither?   I’ll choose neither.

I need to remember that people will see my work and review my work  who I wouldn’t want to be in the same room with.  For instance, I wouldn’t want to spend 5 minutes with Tom Penkrath who somehow managed to turn my play into a parable of the Slut being saved by the big, strong and moral man; “Only with the help of a sympathetic policeman” Penkrath writes “does she eventually achieve a modicum of self-awareness.”    I find this interpretation stunningly, and ironically, sexist, which wouldn’t surprise Mr Penkrath who accuses my character of justifying her deviant behavior with “feminist rhetoric or psychobabble.”  But for me, at least, his review says  a lot more about him than it does about my play.

Next time I get a negative review I’m going to remind myself  that a theatre critic is rarely a member of my target audience. I never write my play hoping to please the Brechtian Scholars, the PostModernist, the Conservative Traditionalist or the Intellectual Wanker.   I write plays for my peers, I write plays that I would really like to see, I write plays for people who didn’t get a graduate degree in theatre,  who may have never heard of Brecht, whose attention span may be as short as mine.  I especially write for women, becasue, hey, I am one.   Not everyone will like me, but I’d rather please the majority than the literati.

Leave a Reply