This thesis suggests that journalistic theatre criticism is a necessary and vital aspect of the theatre, promoting a healthy theatre community and culture. A healthy theatre community is supported by critics and artists alike, and is one where citizens are excited about the theatre, desiring to participate and engage with it often. It is one where artists and spectators listen, respect, and trust one another, being open to opinions and suggestions that may enhance and improve the theatre community. A healthy theatre community strives to provide theatre that may be multi-faceted in purpose, but allows for opportunities to challenge, uncover, teach, or simply entertain to become magnified, creating transformative experiences within the viewers. In the most utopic state, healthy theatre causes epiphanies that provide glimpses of a better world, one where individuals and societies may know peace. These interactions, with the magic that theatre can bring, may benefit communities on a level ultimately akin to changing the world. Journalistic criticism supports such healthy theatre by increasing interest and viewership, contributing to the theatre's growth, and recognizing ways in which it can utilize its deepest potential. In this thesis, I have performed qualitative and action research in order to evaluate myself as a critic. The thesis also explores how criticism functions in our society and, further, how it should function. I have analyzed various theatrical reviews I have written, and placed them into three sections, each representing a distinct element of theatre criticism. These elements comprise the most fundamental and vital functions of a review that leads to a healthy and improved theatre community. These sections are: “Increasing Promotion,” “Honest and Specific Feedback,” and “Emphasizing Social Justice.” Grouping the reviews into these sections, I will identify how I have contributed to the field of theatre criticism, and to these three realms in particular. I will also be able to recognize and indicate how I can progress as a critic to help support the field of journalistic theatre criticism. This thesis is very insular, personal, and beholden to me, presenting distinct limitations. The value of this work lies primarily in giving aspiring critics the opportunity to learn from my experiences and insights. Above all, this thesis holds value because of the improved critic I have become from completing it, ultimately able to better serve people in my writing for years to come.
College and Department
Fine Arts and Communications; Theatre and Media Arts
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Haas, Tara Nicole, "Critiquing the Critic: A Case for Journalistic Criticism in the Theatre" (2015). All Theses and Dissertations. 5512.
theatre criticism, journalistic criticism, critic, review