Show Less
Restricted access

A Theater Criticism/Arts Journalism Primer

Refereeing the Muses

Bob Abelman and Cheryl Kushner

A Theater Criticism/Arts Journalism Primer: Refereeing the Muses examines the skill set associated with being a critic and arts journalist. It explores the history, evolution, and future of the profession in the United States, and carefully and purposefully dissects the preparation, observation, and writing process associated with generating thoughtful and interesting arts criticism.
Using theatrical productions as the best and most vivid example of a storytelling enterprise that employs creativity, imagination, collaboration, aesthetics, and artisanship to effectively engage an audience, this book is intended to generate the critical thinking and critical writing skills necessary to effectively engage in all forms of arts journalism.
It is designed to be used as a college-level textbook on theater criticism and arts journalism courses, for those looking to become more thoughtful, critical consumers, for casual critics thinking about starting a blog or working for their university newspaper, and for working critics hoping to improve their craft.
The text is written in an accessible style and includes quotes from renowned critics and arts practitioners throughout as well as frequent sidebars that offer timely, insightful, and entertaining examples of the points being made in the text.
Show Summary Details
Restricted access

8 The Storytellers



| 153 →


The Storytellers

As was discussed in the previous chapter, theater is art—a purposeful enterprise that employs creativity and imagination. More specifically, theater is a performance art that incorporates pretense, impersonation, and heightened vision in its endeavor to tell stories, and the storytelling is a collaborative co-dependency between a storyteller and an audience. The teller is responsible for efficiently communicating the images of a story, generating an elegance of presentation and a sense of aesthetics that offers an overriding harmony and consistency throughout the storytelling, all the while attempting to overcome barriers that might keep this collaboration from happening. In turn, an audience member offers attention and invests imagination in actively recreating the vivid “reality” of the story in his/her mind and, through experience, learns to appreciate the conventions, elegance, and aesthetics of the storytelling.

Theater relies upon another form of collaboration besides the one that exists between the storyteller and the audience. Theater is also dependent on the collaboration between all the members of the team of storytellers. This includes the playwright, a theater’s artistic director, the play’s director and designers, the actors, and other members of the creative and technical staff. Although each of these individuals serves significant, specific, and identifiable functions, most forms of theater work hard at obscuring the labor and specificity of these activities so that they merge into a collective, unified whole. One of the key conventions of theater is that...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.

Do you have any questions? Contact us.

Or login to access all content.