Do we need professional critics? I mean, when everyone is one? NY Times gets smarties to discuss.
(Photo cred to Fred R. Conrad for the NYT.)
I happen to think that peer critics are incredibly valuable, who can assess based on experience the relative successes and failures of a production or artistic endeavor. And I think we’ve had some astonishingly beautiful critical writing over the years. I wish we could bring back the time when playwrights and directors would write their own Op-Ed piece, often published in the NYT or other such reputable publication, to release in tandem with the opening of their show.
And, it’s not like it’s an accident that we all had “critical thinking” exercises. It’s how we learn to understand ourselves in relationship to the world!