Abstract

Theatre criticism has evolved with the advancement of technology and the decline of print journalism. As consumers are given increasing agency by which they can filter the news and reporting they read and occasionally replace it with their own, the idea that a sole voice on a certain topic brandishes more dominance over it than the masses of people involved in its creation and sustainment becomes progressively absurd. Conversely, however, readers rely on theatre critics to make theatergoing decisions for them explicitly because critics are supposed experts on the subject and their opinions are to be respected and observed accordingly. This dichotomy is baffling, but it exists in flux of communication and information that continues to grow as social media develops and becomes ubiquitous. From 1925 onward, Brooks Atkinson, Walter Kerr, Frank Rich, and Ben Brantley have inhabited the same position of chief theatre critic of The New York Times for almost ninety years collectively, yet each critic served very different purposes for their readerships. The prestige that exists around their role did not change over time, but prominence of their publication in popular culture and the utilization and connotation of their criticism did change. The trend is also apparent in the criticism that appears in The New Yorker, particularly because the criticism was not originally consumed for its evaluative and scholarly properties but for its entertainment and cultural magnitudes. The American theatre critic will continue to forge its own prominence in the boundless landscape of the potential of modern technology as it progresses, but ultimately, people will buy tickets, the audience will fill the house, and the show will go on.

Notes

If this is your Honors thesis, and want to learn how to access it or for more information about readership statistics, contact us at STARS@ucf.edu

Thesis Completion

2015

Semester

Fall

Advisor

Weaver, Earl D.

Degree

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)

College

College of Arts and Humanities

Department

Theatre

Degree Program

Theatre

Subjects

Arts and Humanities -- Dissertations, Academic; Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Humanities

Format

PDF

Identifier

CFH0004891

Language

English

Access Status

Open Access

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Document Type

Honors in the Major Thesis

Share

COinS