by Colin Thomas
There’s a crisis in theatre criticism.
As advertising revenues collapse, newspapers are dying and critics are getting cut. But theatre needs passionate, informed criticism in order to thrive. So what are we to do?
Fight back, that’s what.
I live to write about theatre—and I have tons of experience as a critic, actor, and playwright, so I think I’m a good person to have writing about the art form. I produce a weekly newsletter called Fresh Sheet, which debuted right here on Theatre Wire. (Thanks, Theatre Wire!) Fresh Sheet contains curated local, national, and international theatre coverage—and, of course, my frank reviews. You can subscribe here. And this is where you can check out archived issues.
To fund the creation of Fresh Sheet, I’ve launched a fundraising campaign on a platform called Patreon. That campaign allows readers like you to support Fresh Sheet by making a monthly pledge. This user-sustained model is how we’re going to get ourselves out of the current mess. And we’re well on the way. We’re less than two weeks into the campaign and folks have already pledged $650 per month.
And get this: an anonymous donor has promised to match total monthly pledges with a one-time donation of up to $10,000. This donor wants to ensure solid community support, so her contribution will kick in when we reach the $1,500 mark—which we have to do by July 31.
If you want to know more, check out the video and visit my Patreon page. Check out the Goals section on that page for the bigger picture, which includes more critics and a Canada-wide network.
We can do this thing. Together, we can ensure that there’s a future for quality criticism.