Scènes de la critique
Edited by Emmanuel Wallon
Editions Actes Sud
Theater evolves, as well as its criticism. By becoming professional along the 20th century, theater criticism drew away from social reviews to become engaged or intellectual.
Criticism played an important part in assuring staging as an independent art regarding writing, in acknowledging performance as a unique event involving the audience. Criticism passionately dealt with the ideals of popular theater, went along with the development of publich stages, witnessed the rise of festivals, discovered artists, texts and techniques from abroad. It saw theater opening to other fields, dance, puppets or circus. It followed companies when they moved to suburbs factories and saw others investing the city’s streets.
Now, criticism deals with the most varied genres on numerous media, from radio to universities, from specialized journals to the Internet sphere.
However, criticism seems to have lost its peremptory aspect since the end of the 1970s. Polemics aroused by groundbreaking movements or audacious artworks now seem deadened, compared to feverish debates of the past. Its tools and criteria changed at the whim of theories. Its space in press shrinks, where it can only review a few shows.
Criticism must analyze its own practice to highlight creation processes that question stage/audience separation, reality/fiction distinction, classification of arts and hierarchy of genres, the notion of artwork itself.