CMU School of Drama

Monday, July 03, 2017

Exploring the Gender Disparity in Theatre Criticism

OnStage Blog: Recently, Chicago Sun-Times theatre critic Hedy Weiss' out-of-bounds commentary within her theatre reviews has finally caught up with her. Her racist comments about the subject matter in the play Pass Over, was certainly an unacceptable place for a theatre critic to go.

When you combine this latest issues with her past ones such as anti-Semitism and body shaming, I'll be the first to say that Ms. Weiss has no business working for a major newspaper, let alone in a city as diverse as Chicago.

1 comment:

Mirah Kozodoy said...

This article does a good job of expressing the complicated and delicate issues of gender in criticism. I think the writer touches on the root of the problem, that men usually trust other men, instead of being open to the completely valid, and often more insightful, opinions of women. The lack of female critics also allows people, like Hedy Weiss, who have made offensive comments, to keep their jobs, as the newspaper is not prepared to deal with the repercussions of firing one of a very small group of female critics. The article is well-structured: it goes through the problems that arise from having very few women in the criticism industry, explains the root of the problem, and proposes a solution. The only place where I would say the article falls short is at the end, where it proposes that the solution is to hire more women. While that idea would no doubt solve the problem, it seems a little idealistic and not particularly realistic. I would have appreciated a little more detail and a reasonable solution for allowing women to integrate more easily into the criticism industry.