A panel discussion about gender and theatre criticism will be held on April 28 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the Garden Room of Prospect House at Princeton University with a reception following. “Theatre Criticism, Gender, and Blogging” will address gender and race imbalances in contemporary drama criticism, and discuss alternative venues for publishing in-depth writing on current performance and theatre. The panel will stress the continuing importance of arts criticism and commentary in the 21st Century. The discussion, presented by Princeton University’s Lewis Center for the Arts, is free and open to the public.
The panel will be moderated by Jill Dolan, the Annan Professor of English, Professor of Theater and Director of the Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies, whose blog, The Feminist Spectator, received the George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism for 2010-2011. The panel discussion marks the occasion of Dolan’s receipt of the award.
Joining Dolan, the panel will include Karen Fricker, a lecturer in contemporary theatre at Royal Holloway University in London and internationally-known theatre critic; Randy Gener, a New York-based editor, writer, critic and conceptual artist, former senior editor of American Theatre magazine; Bonnie Marranca, the publisher and editor of the Obie Award-winning PAJ Publications and PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art: and Alisa Solomon, director of the arts and culture concentration in the master’s program of the Journalism School at Columbia University. Gener, Marranca, and Solomon are past recipients of the George Jean Nathan Award.
“I very much look forward to the discussion,” states Dolan. “We are delighted to bring some of the most prominent voices in the world of arts criticism to Princeton’s community and students. We hope that this discussion will go a long way in fleshing out the importance and nuance of arts criticism as a positive force to strengthen the community at large.”
The George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism, administered by Cornell University’s Department of English, has been given annually since 1959 for “the best piece of drama criticism during the theatrical year.” Dolan was selected for the award for her blog, The Feminist Spectator. The award carries a $10,000 prize and is considered one of the most generous and distinguished in the American theatre. Dolan’s award represents the first time the honor has been conferred on a blog.
In learning of her selection for the award, Dolan noted, “I am incredibly honored by this recognition by my peers in the theater field. Theater and performance shape and reflect our lives, engender civic dialogue on important issues, serve as a vehicle for social change, and entertain us. It has been my great pleasure to encourage discussion on theater from a feminist perspective through the blog.”