Theatre Criticism with Ben Brantley
For our (lucky) thirteenth episode, I am so honored to welcome Ben Brantley, co-chief theatre critic for The New York Times, to Theatre Book Club. Brantley has been reviewing theatre for The Times since 1996, and before that he wrote for The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Elle magazine, and covered fashion for Women’s Wear Daily. He received his undergraduate degree from Swarthmore College and is the recipient of the George Jean Nathan award for excellence in theatre criticism. Moreover, Brantley and his reviews have become so synonymous with theatrical success that I would argue an entire subculture has grown up around his writing. Indeed, when I think “Broadway,” I almost always also think: “Brantley.” I will explore all this and more on the show, delving into Brantley’s perspective on theatre criticism as a genre, the way he got into the field, the theatrical highlights of his career, and, of course, his perspective on the future of theatre (and theatre criticism!) in light of the pandemic. Also for consideration is how #BlackLivesMatter is calling for much needed social justice in all areas of our society. I couldn’t be more excited for this historic episode of Theatre Book Club. Any theatre fan would not want to miss!
Each week, Katie will feature a new guest from the theatre community and discuss either the guest’s favorite play/musical or a play/musical with which they have been highly involved professionally. Katie and her guest will discuss questions they had in reading the play, the transition from the reading of a play to putting it on its feet in performance, and interact with the audience: like the casual, theatre book club you never had!
Age group: High school and up.
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