The interviews, the reviews, the discussions of our iconic influences―these all reflect an erudite and articulate critical community. Indeed, Robert Greig's review is close to a model of analysis. Naturally, the material paints a more sanguine portrait of world theatre than it deserves. As our publisher rightly notes, “The theatre is in a real crisis.” The unique contribution of the issue lies in its first and final sections: “Theatrical Commentary and Professing Theatre Criticism” (it’s unclear why the sections are separate). It’s here that Critical Stages addresses its mission most directly, and we find discussions of criticism per se, material that contextualizes our work. It somehow validates us.
In addition, on the eve of granting the third Thalia Prize to Richard Schechner in IATC's forthcoming Congress in Yerevan, Armenia, to be held in June, American Theatre senior editor Randy Gener subjects the French critic, playwright and essayist Jean-Pierre Sarrazac to a Proust Questionnaire. The speech Sarrazac read in Sofia is also published in French. Sarrazac received the second Thalia Prize in Sofia two years ago “for having influenced critical thinking about the art of theatre.”
In the accompanying photos, the article shows the emblem of the Thalia Prize, which was specially commissioned from the distinguished Romanian stage and artist-designer Dragos Buhagiar: a cane with a silver top, representing Thalia, the Greek muse of comedy. (Incidentally, an interview of Buhagiar appears in the same spring issue.)