Theatre Criticism in the digital age: Practicing new critical models in Canada

“Theatre Criticism in the digital age: Practicing new critical models in Canada”
Organizers: Karen Fricker and Hayley Malouin
Contact e-mail: Karen Fricker ‎(‎) and Hayley Malouin (

Call for proposals
Dealdine: 31 January, 2019

The ongoing shift from print-based to digital forms of media is opening up opportunities for critics and scholars to engage critically with all art forms – including the live performing arts – in new ways. Many of these new modes of engagement offer a productive challenge to received understandings of critical authority and critical distance. As such these new approaches to criticism have the potential to destabilise hierarchies, centre under-represented voices, and participate in the decolonization of theatre and performance practices.

Participants in this seminar are invited to experiment with such new modes of critical engagement prior to the CATR conference. Potential modes of critical engagement might include:

  • Extended, essayistic pieces of writing in the spirit of Howlround’s NewCrit series
  • Behind the scenes/embedded reporting (documentation of an extended engagement with a rehearsal room process)
  • Live/performed critical discussions in the spirit of NYC’s Theatermatters
  • Vlogs
  • Podcasts
  • Visual forms of response such as graphic-novel style reviews
  • (Participants are welcomed to suggest other possible modes)

During the two-hour seminar, participants will share these experiments, discussing their value and viability. Following this, the organizers will lead a group discussion about potential futures for new criticism in Canada, including the possible creation of a working group.

Participation in this seminar may also include critical engagement with theatrical works presented in the context of CATR or more broadly in Vancouver.

Submissions for participation should include:

  • A description of the intended mode of critical engagement
  • Identification of the work of theatre/performance this criticism will engage with
  • A brief bio, including an articulation of the potential participant’s interest in the session and an overview of previous experiences with theatre criticism, if any

The organizers strongly encourage the application of participants who self-identify as racially marginalized, disabled, and/or part of LGBTQ communities, including non-binary and gender-not-conforming participants.

Submissions are due 31 January, 2019, to

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