Saturday, September 01, 2007

A Good Example of the Blogger-Critic Problem

...can be found at this string at That Chat.

The difference is these people bought tickets to see 100 Saints. Yes, anyone can buy a ticket and write whatever about it they like. The difference is these people are not sanctioned by Playwrights Horizons with professional comps and encouraged to write reviews before all the other reviews come out.

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Aaron Riccio said...

Part of the issue might still be in not having the facts straight. I'm not sure what a "professional comp" is, but there was no encouragement to write "reviews." I think they just wanted to get conversations started in places where there might be forums for it; TalkinBroadway is great for that -- so is Freeman's site. So is Isaac Butler's. So's Hunka's. Of course, some sites tend to lean more toward reviews than rambles. That would be more along the lines of the way companies send free things to trendsetting sites or hipsters (not that I claim to be either). But I guess that's ethically wrong, too?

Leonard Jacobs said...

I was told that the bloggers were encouraged to write anything they wanted -- that information came from George and from my contact at Playwrights Horizons (which called me directly, I should add). Also, there are two kinds of comps -- professional comps and personal comps. A personal comp is given by someone connected to the production -- playwright, director, actor, producer, etc. -- as a courtesy. When someone is being invited by the theatre or the press agent and/or sanctioned by either of those entities in exchange for writing, publishing, posting or uploading anything about the production, that's a professional comp, and professional ethics and standards and expectations should -- and must, and will -- apply. And while all those forums you refer to are, indeed, great places for dialogue and observation and conversation, it is a different conversation when you're talking about the theatre or the PR or both inviting people to print, publish, upload or post something in exchange for those tickets. There are ethics in accepting free tickets. There are different ethics if you buy a ticket and see the piece and write about it, but I'm not talking about that -- that's about public discourse.