Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Choose Your Words

Many of you have probably heard this saying at one point or another. Probably from your mother or some other parental figure. There has never been more truth to this saying than in the last couple of days. An interesting discussion was started in the comments section of my last post. As Rebecca stated in her last comment “the issue lies in the word ‘reviewer’“.

So, what does the word “reviewer” mean to you?

To many this term refers to what I would call a “theatre critic”. When I hear the word “theatre critic” I personally think of an intellectual who is writing his “review” from an analytical set of standards. This person might have a Phd in theatre and/or a Graduate degree in journalism. Regardless of how they got it this person has a deep knowledge base from which they are writing.

Under this description I am clearly not a “reviewer” nor would I ever claim to be. Nor would I ever want to be.

As of now there are a handful of Vancouver theatre websites where the “reviewers” post their “reviews” but in my opinion don’t necessarily fall into the category of “theatre critic”. Then there are the various Vancouver bloggers who post “reviews” on their blogs after being invited to attend the performance. Again I wouldn't call them "theatre critics" but their opinion is just as valid. So what can we do? We can’t police the internet and stop people from using the word “review” just because they don’t fit the mold of someone who might traditionally be consider a “reviewer”. So maybe instead, as social media starts to become a bigger part of the publicity pie, we need to redefine what the word “reviewer” means.

I have basically grown up in a time where it seems like the internet has always been a part of my life. Due to this when I hear the word “reviewer” I think of anyone from a theatre critic to a blogger. Furthermore, I see it as inherent that bloggers who are “reviewing” are by definition writing about their opinion or experience. So, when I wrote the post about the PuSh invitation I automatically came at it from that perspective rather than a traditional point of view.

Like I said, in the traditional sense of the word I would never claim to a “reviewer”. I’m a blogger with an opinion. Thanks to everyone for your comments. Keep them coming because it has started a great conversation.

~Sabrina Evertt
Artistic Producer

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