Bill Marx at the ArtsFuse is trying a new type of reviewing system for Theatre:
He is calling the new feature: The Judicial Review:
The inspiration for the Judicial Review is the U.S. Supreme Court. Arts events will be evaluated by a local panels of “judges” who will post majority and dissenting opinions in the form of written reviews or via video- or podcasts. The panel will be made up of a combination of professional critics and non-professional observers.
Our goal is to introduce a supervised space for educational, passionate, and incisive conversation about the arts that draws on the strengths of various levels of expertise. By doing so, it is hoped that the judges will learn from each other as well as offer a variety of perspectives that will invite responses that will deepen readers understanding of the arts and the craft of criticism.
In any trial there is a place for a “Friend of the Court” brief. The Judicial Review will include a space for the artists themselves to have their say, to contribute to the respectful exchange. The arts organization under review will be invited to file opinions.
This idea is my response to the considerable challenges and opportunities that the web poses for criticism of the arts, as well as my belief, after 30 years of writing and reading arts criticism, that the verdict of a review, while essential, is not the most important part of a review. Criticism is at its most vital when it foster spirited dialogue, when critics help us take the arts seriously by connecting creativity with our thinking and feeling selves.
The first review, for Company One's The Overhelming is up now.