How Social Media Elevated the Theatre Critic

Theatre has always been a medium of entertainment that relies heavily on word of mouth. In the past, such word of mouth marketing may have happened through social groups, friends catching up, or things of the like. However, the rise of social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter has changed the game entirely. In this article, we will explore how social media has elevated the role of the theatre critic, and why long-form content still has its place.

The Impact of Social Networking on Theatre

The theatre industry has been transformed by social media in more ways than one. One of the most significant changes is how producers can determine the critical reaction to their shows based on comments left on social media platforms. According to a 2010 article by Troy Dodds, “producers will not even have to wait an hour after the curtain comes down on opening night to find out if he or she has a major hit on their hands.”

Social media has also given audiences a more significant voice than ever before. Users can share their thoughts and opinions about a show instantly, and their comments can reach a broader audience than traditional theatre reviews in newspapers or websites.

The Future of Theatre Criticism

The rise of social media has led some to question the relevance of the professional theatre critic. After all, if audiences can share their opinions instantly, do we need professional critics at all?

While it’s true that social media has changed the way we consume theatre criticism, there is still a place for long-form content. While social media comments can provide valuable insights into a show’s reception, they don’t always offer the nuance or depth of analysis that professional critics can provide. In-depth reviews and essays can help audiences understand a show’s themes, historical context, and artistic merit in a way that tweets or Facebook comments cannot.

Embracing the Future

Theatre professionals and critics must embrace the changes that social media has brought to the industry. As Dodds suggests, “we are about to enter an era where reviews are immediate, and the reactions are more brutal than ever before.” But with change comes opportunity. By utilizing social media platforms to engage with audiences, theatre professionals can build a stronger relationship with their fans and build buzz for their shows.

While social media may have shifted the role of the theatre critic, it hasn’t replaced them entirely. Professional critics still have an essential role to play in the theatre industry, providing insightful analysis and nuanced opinions that can’t always be captured in a tweet or Facebook comment.

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