A hearty ‘Boo!’ to critic for his dismissal of new plays

I AM sorry that Ed Siegel, in his Jan. 1 op-ed “Don’t set up the tweet seats,’’ strayed from stating his (correct) disgust of tweeting sections at theaters to add an unjustified condemnation of new plays. He writes, “Many HBO and Showtime series are better written than most contemporary plays. The Kendall Square Cinema . . . usually has a half dozen films more provocative than most new plays.’’

I am a playwright, as are many of my friends, and I am in no way making claims as to my own work. However, Siegel’s views shine a poor light on the value of his criticism. By summarily dismissing new creative work, he reduces the world of live theater to the endless remounting of tired warhorses and demonstrates precisely why young people do not attend live theater in droves.

New plays can be exciting, be challenging for both performers and audience, and be wonderfully moving often due to the very fact that they do not conform to a critic’s narrow ideas of so-called good theater.


I urge people to go see a new play. You may like it, you may not, but by celebrating the creativity of theater artists, you are likely to walk away having experienced something new, and that’s certainly tweetable - after the play, of course.

Joshua Faigen