A Theater Manifesto

"Playwrights, directors and performers all seem to think that we want to be part of their act." The Washington Post's theater critic wishes to be left alone.

"Playwrights, directors and performers all seem to think that we want to be part of their act, that during a performance we're desperate for actors to descend into the aisles, converse with us, tussle our hair—even, occasionally, drag us back up into the footlights with them. ... When actors come toward me, I go into defensive posture: I avert my eyes, twist away from them in my seat. Usually, that's enough to keep them at bay. But even these tactics are not fail-safe deterrents. A few years ago a performer interrupted her show to pull my notebook and pen from my hands and toss them into a corner. Interactive, schminteractive. Can't we restore that wonderful invisible fence between us and them?"

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