A Marriage Made in Heaven
Being a critic allows for a perfect marriage of two of my passions: theater and writing. Both passions have known each other for a long time, but I always thought they would be incompatible for a long-term relationship.
As a newspaper editor my writing was ruled by my head. Journalism is a straight-forward, impersonal reporting of the facts without bias or emotion. It was satisfying to be part of the arm of democracy and to know that my work influenced decisions of average Americans and lawmakers alike. Theater, on the other hand, was fun and ruled by the heart. I could be moved as an audience member or immerse myself emotionally in the cause as I produced, directed and wrote scripts. There is nothing impersonal about productions you start to think of as your “baby.”
Both were important parts of my life and I was attracted to them like friends from two different areas of life, for different reasons. It seemed unlikely the two had much in common, though, until I set them up on a date at the O’Neill Theater Center.
There, as a Fellow in the National Critics Institute, I discovered how to wed the passion for theater with the joy of writing and a perfect union was consummated. A honeymoon followed: several opportunities to review theater for New York and Connecticut media. Developing a relationship with readers who rely on my information and opinions to decide which shows to see is very satisfying – and humbling.
Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, a blessed event was added. I have been given an opportunity to combine writing and theater with another part of my life about which I’m passionate: my faith. There’s nothing more fulfilling than doing something you love for someone you love. It just doesn’t get any better than that. It is a match made in heaven.
Lauren Yarger is Executive Director of Masterwork Productions, Inc… A former newspaper editor, she reviews Broadway, Off-Broadway and Connecticut theater as a voting member of The Drama Desk, The Outer Critics Circle and The American Theater Critics Association. She freelances, writes plays and screenplays and is a reviewer for Publisher’s Weekly.