After more than a decade of writing about theatre, and with a decreasing number of publications willing to publish reviews, in 2014 Steve Kretzmann and his part-time writing partner (and erstwhile editor) Mike Loewe, established The Critter as an independent platform for arts reviews and news.
How we see the arts
Due to its ability to communicate emotion and so develop empathy, stimulate imagination and critical engagement with the world and the systems we impose upon it, we believe art in all its forms and permutations, and the humanities more broadly, are essential for a healthy, self reflective society.
How we see ourselves
Our role as critics and writers is to support art and broaden audiences through critical engagement that interrogates ideas and the way they are presented, thus fostering further discussion and debate. Critiquing the presentation of artworks is the least of the arts writers’ roles; it is a means to present the artists’ ideas to a wider audience, contribute to an archival record of what is created (this particularly applies to theatre, the works of which are most bound by time and place), encourage secondary reflection on what the artist strives to communicate, and analyze and synthesize resonance with other work. There are likely other roles.
In order to achieve this, we need to be honest. Honest about our reflections on the work we see, and honest about our own inevitable shortcomings.
We believe art is greater than the artist. This also applies to us as writers.
We recognise that a greater diversity of voices critiquing the arts is needed in South Africa, and we hope to find the means to contribute to creating this much-needed diversity to become the go-to site for news and analysis of the arts.