The specifics of the Stratford v. Slotkin is just stupid- where the the power dynamic is perceived as the big company deciding they didn't want a writer (who mostly publishes online but has a history and connection with newspapers, radio and some other legacy formats) coming any more because she wasn't "friends / fan of the company" Seems petty and like "censorship." Sure. Bad move. Good recall.
There are a few legacy-format writers in this town that I'd rather charge to see my work, because I don't think we agree about the point of theatre (and maybe life) and their power is completely out of whack with their relevance to anything I'm interested in except for people seeing theatre.
So would it be better to a) not have more "This action movie is a terrible romantic comedy" reviews that offer nothing and kill curiosity and adventure in people. b) at least have their $15 for their 15 minutes worth of thoughts scribbled down?
Would there be the outcry? Might there be reasons to not want our work look at and written about in a certain frame?
This isn't a question of raves or dislike or online vs legacy - it has to do with people who (for many socio-personal-economic reasons) write destructive, unhelpful reviews that are little more than predictable thumbs up thumb down in the hour after a show and think they deserve free tickets as well as a salary.
Also, let's not pretend the "theatrical debate" is happening in the newspapers. I'm not sure where it's happening, but it's not in the mainstream legacy press, especially not the ones local to Toronto. Someone (or some committee) decided that the Entertainment section is about celebrity, which some of the writers seem absolutely giddy about.
alas that I won't probably post this because, well, because This is nerve wracking to post because maybe they'll retire someday and a magical turnaround will happen in the newspaper business and the theatre will once again get word count and writers will emerge who write for the curious part of people that is interested in lots of different things, not just celebrity. And I work for companies who need the remote chance that they'll like something and that will help bring people out.
But this situation is part of what is untenable about independent, interesting things gaining momentum in dance and theatre in Toronto. And so it should be talked about in more contexts than Festival v. blogger.
And mostly, actually, I'm not going to worry about banning. I might not send them a release or an invitation, might send it to a different editor / writer in the same outfit, but the banning just means making a scene and they take up enough space anyways. Mostly, I'm going to encourage The Toronto Standard, the Torontoist, BlogTO and others to write about theatre and performance as part of a city that I love.
Some of that is about invitations and creating interesting stories and work, and some of that is about where I choose to place my meagre advertising budget.
And that's not about spite or being petty, that's just about relevance and effectiveness.
(p.s. Theatre is also, of course, a legacy format)