On our radio program we don’t review shows. We see our program as celebrating theatre and those who create it. This is not to say we like every show we see, but our opinions are not our focus. However, we do read reviews. One of our favorite reviewers is J. Peter Bergman. His reviews have gotten us to see plays at Ghent and other theatres about which we knew nothing. We usually find ourselves in agreement with Peter, but not always. Even when we don’t agree, however, we find value in his analysis of the productions.
Peter started reviewing plays professionally at the age of fourteen. That means he got paid for his reviews, even if at that time it was only eight dollars a review. He has also worked in theatre and the arts all his life as well as being a playwright and a novelist himself. He brings a wealth of knowledge and understanding of theatre and its history to his reviews. He supplies a context for the plays and the performances. He is interested in conveying what makes the performance work or not, rather than in scoring clever points as some critics like to do. You can get Peter’s reviews online at Berkshire Bright Focus and we recommend that you do so. http://www.berkshirebrightfocus.com/
We were thrilled when we first asked him to be on our program and he now returns regularly to sum up his views of how the season worked and to provide insight into the condition of theatre generally.
Here are two programs with Peter.
The first is before the 2014 season reflecting on the year past and the second is some of his response to the 2014 season just past.