About PCTP

The Performance Criticism Training Program (PCTP) provides training and mentorship to artists and aspiring critics who are interested in producing performance criticism for print or other media. Critics play an important function in educating audiences about the many components of a performance, what they can expect to see, and offering language to articulate what they may be feeling. Critics extend the conversation about performance began by artists, and ideally stimulate vibrant and productive dialogue within the culture at large. The PCTP is investing in these emerging critics to discover their own voice, style, tone with which they will fill these functions.

The training will include developing formal and technical skills; considering in-depth the relationships between criticism and creativity and between the arts and their publics; exploring terminology; and adjusting writing and other forms of communication to the various platforms available. Six individuals will learn the skills to publish thoughtful criticism of live performance within the GTA. This program will combine hands-on learning and networking opportunities for emerging critics and journalists who want to focus on the arts, or artists looking to transition into criticism. 

From April 30 through June 25, 2018, six participants were lead through weekly coursework, attended a performance per week, and wrote a review of that performance which was edited by guest facilitators. They were included in NOW magazine’s Toronto Fringe coverage, joining the NOW team in reviewing all the shows in the Fringe. Participants were paid a fee of $1,000 to participate in the program and received additional honoraria provided by NOW magazine for coverage of the Fringe.

The program was developed by Karen Fricker, Carly Maga, Katie Leamen, Cole Alvis and Kristina Lemieux with support from Lisa Alves. The program will be led by members of this team and guest instructors Hayley Malouin, Erica Commanda, Emma Doran, Lee Slinger, Glenn Sumi, Michael Rubinoff, Kelly Nestruck, Michael Wheeler, May Antaki, Maija Kappler, Carrie Sager, Aidan Morashita-Miki, Jordan Bimm. 

Meet the 2018 PCTP Cohort