Avoiding Bias and Reviewing Guidelines

Taming of the Review is a collective of actors, artists, writers, and members of the theatre community. We have professional and personal connections with every theatre in Tucson. When we decided to add our voices to the theatre reviewing sphere, we not only wanted to bring high quality reviews from new voices, we wanted to bring voices that are embedded in the arts community. We believe this connection to what we are reviewing makes our reviews stronger.

Taming of the Review isn’t only writing for the potential audience member. Our reviews speak both to the audience and to the artist. The goal is to create authentic dialogue and engagement between those two parties. We’re writing about a production’s entertainment value and the impact it has on the viewer, but we also include critique on the acting, direction, and production of the piece. And, perhaps most importantly, we want our reviews to challenge the community, and ourselves, to produce theatre that is socially responsible and that we are proud to be a part of, both when we are on stage and as members of the community theatre and Tucson community.

We are also sensitive to the fact that being part of the theatre community could lead to bias or conflicts of interest. To avoid potential pitfalls, we follow a few basic guidelines:

  1. A play cannot be reviewed and a review cannot be edited by someone working directly on the production under review (including but not limited to actors and production crew) or who had any input on the creative process of the production.
  2. Members of a theatre’s ensemble may not review any production at that theatre.
  3. Potential biases, such as working in the box office or previous creative contributions to a theatre, must be disclosed.
  4. Taming of the Review is organized using a lateral decision making format meaning that while many tasks have been adopted by individuals, decisions about the direction of the project or concerns about how or what we review are discussed and decided by consensus.
  5. All communications to and from Taming of the Review goes through platforms (including Gmail, WordPress, and Facebook) all members can access, ensuring that no one actor, production, or theatre is contacted in secret or without oversight from the collective.
  6. In situations where additional concerns are expressed by either Taming of the Review or a theatre, additional measures are taken, including visiting the issue as a group to find a solution, so all our reviews are fair and meet the goals and mission of Taming of the Review.