Critics’ ethics are based on consideration for others, just as with any code of civilized behaviour.
The Canadian Theatre Critics Association accepts the premise that its members are dealing with contributions to the public by artists and technicians who have worked long and hard on their presentation. It is thus agreed that while such considerations must not inhibit the reviewer in any honest estimate, it does presume respect for the contributors’ efforts. Membership in the CTCA offers no license to insult, ridicule or denigrate artists who are serious about their work.
- It is expected that critics be as objective as possible to achieve a balanced review. Comments on past performances or remarks on physical attributes of performers are justified only when and if the critic can establish a direct relevance to the production under consideration for description, interpretation, analysis and estimate. The production seen should be the production reviewed.
- The critic should, whenever possible, prepare in advance of a performance. This includes reading all program and advanced material provided by the producing group. Reading a new script before attending its performance is optional but advisable.
- The critic should attend the entire performance reviewed. If a critic must leave a performance early because of a deadline, this should be mentioned in the review.
- The critic should behave in an unobtrusive manner, causing no distraction to audience members and performers. Arrangements for suitable seating should be made privately with decorum.
- The critic should give full consideration and attention to all elements of a production. The work of supporting players, designers, musicians, and technicians is important, as well as that of leading players, director and author.
- The critic should not under any circumstances exploit his or her position.
As the umbrella organization for all Canadian theatre critics, we strongly recommend that all writers, regardless of medium or format, adhere to this code of ethics.