Should Critics Canvas The Audience?

This winter an actor wrote to the Washington Post, complaining about negative reviews and suggesting that critics ought to pay more attention to the reactions of audiences to a play. So “what is the critic’s role in relationship to the reader? Isn’t he, at least in part, a consumer advocate and, as such, shouldn’t he acknowledge audience response and, by extension, the fact that his aesthetics might not be in sync with popular sensibilities (if that is indeed the case)?”