Drew McManus has posted a response to the Teachout article. It is well worth the read.

I really have enjoyed much of what Teachout writes. Yet I was only sorry, not at all surprised, by his article on regional orchestras. Teachout is a theatre critic. I can’t remember reading about a symphony concert he was dying to attend. I can remember his saying he never wanted to attend another concert that would include certain works. He loves art and loves to talk about the wonderful artwork on his walls. I know he reads, because he’ll share books with us on occasion, and certainly loves to share quotes.

I like to share quotes too.

The problem is that critics have a way of forgetting that many, perhaps most of the people who come to hear a performance of the “Eroica” or see a staging of “The Cherry Orchard” are experiencing it for the very first time.

-Terry Teachout


  1. I’m glad to see that someone outspoken, articulate and thoughtful wrote a response saying some of the things that were going on in my head when I read Teachout’s column. Bravo Craig Knox! And thank you, Patty, for linking to that (and for the quote)!

    I was appalled to see that Teachout is a member of the National Council on the Arts. Just what we need.

    I will say that though I am easily moved to tears by fine dramatic perfomances in recorded media, it takes a heck of a lot to make the same emotional impact with recorded performances of music, be it audio or video; recorded music just does not have the same impact. I would argue that for me, local theater companies could more easily be replaced with recorded media than regional orchestras.

    But actually, bottom line? I would argue that neither should be replaced with recorded media. There is just no substitute for live performance in any of these arts. Anyone who feels otherwise would seem to me to be disconnected from reality, in much the same manner as someone who prefers virtual sex to the real thing.

  2. I’ve seen more responses since I posted this, too.

    Maybe Mr. Teachout wrote the thing just to get people to think about how important live performance is. I keep hoping so, although of course that is probably just wishful thinking.

  3. Brava on pulling out that quote!

  4. Glad you enjoyed it, Drew! (Sorry your comment took a while to appear; it wound up in the spam pile for some odd reason. WordPress does that sometimes and I forget to go check things out. Oops! Glad I saw this one finally!)