Just to remind us all that this is not exactly unexamined territory:
“Theatre is among the most interactive of the performing arts. As privileged spectators, theatre critics share with audiences and performers the same time and space, the same individual and collective stimuli, the same immediate and long-term experiences. As working theatre commentators, we seek in our individual ways to articulate these interactions as a frame for discussion and as a meaningful part of the interpretation and significance of theatrical performance. The International Association of Theatre Critics therefore urges its members worldwide to accept as an agreed starting point the core professional guidelines articulated in this document.
1. As writers and thinkers in the media and/or as scholars connected to various branches of academic discourse, theatre critics should always remain aware of normative professional practices, respect artistic and intellectual freedom, and should write in what they believe to be the best interests of the ideals of the art of theatre.
2. Theatre critics should recognize that their own imaginative experience and knowledge is often limited and should be open to new ideas, forms, styles and practice.
3. Theatre critics should speak truthfully and appropriately while respecting the personal dignity of the artists to whom they are responding.
4. Theatre critics should be open-minded and reveal (as appropriate) prejudices – both artistic and personal – as part of their work.
5. Theatre critics should have as one of their goals a desire to motivate discussion of the work.
6. Theatre critics should strive to come to the theatrical performance in their best physical and mental condition, and should remain alert throughout the performance.
7. Theatre critics should try to describe, analyze, and evaluate the work as precisely and specifically as possible, supporting their remarks with concrete examples.
8. Theatre critics should make every possible effort to avoid external pressures and controls, including personal favours and financial enticements.
9. Theatre critics should make every possible effort to avoid situations which are or which can be perceived to be conflicts of interest by declining to review any production with which they are personally connected or by serving on juries with which they are personally connected.
10. Theatre critics should not do anything that would bring into disrepute their profession or practice, their own integrity or that of the art of the theatre.”