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Will The 2017 Blumeys Be Any Good? Ask Its Winning High School Critic

Nick de la Canal
Cecilia Whalen, a junior at East Mecklenburg High School, will be honored at this year's high school Blumey Awards for theatre criticism. She spoke with WFAE's Weekend Edition.

The theatre critic gets little respect these days. While performers are lavished with praise and adulation, taking extended bows and twirling through planned encores, there the critic sits, scribbling away several rows back, then staying up at night composing a review, only to be lambasted by the cast and crew the day after if the production is described as anything less than a rapturous sensation.

The outlook for theatre critics has gotten even worse in recent years as newspapers gut their art and lifestyle sections and other media organizations pass critics over for more sprightly reporters who can deliver more material and more clicks.

But the Blumey Awards, which honors excellence in high school theatre in the greater Charlotte area, hasn't passed the critics over. At it's annual ceremony this Sunday, the program will honor Cecilia Whalen, a junior at East Mecklenburg High School, for her 900-word criticism of Country Day School's production of The Wizard of Oz (which, by the way, is up for a Blumey for Best Actor -- Kenny Letts as the Scarecrow)

Whalen, 17, joined WFAE's Weekend Edition to talk about her time diving into the world of arts criticism, and why she believes its necessary to furthering the artistic experience.