"Maybe it's a dated concept, but a critic is an investigator of the form and of the world. Critics probe, trying to understand what a play is about, what the world of a play is about. I think it was Suzan-Lori Parks who said a play is a big house and a critic is one of the people coming over to look at it. You can talk about how the house being constructed a certain way because a river flowed through it 600 years ago — and look how they used crossbeams — or you can say the walls are pink and how could they have done such a thing?"
So, much like a playwright, Morris says, "The critic's job is to investigate a feeling. I'm reluctant to pass judgment — that's not a side of criticism that interests me. It's trivial to the larger interests of a play."
The trouble with criticism, Brustein says, "is it's an extrinsic art. The poor critic is out of the room, waiting his turn, and when he gets in — I include myself in this — we don't see everything we're supposed to see."
How well I know the drill: waiting my turn to investigate a feeling, and not seeing what I'm supposed to see.