By hook or by crook

How a food critic survives theater camp

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If I’d paid closer attention to the spirits who stalk The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, I might have done something legitimately dramatic and burned everything I wrote there.

The O’Neill, which bills itself as “The Launchpad of American Theater,” is where works including Avenue Q, In The Heights, and Slave Play were developed. It’s also home to the National Critics Institute (NCI), which in keeping with its venue prioritizes theater criticism: During my stay there, I analyzed and assessed new musicals, musical revivals, and a pair of very serious plays.


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