We were dismayed at the thoughtless and mediocre review of “Witness to the Ruins,” a performance by Colombian theater company Mapa Teatro, published on Friday (“Way over this critic’s head,” March 27). The reviewer disparages the performance because he can’t seem to figure out whether to label it a play, a movie or something else entirely.
Yes, the reviewer is right: “Witness to the Ruins” isn’t a traditional play, nor is it a movie. It is a hybrid combining spoken testimony, video projections, movement — even cooking. The reviewer might have noted that it was presented by the World Performance Project, whose stated mission is interdisciplinary and draws from “cultural performances of all kinds.” If the reviewer lacks the curiosity to engage with a work of art that breaks these boundaries (which, frankly, is something that’s been going on in performance for decades), then he should stick to reviewing musicals, and the News should employ reviewers who are willing to approach a distinguished work such as this one on its own terms.
Brian Mullin and Sergio Torres Rueda
The writers are a 2001 graduate of Davenport College and a graduate of Columbia University, respectively.