The functions of the critic in the theatre and of his or her responsibilities towards the theatre have long been debated and disputed, and are now in a state both of flux and contradiction – flux, because of the rapidly changing state of the media in which criticism is published and the new forms which ‘publication’ can now take; contradiction, because of the dual perception of criticism as at once an ‘offensive’ art and an ‘art of solidarity’. Especially for the critic of theatre, the dilemma has always been heightened not only by the ephemerality of the art to which the review gives a vicarious and subjectified after-life, but also by the shifting sands between the journalistic and the academic landmarks of the craft. Rather than attempting impossible solutions, Josette Féral offers illuminating definitions and suggests helpful boundaries – aesthetic, cultural, social, and historical. Josette Féral is full professor in the Drama Department of the Université du Québec à Montréal. She has published several books, including Mise en scène et jeu de I'acteur, (two volumes, 1997, 1999), dealing with many European as well as North American directors, Rencontres avec Ariane Mnouchkine (1995) and Trajectoires du Soleil (1999), both on Mnouchkine's work, and La Culture contre I'art: essai d'économie politique du théâtre (1990). She has also published several articles on the theory of theatre in Canada, the United States and Europe, in journals such as The Drama Review, Modern Drama, The French Review, Discourse, Theaterschrift, Cahiers de théâtre, and Théâtre Public. She is currently President of the International Federation for Theatre Research.