Interview with Jay Handelman

4-2-13 Audio Interview

Some think that critics are people who couldn’t succeed in the art they critique, this is not true of Jay Handelman, Theater and Television critic for the Sarasota Herald Tribune. Jay is, and has always been a critic, “I am perfectly suited to being a critic” he says ”it just fits me.” Self-effacingly, Jay says that he is “not sure he is serving a larger purpose,” but he loves the theater and “hopes that his work elevates the quality of what we see.” Pointing to early experiences that led him to this career Jay remembers having seen, at 11 or 12 years old, a Broadway production of 1776, and rather than wanting to be in it or to have written it, he wanted to talk about it. Also standing out in his memory is his 11th grade American Literature teacher, Mrs. Joyce Garvin, who taught her class “Waiting for Godot.” He says “we opened the script, the first line is ‘Let us go,’ and the stage directions say ‘they do not move.” She slammed the book shut and we talked about that line for two days.” Listen to this sensitive and thoughtful man talk about his love of theater, his certainty that he was meant to be a critic and how he made a path to that goal where there was really none to follow.