Perhaps there's a reason why I'm not involved in New Play Development programs after all. Making the rounds of the 'sphere today (I found it in this post of Jason Grote's) is a series of critical response guidelines for artists' "workshops." If there's any way that an artist can feel condescended to by her peers, it's through these guidelines; "neutral questions," "it is very important not to be judgmental," "the opinions should be positive criticism"--well, that's all very nice, but there's an air of the playground monitor about it all, as if the playwright were the sensitive, weak-kneed kid being surrounded by a bunch of bullies. Play nice, all. If this is what people believe a good workshop looks like, we may be worse off than we thought. And I'm not sure if I want to listen to responses from people who have to be told what words and tone they're allowed and not allowed to use.