2005-06-24 / Columnists

Chatting With Chapey

David Bentley: A Talented Professional
by Dr. Geraldine M. Chapey, Democratic District Leader

Dr. Geraldine Chapey
Dr. Geraldine Chapey David Bentley is an outstanding professional. He has a wide range of talents and interests.

Bentley is the dynamic and effervescent Master of Ceremonies at the Trinity Services annual luncheons at Russo’s on the Bay. David beings his dramatic theatrical talents and a marvelous sense of humor to his endeavors.

He now resides in the lone star state of Texas and in the big apple – New York. Since his retirement from the New York City schools, David has developed a following which extends from the Gulf Coast to the East Coast.

Through his columns, the Peoples’ Critic, David is known for his work as a free lance writer and a performing arts critic. David notes on his web site www.PeoplesCritic. com that his favorite assignments were the reviews of the performances of Itzhak Perlman, Cher and Harry Connick Jr.

Congratulations to David Bentley on his induction into the prestigious world renowned International Association of Theater Critics (IATC). The IATC counts over two thousand theater critics world wide as part of its membership.

The organization was started in Paris in 1956.

According to its web site, “the purpose of the organization is to bring together critics in order to promote international cooperation. Its principal aims are to foster theatre criticism as a discipline and to contribute to the development of its methodological bases; to protect the ethical and professional interests of theatre critics and to contribute to reciprocal awareness and understanding between cultures by encouraging international meetings and exchanges in the field of theatre in general”.

English and French are the two main languages of the IATC. It is a non-governmental organization run under statue B of UNESCO.

In June, after the Trinity luncheon, David as a member of the IATC attended the National Critics Conference (NCC) in Los Angeles, California. David told me that this was a unique happening because it was the first time that American dance, theater, art, classical and jazz journalists ever met together in the same place. David noted that the NCC also invited book, film, television and rock critics. The conference was sponsored by the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication. It featured internationally known Pulitzer Prize Winners who addressed the assembled: Margo Jefferson, from the New York Times who received a 1995 Pulitzer Prize; Dan Neil from the Los Angeles Times who won a Pulitzer Prize in 2004 and Alan M. Kriegsman who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1976.

David found Norman Lear’s presentation on “Seeing the Critics as Critical” to be particularly interesting. Norman Lear has a well-known reputation as a writer and producer of well known TV programs including Archie Bunker, George Jefferson, Fred Sanford and Mary Hartman. Norman Lear noted in his remarks that “Contemporary politics and culture need critics.

The people need to hear from probing, intelligent minds that provide a moral gyroscope for our wildly confused culture and are willing to speak the truth.” Lear further adds that “with the help of the critic, we rediscover a sense of emotional and moral complexity in human affairs.” Critics according to Lear “can help us understand the spirit of our times better.”

David Bentley is to be congratulated on his induction into the International Association of Theatre Critics (IATC). David is a talented, perceptive and innovative professional who brings to the IATC a wealth of knowledge and a depth of experience that will enhance the organization.

It is important that individuals with David’s capabilities are serving in this key position.


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