L. Steven Sieden, who reviews for The Huffington Post website, reportedly posted an ad on Craigslist offering to sell the other half of the free pair he traditionally receives as a critic of local theatre productions. The plus-one comps are usually given to critics as a courtesy, and not an asset for resale.
More seriously, Sieden appears to have also offered the possibility of incorporating the buyer's opinion into his review. Opinions in reviews are considered and expected to be the opinions of the bylined reviewer only.
In the ad (since removed), Sieden wrote, "I am a theater reviewer...for a major online site. I always gets [sic] 'plus-one' tickets for shows, and I am compiling a list of people who would like to purchase these single great seats for the performances. I plan to sell the ticket, and the price will less [sic] than half of the face value. In addition, your input might well be reflected in my review...."
The ad lists Seattle-area theatres for which he is offering tickets, which include Seattle Rep, The Paramount Theatre, A.C.T. and Village Theatre.
Sieden presents his offer, not so much as an opportunity for profit, but as a way of "helping to keep those seats from being empty."
The story first popped up on Facebook feeds and was shared within the theatre community. The story was then reported by Howard Sherman, director of the Arts Integrity Initiative at The New School College of Performing Arts School of Drama on his blog. Sherman did not identify the critic, but the story was picked up by the Seattle website The Stranger, which posted a screenshot of the Craigslist page with the offer, identifying Sieden.
Sieden did not immediately return Playbill.com's request for comment.