How to do a review of a play

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Preparing to Write a Play Review
Below are some tips to help you prepare to write a play review:
➢ The Nature of the Assigment
➢ Before You Attend the Production
➢ Attending the Production
|The Nature of the Assignment |Because the performance of any play is such an ephemeral experience, writing a play review can be an exciting, thoughdifficult, task. You have to be |
| |both spectator taking in and enjoying the performance and critical analyst of the production itself. You have to be able to provide a very brief |
| |summary of the play, a close objective analysis of the performance you attend, and an interpretation and evaluation of the entireensemble of staging, |
| |acting, directing, and so on. |
| |The review assignment asks you to analyze in an objective manner the relative success or failure of a given production. Note that you are notasked |
| |simply to summarize the plot or give an opinion regarding the text of the play being mounted; your review must be grounded in the production itself. |
| |Your job is to describe the production accurately, and then to render a value judgment of it based upon what you have seen and what you expected. The |
||assignment will test your skill as a reader of the play and as an observer and critic of the production. |
| |In addition to grounding your review on the production you witness, you must be careful to limit your review to a few essential observations in support|
||of your thesis (which will be discussed below). You must concentrate on a few important ideas and aspects of the production and focus your attention on|
| |only what you consider the most significant parts of the production itself. Unlike a newspaper review, which can be loosely structured and superficial,|
||your assignment is quite definite. You are not asked to cover a wide variety of production elements (i.e. performance of every actor, every costume |
| |change, every set change, every directorial decision, and so on); instead, the assignment demands that you develop a few key ideas in thoughtful |
||detail. |
| |Remember, too, that your stance is to be objective and critical, not impressionistic and merely nasty. A critic is not someone who simply "criticizes,"|
| |but a person whostudies, analyzes, and then renders a rational judgment of what he/she has seen. Your tone will be very important in making your |
| |review reliable and intelligent. |
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|Before You Attend the Production |Read the play before going to the production. (It is important to be prepared for the production you plan to attend; otherwise, you run the risk of |
| |having to see it several times.)...
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