How to Write a Theatre Review
or Analysis of Published Reviews

Writing Your Own Theatre Review
Analysis of Theatre Reviews
Mark Donaldson's Theatre Review Analysis

 

If you are reading this, you have probably been assigned to write a review of live theatre. A great way to learn how this is done is to read reviews in newspapers.To your left are examples of particularly well-written student theatre reviews. The first is Bettina Lewis's review of Suzan-Lori Parks Top Dog/Underdog produced in May 2004 at the Hartford Stage. The second is Jeff Depta's review of Edward Albee's The Goat, produced in May 2004 at Theatreworks.

Below that is a link to Lexis-Nexis Academic. Here are istructions about where to go from there:

For reviews of recent productions….

go to libraries home page, then to databases, then to Lexis-Nexis academic, choose “Arts and Sports News,” and “Play Reviews” then type in your play title. You can also specify the newspaper--I particularly reccomend the New York Times.

The link to Lexis-Nexis can only be accessed by University of Hartford Students. If you are off-campus, but are a University of Hartford student, faculty or staff member, follow this link for information about off-campus access.

Writing your Own Review

[Add bit about How to write a theatre review]

 

Researching Theatre Reviews

The following is a typical assignment asking you to research existing reviews.

Research reviews of Six Characters, The Lesson, Endgame, or The Zoo Story. How was the play received by audiences? By critics? Do you see differences in audience and critical reception between productions? Note: you might be sure and look in the following in our library:

For reviews of recent productions….

go to libraries home page, then to databases, then to Lexis-Nexis academic, choose “Arts and Sports News,” and “Play Reviews” then type in your title.

For the first reviews of the plays in the NYT, check the following….

--New York Times Theatre Reviews 1920-
REF. PN 1581 N4

--New York Theatre Critics Reviews
VOL. 30-33 1969-1972 REF. PN 1601 N4

--New York Times Index
1905-1999 REF. INDEX & ABSTR. A 13 N53

You must footnote your sources.