While writing remember to address the basic problems of critique: understanding,
effectiveness & ultimate worth.
What were the playwright, director, and other theatre artists trying to do?
How well did they do it?
How valuable was the experience?
You should not answer these questions directly, but they should infuse the whole
body of your critique. Ask yourself these questions for each element. (ex. Why did
they choose this type of set/costume/prop? How well did it work? Why or why not?)
Structuring Your Critique
Open your critique with information on the shows title, playwright, who produced
the show (usually the name of the theatre or University), and date you saw the
Then introduce the show and give a brief synopsis. Do not summarize the whole
play use 60-100 words to introduce the setting and main conflict.
Next dedicate a full paragraph to critiquing each of the following:
Lighting Design (include any special effects here)
It is vitally important that each of these areas should receive a lengthy paragraph dedicated to their discussion.
Before you begin writing read the following sections of your text for a list of
questions to consider when critiquing each area. You do not need to include all of
these questions in your critique, but they can inspire you to critique how the design
served the play.
Thinking About a Scene Designers Work p. 422-423
Thinking About Costume and Makeup p. 441-443
Thinking About Lighting and Sound Design p. 463-464
Thinking About the Actors Work p. 403
When writing your critiques be sure to credit the designers and actors when
referring to their work.
For example: When critiquing the scenic design mention the scenic designer by
name. When referring to the performance of specific actors mention them by name.
And so on. (For this reason it is important to keep the playbill. If there is no playbill
ask the box office where you can find information on the cast and crew for your
Close with a paragraph providing your overall impression of the play and your
opinion of its ultimate worth. What were its main strengths and weaknesses?
Provide specific examples to support your opinions.
Your final critique should be 2 pages in length. If you have not reached 2 pages you
need to include more specific details about the performance.
Proofreading Your Critique
Remember that critiques are formal writing assignments. Follow the guidelines
below to proofread your work and check for these common mistakes
Always italicize titles.
Use single spacing, standard 1 margins & Times New Roman font, size 12.
Do NOT use personal pronouns including: I, me, my, you, your, etc.
Be careful not to repeat words or phrases. Use a thesaurus if necessary. Always back up your opinions with specific examples from the play. Respond to how the play was executed and not what happened in the story.
Spell check and grammar check before submission.
Use terminology gained from this course.
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