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THEA 260:Theatre and Revolution: Researching Plays: Reviews

Sources for Reviews

Using & Evaluating Reviews

Some areas and questions that might guide your questions when evaluating play reviews include: 

  • The production being reviewed.
  • How long/in-depth it appears to be on the production of interest.
  • The reviewer (are they well known? can you google them?)
  • If/where the review is published (big difference between a blog and something from The New York TImes)
  • Is this mostly a summary or mostly an evaluation of the performance and play?
  • What parts of the production are evaluated, and what parts are not mentioned?
  • What evidence or criteria does the reviewer seem to have for their evaluation?
  • Is the review fully glowing with no negatives? Or fully dismissive with no positives? How might both those scenarios influence what you think of the reviewer and their work?
  • Often reviewers will do research before seeing the production to set their expectations, reflect, and write a thesis-driven review. Can you get a sense, by reading, of the work involved in this review?