Similar to film and music reviews which analyze and critique the whole work, a review of a play or musical should also critique the production as a whole, in addition to its variety of elements. The purpose of a review is to provide a potential audience with an unbiased opinion of the production, supported by facts.
This last written assignment requires you to attend one UT Department of Theatre and Film production this semester — THE IMAGINARY INVALID or THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST. This assignment is to analyze and critique the production, using theatrical terminology, not merely “liking or disliking” the play (do not turn in a rewritten version of the plot summary)
Like any written essay, a theatre review should contain an introduction, body and conclusion. Elements that could be discussed in this review (but are not limited by) include:
- introductory material (name of the play or production, playwright, performance location, date)
- the production’s themes and/or playwright’s voice (what he/she was trying to say)
- expected audience response
- visual elements (set design, costumes, lighting, sound and/or music) and how they support (or don’t support) the production
- artists’ performances (actors and their roles, director, designers), including their honesty/believability
- successful moments in the play vs. unclear ones
- conclusion or overall impression of the production
This theatre review should be based on the live theatrical performance seen here at UT, not a film version or other school’s production. In general, your assignment should be typed and proofread, at least 3-4 pages in length. Think creativity, originality (such as images, links, etc.) and presentational choices (such as Word, PowerPoint, Prezi, audio files, etc.) — reviews are no longer just printed in newspapers or magazines, reviews are also found on television, radio and the internet. Be careful of spelling, grammar, capitalization, punctuation, and MLA guidelines. Remember to document any outside sources you use. Early submissions are always accepted.