Take a notebook with you to the play and write down the most interesting moments, speeches, and impressions that you can include in your review. Write down everything: the best speeches, the most impressive moments, associations, thoughts, and insights.
Half of the success of your review depends on these notes. So, you have returned home with messy feelings and a notebook filled with scrawls. Right after the play, look through your notes to make everything clear. It will be better to start writing the first draft on the next day of the performance.
In such a way you will be able to compare your first impression and aftertaste. Learn theatrical vocabulary. While writing, you should pay attention to the right use of terminology.
Before you will start writing the play review, you need to know how to write a play review outline. The play review may have various outlines, but there is one important rule: it is necessary to move your story from the general to the specific. Here is a general outline for the play review: Basic description of the work.
Description of the plot. Evaluation of the design the set, costumes and makeup, sound, choreography, special effects. Evaluation of the direction and style. Reaction to the whole play. Questions to Ask Before Writing a Play Review The following list of questions may seem simple, but giving the answers will help you stay focused on key aspects that determine the success of the performance.
Also, the list will save your time and help you gain a fresh perspective on writing a play review. When you finish answering the questions, you will have a good base for your first draft. Is the play a premier? How many times has it already been staged? In what theaters can you see this play? What is the difference between these performances? What is the name of the theater? What kind of plays can you see there? Who is the director?
What plays has he or she already staged? Does this play fall beside the common repertoire? Who is the author of the play? Does the original plot of the play differ from the performance? What was the atmosphere during the play? Have you enjoyed the musical arrangement? What is the professional level of the actors amateur, students, professional actors?
How have the actors delivered their roles? Were their gestures and movements believable? What actor performed the best? How have they used gestures? Does the reviewer support their views with examples? Do they offer evidence to support their opinions?
Does the reviewer let their personal opinion of a play colour their review? Does the reviewer acknowledge the audience reaction particularly if it differs from their own reaction?
How do I write a good review? Like all things, it takes practice. Go see a show, and write down your thoughts. What is your experience?
How do the reviews compare and contrast? Reflect on what the reviewer has to say about the production. What is the style of the review? Do you like when reviews are overly critical? How to Review a Play How to Review a Play Preparing to Write a Play Review Below are some tips to help you prepare to write a play review: The Nature of the Assignment Because the performance of any play is such an ephemeral experience, writing a play review can be an exciting, though difficult, 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 entire ensemble 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 not asked 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. Remember, too, that your stance is to be objective and critical, not impressionistic and merely nasty.
Your tone will be very important in making your review reliable and intelligent. 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.
Pick out, as you read, several critical or problematic points within the play that may be of particular interest to watch for in the production you are about to attend. If your instructor has asked you to pay particular attention to certain elements, make sure that you are prepared to recognize them in performance. Attending the Production Attend the play with an open mind, a willingness to accept the play as the director has presented it in production.
You may want to consider some of the following: Why the choice of costumes, and why the set design? How did the actors deliver their lines seriously, comically, realistically, formally?
You are not asked to cover a wide variety of production elements i. Start your review with an attention grabber that will make the reader believe that your review is worth reading. Evaluation of the design the set, costumes and makeup, sound, choreography, special effects. If you have already seen other works of this director, you can compare them to the current play. Choose a place with a good view of the scene. Your tone will be very important in making your review reliable and intelligent.
The physical movement in this play can only be described as captivating, especially involving the sexual acts between Don John and Zerlina. It will be better to start writing the first draft on the next day of the performance.
Also, I would get rid of the cheesy Barry White number at the end altogether- that kind of last ditch attempt to woo the audience over in the form of a get-the-girls-off-the front-row-and-make-them-dance strategy, I expect from some high school performance. For example, you would need to answer the following questions regarding the last description of Lear: Why were the lights dimmed at the beginning of the scene? A review gives a potential audience member context for a production. Most people want to know if they should spend their hard-earned money on a ticket. Attending the Production Attend the play with an open mind, a willingness to accept the play as the director has presented it in production. If the play was created on the basis of classical literary work, tell about the new vision.
What does each review tell you about the reviewer? Who needs to know how to write a play review: high school, university, and college students, as well as journalists and those who simply strive to develop their writing skills. Who is the author of the play? Does it come across as fair?
Read your assignment carefully to find out which aspects of the performance are to be emphasized in your review. The following advice on how to write a play review is general and can be applied to any type of play review. What is a review?