How to review a theater production?I basically require the correct and exacts steps in how to write a theater production. I am a theater arts student and we watched many performances in London such...

How to review a theater production?

I basically require the correct and exacts steps in how to write a theater production. I am a theater arts student and we watched many performances in London such as Warhorse and the Railway Chidren and we must review both.

Expert Answers
bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

First, I would do as much background research on the play as possible, including the reading of the original text. By doing so, you can comment on differences between the text and the version of the performance you witnessed. Doing some research on the author of the play is also a good idea. During the performance, I would take notes; seeing the show a second time is also a good idea: It will give you a clearer understanding of the show, and you will be able to comment on any differences you may witness in the performances. If you can manage a short interview with the director, it would add greatly to your review, both in the use of quotes but also as a means of understanding the director's intent. Speaking with a few of the actors would also be beneficial. In your actual review, you should give a brief synopsis of the play, comment on the characters, single out the best performances, and mention any other aspects--lighting, music, set design, etc. If the interpretation of the play is different from the original script, you should comment on how it works. (I recently wrote a review on a minimalist performance of Macbeth in which the costumes were basically loincloths--picture The Flintstones--and in which Lady Macbeth did several nude scenes. It was essential that I had read the play and seen other performances true to the script to comment on the differences and the overall effect.) If this is a non-professional performance, you should keep a positive tone--it is not proper to heavily criticize community or amateur theatre. If it is a paying audience, feel free to critically analyze all aspects. It would also be helpful if you have attended other plays by the theatre group or at the theatre, since you can compare other shows with the play you attended.

wordprof eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are three questions to ask, according to Goethe:  What was the production trying to do? Hid they succeed?  Was it worth doing?  It is this last criterion that separates the merely successful production from the worthwhile one.  War Horse is a good example; was it merely trying to be clever?  No, it was worth doing.

downrabbithole | Student

In order to review a theatre production, you must first be familiar with the basic elements of theatre such as lighting, costuming, acting and general narrative. When you review your theatrical production, you should comment on how each of these aspects influenced one another, which either affected the end product negatively or positively. You can also choose to focus on one aspect, such as the lighting, and discuss why it worked well in certain scenes and not in others. Otherwise, you can keep things general and discuss how the play worked as a whole. Stating you thought the play was boring or good is not enough, you must discuss how you came to your conclusion.