Play Critique Guidelines
Each critique should be a minimum of two pages in length, typed and double-spaced with 12 size font and appropriate margins. It should have the structure similar to any critical paper- an introduction with a thesis, a body with examples and evidence supporting the thesis, and a clear conclusion.
Your thesis should be your statement of your “feelings” about the production: Did you like it? Did you dislike it? Were you bored? Was it engaging? Exciting? Average? Mediocre? Etc. Include details in your introduction: when did you go? Who were you with? What were your feelings upon entering the theater? If you’ve never been to these particular theaters, what did you think of them?
The body of the critique should include specifics concerning why you did or didn’t like the production. Things to comment on might include the acting- was it believable? Were some performers stronger than others? Why were they stronger? What made others weaker? What did you think about the direction of the play? Did it appear smooth and seamless? How was the pace? Was it rushed or did it drag? What did you think about the set, costumes, sound and lighting? What was your first impression of the set when you sat down? Did it make you curious? Relaxed? Edgy? What did the costumes tell you about the different characters? How did the lighting affect the mood of the piece? What were your thoughts on the story itself? What did you think about the characters? What do you think the intent of the production was? Was there a specific message that you as an audience member received? What were your feelings as you were leaving the theater?
Focus on how effectively all the elements of the show combined to tell the story. There are many different things for you to comment on in your critique but the bottom line is simple. You either liked the production, found it average, or you disliked it. Now your job is to explain why.