Theatre Critique

Directions: 1. Review the criteria, rubrics and directions.

You MUST see She Loves Me.
Remember, to watch the play, go to:

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Digital Theatre Plus (Links to an external site.)

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Below is the trailer for the play. The full play can be found at the above website.
You must write a critique. See the criteria and directions for a full description of the requirements for this critique, which will be 3 to 4 pages long (no longer than 4 pages.)
Note: Late papers will not be accepted. NO EXCUSES. The shows are for mature audiences.

PROOFREAD YOUR PAPERS. USE SPELLCHECK. I am a stickler for correct grammar and spelling. With all of the papers, help can be found at The Teaching and Learning Center. Take advantage of all the services a college or university has to offer if you need help. You are paying for it! DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. DO NOT LIE. I have had students attempt both. Each time they have failed the assignment hence they have failed the class because the assignment was mandatory and have also been reported to the Dean of Student Life for academic dishonesty. YOU MUST FOLLOW THE CRITIQUE CRITERIA BY HAVING A HOOK, A THESIS STATEMENT, ETC., ETC., ETC. LOOK OVER THE CRITIQUE CRITERIA. Always put titles in italics. If that is not available, then put in quotes or underline.


This essay is expected to be a 3-4 page analytical paper in MLA format (double spaced).



Begin with a statement that draws in the reader, (commonly known as a ) (Examples: A quote of dramatic dialogue or an impressive technical effect.)
Report is not a plot synopsis of the play, but an analytical paper that reports your observations on a specific production.
Be sure to cite the venue of theatrical performance, the name and author of the play and the date you attended it in your introduction.
It is imperative that you keep your program, as it is required that you mention actors’ names, characters’ names and designers’ and directors’ names in your report.
If you are using other sources in addition to the performance, be sure to include a works cited page. This is a measure to prevent accidental plagiarism.
Thesis Statement: Your intro should include a thesis. A thesis is an encompassing statement that identifies the main idea of your paper, usually outlining the 3-4 main points to be discussed. The thesis statement should tie together the major ideas you have put forth in your introduction and is usually placed at the end of the introduction paragraph.

Body Paragraphs:

Essay should contain three to four (depending on the number of points outlined in your thesis statement) body paragraphs each outlining one main point.
Each point should have two to four sub-points with evidence / specific examples from the performance that support your idea/point. These are your observations on specific elements of the production and are the most important part in making an essay yours. They are the “why” behind your essay. This is where you will be using your programs so that you can be specific and write the names of the performers and crew who worked on the production.
You don’t have to like a production or its elements, but you must be able to articulate “why” something did or did not work for you.

Below is a possible example of the Body of a paper with the following thesis statement: “’Dracula’ was a highly entertaining production that explored the central idea of man’s eternal struggle with his passions through the use of elaborate technical enhancements (costumes, scenery, lights, sounds, etc) and dynamic performances.”


Body Paragraph 1: Your first body paragraph should be about the central ideas of the performance.

Why was the play written? What was the author’s (use the author’s name) motivation for writing the play?
What are the themes of the play? (Not the plot!)
How does the author and director (use the author and director’s names) use imagery in the writing and on stage and what kind of symbolism is used to convey a message to the audience?

Body Paragraph 2: Your second paragraph should cover the technical aspects of the play.

Include lighting, scene design, costuming, makeup, and/or any other technical aspects of the play.
Much is communicated in a play using technical aspects; analyze what technical aspects the director/designers (use the director’s and designers’ names) and the various technical departments used and more importantly why you believe they used these techniques and if they worked, or not, to enhance or otherwise take away from the production.

Body Paragraph 3: In your third body paragraph you should analyze the performances of the actors.

Consider the acting, the blocking, monologues, and any other specific performance related examples.
Give very specific examples and be sure to explain what exactly the actors did to catch your eye (vocal variety, physical intensity, emotional range, etc). (Use actors’ names. Use characters’ names. ACTORS ARE THE PEOPLE PRETENDING TO BE THE CHARACTER AND THE CHARACTER IS THE PERSON THE ACTOR IS PRETENDING TO BE. DON’T MIX UP THE TWO.)
This paragraph runs the highest risk of being “plot” driven instead of analytical of the acting so be sure to stay focused on the what specifically made a good or non-effective performance and not the “what happened next”.


Your conclusion should both revisit and wrap up your essay.
Your thesis should be restated along with each of your main
Use different wording to avoid sounding repetitive.
Close your paragraph with a statement that offers a point to your whole essay, possibly referring back to your “hook.”


The complete essay will contain:

A clear thesis statement clearly expressed
Developed (Substantial) paragraphs
Topic sentences and transitions for each body paragraph
Specific observations from the play for each point with mentions of a few of the artists’ names who worked on the production
Analysis and Synthesis of each observation being made
A conclusion that unifies the essay

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