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The assignment is to do a play review of a production, not school productions but professional plays. In this case it will be of The Hunchback of Notre Dame La Jolla Playhouse production. Attached are two documents that will help with this assignment. One of the attached documents is the “How to Write a Critique for a Theatrical Performance” and that is the main one that you will use. I will post the YouTube link for the play as well as other websites that can possibly help you.



How to Write a Critique for a
Theatrical Performance
In other words, how to write your
A critique (review) is an evaluation of a performance of a show. It should contain
at least five paragraphs as described below. Percentages shown indicate the
weight of each element for grading purposes.
1. Paragraph 1—The Basics & The Plot (20%)
Include the answers to the five W’s:
Who (the playwright, directors, and actors)
What (the title of the play)
Where (the name of the school or theater)
When (when did you see it?)
Why (In a few sentences, state the basic theme of the show)
Briefly summarize the plot of the show.
2. Paragraph 2—The Acting (20%)
1. Choose the performers you liked best–citing illustrations from the
2. Note things they did well–gestures, moments, bits, etc.–and explain
why you think they were good.
3. How was the performer’s voice, movement, interpretation of the role?
Separate the performer from the role. Can you dislike a character but
admire the performance?
4. How did the performers relate to each other? Did they listen and
respond naturally, or did they look like they were “acting?”
3. Paragraph 3 & 4 (40%)
(Choose from two of the following three elements)
The Set – Describe and evaluate the set design of the production.
1. Is the scenery helpful to the play? To the performers?
2. Is it a hindrance? Too distracting? Too overbearing?
3. Does it contribute to the mood? Is it appropriate for the style of the
4. Is there a symbolic element in the scenery? In the shapes or colors?
5. Is the design aesthetically pleasing in itself?
The Lighting – Describe and analyze the lighting of the production.
1. Is the lighting realistic or non realistic?
2. Does it help create mood?
3. Are all actors properly lit? Can we see their faces?
4. How does the lighting use color and direction (where does it come from:
below, above, behind, etc.)?
5. Are light changes made slowly or quickly? Is this right for the play?
The Costumes – Describe and analyze the costumes for the play.
1. Are the costumes right for the play? In period and style? For the theme
of the play?
2. Are they right for individual characters, in personality, station in life,
occupation, etc.?
3. Is the design good? The colors? Why or why not?
4. Are there differences between costumes for major and minor
characters? Between one faction in the play and another?
5. Paragraph 5—The Reaction (20%)
What is the play’s effect on the audience?
Was the audience attentive?
Was the audience interested?
What was your opinion of the show as a whole?
How does the play relate to our current world?
Why should or shouldn’t this play be seen?
Remember to:
Back up all your opinions with valid reasons.
Be objective, fair, and sincere.
Evaluate the entire production.
Be constructive. Indicate good points along with those you felt needed
● Enjoy the show—don’t go to be overly critical.

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