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Mascareñas, Laurence Josefino S.

April 22, 2020


9 – Makatarungan

“How to Write a Play Review”


A PDF Two – Paragraph Summary

Having to write a play review may be a difficult task for many people with the right
preparation and structure, you can create a well-written play review. Before starting with the
play review, we must be prepared first. This include understanding the purpose of a play review,
meaning the reviewer must have a strong background in theatre and knowing the plot and
situation of the play so their opinion is informed and credible, with specific critiques and careful
analysis of the play. This also include the having knowledge of the traditional structure of a play
review, which have the Paragraph 1 which tells what you see in stage, Paragraph 2 which
summarize the plot of the play, Paragraph 3 which discuss the acting and directing, Paragraph 4
which describe the design elements of the production, and finally Paragraph 5 which is the
reaction of the play as a whole. Another is having to read and analyze review examples which
asks yourself “how the reviewer structure his/her review?”, “is the reviewer overly critical about
the play?” and “how the reviewer wrap up the review?”. Another important preparation is that
you read the play you are going to make a review on and note the stage directions, pick out any
problematic points in the play, and paying particular attention to certain elements in the play.
And final step for your preparation is that get a sense of the context of the production where you
should have a sense of the context of the production, like which theater company is putting it on.

Now that you have prepared yourself with basic knowledge of a play review and what to
expect, it is time to start actually writing the review. First look at the play’s program where you
go to the theater or production 15 minutes before show time and reading through the play’s
program where you look for director’s note and the cast biographies. Second, take notes during
the show like the set design, the acting and directing of the production, the special effects if
used, and concluding notes including initial impressions of the production. Third, write a rough
draft of the review right after the production where you describe what you saw in detail,
analyzing what the director or designer was trying to achieve, and how effective the play as
whole. Fourth is that you create a strong hook or line to open the review because it allows the
reader to dive in and you can also start it with a hook that challenges the audience’s expectation
of a familiar production. Fifth is that you answer who, what, where, and when in Paragraph 1 as
the introductory paragraph should cover basic information about the play which include the full
title of the play, where did you see the show and much more. Sixth step is that discuss the plot
in Paragraph 2 which summarize the plot of the play including the setting, the main characters,
and the story arcs of the characters. Seventh step is that talk about the acting and directing in
Paragraph 3 which react to the performer playing their characters in the play. Eighth step is that
analyze the design elements of the play in Paragraph 4 which focuses in the set and the props,
the blocking on stage, the lighting, the costume and make up, and finally the sound used in the
play. And finally, to finish your play review is to react to the play as a whole in Paragraph 5 were
your final critique should be and state your opinion of the performance as a whole and why your
response to the play is valid and significant. With these long yet helpful steps, you can write any
well-written play review in any play.