Playbill Review – The Process of Writing a Review
- by Team
Playbill is the magazine for theatre lovers. Every January, we’re excited to bring you the best in theater news: news you don’t hear anywhere else. We also have a full collection of our best theater reviews throughout the year.
As a theater critic, I’m constantly looking for theatre that I love. It’s a lot harder than it seems. The process of writing and editing a review is rarely fun, and, even when I’m feeling especially optimistic, I’m frequently left with the impression that the theater critic’s job description is to write the perfect review.
The problem is, of course, that the process of writing a theater review is a combination of the two processes I just described – writing a review and reading a play. A reviewer, therefore, must write, read, and edit the same play more than once. And when they do that, how many plays are they going to review in the future? I know that I’ve read a few.
I’m also aware of the fact that the process of reviewing involves a lot of repetition. So I try, when I review a play so many times, to keep the same thoughts in my mind.
One of these thoughts is that I’m trying to think about what my audience is going to be thinking about the play, and, so, in what order should I review the scenes that I was anticipating? Another is, Should I review it before I read it, or after I’ve read it? Another is, If I’ve read a lot of it, should I read it again? There may also be a thought about how I should go about giving the play an audience when it first arrives, or how I should review it so that it’s not rushed, or how I should review a play that I’d otherwise think is boring.
Breathing in the Age of Pandemics
A pandemic or highly infectious disease has been named by the Oxford dictionary “a severe global disease caused by the rapid spread of a single organism, organism, or group of organisms and is characterized by a high mortality rate, high rates of morbidity and/or hospitalization, and a long incubation period. ” In 2020, the World Health Organization considers a pandemic to happen when “there is an urgent and prolonged increase in the number of cases of a disease or health condition in a community or region that also results in a significant increase in its duration and/or intensity.
The United States is in the midst of a major public health crisis. As on August 1, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had reported an average daily death rate of 581. 8 per 100,000 in the state of Florida. 1 This figure includes deaths from COVID-19, which is more severe than usual. In fact, the COVID-19 death rate has risen by more than 6-fold since the beginning of the pandemic, resulting in more than 3,200 deaths in Florida.
Although there is no scientific evidence that the coronavirus was imported directly from China,3 there is a possibility that people are exposed to the virus through airborne sources such as sneezes, coughing, close contact, and touching. Therefore, this article focuses on the “breathing” phenomenon of the coronavirus in the United States.
The first coronavirus to be reported in the United States was the common cold. As reported by the CDC,3 it is more contagious than the more severe influenza virus because people are more vulnerable as they cough, sneeze, and share a common airway. Moreover, there are many older adults who have had a full-blown respiratory infection previously, but are likely to present with an acute respiratory or other symptom complex. However, in the United States, the most common cause of death is a virus known as influenza, for which more than 50 million people go through a hospitalization every year.
Urbanite Theatre: Staging a Comeback
The Urbanite Theatre. How could we have missed this?! And, we’re back.
We’ve been waiting for the Urbanite Theatre to come back since 2015. For the first two years, our only experience with the company was as an audience member with one show. The other show was their “Performance Series,” and we were completely unaware that we’d missed any of the performances through the years. While they were busy producing shows, and putting together a schedule, we weren’t. But now we have a much better glimpse of what they were doing.
The Urbanite Theatre was a place where anyone could go to see a show about urban spaces, with very few required components: a sound system and lighting, perhaps an art gallery, and a small stage to work within.
The theater was the perfect venue for a show about the struggles of people who have to live in the city for their entire lives. With only this much set in place, it seemed like it would be impossible to get it wrong.
We had no idea what happened in the next few years. It wasn’t until late 2017 that we finally saw a show about the urbanite, and we were completely shocked by the success it had.
After having our tickets bought, we were asked if we wanted to go to the theater.
“Great! Here, I’ll help you get some tickets.
“Yeah, no, I’ll take what I can get, thanks.
This was not the response we’d hoped for. It seemed like the response was to not get tickets, but for us to “be careful and check with the landlord.
The next month, we watched as the company was canceled and a new show was announced. It was, of course, the “Performance Series” that we wanted to get in on. We checked out that show, and saw that it was not what we had hoped. We were left to wonder if we were getting what we paid for.
The Rise and Fall of the Urbanite Theatre.
The Urbanite Theater, Chicago.
Author(s): Charles J.
Title: The Rise and Fall of the Urbanite Theatre.
Editor: Andrew E.
Series Category(s): Theatre, Arts & Cultures.
Editorial Reviews: This volume presents a rich history of the development of the dramatic arts in Chicago and illustrates the diversity of styles and genres in both past and present productions ranging from the vaudeville-ish variety to the modernist plays such as “The Old Curiosity Shop” to the musical, “The Music Man. ” The author provides a thorough history of the theater industry, giving a historical perspective of the development and growth of Chicago, a city on the cutting edge of the theater world. While the focus of the book is on the city’s history and development, the emphasis is on the history of what is today the nation’s second-largest professional theater district, and how these theaters began and were established here. The book also gives a detailed account about the founding of the City Opera, a theater that is now one of the leading companies in the nation. The author discusses at length the production of the various works, giving an overview of the history of the movement through theater history. The production history of the city’s professional theater, presented in the context of the history of the city itself was one of the highlights of the book. While the book would have benefited by a greater depth of history, it is still a well-written overview of Chicago’s theater history, both on stage as well as in the production world, and one that is of interest to anyone who has researched the history of any of the city’s theaters.
Booklist: Chicago Plays.
Rating: 4, 5 stars.
“Cleveland’s own Urbanite Theater is an entertaining history of Chicago’s theater life. Johnson’s book is a well-researched, entertaining, and fascinating narrative of the history of the City of Chicago. Watson, III, Professor of History, University of Wisconsin–Oshkosh.
Tips of the Day in Programming
This is a guest post from Alex Oleynik, who is now the VP of Engineering at Quercus Technologies, a leader in data science, machine learning, and data visualization technology. Alex is a member of the Quercus Data Science Community, and enjoys sharing his knowledge with the world.
Type systems were first introduced by the late type-systems pioneer Alex Woolfson in his book The Pragmatic Programmer, although that book was primarily about type systems as a programming language feature, rather than a part of a type system itself. Recently, the book has been out of print and recently updated for a new edition, which I have reviewed recently.
Type systems are a collection of language features that help you design a type system. It goes much deeper than that. Type systems are a set of language features that allow you to write programs that conform to a type system rather than rely on an implementation detail like whether a data type is immutable or mutable.
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