Jeff Smith

Jeff Smith
Jeff Smith is the senior writer at the Reader; he began reviewing theater in 1980. He also writes a local history column. He has a Ph.D. in literature and critical theory from the University of California, Irvine, and wrote his doctoral dissertation on Shakespeare. He was the original writing director of two University of California freshman composition programs: the Humanities Core Course, at Irvine, and the Revelle Humanities/Writing Program at UCSD. Over the years, Jeff has dramaturged dozens of shows. Favorites include Sam Shepard’s Tooth of Crime, Peter Barnes’s Red Noses (both at the San Diego Rep), Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia (North Coast Rep), Things May Disimprove: Samuel Becket One-Acts (L&L Productions), and Shakespeare’s Hamlet (New Village Arts).

He is currently converting several columns into ebook format:

Latest Articles

Last call

When the Rain Stops Falling concludes Sunday

I love it when I walk out of a theater, deeply moved, and can’t put my reaction into words. It’s a sign that the play and production were so engrossing they put the brain on ...

Verse crazy

“You have ewes, I have rams. Should we not couple flocks — in epigrams?”

The Metromaniacs wax poetic at Old Globe; Moxie stages Brownsville Song.

Craig Noel Award Winners for 2015

And they are...

Musical Direction: Elan McMahan, Big Fish, Moonlight Stage Productions Choreography: Colleen Kollar Smith, West Side Story, Lamb’s Players Original Score: Irene Sankoff, David Hein, Come From Away, La Jolla Playhouse Ensemble: Come From Away, La ...

Last call for death row

OnStage Playhouse's Coyote on a Fence closes this weekend

“Goddamn madhouse tonight,” says Shawna, a prison guard, as she talks to a reporter and sips the upscale beer he paid for. “Never seen it like that — never! All them TV trucks? Never seen ...

The theater scene has rhythms

Most companies open every eight weeks or so. Their routines are often the same, at times almost identical: what people wear, where they cluster before the show and intermission, levels of excitement (the more intimate ...

Irish February

Outside Mullingar at San Diego Repertory Theatre

The Rep has already extended its run of John Patrick Shanley’s Irish love story, and with good reason. The play and the production are a treat. Mullingar’s a bit reminiscent of Lanford Wilson’s Talley’s Folly. ...

When the Rain Stops Falling at Cygnet; Lamb’s stages The Nerd

Sins of the father

“It will take more than a spot of bad weather to silence the human mind.”

You, too, will be frisked

Coyote on a Fence at OnStage Playhouse

You don’t just walk into OnStage Playhouse’s theater. You must stop and spread your arms out wide. A prison guard (Twila Burnett) frisks you with a metal detector and points if it makes a noise. ...

Langtry Comes to San Diego

Part two of two | Read part one

The first time her acting company toured the West Coast, Lillie Langtry skipped San Diego. That flea-bit Podunk wasn’t up to snuff. In 1888, she booked May 4 and 5, at the Louis Opera House, ...