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

It has been considered a poor week for killing

Unforgettable outtakes: Southern California, back in the day

ALL THE NEWS THAT’S FIT TO PRINT. John Phoenix, San Diego Herald: “Very little news will be found in the San Diego Herald this week. The fact is there never is much news in it ...

Lift-off achieved

Expectations are met with West Side Story at San Diego Musical Theatre

On the difficulty of making a musical, Brooks Atkinson wrote: “No one would undertake the intricate, painful, gargantuan, hysterical task… unless he had more enthusiasm than most people have about anything.” Imagine a musical conceived ...

Samantha Ginn’s acting bucket list

The Craig Noel Award-winner's stage aspirations range from the Bard to Babs

I’m asking veteran local actors to name five dream roles and say why. The answers not only reveal aspirations, they may put an idea in the minds of artistic directors and producers — even choices ...

Richard Baird’s acting bucket list

Multiple Craig Noel Award-winner Richard Baird embraces "wild, mercurial characters who refuse to follow society’s norms"

I’m asking veteran local actors to name five dream roles and say why. The answers not only reveal aspirations, they may put an idea in the minds of artistic directors and producers – even choices ...

Last Call: Trouble in Mind

February 22 is the final day to catch Moxie's outstanding production of an uncompromising classic

Moxie Theatre must close its outstanding production of Trouble in Mind this Sunday, February 22. A big “what if?” hovers over Alice Childress’ 1955 backstage comedy-drama. Trouble won an Obie Award for excellence off-Broadway. Childress ...

No one else on Earth

The Darrell Hammond Project at La Jolla Playhouse is truly a one-man show.

The night I saw his one-person show, Darrell Hammond had a cold. He’d squelch a cough and sniffle enough to warrant a night off. Bundle up, maybe a toddy or twain, and give the understudy ...

Humble charmer

San Diego I Love You 3.0 at Circle Circle dot dot rough around the edges but rewarding

Performed indoors, Catherine Harroff and Circle Circle’s site-specific “walking adventure play for the romantic in us all” might lose something in the translation. Six scenes at a university follow the breakup of two relationships and ...

When is a kiss just a kiss?

Illusions and oxytocin in Stage Kiss at New Village Arts

Sarah Ruhl took her five-year-old daughter to the theater. When her daughter asked if the actors were “real people,” Ruhl realized that “she must have asked because of the profusion of digital images she sees. ...

Craig Noel Award Winners for 2014

San Diego Theater Critics Circle celebrated a heck of a year

The San Diego Theater Critics Circle held its 12th annual awards ceremony last night. Congratulations to the winners, the nominees, and the entire community of theater artists for one heck of a year. Resident Musical: ...

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