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:

View Jeff Smith's site-user page to see Jeff's photos, site comments, and more.

Latest Articles

David McBean’s Bucket List

The Craig Noel Award-winner shares five "new challenges" he hopes may come his way.

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 ...

Different frame

Operated in Tripspace, Orpheus & Eurydice is surprising and funny.

“Tripspace”: 1. theater outside, beyond, sometimes even prior to the box; 2. slang term for “what box?” The “box,” well one of them, is the standard, stage-audience configuration of traditional theater. Actors perform a story ...

Old feels new

Minor reinvention breathes new life into the spirit of A Christmas Carol at Cygnet Theatre.

For several years, Cygnet Theatre did a popular version of A Christmas Carol as a live, 1940s radio show — 100 years removed from the original. Sean Murray’s world premiere script returns the durable Dickens ...

Golden Boy's sweeping punches

A Lost Classic is creaky but still makes contact.

Clifford Odets’ great drama (1937) is staged so rarely, it could qualify as a Lost Classic. As in all of Odets’ work, when it becomes “found,” the story of the rise and fall of a ...

Catalina Maynard’s Bucket List

Dream roles for this Craig Noel-award winner.

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 ...

Cursed with the whip

Diversionary stages the toughest act of Capote’s life, Tru

“I’m a writer, and I use everything. Did all those people think I was just there to entertain them?”

Last call for Les Miz at SDSU, Enron, Honky

Three strong shows must close by December 7 — don't miss them.

Before it begins to look a LOT like Christmas, there’s still time to catch three shows that must close Sunday. 1.) Les Miserables in Concert at SDSU. Lamb’s Players did a minimalist version of the ...

Sandy Campbell’s Bucket List

Craig Noel Award-winner shares the "2014 version" of her ever-morphing list of dream roles.

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 ...

Rise up, fall down

Exceptional staging and direction pulls together chaotic Absurd Person Singular.

Alan Ayckbourn’s three-act “black farce” (his word for it) takes place on three consecutive Christmas Eves. Each ends up in the kitchen. Over that span of time characters flip-flop and somber shenanigans prevail. Ayckbourn needed ...

Join our
newsletter list

Enter to win $25 at Broken Yolk Cafe

Each newsletter subscription
means another chance to win!

Close