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).

Latest Articles

Savage outside world

God of Carnage at New Village Arts

Annette Raleigh: “How many parents standing up for their children become infantile themselves?” The Raleighs and the Novaks meet to solve what seems a minor issue. Not long after these words, their skins thin out. ...

Shag and a freaky hoot

Equivocation at Lamb's Players

In Act Five, scene one, Hamlet tells the Gravedigger, “We must speak by the card, or equivocation will undo us.” “By the card” could refer to Matthew 5:37: “Let your yes be yes and your ...

King Hedley II graces the stage at Cygnet

Language matters

Theater critic Jeremy Gerard said August Wilson “writes plays not for Broadway, but which Broadway simply must have — even if it means getting them last.” Those expecting prepackaged emotions and a tidy take-home message ...

My Acting Bucket List: Wendy Waddell

Imagine Glengarry Glen Ross with an all-female cast

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

Death is almost the eighth character on stage

Seven Guitars at Cygnet Theatre

Praise Cygnet Theatre! Without this company’s ongoing efforts, San Diego might not have seen August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean, The Piano Lesson, Fences and, currently in repertory, Seven Guitars and King Hedley II. That’s ...

Worth hanging upside down in a cave for

My choreographic bucket list: Michael Mizerany

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

Old Globe’s October Sky is sermon on stick-to-itiveness

Look to the sky

If you decide to see the Old Globe’s October Sky, take your seat early. Kevin Depinet’s set has the composition and texture of a quality painting. A massive half-circle hovers over the stage. It’s what? ...

Dick Enberg: the Call of Calls

Oh, my!

I’m from Northern California. Moved to Orange County in 1969 for graduate school. Didn’t think much of the region: mostly scrub, ragweed, and rabbit hills back then. But — the sportscasters! Vin Scully made Dodger ...

Tuna casserole made funny in Manifest Destinitis

Yankee flu symptoms include “a deep, abiding terror of losing one’s land, family, language, and Spanish culture.”

San Diego sees many world premieres in various stages of readiness. The San Diego Rep’s opening night for Manifest Destinitis didn’t feel new at all. To a person the cast and designers performed as if ...

Win a $25 Gift Card to
The Broken Yolk Cafe

Join our newsletter list

Each newsletter subscription means another chance to win!