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

The book is better

Camp David at the Old Globe Theatre

Lawrence Wright’s Camp David is an “important” play, but not a well-written one. In 90 minutes it recreates the 13 days of vein-bulged negotiations that led to the historic Camp David Accords. On September 17, ...

To call Hollywood “noir” is misleading

Fade out

Before the police arrived, many of Taylor’s friends ransacked the bungalow — and not for souvenirs.

Ben Vereen Awards

Camp Broadway awaits

On Sunday, May 29,, the Balboa Theatre hosts the 2016 Ben Vereen Awards. Ten male and ten female nominees, chosen for their leading roles in local high school musicals, vie for the chance to represent ...

Last Call: Our Lady of Kibeho

Candle held to a poor, shoeless girl from Gisaka

Moxie Theatre’s excellent Our Lady of Kibeho must close next Sunday (May 29). Here’s some background: Katori Hall’s drama retells the story of the seven Rwandan schoolchildren who witnessed visions of the Virgin Mary (“Our ...

Lady of the Word

How can Anathale’s father sell bananas if his daughter is a witch?

On November 28, 1981, 17-year-old Alphonsine Mumureke was serving lunch to classmates at the Kibeho school for girls in Rwanda. She heard a woman’s soft voice call, “My daughter.” “Here I am,” Alphonsine replied. She ...

At a certain point, the Cupeño stopped looking back.

This land is mine: The Cupeño removal of 1903, part four of four

The wagons came at sunrise. Over 40 teams passed through the barb-wired gate and lurched up the dirt road to Kupa like a giant snake. They came to drive the Cupeño from their land. Stacked ...

Prospect High: Brooklyn rolls in to SD

World Premiere at San Diego School of Performing Arts

The Roundabout Theatre Company of New York is staging the world premiere of Prospect High: Brooklyn, on 23 stages around the country — throughout the school year. Theaters began “rolling premieres” with the national New ...

Against the Inevitable

This land is mine: The Cupeño removal of 1903, part three of four

Tents and campfire smoke signaled the end for the Cupeño.

Last Call: Rocky Horror, Way Downriver

Explorations of the satisfaction in time-warping and doing time

The Rocky Horror Show at Cygnet “It’s astounding. Time is fleeting. Madness takes its toll…” Riffraff sings these lines as he invites Brad Majors and Janet Weiss, innocents both, to do the “Time Warp” in ...

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