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).

Articles by Jeff Smith

An Iliad's epic-ness must stop

New Village Arts' production to close Sunday

Last call: Theater in January and February usually begins in slow motion. Not this season. One show must close this Sunday. Two have been reprieved. An Iliad at New Village Arts. Homer’s epic poem in ...

Moxie’s Blue Door confronts evil spirits

Soul family

Moxie Theatre is conjuring African-American history from Tanya Barfield’s healing nightmare Blue Door. When you enter Moxie’s intimate space, you won’t see a door or the color blue. Instead, five pale gray, diaphanous panels stretch ...

An Iliad at New Village Arts

Broomstick as spear, trench coat as armor

She enters through the loading-dock doors at New Village Arts. Behind her, cars gleam under parking-lot lights and music drifts in from a nearby nightspot. She wears a strange coffee-brown helmet and sweat-soaked military togs, ...

Freaky Friday at La Jolla Playhouse

There may be monsters under the bed after all

It may be critic-proof. Bridget Carpenter’s (book), Tom Kitt’s (music), and Brian Yorkey’s (lyrics) new musical comedy is undemanding and thoroughly predictable — even if you haven’t read Mary Rogers’s 1972 novel, seen the 1976 ...

Theater moves at human speed

Go see a show!

San Diego has an international reputation for quality theater. And far too many locals aren’t aware of it. In the past 25 years, we’ve sent at least 45 shows to Broadway. We average around two ...

Congrats, thespians

San Diego Theater Critics Circle awards for 2016

The San Diego Theater Critics Circle held its 12th annual awards ceremony on February 4. Congratulations to the winners, the nominees, and the entire community of theater artists for one heck of a year. Designer ...

San Diego theater awareness month

Awards for it and a whole week of it in February

Craig Noel Awards A reminder: The San Diego Theater Critics Circle will hold its annual awards ceremony on Monday, February 6, at the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation at 404 Euclid Street, in Lincoln Park. ...

Bad Jews at Cygnet Theatre

They try to shred each other

The title screams for attention. And through most of Joshua Harmon’s 90-minute comedy/drama, two cousins scream at each other. To each, the other deserves the play’s title. Liam Haber says his cousin Daphna has a ...

New Fortune Theatre risks epic revenge with Les Liaisons Dangereuses

Scandalous discords

At the beginning of Shakespeare’s soaring tragedy, Marc Antony tells Cleopatra: “Now, for the love of Love and her soft hours, let’s not confound the time with conference harsh. There’s not a minute of our ...

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