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

SD Fringe: Mythos and Caffeine

Choices between being/not being and being happy

MYTHOS Astraeus Aerial Dance Theatre won a “Best of Fringe, 2015” award for their Save My Soul. They’re back at this year’s festival and are blazing once again. But, wait. Who first had the profoundly ...

Starkly real to poetically hallucinatory

Lydia at Ion Theatre BLKBOX

Two mysteries drive Octavio Solis’ family drama. The first: what caused the Floreses to implode? We know that three days before Ceci’s quinceañera (15th birthday, coming of age) she was in an auto accident. Now ...

Frogs must be kissed

San Diego International Fringe Festival #4

Can a marathon be a sprint? Instead of 26-plus miles straight on, attending the popular San Diego International Fringe Festival can resemble wanting to run in five directions at once. That’s because for 11 days ...

Ibsen's law

Hedda Gabler longs for swashbuckling conquest

“A man must live in his own times, but he can try to make the times worth living in.”

Retract the talons

Last Call: Stupid F**kin g Bird

Cygnet Theatre’s wacko, over the woods, and through the river Stupid Fking Bird must close this Sunday. It’s a sad comment on these times that usually when one of Anton Chekhov or Henrik Ibsen’s plays ...

Save Starlight

Weed-pulling party June 25

I first went to the Starlight Bowl in 1980 with two pieces of advice: arrive early and try to put up with the planes booming down to Lindbergh Field. I got to Balboa Park early ...

Majestic bias

Tokyo Fish Story at Old Globe Theatre

For 35 years, from morning to midnight, Koji has prepared sushi on a “dingy side-street ” in Tokyo. His may have been “the best in a generation,” in fact, and he’s done it without throwing ...

Storm on the horizon

They Don't Talk Back at La Jolla Playhouse

Native Voices at the Autry — aka the Autry Museum of the American West — is the only equity company in America devoted to work by Native Americans. As part of this year’s Resident Theatre ...

Fractal edgy

Stupid F---ing Bird at Cygnet Theatre

In Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull (1896), the characters wonder how people will think about them in 100 years. Boy, if they only knew! They’ve been revised, relocated, remixed, and, in Aaron Posner’s comic tribute/diatribe, Stupid ...

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