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

San Diego love stories

Engagement at Padres infield, wedding with Schubert march, widow's plea to dead husband, Reader writer marries celebrity in Las Vegas

Why Knot? Randy said that some years ago he bought a thirty-foot trimaran, intending to sail it to the South Pacific. “Now we’re going to fly to the South Pacific on our second anniversary,’’ said ...

Old Town – early and later stories

Early Old Town general store, Bazaar del Mundo, New Town, Presidio Hills Golf Course, crumbling Presidio

General store ledgers tell how people lived in Old Town Finding which store the ledger came from involved detective work. In 1864, there were only two general merchandise stores, one in Old Town, the other ...

Best Reader stories from 1981

A San Diego bookie, Jacquelyn Littlefield, Fidel's and Prophet restaurants, Jerry Herrera, cystic fibrosis, Gustavo Romero, San Diego's biggest cattleman

Postcards From Western Civilization Some years ago at Christmastime, when I was a teller at a bank downtown, I came to know Wayne Boyer, who was then an apprentice bum. I met him in the ...

Best Reader stories from 1980

Del Mar Man, Guadalupe Island, Pacific Southwest Airlines, Harry Partch

On the path of the old ones It’s now ten years, almost to the day, since an amateur archaeologist discovered what seemed to be extraordinarily old stone tools in a canyon above Mission Valley, and ...

Jamul – last bastion of civilization on the 94

Casino, Hollenbeck Canyon, early hostile Indians, brush fire

Jamul Residents Wage Indian Blood Battle over Gaming Site The Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs is asking a lot of questions about the Jamul Indian Village. The government agency has launched an investigation to determine ...

Julian – chock full of history

Hosking's Ranch, blessing box, badgers, Brian Kenner, Tom Nickel, volunteer fire dept., Mike Julian, windmills, logging, drought, Cauzza dairymen, orchards, poachers, Chariot Canyon Massacre

Appellate court turns back Hosking's fake cattle ranch Inhabitants of Julian who oppose the development of 1416 acres of local back country have a newfound victory to celebrate. An appellate court has reversed the decision ...

Warner Springs – place of contention

Cupeños ejected, nearby Pacific Crest Trail, fights among the Ranch dwellers, Pala Indians try to take it back, Orange Co. men's tragedy

The blackest of crimes committed against Warner Ranch Indians Lummis rode past sturdy, whitewashed adobe houses with thatched roofs. When he reached the center of the village, anxious eyes approached. The Cupeños were desperate for ...

Campo –small town rich in drama

Naked monks, Tecate train, Luman gunfight, 2004 fire, sand trucks, selfish developers, Campo Diner, vigilante Minutemen

Complications of Tijuana to Tecate to Campo train Ten federal agents waiting at the railway museum are demanding that the train continue onto its last stop in Campo and be cleared through customs before anybody ...

Charles and Diana: the difference between Mstislav Rostropovich and Duran Duran

Like speed reading a tabloid

Editor: This week marks Jeff Smith’s last as the Reader’s theater critic. Smith is the longest-standing writer at the paper, having started in 1980. Before joining us, he got his Ph.D. in literature and critical ...