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Practical Advice for Reviewers

Reviewing can be a daunting prospect, especially for those new to the discipline.
As Editor of ISEC, I am pleased to share a handout written with undergraduate/graduate students in mind.
Much of its content will be second nature to new or established Shakespeare reviewers, but there might be practical advice that helps those less sure of how best to approach reviewing a production. The handout should also answer some basic questions about the review process and pre-performance preparation.
By no means a checklist, this “Theater Reviewing: A Twenty-First Century Survival Guide” offers some general advice and structure for those seeking a focus for their first review.

Theater Reviewing: Where to Begin

Theater Reviewing: A Twenty-First Century Survival Guide

Permanent link to full entry 01:27:54 pm. Categories: Info  

Getting started

To participate in the activities of the Chronicle, you will first have to create a login identity and a password for yourself. Click on the link Register in the left-hand column and fill out the form you will see there, entering a password (twice). Enter the letters or numbers you see in an image (this is a step that prevents you from later receiving spam). Then read the Terms and Conditions and create your account.

Important: You will be sent a confirmation email with a link that will validate your account; you must keep your browser open until you receive the email if the validation is to work.

Once your your logon id and password have been validated you become a guest reviewer, and can enter reviews and comment on those posted.

You can learn more about activities on the site by clicking on the FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) in the sidebar to the left of your screen.

Permanent link to full entry 07:01:25 pm. Categories: Info  

Writing a review

1. First, make sure that you are on the correct page for the play you are reviewing. To go to the page, select the play from the pull-down menu just below the banner at the top of the page, and click “Go.”

2. Select “Add a review” from the sidebar on the left of the screen.

The name of the play you are reviewing will be chosen in the pull-down menu at the top of the page after the heading “New Review.” If you are on the wrong page, choose the correct play from this list and you will be taken immediately to the new page.

3. Now you must select the production you are to review. There are two pull-down menus above the space where you will enter the review:

• First select the company.
• Then, from the second pull-down menu, select the production.

Important: if the production you wish to review is not listed, you will need to create an entry for it – see “Requesting a new production” below.

3. Write the review in the field provided. You can, if you wish, write your review in your usual word processor, then copy and paste it into the field on the page for entering reviews.

The Web page will preserve very little formatting (italics and so on) from your word processor. To retain your formatting, follow these steps:
• Make sure that all paragraphs are separated by a blank line. This will create a new paragraph on the Web version.
• Go through your review, highlighting any passages you want to appear in bold or italics, then clicking on the button just above the space you pasted your review. This will insert the correct encoding for the formatting. You can also add links in the same way.
• Format verse quotations with normal line breaks. You may set off quotations of verse or prose by highlighting them and clicking on the button “Block quote.”

4. Click on “Preview” to make sure that your review is ready for publication.

Note: this is an important step, because you will not be able to edit your review once you click on the “Save” button.

5. When the review is ready for publication, click on the “Save” button and your review will be immediately available for others to read.

Permanent link to full entry 06:59:31 pm. Categories: Info  

Requesting a new production

If you cannot see the production you are reviewing listed in the pull-down menus, click on the link just below them, “If the stage production is not listed, click here to request it.” You will be taken to a form that will allow you to fill in details of the production. Most of the information should be available in the theater program for the performance.

Important: please be as complete and accurate as you can in entering details, since this information will be stored permanently in our main database of Shakespeare in Performance.

If you cannot see the country, the company, or the theater in the pull-down menus, select the alternative (at the bottom of the list) “[Other]” and the form will change to allow you to enter the additional details.

1. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk. Fill in others if you can, but you may leave them empty.
2. Fields are accompanied by a short explanation.
3. When you have filled out the form, click on the button “Request the production” at the bottom of the form.

You will now be able to enter your review by repeating your earlier steps; this time the production will be available in the pull-down menus. The details of the production are forwarded to our office where a research assistant checks the details and enters the production permanently in the database of Shakespeare in Performance.

Permanent link to full entry 06:54:26 pm. Categories: Info  


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