How to Write About Theatre

A manual for critics, students and bloggers


Lindsay Anderson

Artist, Critic and Teacher, Joint Council for Education Through Art, 1960 (UK)


Matthew Arnold

On Translating Homer, AL Burt, 1861 (UK)

Essays in Criticism, AL Burt, 1865 (UK)

Culture and Other Writings, Cambridge University Press, 1893 (UK)


Dennis Arundell

The Critic at the Opera, Ernest Benn Ltd (UK), 1700–14


Maurice Berger

The Crisis of Criticism, The New Press, 1998 (USA)


John Booth

The Critic, Power and the Performing Arts, Columbia University Press, 1991 (USA)


Celia Brayfield

Arts Reviews, Kamera Books, 2008 (UK)


Bert Cardullo

Dramatic Considerations: Essays in Criticism, 1977-1987 (American University Studies Series Xxvi Theatre Arts), Peter Lang Pub Inc (USA)

American Drama/Critics: Writings and Readings, Cambridge Scholars Publishing (USA)

Serious Dialogue: Interviews with American Theater Critics, Cambridge Scholars Publishing (USA)


Marvin Carlson

Theories of the Theatre: A Historical and Critical Survey, from the Greeks to the Present, Cornell University Press, 1993 (USA)


Noel Carroll

On Criticism, Routledge, 2009 (UK)


Gay Gibson Cima

Early American Women Critics: Performance, Religion, Race, Cambridge University Press (USA)


Barrett H Clark

European Theories of the Drama: An Anthology of Dramatic Theory and Criticism from Aristotle to the Present Day, Stewart and Kidd Company, 1918 (USA)


William Cooke

The Elements of Dramatic Criticism, 1775 (UK)


Rick Davis and Christopher Thaiss

Writing About Theatre, Allyn and Bacon, 1999 (USA)


Harold Downs

The Critic in the Theatre, Pitman, 1953 (UK)


Nicholas Dromgoole

The Role of the Critic, Oberon, 2010 (UK)


Bernard F Dukore

Dramatic Theory and Criticism: Greeks to Grotowski, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1974 (USA)


Ronald Duncan

Critics' Gaffes, MacDonald, 1983 (UK)


Terry Eagleton

The Function of Criticism, Verso, 1984 (UK)


Floyd Eugene Eddleman

American Drama Criticism Interpretations 1890-1977, Shoe String Press, 1979 (USA)



Our Stage and its Critics, Methuen, 1910 (UK)


James Elkins

What Happened to Art Criticism?, Prickly Paradigm Press, 2003 (USA)


John W English

Criticizing the Critics, Hastings House, 1979 (USA)


Marcia L Ferguson

A Short Guide to Writing About Theatre, Pearson, 2008 (USA)


Marcie Frank

Gender, Theatre, and the Origins of Criticism: From Dryden to Manley, Cambridge University Press, 2003 (UK)


Christopher Fry

An Experience of Critics, Perpetua, 1952 (UK)


Charles Harold Gray

Theatrical Criticism in London to 1795, Columbia University, 1931 (UK)


Margaret Griffiths & Charles Hemming

A Sense of the Dramatic Drama Criticism and Appreciation, Collins Educational, 1984 (UK)


Clayton Meeker Hamilton

Studies in Stagectaft, Holt and Co (USA)

The Theory of the Theatre and Other Principles of Dramatic Criticism, Holt and Co (USA)

The Theory of the Theatre: And Other Principles of Dramatic Criticism. Consolidated Edition Including; The Theory of the Theater, Studies in Stagecraft, Problems of the Playwright, Seen on the Stage, Holt and Co, 1910 (USA)


Arnold P Hinchcliffe

Drama Criticism: Developments Since Ibsen, MacMillan, 1976 (UK)


Kerr Houston

An Introduction to Art Criticism, Pearson, 2013 (USA)


Suzanne Hudson

How to Write About Theatre and Drama, Harcourt College, 2000 (USA)


Thora Burnley Jones and Bernard de Bear Nicol

Neo-Classical Dramatic Criticism, Cambridge University Press (UK)


Jonathan Kalb

The Death (and Life) of American Theatre Criticism, Theater, 2002 (USA)


Murray Krieger

The Play and the Place of Criticism, John Hopkins Press, 1967 (USA)


Rocco Landesman

Yale/Theatre Vol. 4, No. 2: American Drama Criticism, Yale/Theatre, 1973 (USA)


Ludwig Lewisohn

A Modern Book of Criticism, Boni & Liveright, 1919 (USA)


SR Littlewood

Dramatic Criticism, Pitman, 1952 (UK)


Todd London

The Importance of Staying Earnest, No Passport Press, 2013 (USA)


Stanley Vincent Longman

Drama as Rhetoric/Rhetoric as Drama: An Exploration of Dramatic and Rhetorical Criticism, University of Alabama Press (USA)


Brander Matthews

Aspects of fiction, and other ventures in criticism, Harper and Bros (USA)

Inquiries and Opinions, Charles Scribner's Sons (USA)

Studies of the Stage, Harper and Brothers (USA)


Joseph McCrindle

Behind the Scenes: Theatre and Film Interviews from the "Transatlantic Review", Pitman, 1971 (USA)


Rónón McDonald

The Death of the Critic, Continuum (UK)


Charles W Meister

Chekhov Criticism, 1880 Through 1986, Mcfarland & Co, 1988 (USA)

Dramatic Criticism: A History, Mcfarland & Co, 1985 (USA)


Tice L Miller

Bohemians and Critics: American Theatre Criticism in the Nineteenth Century, Scarecrow Press (USA)


George Jean Nathan

Comedians All, Knopf (USA)

Art of the Night, Alfred A Knopf (USA)

Testament of a Critic, Alfred A Knopf (USA)

The Critic and the Drama, Alfred A Knopf (USA)


Helen H Palmer & Anne Jane Dyson

European drama criticism, Shoe String Press, 1977 (USA)


Richard H Palmer

Critic's Canon: Standards of Theatrical Reviewing in America (Contributions in Drama & Theatre Studies), Greenwood Press (USA)


Stephen C Pepper

The Basis of Criticism in the Arts, Harvard University Press, 1945 (USA)


Henry Phillips

The Theatre and Its Critics in Seventeenth-Century France, Oxford University Press, 1980


Paul Prescott

Reviewing Shakespeare: Journalism and Performance from the Eighteenth Century to the Present, Cambridge University Press , 2013 (UK)


Duska Radosavljevic

Theatre Criticism Changing Landscapes, Bloomsbury Methuen Drama, 2016 (UK)


Diana Rigg

No Turn Unstoned, Arrow, 1983 (UK)


William Russell & Peter Cargin

A Critical Century, Critics' Circle, 2013 (UK)


AO Scott


Better Living Through Criticism, Jonathan Cape, 2016 (USA) AT INTERVALS through Better Living Through Criticism, a free-wheeling meditation on how we talk about art, critic AO Scott changes the pace with a series of imagined interviews. Hold on, says his alter ego every couple of chapters, you've been saying this, that and the other, but have you considered this other thing? He may be asking his own questions, but the format forces Scott to focus. [review continues]


George Bernard Shaw

How to Become a Musical Critic, Rupert Hart Davies (UK)

Advice to a Young Critic, Brown, Watson (UK)


Wesley Shrum

Fringe and Fortune: The Role of Critics in High and Popular Art, Princeton University Press, 1996 (UK)


Dane Farnsworth Smith

Critics in the audience of the London theatres from Buckingham to Sheridan, University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, 1953 (UK)


Samuel Stephenson Smith

Craft of the Critic, Crowell, 1931 (USA)


Colin Swatridge

Oxford Guide to Effective Argument and Critical Thinking, Oxford, 2014 (UK)


Simon Tait

100 Critical Moments, The Critics' Circle, 2014 (UK)


Christina Thompson & Jenny Lee

Meanjin: Pearls Before Swine: Australian Theatre Criticism: Volume 53: Number 3: Spring 1994, Sydney Harbour Books (Australia)


William Thompson Price

The technique of the drama: A statement of the principles involved in the value of dramatic material, in the construction of plays, and in dramatic criticism, Brentanos, 1892 (USA)


JC Trewin

Five and Eighty Hamlets, Hutchinson, 1987 (UK)


Anton Wagner

Establishing Our Boundaries: English-Canadian Theatre Criticism, University of Toronto, 1998 (Canada)


Arthur Bingham Walkley

Dramatic Criticism: Three Lectures, John Murray (UK)


Robert Wallace

Producing Marginality: Theatre and Criticism in Canada, Fifth House, 1990 (Canada)


Irving Wardle

Theatre Criticism, Routledge, 1992 (UK)


JR Williams

Drama: A Guide for Beginners at Criticism, Longmans, Green and Co, 1928 (UK)


Matt Windman

The Critics Say...: 57 Theater Reviewers in New York and Beyond Discuss Their Craft and Its Future, McFarland, 2016 (USA)


William Winter

The actor, and other speeches, The Dunlap Society (USA)

The Press and the Stage: An Oration, Lockwood and Coombes (USA)


Roland Edgar Wolseley

Critical Writing for the Journalist, Chilton Book Company, 1959 (USA)


Jurgen C Wolter

The Dawning of American Drama: American Dramatic Criticism, 1746-1915, Greenwood Press, 1993 (USA)


Douglas Young

Scots burds and Edinburgh reviewers: A case study in theatre critics and their contradictions in regard to the first international festival production by Edinburgh's Royal Lyceum Theatre Company, 1966, M Macdonald (UK)


Yael Zarhy-Levo

The Making of Theatrical Reputations: Studies from the Modern London Theatre, University of Iowa (UK)

The theatrical critic as cultural agent:, constructing Pinter, Orton and Stoppard as absurdist playwrights, Peter Lang Publishing (UK)


Keep in the loop! Subscribe for news, tips and ideas about theatre writing from critic and author Mark Fisher.













Mailing list


Press area


Theatre criticism books