Tips on How to Give an Effective Review

NJACT appreciates the commitment and dedication of its Reviewers. Here are a few tips help make the review experience more and efficient and effective.  

  • Re-read the Review Criteria Before the Show.  As a Reviewer, keeping track of everything you need to look for is challenging.  We recommend you re-read the Review Criteria to help keep you focused on what to look for.
  • Take Notes!  We recommend you do take notes in whatever fashion you find comfortable. Notes will help you prepare a more meaningful review and can be used to refresh your memory if NJACT has questions about a review you submitted.
  • Submit Your Review Right Away.  This isn’t just policy, it actually makes good sense.  It’s easier to write a review hours or days after you see a show, than it is to write one weeks or months later.  Email your reviews to
  • Be Prepared With Directions and the Phone Number of the Theater.  Make sure you have the address and the phone number of the theater you are going to in case you get lost or have an accident on the way to the theater. Also, if you have never been to the theater before, make sure you know about how long it will take to get there and give yourself plenty of time. Keep in mind that if you are late and miss any part of the show, your review will not be valid.
  • Ask for the Technical Sheet at the Box Office.  Arrive early and request the Technical Sheet at the box office Make sure that all the names and credits you need to complete your review are clear and included. If something is missing (e.g., no costume designer is listed), talk to someone on the production staff to get this information before the show starts if possible. If you can’t get this information before the show, be sure to get it before you leave the theater. It is sometimes very difficult to get this kind of information days after the fact.
  • Review At Different Theaters.  Review at theaters where you haven’t been before.  Also, try to review shows that you are not familiar with so you have no preconceived ideas of how they should be performed. Reviewers for theater companies that share a theater space are prohibited from reviewing each other.
  • Be Polite but Professional When Asked for Your Opinion of a Show.   If someone should ask you your opinion about a show you’ve just reviewed on behalf of NJACT, we highly recommend that you keep your answer polite, professional, brief, and non-judgmental.  Say nothing that can be interpreted as a preview of your review.  You might say something like, “I’m reviewing the show tonight for the Perry Awards, so I really can’t comment, but congratulations on a fine evening.”