[Online Course] ArtsEquator Introduction to Reviewing Theatre


Course Synopsis:

This introductory course will teach you how to write and think critically about a show, from doing research, to watching, preparing to write and finally, writing and editing. By examining the various contexts in which a play resides as well as its performance languages vis-a-vis the audience, you will learn how to analyse a show, distil your opinions and write about it artfully in a piece of critical writing.


6 Oct – 3 Nov 2020. Every Tuesday from 7.30pm – 9pm (Total: 7.5 hours)

How to Apply:

Fill in the application form here. Successful applicants will be notified of the results of their application by 31 August 2020. Applications close 15 August 2020.

*Participation is FREE. This programme is open to Singaporean citizens and PR only. Eligible participants can apply for the CDSA training allowance from NAC. Spaces are limited.


Nabilah Said is a playwright, poet, theatre critic and editor of ArtsEquator. She has presented plays in Singapore and London and her play ANGKAT: A Definitive, Alternative, Reclaimed Narrative of a Native (2019, M1 Singapore Fringe Festival) won Best Original Script at the 2020 Life Theatre Awards. She is the founder of playwright collective Main Tulis Group. As a former arts correspondent with The Straits Times, she covered the theatre and dance scene and reviewed performances. She has an MA in Writing for Performance from Goldsmiths, University of London.

Guest Speakers:

Corrie Tan is a writer and practitioner-researcher from Singapore. She is committed to radical shifts in performance criticism – redefining the critic as dramaturg, collaborator, archivist, facilitator and shapeshifter – with a practice centered around care, intimacy and generosity. She is resident critic and contributing editor at Arts Equator, and has written regularly about performance for The Guardian, Exeunt Magazine, and The Straits Times. Corrie is a President’s Graduate Fellow in Theatre Studies on the joint PhD programme between King’s College London and the National University of Singapore.

Naeem Kapadia is a finance lawyer and independent theatre critic who has been reviewing theatre for the past 16 years. He runs his own theatre blog Crystalwords and has also reviewed for TODAY, The Flying Inkpot and ArtsEquator. He currently reviews and co-hosts a theatre podcast series for ArtsEquator. Over the years, Naeem has developed a signature writing style which is as sharp and astute as it is accessible for a general crowd.

Materials: Participants will receive a reading list, soft copy articles and links to online productions to watch


Course Outline:
Session 1

– History of reviewing

– Basics of a review

– Expectations & objectives

– Assignment: Watch an online clip and write the first paragraph of your review.

Session 2

– Sharing work and getting feedback

– Element of a performance

– Active watching

– Assignment: Watch an online clip and plan the main points of your review.

Session 3

In-class speaker: Corrie Tan

– Sharing work and getting feedback

– Developing an argument

– Writing for your audience

– Assignment: Choose a performance online to review. Describe your main argument and what your review will cover.

Session 4

In-class speaker: Naeem Kapadia

– Developing your voice

– Context & commentary

– On style: Adding colour

– Assignment: Plan what commentary/ context you can add to your review.

Session 5

– Transitions & flow

– Conclusions

– Common mistakes

– Experimenting with form and tone

– Assignment: Complete your 800-word review and submit it for feedback.

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