Production Critiques
A critical component of every artist's development is the critical examination and evaluation of work accomplished. Both the creator of a project and the artist evaluating another's work can learn effectively from both success and failure. Criticism is an active process that fully engages the observing artists and helps to develop a necessary sensitivity to work.

Critiques are a vital part of both studio and production work. An opportunity is afforded for the artist to express intentions and describe methodology in an organized manner while the observer actively seeks understanding of both.

Every Skidmore theater production is given an opportunity for a critique, usually in a company meeting shortly following the closing. Critiques are not reviews. The purpose of a review is to advise a potential audience member of the perceived value of a production. In a critique a group of theater artists raise questions in order to better understand what did or didn't "work" and why. This is of benefit to both the creator and the observer.

Critiques are not about personality or even about personal likes and dislikes. An attempt is made to comprehend the goals of the creator and the effectiveness of achieving these goals.

Some things to think about before coming to critique sessions:

Did you find the production a worthwhile endeavor? Why or why not? Was there a clear central idea?

Did the artists involved succeed in accomplishing what they wanted to based upon their presentation before the production?

What moments were particularly memorable?

What do you wish was done differently?

What were the most effective aspects of the work (text, imagery, style, acting, directing, sound, scenery, costume, lighting, etc.)?

What questions do you have for the artists involved?

The Evaluation

An evaluation is an assessment of a student's work by one or more faculty members charged with helping the student to grow as a theater artist. It is based upon a knowledge of that student's training, growth goals as well as upon the particular project being evaluated.

Students should actively seek an evaluation of all work from appropriate faculty members. Since the purpose and nature of an evaluation is different from a critique, a private conversation between student and faculty member is far more appropriate for this type of personal assessment. Faculty members make every effort to see each production and each faculty member is prepared to respond to student requests for an evaluation of work.

At the end of each semester faculty members are available for an evaluation of a student's work to date. This process is designed to help students to determine what the best next step in their training and development might be. It is helpful for the planning of summer internships, the selection of courses, and discussions of upcoming production opportunities.