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Criteria for Performance Reviews


Information about how to write reviews for publication in the Review.

The David Mamet Review

Criteria for Performance Reviews



1. Final hard copy of review is double-spaced, on 8 ½” by 11” paper with 2” left-side margins. Indent paragraphs ½”. Do not use letterhead or erasable paper. Also send a disk copy of the review along with the hard copy, and note which word processing program is used.


2. Review headings. Type the heading double-spaced. Type the play title in caps, followed by the author’s name. On the next lines, indented ½” as shown, type the production company’s name, name of the theatre, city, state or country (if necessary—not needed for major cities), and the date the production was seen (date, month, year). Note: All information in the heading is run-on. Do not start a fresh line with either production company or date. Please observe punctuation, capitalization, and placement of entries exactly as follows:


KINGLEAR. By William Shakespeare


Aldwych Theatre, London . 15 January 1990 .


3. Review Signatures. Type your name in caps at the end of the review and your institution, position or place of residence in italics (or underline). Set these two lines against the right margin, thus:




4. Complimentary copies. In the bottom left-hand corner of the last page of the manuscript provide your name and address and that of the company reviewed that you wish to receive a copy. You will then receive one copy and the company will receive one.


5. Stylistic matters. Underline the play title throughout the text. Refer to yourself in the first person, not as “the receiver” or “this writer.” Avoid quotation marks and italics except where absolutely necessary. Remain as consistent in tense as good sense permits, remembering that the production may be closed by the time your review appears. Proofread your draft carefully, paying special attention to correct spelling of proper name and titles. Submit a clean original and photocopy. Indicate the total word count.


6. Photographs are needed and appreciated. They should be sharp, high-contrast, black and white production shots (rather than close-ups). Affix a typed label to the back of each photograph with: actor’s name, act, scene, play, etc.; photographer’s name; permission to reprint (if the photograph was previously published); and the name of the party to whom photo(s) should be returned. Do not write on photographs. Publicity prints for a show can most easily be obtained by contacting the Public Relations personnel connected to the production. Note: Contact the Public Relations office working for the show you plan to review to acquire a press kit, and, if possible, a complementary ticket.


7.      Deadline . JULY 1st for the November issue.


8.      If you’d like unused materials returned, please enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope.



1. Style and Contents. DMR reviews should be written in clear, effective prose. Review sshould emphasize analysis of the production with a minimum of plot summary. The review might address the significance of a production vis-à-vis its historical “moment,” performer(s), design, author, style, or its constituency. A review might consider a play’s production values or emphasize the importance of a performance event with regard to its context.



2. Length. Reviews run from 800-1000 words. Longer reviews covering two or more productions may be edited to achieve overall copy balance. Editor has final revision cuts; a decline to cut must, out of necessity, be handled by the editor.


3. Revisions. When time permits, the editor may ask for revisions. Since the DMR schedule may not provide sufficient time for authors to revise their own work, we reserve the right to make final editorial decisions.


4. Inquiries and commissions. There is no guarantee, even in the case of a commissioned review, that the review will be accepted for publication.


5. Acceptance. The Performance and Film Review Editor cannot always specify the issue of DMR in which the review will appear. Every effort will be made to insure that an accepted review is published as soon as possible. Ingeneral, one year is the maximum interval allowed between the date of viewing a production and the reviewer’s appearance in DMR. Consult deadlines above to be sure your review will be eligible for the next available DMR issue.


The David Mamet Review Style Sheet January2000


Primary style guide: Chicago Manual of Style , 14th Edition (1993)


1.      1960s (no apostrophe)


2.      William’s, except for old Greek names ending “eez,” i.e. Socrates’, for possessive of singular proper nouns, and p’s and q’s for plurals of letters.


3.      A historical (not an historical)


4.      Underline book, periodicals, play titles, foreign words and phrases.


5.      No italics for: ibid., i.e., e.g., et al.


6.      A comma is to be used before the “and” in a series: apples, grapes, and plums.


7.      Page references in the text: (p.34) or (pp. 34-56) inside sentence-ending punctuation.


8. Page references at the end of an abstract are done in roman, in brackets, one line below last line of abstract, flush right on the margins: [III. ii. 434]. There is always a space between the act, the scene, and the line. There is no period after scene if no line number: [III. ii].


9. Numbers. Use all digits when referring to the lines of a play or poem(435-437). Use the following when referring to book pages: 23-45, 86-88, 100-104, 107-8, 234-36, 1234-45. Dates are always 23 September1984. Also: the eighties or the1980s, never the 80s.

10. Acronyms and abbreviations per Chicago Manual (generally no periods in acronyms, except for U.S. ). When giving states names in notes, use “long” form: Ala. , Ariz.


11. Words should be spelled in Standard American English. When in doubt, the preferred spellings in Webster’sThird New International Dictionary are acceptable.


12.   The word “toward” is preferred in the place of “towards.”


13.   Ellipsis. When the ellipsis coincides with the end of your sentence, four periods with no space before the first. If a reference follows the ellipsis, three spaced periods, the end quotes, then the page reference. Use four periods, no space before the first, and [T] if you end and start your sentences other than as in the original work.




Dr. Richard Brucher

Department of English

5752 Neville Hall, Room 304

University of Maine

Orono , ME 04469 -5752


Work Phone: 207-581-3917

Home Phone :  207-866-2136

Fax:  207-581-3886






Dr. Elizabeth Klaver

English Department -- 4503

Southern Illinois University , Carbondale

Carbondale, IL 62904


Phone: 618-453-5321







Dr. Jeff McIntire-Strasburg

Division of Humanities, Fine Arts & Journalism

Lincoln University

820 Chestnut St.

Jefferson City, MO 65101


Phone: 573-681-5235

Fax: 573-681-5040






Dr. Stephen Price

English Department

University of Wales, Bangor

Gwynedd LL57 2DG, UK


Phone: +44-1248-382107