Community Agreements

Show-Score is a diverse community of people who love theatre and want it to flourish. Collectively, we see lots of theater. When we review a show, we help others find the right show for them.

The most helpful reviews answer these questions:

  • Did you like the show?
  • What elements of the show resonated and what didn’t?
  • Who might like the show and who would not?

But it isn’t just about what we say. It’s also about how we say it! Every community can benefit from a set of shared agreements. These are ours:

I will help my fellow theatre fans. When I score a show -- and especially when the score is really high or really low, I will say why. I understand that saying “just go!” or “stay away!” doesn’t provide enough context. So I will say what I thought, why, and I will think about who might like it, even if I didn’t.

I will be constructive. Creating theater takes guts and not everything on stage works for everyone in the audience. I will write with a spirit of generosity, even if a show is not to my taste. We all know what it feels like to walk out of a show walking on air, or wanting that time back, but that really doesn’t help others understand whether a show is for them. I will write about what worked for me and what didn’t.

I will be respectful. I will be kind. Personal attacks and bullying are never acceptable. While engaging with story, plot, production elements, and performances all inform our experience, it is rare that speaking to an individual’s physical appearance is helpful.

I will be honest with my community. For Show-Score to be truly helpful, the reviews on it need to come from a truthful place. If I’m involved in a production, or have a relationship with someone on the team, I will not review it.

I will not score a show if I didn’t see the whole thing. If you walked out of the show, please do not score it. It’s not fair to your fellow theatre fans to review based on a partial experience. By the same token, please do not review the final dress rehearsal of a show.

Helpful Tips!

We are further inspired by UK Equity’s guidelines on race and criticism published earlier this month. Many of these principles apply across the board. Those highlighted below are more specific guidelines that speak to our community agreements above.

  1. Be free to express yourself openly and honestly.
  2. Write with sensitivity, empathy and understanding.
  3. Comment on the acting rather than the actor unless there is a newsworthy reason to do so.
  4. Ensure your comments are balanced, fair and designed to be productive.
  5. Avoid referring to immutable characteristics such as age, race, gender and appearance unless such characteristics directly affect the production’s meaning.
  6. Keep in mind that these reviews are not about objectivity, they are about your response to a work of art. These reviews reflect your experience as much as the show you are reviewing.

These guidelines don’t limit debate. They encourage it. Theater is meant to provoke a response. So get started! Score a show you’ve seen and help others decide if it’s the right show for them.