Published by the Department of Theatre and Dance
University of California, San Diego

TheatreForum Contributors Guidelines


    Letter of Enquiry
    Text Guidelines For Article


TheatreForum focuses on innovative theatre, dance theatre, and music theatre in a performance context. This is not to say that in articles literary aspects should be ignored, but rather that we are concerned with those works that come into being in performance before an audience rather than exclusively on the page and/or in the imagination.



We encourage you to send a letter of enquiry by email to Please indicate whether you have access to good photos to accompany the article or play. (See Photographs below.) TheatreForum editors are Jim Carmody, John Rouse, Adele Edling Shank, and Theodore Shank. All of the editors will receive your email and one of us will respond.

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A play published by TheatreForum must meet the following requirements: It should be a recent work, it must have received a professional production, it cannot have been published previously in English, it should be innovative in some way, and good production photos of publishable resolution must be available.

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Plays should be submitted electronically as email attachments, preferably in Microsoft Word. If Word is not possible, use Rich Text Format. Please do not send plays in PDF or in FinalDraft or other automatic formatting software. Do not use automatic headers or footers.

Plays are normally published in a three column format with character names at the left margin. Stage directions go in italics, always begin with a capital letter unless they are in parentheses within a speech, and are not followed by periods unless they are complete sentences. Playwrights will be asked to provide a good range of photographs of one or more productions of the play to be published, to indicate placement of the photos in the text, and to provide photo captions (see Photographs below).

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The works discussed in articles should be recent and reflect a contemporary sensibility. Some productions may be appropriate even though they use scripts from the past. When discussing productions, some of the following considerations may be important:

  • Because you are usually discussing a production that can no longer be seen by our readers, descriptions of major aspects of the work may be essential, depending on the focus of your article.
  • When appropriate, consider including a discussion of the artist’s or artists’ creative process, aesthetic principles, and techniques.
  • When appropriate, consider the social and political context of the work; the relationship of the work(s) discussed to other comparable works; the relationship of the work to its audience (physically, aesthetically, psychically, emotionally, etc.); and your own subjectivity.
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Articles range in length from 1,000 to 4,000 words. If you anticipate needing appreciably more, please discuss your needs in advance with an editor.

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Articles should be submitted as email attachments. We prefer submissions in Microsoft Word. If you cannot provide it in Word format, please submit in Rich Text Format.

Please follow the most recent version of the MLA guidelines with respect to citations, providing a list of Sources at the end of the article with parenthetic references to page numbers in the body of the text. We do not print footnotes, and endnotes should be kept to a minimum.

  • Line spacing should be single-spaced throughout.
  • Use a single space after all punctuation marks, including periods and colons.
  • Do not use auto-hyphenation.
  • Use a single hard return at the end of each paragraph.
  • Use a single tab at the beginning of each paragraph.
  • Italicize titles of plays and books.
  • For ellipses within a sentence, use three periods with a space between and after each. When an ellipsis coincides with the end of a sentence, use a sentence period plus three spaced periods.
  • Do not right justify.
  • Do not use automatic endnotes. Instead, place a superscripted number in the text and begin the   notes on a separate page at the end of your discussion.
  • Do not use headers or footers except for page numbers.
  • Write out centuries: nineteenth-century, not 19th century.
  • The MLA format for dates is: day month year (without commas) ie: 19 September 2010.
  • MLA style uses an em dash with no space between the dash and the preceding and following words—like this—as you see. Authors may substitute two hyphens (--) for the em dash. But please avoid using space+hyphen+space.
  • Begin your list of sources on a separate page after the notes.
  • On a final page, list the photo captions keyed to the references in the text.
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We publish photographs with every article and play. Please get appropriate photographs from the theatres and artists concerned. Sometimes the decision whether to publish an article or play depends upon the quality and quantity of photographs.

Photographs should be submitted digitally as email attachments or on a CD. We prefer color, but black and white is acceptable. They should be in TIFF (.tiff) or JPEG (.jpg) format, saved at the highest quality, and if not originally digital files, scanned at 300dpi. The width should be approximately 7 inches. You are responsible for securing permission to use any photographs you supply.

The photos should be numbered and a reference should be included in the text surrounding by brackets, i.e. [Photo 3]. You should provide identifying captions for each photo including all of the following information that is relevant:

    1. Name of company (unless all photos are from the same company).
    2. Name of production and year (unless they are all the same).
    3. Name of character (performer in parentheses) if appropriate.
    4. What is happening in the photo.
    5. Name of photographer (or organization) to credit.

sample caption:

Photo 3: Ontological-Hysteric Theatre, Benita Canova (1998). Madame (David Greenspan) gropes Benita Canova (Joanna P. Adler). Photo: Paula Court

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Links Of Interest:



UC San Diego Department of Theatre & Dance - Home of TheatreForum
La Jolla Playhouse - UC San Diego is home to this Tony Award winning theatre
UC San Diego Home Page - University of California San Diego's main web site

9500 Gilman Drive MC0344
La Jolla, CA 92093
Tel: (858) 534-3791
Fax: (858) 534-1080
Editorial e-mail:
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