Author Guidelines

General Submission Guidelines:

Submissions to the Black Theatre Review (tBTR) must comply with all items on the journal’s Submissions page and the specific guidelines for each article section below.

Research article and book review submissions will be reviewed by peers and/or editors as is appropriate and returned to the author for any necessary revisions five weeks after submission. Authors will have an additional four weeks to revise their work for re-submission to tBTR. Performance review submissions will be reviewed by the editor and returned to the author for any necessary revisions within two weeks after submission. Authors will have an additional week to revise their work for re-submission to tBTR.

Upon acceptance of an article, corresponding authors will be asked to sign the journal’s author agreement form.

Manuscripts should be submitted as a Microsoft Word document. Please refer to the specific article section guidelines below for submission length. All manuscripts must be submitted in standard format (adequate margins, double-spaced, and single column) in Times New Roman font no smaller than 12-point. Submissions should use footnotes and comply with The Chicago Manual of Style (17th ed.), using notes and bibliography system.

Article Section Guidelines

The following are the sections of the Black Theatre Review that accept submissions. Each section contains information that authors need for appropriate submissions.

Research Articles (Peer-reviewed)

Manuscripts should be between 4,000 and 9,000 words in length (excluding abstract). Typically articles between 4,000 and 6,000 words focus on theatre practice and pedagogy, whereas articles between 6,000 and 9,000 words focus on historical and theoretical research.

All manuscripts require an abstract of 250 words or less to appear at the start of the submission. The first page of the manuscript must bear the title of the article.

There should be no indication of the author’s name and institution anywhere in the submission. If the author(s) choose(s) to cite their former work in the manuscript, this should be done using language that in no way indicates the author of the current article. Submissions should not contain any clues to the identity of the author(s). Double-check manuscripts for (a) self-citations; (b) institution name; and (c) references to institution-specific documents.

The article should not have been previously published, nor should it be before another journal for consideration (or an explanation should be provided in Comments to the Editor).

All articles must be formatted in Chicago 17th Edition (notes and bibliography).

Book Reviews

tBTR is interested in reviews of books that take an in-depth, interdisciplinary, and innovative approach to Black Theatre history, literature, performance, and emerging and thought-provoking concerns in the field. Two book reviews will generally be published in each issue, excepting special issues of the journal. In these instances, the editor may include several reviews on books on similar thematic concerns.

Book reviews should be between 1,000 and 1,500 words.

The book review should:

* Provide an impartial, fair, and accurate summary of the author’s position,

* Emphasize the theoretical and methodological implications of the work for the research, study, and performance of Black Theatre,

* Be rigorous in its treatment of the work, but respectful of the author’s humanity,

* Cite the title of the work under review, author, location of publisher, publisher, year, number of pages, and pricing of hardcover and softcover copies (if available). For example:

Radical Vision: A Biography of Lorraine Hansberry. By Soyica Diggs Colbert. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2021. 288 pages. $15.54 (hardcover).

* Conclude with your name and institutional affiliation.

Performance Reviews

tBTR seeks reviews of plays that explore the black experience and are written by black playwrights with a predominately Black cast.

The performance review process begins with a query submitted to the Performance Review Editor through the journal's Contact page with the following information:

  • Reviewer’s name
  • Title of play
  • Playwright’s name
  • Dates and season of production
  • Theatre name and location
  • Unique reasons for the review if applicable (e.g., anniversary of play, special season, etc.)

Please note that tBTR does not publish reviews of college or university productions.

If your query is approved, the reviewer is invited to submit a performance review between 1,000 and 1,500 words within two weeks of seeing the production. The review must include the following (the components MUST be submitted together):

  • A header that includes, in order, the title of play and both the playwright’s and director’s name.
  • Name, theatre, location (city/state) and production dates.
  • The reviewer’s name and institutional affiliation, as well as e-mail address should appear at the end of the review.
  • At least one production image (a photograph in JPEG format). Production images must be properly captioned. The caption and credit should be assembled at the end of the review. (The performance review editor can assist with obtaining images, if needed.)
  • All the necessary permissions for images. These can be in the form of an e-mail from the company, or documentation that you have procured the images from an official website.

It is the reviewer's responsibility to edit and proofread the review prior to submission. Performance reviews should be written in clear, effective prose. No citations (e.g., footnotes, endnotes, or bibliography) are to be included. Reviews should emphasize analysis of the production with a minimum of plot summary (no plot summary is necessary for often produced, well-known plays). The review might address the significance of the production vis-à-vis its historical moment, performers, director, design, author, style, or its audience. A review might also consider a play's production values or emphasize the importance of a performance event in terms of its cultural, political, or historical context.

The Review: There are many guides on how to write a performance review. One that we suggest is “How to review a play” by the Writing Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Notes from the Field

This section supports the work of artistic practitioners (i.e. actors, designers, playwrights, dramaturgs, directors, curators, etc.) and their reflections on artistic practice in the field and/or the discipline of Black theatre and performance. Submissions to this section should be at minimum 800 words in length and should not exceed 2500 words.

Artistic Scholarship as Practice

This section supports artistic works in the form of multimedia, digital performance installations, and other digital artistic works in the field and/or the discipline of Black theatre and performance. Please contact the managing editor for submission interest.

Letters to/from the Editor

Interaction with the journal is encouraged in this section, and a variety of perspectives are welcomed (including academic, professional, and audience, as well as actor, director, designer, publishing, educator, student, etc.). This section may also include responses from the editor-in-chief as well. Submissions to this section should be at least 500 words in length.