Press Reviews


A Map of the World  - David Hare

“…the map as a representation of truth is at the center of the Burning Coal Theatre Company’s excellent production of David Hare’s A Map of the World, and Roger Smart’s direction sets the main characters ‘on’ each other in way that makes boxing seem tame.  This production is an example of how theater, when it works, is the most involving and interesting of the performing arts”

Mike Munger, WUNC - North Carolina Public Radio

February 22, 2006

“Burning Coal guest director Roger Smart stages A Map of the World with style and wit and imagination.  He keeps the ideological harangues from growing too tedious, and he helps the actors achieve three-dimensional portraits of a host of complicated characters”

Robert W McDowell, Classical Voice of North Carolina

February 19, 2006

“…director Roger Smart. . .guides this show through a gauntlet of theatrical hazards”

Byron Woods, The Independent Weekly

February 15, 2006

Road - Jim Cartwright

Road offers dark humor at its finest…the talented 11-member cast clearly has worked hard to give the compelling assortment of characters the attributes they need to come authentically to life. Director Roger Smart has done a fine job…[the production] is well worth seeing for the great performances.”

Joya Wesley, News & Record  

September 19, 2004

Dylan - Sidney Michaels

“Smart has forged a fluid, truthful and deeply engaging production full of integrity and with a terrific central performance by John Sierros as Dylan…[a] beautifully crafted production.”

Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune

March 23, 2002

The Life of Galileo - Bertolt Brecht

“In this finely-tuned production, the cast does a truly admirable job.  Director Smart…has mounted an extremely handsome production, with all of the components underscoring Brecht’s intellectual argument falling into place perfectly. “

Meg Donivan, After Dark

September 23, 1999

Scenes From an Execution - Howard Barker

“…a stylish production imbued with a sense of the surreal and marked by excellent performances.”

Los Angeles Ti m e s

March, 1999

A Raisin in the Sun - Lorraine Hansberry

“Under Roger Smart’s outstanding direction the cast takes full advantage of Hansberry ’s evocative language and emotions.”

City Lights Review, Long Beach Business Journal

June 23, 1998

“There are two reasons why folks…should flock to Long Beach Playhouse for Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun. One is the endearing cast and the firm but sensitive hand of director Roger Smart…”

Roberts Telford, Grunion Gazette

June 11, 1998

“Under Roger Smart’s insightful direction this bittersweet slice of African-American life packs such a visceral wallop you can feel your stomach cringe.”

Shirle Gottlieb, Press-Telegram

June 11, 1998

The Trial - adpt. Steven Berkoff from Franz Kafka

“Both the abstract trial and the abstract truth burst into life in National Pastime’s strenuous revival . . . the 13 cast members erupt in stylized movement and mechanical mime, flawlessly directed by Roger Smart.  Smart’s staging drives home Kafka’s nightmare . . .”

Lawrence Bommer, The Chicago Reader

February 24th, 1995

“[the] thrilling first image of this environmental production greets the incoming audience with stylized movement and clever stage pictures that take effect long before the first word of Steven Berkoff’s adaptation is spoken . . . . . . director Roger Smart knows what he is about.”

Chris Jones, New City

March 9th, 1995

“Add the directing talents of Roger Smart and you have the perfect setup for a challenging production.”

Kathleen Tobin, The Beverly Review

March 15, 1995

The Dresser - Ronald Harwood

“. . . Phalen and Zukovski (Norman and Sir) wake up the  theater in a rare and scintillating dual performance . . .Roger Smart has directed superbly, and the set he designed evokes the play’s mood perfectly.”

Bill Von Maurer, Ft Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel

December 7, 1994

“. . .features two exceptional performances . . . under Roger Smart’s taut, intelligent direction.”

Hap Erstein, The Palm Beach Post

December 12, 1994

The Road to Mecca - Athol Fugard

“Smart’s skillful direction . . . brings out the soul of Fugard’s work.”

Maura Troester, The Chicago Reader

November 19, 1993

“The director’s touch of Roger Smart realistically imbues each of the three member cast with a poignant, independent humanness that carefully interacts with each other’s.  He is also responsible for the equally mood inspiring set . . .This is theater at its best.”

Kathleen Tobin, The Beverly Review

December 8, 1993

God’s Country - Steven Deitz

“One of 1992’s strongest shows was Shattered Globe Theatre’s Talk Radio. . . with equally riveting results, director Roger Smart has turned to God’s Country.”

Lawrence Bommer, Chicago Tribune

September 26, 1993

“A real acting tour de force . . . spectacular performance of an important show.”

Ray Norstrand, WFMT

Talk Radio - Eric Bogosian

“As taut and captivating in every sense as Oliver Stone’s film version, Roger Smart’s staging drags us deep into the twisted world of talk radio. . .a  superb Shattered Globe Theatre production.”

Lawrence Bommer, Chicago Tribune

May 6, 1992

“One of the best shows in town which you should not allow yourself to miss.”

Sherman Kaplan, WBBM

April 8, 1992

A Streetcar Named Desire - Tennessee Williams

“Under the inspired direction of Roger Smart, his actors and production team have come together to provide an evening of magnificent theatre.”

Patricia Calnan, The Royal Gazette      

June 28, 1990