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Dramatic Arts

A research guide to help you find relevant books and articles in the field of dramatic arts

Researching the History of a Production

There are two basic parts to researching the production history of a theatrical work:

  1. When, where and by whom has the play been performed?
  2. What was each production like?

You can search for play reviews to determine when and where a play has been performed.  Below you will find links to the New York Times and London Times digital databases to search for reviews.  You can also search a broad database like SuperSearch to find a variety of reviews from magazines and other publications.

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How to find reviews in SuperSearch:

Using Advanced Search, use the following search:

PS your play name (theatrical production)  -  then limit to Format Type: Reviews

Example Search (*note: this list has not been limited to format type - reviews)

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For major playwrights, there are often books that detail productions of that author's plays.  You can find production histories in the library catalogue as follows:  

Use a SUBJECT SEARCH using the author's last name and first name, look for the following subject headings:

--Stage History

--Appreciation

--Dramatic Production

 

Helpful Resources

Theatre Databases

These tools can help you find details about the production history of a play, as well as playbills and other ephemera.

Newspaper Databases

Use these full-text newspaper databases to find reviews of your play.  Tip: using the limit "REVIEW" may be helpful but *NOT EVERY REVIEW (esp. older reviews) are indexed as reviews*