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Finding Theater Reviews

sources for finding play reviews

Production Histories and Print Indexes of Reviews

Several reference sources can be helpful in determining a play's original performance date and location, as well as major revivals. Print indexes and collections of reprinted criticism from newspapers and magazines are helpful (and in some cases more efficient and complete than online databases) for finding reviews from the 20th century.:

Cambridge Guide to Theatre  REF PN 2035.C27 1995

The New Penguin Dictionary of the Theatre REF PN 2035.T3 2001

The Oxford Companion to the Theatre REF PN 2035.O9 1983

Cassell Companion to Theatre REF PN 2035.C37 1997

Continuum Companion to Twentieth Century Theatre REF PN 2035.C65 2002

Cambridge Guide to American Theatre  REF PN 2220.C35 1993

Oxford Companion to American Theatre REF PN 2220.B6 2004

A Guide to Critical Reviews. REF PN2266.S24

Index of theater reviews from American and Canadian magazines and the New York Times.  Also includes original production information.

Part I. American Drama, 1909-1982

Part II. The musical, 1909-1989 

Part III. Foreign Drama, 1909-1977

New York Theatre Critics' Reviews. REF 2000.N76

Vassar Library has 1940-1954
Reprints of reviews from a variety of publications, including New York daily newspapers, Variety, and The Village Voice. Each volume contains a year-end index.

Reprints reviews of plays presented on the New York stage from 1900-1919.

Open Access Websites on Production History

Playbill Vault- Date, personnel and theater information for Broadway productions.