Before you begin searching for reviews, it’s helpful to have an idea of when a play was first performed and if you want reviews of only recent performances or older performances. Years of coverage are included in the descriptions of each tool listed below.
American Drama Criticism
Coverage: 1890-1977, 1987-1990 (Supplement III), 1990-1993 (Supplement IV)
Location: Ref PS 332 .E33 1979a
Indexes reviews as well as criticism of American plays.
Allows you to search across many library databases simultaneously (including the Library Catalog). To find theater reviews, perform a keyword search for the title of a play and the phrase theater reviews, e.g. “heidi chronicles” and theater reviews
Guide to Critical Reviews
Part I: American Drama, 1909-1982
Part II: The Musical, 1909-1989
Part III: Foreign Drama, 1909-1977
Location: Ref PN2266 .S35
Index of theater reviews from American and Canadian magazines and the New York Times.
Location: Ref PN2596 .L6 W37
Daily listing of plays on the London stage. Entries include references to reviews.
New York Theatre Critics’ Reviews
Coverage: 1940-50, 1952-53, 1986-94 (Ask at Desk for issues prior to 1986).
Location: Skillman 808.2 .N53
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.
Readers’ Guide Retrospective
Index of popular U.S. magazines. Headings for theater reviews vary. Try “drama,” “theater,” or the last name of a playwright.