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Syracuse University Libraries

Drama Resources: How to Find...


If you do not find a copy of the play you are looking for under the title or author's name in the SUMMIT local catalog, it may be in an anthology or periodical.  Check the following:

Ottemiller's Index to Plays in Collections: An Author and Title Index to Plays Appearing in Collections Published Between 1900 and 1985.
REF PN 1655 .O87 1988

Index to Plays in Periodicals.
REF PN 1721 .K38

Index to Plays in Periodicals, 1977-1987
REF PN 1721 .K38 suppl.

Play Index  Index to more than 30,000 plays written from Antiquity to the present and published from 1949 to the present; includes mysteries, pageants, plays in verse, puppet performances, radio and television plays, and classic drama.  Also in Bird Library Reference: 1949-1987.  REF Z5781 .P55 


For information on plays and musicals not in the Libraries, consult the following sites.

Dramatists Play Service, Inc.  Publisher of new plays and licensing agency.  Search Playfinder by author, title, cast size, gender, length, keyword, and ISBN.  Entries on individual plays include evaluations by reviewers and plot summary.  Corresponds to print catalog: Dramatists Play Service. Complete Catalog of Plays.  New York.  REF PN 1601 .D72

Samuel French, Inc.  Publishes the latest and classic plays, as well as books on technical (acting, directing, scene design) aspects of the theatre.  Author and Title index.  Various lists: e.g., Pulitzer Prize-Winning plays, Nobel prize playwrights, old melodramas, plays suitable for readers'  theatre, etc.  Corresponds to print catalog:  Samuel French, Inc.  Basic Catalogue of Plays and Musicals.  New York.  REF PN 1601 .S25


Biographical information, performing arts:

Contemporary Dramatists.
REF PR 737 .C57 1999

Contemporary Theatre, Film, and Television:   A biographical guide featuring performers, directors, writers, producers, designers, managers, choreographers, technicians, composers, executives, dancers, and critics in the United States and Great Britain.
FA REF PN 2012 .W51 
Profiles include personal information, awards, credits, and writings. Go to last volume and use cumulative index.
Successor to Who's Who in the Theatre (PN 2012 .W5).


Biographical information, minorities and ethnic groups:  

African American Women Playwrights:  A Research guide.
REF PS 153 .N5 G29 1999

Contemporary Jewish-American Dramatists and Poets:  A Bio-Critical Sourcebook.
REF PS 153 .J4 C68 1999


Biographical information, general:

New York Times Historic Archive (1851-2003) offers full page and article images with searchable full text back to the first issue.



In finding a review of a play, it may be useful to know the date of the first production.  

National Theatre Critics' Reviews (1995-1996).  Formerly New York Theatre Critics' Reviews (1943-1994).
REF PN 1601 .N4 

Reproduces the full text of original reviews in the press and other media.  Last issue of each year contains annual indexes.

New York Times Theater Reviews
REF PN 1581 .N38  (1870-1919)
REF PN 1581 .N4  (1920-1970)
REF PN 1581 .N41 (1971-1988)


Full text of reviews of theater productions as they appeared in the New York Times, arranged chronologically.

Readers' Guide Full Text   An up-to-date source of abstracts and bibliographic references for reviews of plays in the U.S. and Canada.

Readers' Guide Retrospective  Index to the most popular general-interest periodicals published in the United States. Coverage is 1890 through 1982.

CurtainUp:  the Internet Theater Magazine of Reviews, Features, Annotated Listings.  Source for reviews and information about current theatrical productions.  Editors report on productions in New York, the Berkshires, Toronto, London, and D.C.

London Theatre News   Listing of plays, opera, and dance at London theatres.  Reviews of current shows. Archive of reviews of past shows from 1996.