Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Theatre

A guide to various tools and resources for studying theatre

Finding Reviews

Generally, reviews of plays will be found in newspaperstheatre magazines and journals, and websites devoted to theatre.

Your strategy for finding reviews of theatrical performances starts with the time and location: where and when the performances that you are interested in will greatly effect your strategy. 

General Search Tips

  • Use whatever information you already know in your search. Include elements like
    • Work title
    • Director, performer, or designer
    • Critic's name
  • Use quotation marks and use AND between each element, such as: "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" AND "Tennessee Williams"

    The quotation marks let the database know that you need those words to appear together and in that order and the AND limits the results to articles containing both phrases.

  • Look for options in whatever tool you are searching to limit your search (often in the advanced search, if there is one) to:
    • a particular time period if you need reviews of a premiere, for example
    • a particular newspaper/publication
    • to just "Reviews" as an item type

You can use some of these strategies to search in Library Search. However, Library Search does not search the everything that the library has access to (for example, newspapers and Entertainment Industry Magazine Archive), and it can bring back too many things. Make sure to narrow your search results to "Reviews" (under "Resource Type").

Library Search

1. If the performance is contemporary, start with Newspaper Search. This searches most of the current newspapers that the library subscribes to. You can also search by city in Journal Finder to see if we have access to newspapers for any individual city and what their date coverage is.

2. If the performance is historical, use ProQuest Historical Newspapers. You can also search by city in Journal Finder to see if we have access to newspapers for any individual city and what their date coverage is.

Theatre Magazines and Journals can be found in the following databases:

Other popular theatre magazines and journals that frequently include reviews:

While newspapers may employ full-time theatre critics who have made a career reviewing theatre, many people are also reviewing contemporary productions online. Here is a selection of theatre websites and review aggregators.