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Reviews and Criticism of Plays

For assistance with any of these sources or for other suggestions on finding criticism or reviews, please ask for help at the Information desk on the first floor of the Library.

Sources for Reviews

The Reference Collection includes lists of play reviews. Here are a few examples:

Periodical indexes list reviews in magazines, newspapers and scholarly journals. Here are some useful sources and tips for how to search them:

Academic Search 1984-
Search on keywords for author and/or title in All Fields to find reviews of specific plays. To browse through reviews, search on the term theater reviews in Subject. Note the spelling of theater.
Lexis/Nexis 1970s- (dates covered vary; for many publications, coverage begins in the 1990s)
Lexis/Nexis has indexing for many newspapers and magazines. Some of these have their own print indexes. For reviews before Lexis/Nexis coverage starts, use, for example, the New York Times Index, which goes back to 1851. Browse in Reference AI 21 to find the New York Times Index and other newspaper indexes such as the Christian Science Monitor Index, the Los Angeles Times Index, or the San Francisco Chronicle Index.
OmniFile Full Text Mega 1982-
For reviews before 1982, use Humanities Index, 1974- (ref AI 3 R492) (1907-1974 under other titles) or Reader's Guide, 1900- (ref AI 3 R48). These are some of the print precursors of OmniFile.

Sources for Criticism

The Reference Collection includes guides to criticism. Here are some sources you will find there:

To find books of criticism, use library catalogs, such as the HSU Library Catalog, Melvyl, or WorldCat. The search terms recommended for the Library Catalog searches also work in most other library catalogs though search techniques may be somewhat different. If you need help in searching a particular library catalog, please contact the Information desk.

The HSU Library Catalog uses the author's name, often with birth and death dates, as the subject for books about the author's work. If a book is entirely about one of the author's works, the title of the work is part of the subject, too. You may find discussions of several of the author's works in books with Criticism and interpretation after the author's name as a subject. Try the author's name, the title of the play, and/or the word criticism in an Advanced Subject search in the Library Catalog. You may need to try combining these terms in different ways, such as author name and criticism, title only, or author name and title. Remember to set the search to Subject for all the terms.

You can also try the play title and/or author's name as a Table of Contents search in Advanced Search to find book chapters devoted to your subject.

To find critical articles, use Periodical Indexes such as

Academic Search 1984-
MLA Bibliography 1963-
The print precursor, from 1969-1996, is under call number abstr PB 6 M62. Earlier issues of the bibliography are published in the June issue of Publications of the Modern Language Association of America, on microfilm MF 42.
OmniFile Full Text Mega 1982-
You may want to set the Subject Area to Humanities before searching. For articles before 1982, use Humanities Index, 1974- (Index Table 2) (1907-1974 under other titles)
Project Muse mid-1990s
Coverage dates are different for each journal in this fulltext collection. Most begin in the mid-1990s or later.