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Drama and Play Reviews

Newspapers and News Media

Research Guide by Susan Wishinsky

Finding Reviews

 

Searching Newspapers

 

Newspapers are good sources for reviews and criticism. Check the Newspapers & News Media guide for individual online paper titles like the New York Times, or use the "News" tab of LexisNexis Academic to search several papers at once.

You may also find that you need older papers than are available through the tools mentioned above. One of the best resources to use when looking for historical newspapers is ProQuest Historical Newspapers.  This will allow you to search historic newspapers from New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Washington D.C.

Some tips:

  • You can select the newspaper or newspapers that are the most relevant for your needs. The database will let you search more than one at a time but you can't search current and historical newspapers concurrently.
  • You can narrow your results by limiting the results to a particular time period.  This can be useful if you're looking for reviews specifically of a premiere or a later run.
  • It's best to formulate a search fairly carefully because you are searching a lot of information.  To make the search as effective as possible, search for as much as you know, like the title, playwright, or performers, in quotation marks with AND in between them.
       Examples:  "The Children's Hour" AND "Lillian Hellman"
     
  • 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.
  • Try searching for reviews by particular critics. Put the critic's name in quotation marks.  If you want, you can then add it to a search like the one above with a specific play in mind.

Books and Print Reference Sources

BU LIbraries