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Drama: 54-281: Foundations of Drama II: 20th Century Productions: Search Articles, Reviews, Dissertations

Find articles and reviews


The following databases can also be accessed from the library home page from Databases A-Z.

  • Search as simply as you can. 
  • These databases have a more structured search syntax than the open web... too many keywords can hinder a successful result
  • Link to What is a Scholarly Journal? to reviews how to distinguish, academic, trade and popular publications.

Mega-database that searches many interdisciplinary databases together - journals, newspapers, magazines, dissertatations; also industry reports.

International Bibliography of Theatre and Dance
Cites articles and books with selected access to full-text content relating to all aspects of performance and the theatre; replaces the scholarly print edition of the International Bibliography of Theatre.

Performing Arts Periodical Database
Cites international scholarly and poplular articles on the performing arts, except music. It also cites performing arts articles and obituaries appearing in The New York Times and The Washington Post. Most records include an abstract in addition to the citation. The retrospective database draws citations from 46 periodicals and dates back to 1864.

Full-text scholarly journals and primary resources

Project Muse
Full-text, peer-reviewed scholarly journals and books

Literature Resource Center
This database could be a good place to start to get a variety of resources and background information about your play or production, artists, directors etc. Search by content type: biography, multimedia, news, literary criticism, primary sources and literary work, and topic.

MLA International Bibliography
Venerated reference database for finding citations to books, book chapters, periodical articles, and dissertations in all languages for all periods from the Middle Ages to present.

Music Index
Citations of articles about classical and popular music, musicians, and the music industry for more than 475 periodicals, as well as book reviews, obituaries, news, and selective coverage for more than 230 periodicals. Covers 1970-present

RILM Abstracts of Music Literature
Citations and abstracts for scholarly articles, books, commentaries, conference proceedings, dissertations, festschriften, reviews, internet resources, motion pictures, sound recordings and technical drawings of musical instruments are all covered by RILM. Concert reviews, recording notes, and pedagogical manuals are indexed if they are of scholarly interest. Covers 1967-present.

Full text of hundreds of periodicals from the late seventeenth century to the early twentieth, comprising millions of high-resolution facsimile page images. Topics covered include literature, philosophy, history, science, the social sciences, music, art, drama, archaeology and architecture.

Broader databases
Academic OneFile
Full-Text articles on all subjects

Google Scholar
Open access scholarly web resources.

General OneFile
Full-text articles on all subjects

Citations to scholarly journal articles in all disciplines

Lexis Nexis Academic
International news, law and business information.

Times Digital Archive 1785-1985
London Times articles covering two centuries

Newspapers Guide (Sue Collins, History Librarian)Databases


How do I access the full content of an article or review?

Once you have found the citation to an article, it's full content may be available via CMU Libraries in print form, online or both.  If there is not  a full-content  online link to the article in the database of your choice, try this protocol:

1. Do a Journal Search  to see if we have electronic or print copies in the Carnegie Mellon Libraries collection.


2. Check local libraries for their holdings and/or search WorldCat.

3. Make an Interlibrary Loan Request (Illiad). This is a free service to all CMU students, staff and faculty.

5. If you are having difficulties anywhere along the way,  Ask!!

Facsimile print reviews in newspapers

Facsimile reviews in New York newspapers
Note: Some prefer these print versions, but much if not all of the content will be found in the Proquest database.

New York Theatre Critics' Reviews
HUNT FA-REF PN2000 .N76, 1940-1995 (Look for the red binders directly behing the Arts Reference Desk.)
Full-text weekly reviews as they originally appeared in appeared the New York Sun, New York Post, New York Herald Tribune, New York Newspaper "PM," New York Times, New York Daily News, New York World-Telegram and New York Journal American.

New York Times Theatre Reviews
HUNT FA-REF PN2266 .N48, 1870-2000
Facsimiles of newspaper reviews.

Dissertations and theses

Proquest Dissertations and Theses Global
Dissertations and theses from around the world, from 1

Dissertations and Theses @ Carnegie Mellon
1920-present; full-text may be available from 1997-present.

American Doctoral Dissertations, 1933-1955
100,000 dissertations from 1933 through 1955 accepted by U.S. universities during that period of time.

Online subscription to Studies in Musical Theatre

Studies in Musical Theatre
Refereed articles (2006-present) which consider areas of live performance that use vocal and instrumental music in conjunction with theatrical performance as a principal part of their expressive language.


Criticism and reviews in books

Criticism (and sometimes reviews) can be found in books and will strengthen your understanding of commentary gleaned from reviews in newspapers and magazines.

  • Search for a  book dedicated to your play or practitioner in Cameo and Worldcat ; possibly Google Books or Google Scholar.
  • Check in the bibliographies and footnotes of books you explore for clues to more resources.
  • Biographies can also work in sync with critical texts to help you understand the context and critical reception of your production.

Focused study with reviews in a monograph (example)

Hurrell, John D. Two Modern American Tragedies: Reviews and Criticism of Death of a Salesman and A Streetcar Named Desire. Scribner Research Anthology. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1961.
HUNT STACKS-2 PS3525 .I5156 D435

Sourcebooks and reference works containing critical commentary (examples)

Bloom, Harold, ed. in various locations: search Harold Bloom in Cameo

Bloom's Modern Critical Interpretations (series)

Bloom's Modern Critical Views (series)

Bloom's Major Literary Characters (series)

Magill, Frank N., ed. Masterplots II Drama Series. Pasadena CA; Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Salem Press, 1990.
HUNT FA-REF-4 PN6112.6 .M37 1990.
Plays selected include critical play synopses and commentary on themes and meanings, dramatic devices and critical context.

Leiter, Samuel L. Encyclopedia of the New York Stage. Westport CN, London: Greenwood Press, 1985, 1992.
HUNT FA-REF-4 PN2277 .N5 L365
Volumes 1-2: 1920-1930
Volume 3: 1920-1930
Volume 4:1940-1950
Critical commentary, calendar of productions, play categories (by subject), awards, sources of plays


Drama Online Modern Theatre Guides: Context and Criticism

Includes information on plays, playwrights analysis, production history, further reading, timelines, critical companions, more.  The list is rather short, but if your play, playwright or topic focus is included this will be useful for basic information.


Some books contain only bibliographies-  lists of resources that will lead you to more resources on your topic including critical texts.
Here are two examples:

Wide scope:
Carpenter, Charles A. Modern Drama Scholarship and Criticism, 1981-1990, An International Bibliography. Toronto; Buffalo, London: Modern Drama; University of Toronto Press, 1997.
HUNT FA-REF-4 Z5781 .C37 1997.

Focused bibliography:
Havashi,Tetsumaro. Arthur Miller, Criticism, 1930-1967. Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1969.
HUNT STACKS-3 (Stacks 3rd floor) Z8574.88 .H37