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Finding Plays, Performances & Reviews

Play Scripts in Print

Browse the shelves on the 5th floor in Rutherford Library. You will find plays in a range of call numbers, including:

  • PR (British), particularly 1200s and 6000s
  • PS (American, Canadian)
  • PQ (French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish)
  • Anthologies of monologues or short scenes can be found in PN 2080

To search the Library, some useful subject terms (in the "Advanced search") include:

  • English drama 20th century
    • change the region, e.g. American or Russian, and/or the century number, e.g. 21st or 19th
  • Monologues
  • Collections


Play Scripts in Online Library Collections

Select databases for finding play scripts

Alexander Street (noted above) is a large database with Theatre and Dance "browse-by-discipline" sections and many smaller collections in which you may find play scripts, including:

Search the library for recordings of performances or films of plays using these tips:

  • Combine terms, e.g.: authors (composers, performers, ensembles), with musical works/album titles/songs for an effective search. Here are some examples
    • Shostakovich + Bernstein + New York Philharmonic + Symphony 5
    • Arcade Fire + Reflektor
    • Fischer-Dieskau + Schubert + An die Musik
  • To retrieve audio or video recordings (physical and streaming), add the phrase: PT audio, or PT video, or PT (audio OR video) (NB: PT means Publication Type)

You can also browse the shelves on the 5th floor in Rutherford Library to find DVD recordings of performances.

In addition to the large collection of physical recordings (CDs, LPs, DVDs, etc.) in the library collection, the library subscribes to the following streaming databases and collections:


Specialized collections found on the Alexander Street collection include:

Look for reviews in newspapers, magazine and journals. You'll likely need at least some details about where or when a production occurred, or a name of an entity involved (e.g. director, actors, company).

In addition to the periodicals databases listed on this page, check our Newspapers Subject Guide for links to databases indexing news periodicals from Canada and around the world.

A useful search strategy for finding reviews generally:
i) search the name of the production (in quotations marks if more than one word) AND performance OR production;
ii) choose the Document type: often either Review or Entertainment review.


Good places to start:


Additional Sources for Canadian Content


Additional Sources for International Content

Primary Sources

Primary Sources are things that are created in the world as expressions of ideas... They often include things like:

  • Original creative works (novels, art work, poetry, music, essays...)
  • Photographs
  • Artifacts
  • Newspapers/Magazines
  • Social Media
  • Broadcast materials
  • Letters/Diaries
  • Government or Court documents

Scanned image of picture of Martha Graham from the New York Telegraph 1926

A picture from the New York Telegraph, April 15 1926, with the caption: "A unique dance by Martha Graham, who for several years was premier danseuse with Ruth St. Denis."