About Reviews of Performances | General Sources | Theater | Dance

See the Theater and Dance Research Guide for more information

About Reviews of Performances

Performance reviews are critical articles or essays in which reviewers evaluate performances of a play or dance. Unlike other kinds of critical studies of drama or dance, the performance reviews usually appear within weeks of the performance and often appear in newspapers or magazines where the performance took place. Some things to keep in mind when looking for reviews of performances:

  • When did the performance take place?
  • Where did the performance take place?
  • Who was the director, choreographer or principal actor/actress/dancer?
  • What kind of production or performance is this? Locally hosted? National? International? Traveling production?

General Sources

The following indexes and full-text databases are important for finding reviews of performances for both theater and dance.

LexisNexis Academic Reviews
Full-text newspapers and some magazines from across the U.S. and some foreign countries. Covers book, movie, music, play, and video reviews

Academic OneFile and Academic Search Premier
Index and some full-text to popular newspapers and magazines such as Dance Magazine.

Alt Press Watch and Alternative Press Index
Index and some full text to alternative news sources in the U.S. such as The Village Voice.

Ethnic NewsWatch
Full text ethnic newspapers and magazines in the U.S.


Play Reviews from LexisNexis Academic
Search a large database of newspaper and magazine articles with a focus on plays; some articles are not strictly reviews.

New York Times Directory of the Theater, 1920-1970. Some full-text theater reviews and an index to theater reviews in the NY Times. Ref PN 1707 .S34 1973

A Guide to Critical Reviews
Part I: American Drama, 1909-1982
Part III: Foreign Drama, 1909-1977
Ref PN 1707 .S34

For more titles like these, look in the online catalog for "Theater--reviews" as a keyword or subject search.

World Shakespeare Bibliography Online
Lists some performance reviews for international Shakespeare productions.

oobr: Off-Off-Broadway Review
Online only reviews of theater performances off Broadway (current listings and reviews).

An Internet theater magazine of reviews, features and annotated listings (current listings and reviews).


The Dance in Mind, 1976-1983 / Deborah Jowitt : Some full-text reviews of dance performaces, dancers, and choreographers. GV 1599 J66 1984.

For more titles like this, look in the online catalog for "Dance--reviews" as a keyword or subject search.

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