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Research Guides

Drama: Production Histories

Drama resources including production resources, digital collections, image collections, costume resources, plays and monologues.

Print and Electronic Resources

Production Histories tell you which theatres have performed a particular play. Generally, if the resource is about the play, it will include information about the first production. If the resource is about the theatre, it will include a listing of its productions. Do not expect to find a resource which lists every production of a particular play.


Print Resources

Time PeriodResource & InformationLibrary & Call Number
Cl, M & Co American theatre

Identifies theatres in the US & their production history from 1930-1969

PN2266. B64 1996 drref
Cl & M American theatre companies

Identifies theatres in the US and their production history

PN2237. A43 1986 drref
v.1 1749-1887
v.2 1888-1930
M & Co American theatre companies

Identifies theatres in the US and the plays they performed from 1931-1986

PN2237. A43 1989
v.3 1931-1986
M & Co Dictionary of Literary Biography Series:

Has criticism, biographical information, production history, photographs of productions, & bibliography of sources

PN41. D484 1978 drref
Afro-American writers after 1955 : dramatists and prose writers v.38
Afro-American writers before the Harlem Renaissance v.50
Afro-American writers from the Harlem Renaissance to 1940 v.51
British dramatists since World War II v.13 p.1-2
Elizabethan dramatists v.62
Jacobean and Caroline dramatists v.58
Modern British dramatists, 1900-1945 v.10 pt.1-2
Restoration and eighteenth-century dramatists : first series v.80
Restoration and eighteenth-century dramatists. Second series v.84
Twentieth-century American dramatists v.7 pt.1-2
M & Co Dictionary of Literary Biography Series:Tennessee Williams

Has criticism, production history, biographical information, photographs of productions, & bibliography of sources

PS129 .D48 1982 v.4 drref
M & Co The Encyclopedia of the New York Stage 1920-1930 PN2277N5 L36 1985 vol. 1-2 drref
M & Co The Encyclopedia of the New York Stage 1930-1940

Series still being updated

PN2277N5 L364 1989 vol. 1-2 drref
Cl, M, & Co   

International Dictionary of Theatre v.1 Plays


Entries include first publication and production information and provides a summary and critical overview.  Some entries have extensive lists of editions, translations, and published criticism. 

PN2035.I49 1992 v.1 drref
Cl The London stage, 1660-1800; a calendar of playsentertainments & afterpieces, together with casts, box-receipts and contemporary comment. Compiled from the playbills, newspapers and theatrical diaries of the period.

Excellent source for production histories in London

PN2592 .L6 pt.1-5 drref
Cl Index to The London stage, 1660-1800

Compliments the above books: excellent source for production histories in London

PN2592.L63 S3 drref
M & Co The London stage: a calendar of plays and players

Provides production histories by decade from 1890-1959; volumes cover from 1890-1899 to 1950-1959

Series is still being updated

PN2596.L6 W37 1976 drref
Cl, M & Co McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of World Drama

Includes criticism, photographs of productions, information on first production & list of plays written, original title, English translation of title, date wrote and first production date

PN1625 M3 1984 v.1-5 drref
Co Nonprofit repertory theatre in North America, 1958-1975 : a bibliography and indexes to the Playbill collection of the Theatre Communications Group PN2093 .K3 drref
Cl, M & Co On Stage: Selected Theater Reviews from The New York Times 1920-1970 PN2277 N5 B4 drref
Cl, M & Co Selected Theatre Criticism

Series still being updated

PN2277 N5 S44 1985 drref
vol. 1 1900-1919
vol. 2 1920-1930
vol. 3 1931-1950
Co Theatre playbills

Library has 1947-1976

Indexed in Kaminsky's Nonprofit repertory theatre in North America, see Micro PN2093.K3

MicNews Microfiche M-3544
Co Theatre profiles

Provides information on professional theatre companies in the US

Published every two years since 1973

PN2266 .T48 drres & drstx
Co Theatre World

Includes Broadway and regional theatres

Series is ongoing

792.058 T343 1944/45- drref

Legend for table

  • Cl: Classical plays written 5th Century BC to 1850s
  • M: Modern plays written from the 1870s to World War II
  • Co: Contemporary plays written since World War II



Shakespearean Productions in the UK

Touchstone is a project funded by the British Library Co-operation and Partnership Programme (BLCPP) to identify and map significant UK Shakespeare collections. The Shakespeare Institute Library, in partnership with the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, and Birmingham Central Library maintaine a database The Traffic of the Stage records information on Shakespeare productions 1996-2002 inclusive and provides information about upcoming productions. Scope includes

  • professional and amateur productions;
  • 'straight' versions, ballets, operas, puppet versions, adaptations for children, apocrypha;
  • plays which include Shakespeare as a character; and
  • plays which use Shakespearean themes.
  • Plays with the slightest connection with Shakespeare warrant inclusion.

You can search for performance titles, adaptations of a particular play, theatre companies, theatre venues, and information on Director, Author/Adaptor, and Composer. It's easiest to search for the title of the play.