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Production Research: Criticism & Sources

This guide serves as a starting point for production research.

Drama Criticism

Analysis of play’s contribution to literature with an emphasis on:
ideas, language and style, character development

When doing research on drama criticism, look for:

  • Critical sources by the playwright
  • Critical sources about the playwright

Good starting points include:

  • The preface of a published play
  • Interviews, commentary, and analysis published in newspapers, magazines, and journals,

  • General studies of playwrights in books and chapters of books found in Primo
    • See, for example, Shakespeare, William 1564 1616 Criticism And Interpretation; English drama--Early modern Elizabethan, 1500-1600


Literature Criticism Online

Literature Criticism Online includes overviews by topic (e.g.,Greek mythology), author (e.g., Marlowe), and and title (e.g., Volpone), as well as excerpts from articles, books, and essays written by scholars.


Search Jstor


An interdisciplinary journal archive. It includes archives of over one thousand leading academic journals across the humanities, social sciences, and sciences, as well as select monographs and other materials valuable for academic work.

Project MUSE

Search this fulltext source for book and journal content.

Sources, Influences & Analogues

Sources, Influences, and analogues, are explorations of those materials that helped provide a basis for the play, that influenced its development, or that share similar attributes, qualities, or characteristics.

Begin your search with Primo which has subject terms that include sources and influences.


  • Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616 Sources
  • Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616 Influence

Another good starting point is MLA Bibliography


  • Suzan-Lori Parks and sources and Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • Oscar Wilde and influence and Ding Xilin