Quick Tip: Finding Play Reviews

So, your Theatre or English professor needs you to find some reviews of performances of “Our Town” by Thornton Wilder or “Barefoot in the Park” by Neil Simon.  Where do you go next?  Well, a good place to start would be EBSCOhost, which has three key databases that provide access to play reviews: News, Newspaper Source Plus, with (literally) millions of full-text articles from 860 newspapers, and MasterFILE Premier.  On the EBSCOhost Search screen, click on “Choose Databases,” then select these three from the list.  Type in the name of your play and the word “review” in the search fields.  Then click that big green search button and you’re on your way to getting your reviews.

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To narrow your results down to just reviews,  look to the left hand side of the screen, where you’ll see a sidebar with categories of search limiters.  Click on the category for “Subject,” then check off “theater–reviews” and click “Update.”  All that extra stuff you don’t need will be instantly weeded out, and you’ll be left with just play reviews.

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Finally, if your professor wants you to use only reviews of performances given in, say, the last 10 years, you can adjust the date range under the “Refine your results” category, to match that span of years (2003-2013).  When you click “Update” this time, you’ll be left with only recent reviews from the last 10 years…and, hopefully, a little less anxiety about your Theatre or English assignment. 🙂

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Thanks for reading and see you in the library!

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