Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Play Synopses - where and why
When you're looking to find a play that suits you and your performing group, having access to synopses of the plays is very important. Also important is knowing what the cast requirements are and whether or not the play calls for period costuming, etc. This page offers guidance to finding literary resources as well as the sites that theatre professionals use to buy multiple copies of the play as well as pay the performing rights to perform the play.
One great place to find synopses is through the organizations that license performances of them. This is a short list of the most prominent ones.
- Broadway Play Publishing - Purchase multiple copies and licensing productions of plays. Search by title and author, number of cast members required, gender distribution, run-time, and costume requirements.
- Dramatists Play Service - Purchase multiple copies and licensing productions of plays. Search by title and author, with the added ability to limit by number of cast members required & the gender distribution.
- Dramatic Publishing - Purchase multiple copies and licensing productions of plays. Search by title and author, with the added ability to limit by number of cast members required & the gender distribution.
- Playscripts - Dedicated to providing access and performing rights to new plays and musicals. Search by title, etc
- Samuel French - Purchase multiple copies and licensing productions of plays. Search by title and author.
Library Databases to locate synopses and critical essays about the play
Black Literature Index
Black Studies Index allows users to search over 70,000 bibliographic citations for fiction, poetry and literary reviews published in 110 black periodicals and newspapers between 1827-1940.
Literary Reference Center Plus
Literary Reference Center Plus is a full-text database that combines information from major respected reference works, books, and literary journals. It includes thousands of full-text poems, short stories, synopses, critical essays, literary journals, reference books and author biographies, plus lesson plans and literary study guides.
Gale Literature Criticism
Gale Literature Criticism brings together backfiles of several literary series from Gale: Children's Literature Review, Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism, Contemporary Literary Criticism, Drama Criticism, Literature Criticism from 1400-1800, Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism, Poetry Criticism, Shakespearean Criticism, Short Story Criticism, and Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism.