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.

Waidner-Spahr Library

Criticism: Literature, Film & Drama: Drama Criticism

Drama Criticism

Drama criticism is the comparison, analysis, interpretation, and/or evaluation of dramatic works.

Various reference works describe literary criticism as essentially an opinion, supported by evidence, relating to theme, style, setting, historical context, or political context.

  • It usually includes discussion of the work’s content and integrates your ideas with other insights gained from research.
  • Criticism may have a positive or a negative bias and may be a study of an individual piece of drama or an author’s body of work.


Although criticism may include some of the following elements in order to support an idea, criticism is NOT a plot summary, an author's biography, simply finding fault with the work.


Academic criticism should not be confused with a simple review of a play or performance. A review generally focuses only on the performance's enjoyability.


Researching, reading, and writing works of criticism will help you to make better sense of the work, form judgments, study ideas from different points of view, and determine on an individual level whether a literary work is worth reading or the performance worth seeing.

Databases for Drama Criticism

See also our Theatre Databases List.