Seeking list of plays in the public domain.
August 9, 2006 1:31 AM   Subscribe

Does anyone know where I can find a list of all (or even many) of the plays that are currently in the public domain? One-acts, full-length, long as they're free to produce.
posted by youcancallmeal to Media & Arts (4 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Try scanning the listings at Project Gutenberg. Plays aren't listed separately, but all the works listed there are copyright free.
posted by Alison at 4:05 AM on August 9, 2006

Yeah, you aren't going to find one source for every public domain play. If you are looking for plays primarily from the 19th Century and earlier, Project Gutenberg is your place, but it's kind of a bitch to browse by genre since they use Library of Congress shelving. Unless you know the name of the playwright you are looking for, you'll want to stick to LoC categories PQ, PR, and PS.

You might also check out:
Netlibrary (you might need to access via your local library's online database website)
posted by mattbucher at 7:58 AM on August 9, 2006

Also check the catalogs of Samuel French and Dramatists Play Service. They have royalty-free scripts, which you would have to purchase but which wouldn't have performance fees attached. There are other companies that serve the church crowds and "we can't offend the audience" groups, but I don't remember which ones they are.
posted by ancientgower at 12:01 PM on August 9, 2006

Well, Shakespeare is obvious, of course...but an eon or two ago, my drama class lifted "Pyramus and Thisbe" out of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and had a ton of fun producing it for a night of one-acts. It's "Romeo and Juliet" and "The Fantasticks" all wrapped up into a compact comedy package.
posted by lhauser at 2:52 PM on August 9, 2006

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