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List of playwrights, by date of death 1855-1955, in reverse chronological order

No liability accepted - check latest regulations at Australian Copyright Council

There are over two hundred playwrights within these parameters - see extended list below

1954[]

Malcolm Afford[]

(Australian Playwright died 1954)

  • Honeymoon Hotel, A musical comedy,
  • Lady In Danger: A Comedy-Thriller in Three Acts
  • Mischief in the Air: A Comedy Thriller,
  • Seven Days Wonder: A Comedy
  • Awake My Love: A Historic enactment of a pioneer explorer, by royal command.
  • Dark Enchantment, Thriller about a ventriloquist, his doll, and a wicked mage.

Fred Lonsdale.[]

and assorted musicals

1953[]

Frederick J Jackson[]

The Naughty Wife (in film as "Let's Elope" 1919)

Eugene O'Neill[]

Collette[]

Written in English, dialogue between cat and dog

1950[]

George Bernard Shaw[]

table of works

full text

Elanor Gates

Poor Little Rich Girl

1949[]

The Blue Bird full textfor children collected works part 1 collected works part 2

  • Philip Barry

Animal Kingdom. Philadelphia story.

1948[]

Antonin Artaud

  • Jet of Blood

Susan Glaspell[]

1946[]

Edward Sheldon=[]

Gerhart Hauptmann[]

  • The Conflagration link

Harley Granville-Barker[]

1945[]

Bruno Frank[]

  • Storm in a teacup

Georg Kaiser[]

  • A Gardener of Toulouse

1944[]

George Ade[]

1941[]

James Joyce (1939) Exiles - slow moving tragedy

1939[]

Sidney Coe Howard[]

W B Yeats multiple titles

E. Paulton (d. 1939) & H.Paulton (d. 1917) Niobe:All Smiles

1937[]

J. M. Barrie[]

1936[]

Maxim Gorky[]

1935[]

Steele Rudd[]

1934[]

Arthur Wing Pinero[]

Montague Glass[]

Potash and Perlmutter

1933[]

John Galsworthy[]

collected works

Lady Augusta Gregory[]

1931[]

Sir Hall Caine[]

Collected works

Arnold Bennett[]

The Great Adventure

1928[]

J. Hartley Manners[]

Peg O' My Heart

1923[]

Charles Hawtrey[]

private secretary

1919[]

Charles Klein

The Lion and the Mouse 1905 Comedy

1918[]

Brandon Thomas

  • "Charlie's Aunt" Record Breaking comedy of mistaken identity amid double love stories.

1917[]

====Francis Burnand the colnel

1916[]

Jean Webster

  • Daddy Long Legs (based on novel by same author)

1915[]

Charles Klein[]

Lion and Mouse

1905[]

Julian Magnus[]

  • Trumped suit (one act) (1898) [text] [trumped suit review]

1885[]

Ivan Turgenev

1884[]

Henry James Byron

  • Our Boys (on archive) Comedy

also see[]

Plays under creative commons license

creative commons student product

one act list

Awaiting confirmation of dates[]

  • Lightnin' by Winchell Smith and Frank Bacon
  • nothing but the truth james montgomery
  • Daddy Long lesg by jean webster
  • Private Secretsary by Charles Hawtrey
  • Peg o' my heart by Hartley J Manners
  • Great Adventure by Arnold Bennett
  • Potash & Perlmutter by Glass & Klein
  • Niobe by The PaultonBorthers
  • The colnel by F.C.Burnand

Older plays (eg. Elizabethan and greeks)

Reviews[]

Tumped Suit (1898) by Julian magnus (died 1905)[]

Perfect for amateur one act. three female, two male, box set (drawing room) situation comedy in which a tragically shy father and suitor complete a dance of avoidance around a proposal to the daughter Cecila, with disbelief from her younger sister and an entirely unsitable rival. A solid farce.

Cabinet minister by Arthur Wing Pinero (d. 1934)

8 Male 9 female . Full length farce in four acts. Many pre-1955 plays do not translate well into a modern setting, yet I hold this to be an exception. Only under certain circumstances can you place courtly manners, class consciousness and parental matrimonial guidance. One finds this appropriate in a context of wealth and Power . This play is about the families of a cabinet minister and a Highland laird. Both the cabinet ministers children defy him in their choice of suitor and in both cases Pinero demonstrates his famous declaration that women engineer proposals in which men are passively willing. The minister is so powerful and wealthy that the class distinction between his wife and her dressmaker would not be out of place today. My favourite line is directed by the ministers wife to a shady dealer "If you lent a woman your arm, it would be at a premium". There are many sub-plots including the ministers two siblings wriggling out of their mother's best intentions to wed them well. Thankfully there are no chaperones. The minister is desperately trying to stave the wolves from his door, while his wife is lending to support her matrimonial plays before his political career implodes. There is a cautionery fable around insider trading also played out. Two sets (Drawing rooms) The script mentions two complete sets of ludicrously overdone national dress, but a substitute for highland trews could be written in.

Aren't we all (1923) by Frederick Lonsdale (d 1954)

8 male 4 female (5 males could be used with doubling). Lonsdale liberated an aristocratic woman in his persoanl life and 'exposure of British hypocrisy' is a continuing theme in his plays. There are many witty lines in Aren't we all, but humor is secondary to moral exploration. An upstairs view of an aristocratic house in which fidelity of two couples is doubted and rescued from the brink. Some may not like the gender based double standard, but there is comic relief from unwelcome house guests, a happy ending and one character is australian.

Jonah  (1880) by Louis Stone (Australian)

A wonderful novel about pre-federation era Sydney with gritty class consciousness. Not enough dialogue to adapt by deleting the prose, which uses the cockney idiom for working class characters and can be hard to read. The plot is about two friends from a violent gang, coming of age. Jonah is swallowed whole by family instinct and emerges righteous and very rich, but loveless. His friend Chook has the same magical transformation in his character resulting from a love match, milder and less lonely than Jonah's. There is some scope for excellent dramatic tension between the characters, but most of the dialogue will need to be added to this very enjoyable novel for use on stage. (Adapted for television by Elanor Witcombe in 1982 - in copyright).

More Comprehensive list

List of playwrights by date of death (1943-1955) by year of death[]

See Australian copyright expiry conditions

List of playwrights by date of death (1935-1943)[]

See United Kingdom and European copyright expiry conditions

List of playwrights by date of death (1925-1935)[]

  • 1935 Steele Rudd On Our Selection (1899) Our New Selection
  • 1934 Arthur Wing Pinero eight on gutenberg [14] and others on internet archive
  • 1934 Montague Glass [15]
  • 1934 Augustus Thomas American. "In Mizzoura" [16], "Arizona"
  • 1934 Erich Mühsam Jewish German Socialist. German language. no translations available
  • 1934 Willard Mack Canadian Single Broadway hit "the noose"
  • 1933 John Galsworthy
  • 1933 Alfred Sutro [17]
  • 1933 Lady Augusta Gregory [18]
  • 1933 Wilson Mizner American - 3 plays in english
  • 1932 Ahmed Shawqi Arabic Language. two comedies "Madam Huda", "the Miser" [19] in arabic
  • 1932 Norman McKinnel "Bishops Candlesticks" One Act [20]
  • 1931 Sir Hall Caine
  • 1931 Arnold Bennett
  • 1931 Stephen Black (playwright) South African unpublished.
  • 1931 Arthur Schnitzler German Language in translation [21]
  • 1931 David Belasco [22]
  • 1930 Vladimir Mayakovsky Soviet Language. no translations.
  • 1928 J. Hartley Manners [23]
  • 1927 Abbie Farwell Brown "Quits" one act Comedy [24]
  • 1927 Jerome K. Jerome Mrs. Chilvers

List of playwrights by date of death (1915-1925)[]

  • 1923 Charles Hawtrey [25]
  • 1922 Frank Bacon "Lightnin'"[26]
  • 1922 John Kendrick Bangs [27]
  • 1921 Georges Feydeau French Language. translations copyright.
  • 1921 George Cochrane Hazelton (actor and playwright) two works in film. no text.
  • 1920 Terence MacSwiney Irish socialist [28]
  • 1920 William Dean Howells American radical plays five one act plays

nine comic works

  • 1919 Charles Klein [29] [30]
  • 1919 Leonid Andreyev Russian Language. One translated play available "He who get's slapped" [31]
  • 1919 Ram Ganesh Gadkari Indian (Marathi) language. No translations available
  • 1918 Brandon Thomas "Charley's Aunt"
  • 1918 Frank Wedekind "Pandora's Box [32]
  • 1918 Edmond Rostand French. English language plays [33]
  • 1917 Francis Cowley Burnard [34] [35]
  • 1916 Jean Webster "Daddy Long Legs" [36]
  • 1916 Richard Harding Davis [37]
  • 1916 Henry James one play "Guy Domville" [38]

List of playwrights by date of death (1855-1915)[]

  • 1915 George Calderon English. Killed at Gallipoli. [39]
  • 1915 Guy Du Maurier English. Killed at Flanders. "An Englishman's Home" [40]
  • 1915 James Elroy Flecker Hassan of Baghdad
  • 1913 Arthur Law Musicals. no copies.
  • 1912 August Strindberg [41]
  • 1911 W. S. Gilbert [42]
  • 1910 Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson three comedies on gutenberg Bankrupt, Editor, Gauntlet, King, Leonarda, Newly-Married Couple
  • 1909 Clyde Fitch [43]
  • 1909 Algernon Charles Swinburne two tragedies [44]
  • 1907 Victorien Sardou French. no translations available.
  • 1906 Henrik Ibsen [45]
  • 1906 Joseph Arthur (playwright) American. Eight plays. No text available.
  • 1905 Julian Magnus [46]
  • 1905 John Millington Synge [47]
  • 1904 Anton Chekov [48]
  • 1902 Emile Zola Fench Language. Three plays. no translations available.
  • 1901 James A. Herne American. dozen plays. no text available.
  • 1900 Ernest Dowson single work 'Peirot of the minute' [49]
  • 1892 Alfred, Lord Tennyson [50]
  • 1890 George Melville Baker [51]
  • 1885 Ivan Turgenev
  • 1885 Juliana Horatia Ewing childrens works
  • 1884 Henry James Byron
  • 1880 Charles Dickens one act farce "The lamplighter" [52]

Playwrights pending inclusion on lists[]

  • pending 1951 Leo Birinski Ukrainina American - No copies in english?
  • pending 1950 Erle Cox science fiction work "Out of the Silence" was dramatised by ? 1936 and also in cartoon form by anonymous.
  • pending 1940 Helen de Guerry Simpson novels dramatised for radio. Earliest known Aboriginal idyll.
  • pending 1934 Carlton Dawe seventy novels, some adapted for film on archive
  • pending 1932 Fergus Hume prolific novels, no copies of plays?
  • pending 1905 Guy Boothby "The Rickshaw: A farce in two acts" no copies?
  • pending (?date) Marion Craig Wentworth [53]
  • pending (?date) Adelaide Matthews with Martha Stanley "Where Innocense is bliss" light comedy (1929)
  • see also wikibook list of one act plays
  • see also plays from ancient times to the nineteenth century
  • see also read online site

Alphabetical list (playwrights died 1855-1955)[]

  • Ade, George 1944
  • Afford, Malcolm 1954
  • Afinogenov, Alexander 1941
  • Andreyev, Leonid 1919
  • Artaud, Antonin 1948
  • Arthur, Joseph 1906
  • Bacon, Frank 1922
  • Baker, George Melville 1890
  • Balderston, John L. 1954
  • Bangs, John Kendrick 1922
  • Barrie, James Murray 1937
  • Barry, Phillip 1949
  • Beach, Rex 1949
  • Beith, John Hay 1952
  • Belasco, David 1930
  • Bennett, Arnold 1931
  • Birinski, Leo 1951
  • Bjørnson, Bjørnstjerne 1910
  • Black, Stephen 1931
  • Brown, Abbie Farwell 1927
  • Bulgakov, Mikhail 1940
  • Burnard, Francis Cowley 1917
  • Burrill, Mary P. 1946
  • Byron, Henry James 1884
  • Calderon, George1915
  • Caine, Sir Hall 1931
  • Čapek, Karel 1938
  • Chekov, Anton1904
  • Collette 1953
  • Collison, Wilson 1941
  • Colton, John 1946
  • Cowl, Jane 1950
  • Davis, Richard Harding 1916
  • Dickens, Charles 1880
  • Dixon, Thomas, Jr. 1946
  • Dowson, Ernest 1900
  • Drinkwater, John 1937
  • Drury, William Price 1948
  • Du Maurier, Guy 1915
  • Duprez, Fred 1938
  • Epstein, Philip G. 1952
  • Ewing, Juliana Horatia 1885
  • Feydeau, Georges 1921
  • Fitch, Clyde 1909
  • Flecker, James Elroy 1915
  • Fort, Garrett 1945
  • Frank, Bruno 1945
  • Fulton, Maude 1950
  • Gadkari, Ram Ganesh 1919
  • Galsworthy, John 1933
  • Gates, Eleanor 1950
  • Gilbert, W. S. 1911
  • Glaspell, Susan 1948
  • Glass, Montague 1934
  • Goddard, Charles 1951
  • Gorky, Maxim 1936
  • Granville-Barker, Harley 1946
  • Gregory, Lady Augusta 1933
  • Hackett, Walter C. 1944
  • Hazelton, George Cochrane 1921
  • Hauptmann, Gerhart 1946
  • Herne, James A.1901
  • Hoffe, Monckton 1951
  • Howard, Sidney Coe 1939
  • Howells, William Dean 1920
  • Hughes, Hatcher 1945
  • Hawtrey, Charles 1923
  • Ibsen, Henrik 1906
  • Jackson, Frederick 1953
  • James, Henry 1916
  • Kailasam, T. P. 1946
  • Klein, Charles1919
  • Lewis, Sinclair 1951
  • Lonsdale, Frederick 1954
  • Locke, Edward 1945
  • Lorca, Federico García 1936
  • Law, Arthur 1913
  • Magnus, Julian 1905
  • Mack, Willard 1934
  • MacSwiney, Terence 1920
  • Mayo, Margaret 1951
  • Millay, Edna St. Vincent 1950
  • Maeterlinck, Maurice 1949
  • Moffat, Graham 1951
  • Moore, Thomas Sturge 1944
  • Mühsam, Erich 1934
  • McKinnell, Norman 932
  • Mayakovsky, Vladimir 1930
  • Manners, J. Hartley 1928
  • Mizner, Wilson 1933
  • O'Riordan, Conal Holmes O'Connell 1948
  • O'Neill, Eugene 1953
  • Parker, Louis N. 1944
  • Pirandello, Luigi 1936
  • Pinero, Arthur Wing 1934
  • Rostand, Edmond 1918
  • Robins, Elizabeth 1952
  • Rudd, Steele 1935
  • Shaw, George Bernard 1950
  • Shiels, George 1949
  • Summers, Montague 1948
  • Swears, Herbert 1946
  • Shawqi, Ahmed 1932
  • Sheldon, Edward 1946
  • Schnitzler, Arthur 1931
  • Strindberg, August 1912
  • Sutro, Alfred 1933
  • Synge, John Millington 1905
  • Swinburne, Algernon Charles1909
  • Sardou, Victorien 1907
  • Thomas, Augustus 1934
  • Toller, Ernst 1939
  • Turner, Walter J. 1946
  • Tennyson, Alfred, Lord1892
  • Thomas, Brandon1918
  • Turgenev, Ivan1885
  • von Horváth, Ödön 1938
  • Walsh, William Thomas 1949
  • Webster, Jean 1916
  • Willard, John 1942
  • Walter, Eugene 1941
  • Wedekind, Frank 1918
  • Wilde, Percival 1953
  • Yeats, W. B. 1939
  • Zola, Emile 1902

List of musical composers by date of death (prior 1955)[]

  • 1942 George M. Cohan

List of film producers by date of death[]

how to search for copyright expired material[]

search for the date of death.

External Blog[]

Mirror list List of playswrights deceased by 1955.



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