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


Malcolm AffordEdit

(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.Edit

and assorted musicals


Frederick J JacksonEdit

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

Eugene O'NeillEdit


Written in English, dialogue between cat and dog


George Bernard ShawEdit

table of works

full text

Elanor Gates

Poor Little Rich Girl


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

Animal Kingdom. Philadelphia story.


Antonin Artaud

  • Jet of Blood

Susan GlaspellEdit


Edward Sheldon=Edit

Gerhart HauptmannEdit

  • The Conflagration link

Harley Granville-BarkerEdit


Bruno FrankEdit

  • Storm in a teacup

Georg KaiserEdit

  • A Gardener of Toulouse


George AdeEdit


James Joyce (1939) Exiles - slow moving tragedy


Sidney Coe HowardEdit

W B Yeats multiple titles

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


J. M. BarrieEdit


Maxim GorkyEdit


Steele RuddEdit


Arthur Wing PineroEdit

Montague GlassEdit

Potash and Perlmutter


John GalsworthyEdit

collected works

Lady Augusta GregoryEdit


Sir Hall CaineEdit

Collected works

Arnold BennettEdit

The Great Adventure


J. Hartley MannersEdit

Peg O' My Heart


Charles HawtreyEdit

private secretary


Charles Klein

The Lion and the Mouse 1905 Comedy


Brandon Thomas

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


====Francis Burnand the colnel


Jean Webster

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


Charles KleinEdit

Lion and Mouse


Julian MagnusEdit

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


Ivan Turgenev


Henry James Byron

  • Our Boys (on archive) Comedy

also seeEdit

Plays under creative commons license

creative commons student product

one act list

Awaiting confirmation of datesEdit

  • 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)


Tumped Suit (1898) by Julian magnus (died 1905)Edit

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 deathEdit

See Australian copyright expiry conditions

List of playwrights by date of death (1935-1943)Edit

See United Kingdom and European copyright expiry conditions

List of playwrights by date of death (1925-1935)Edit

List of playwrights by date of death (1915-1925)Edit

nine comic works

List of playwrights by date of death (1855-1915)Edit

Playwrights pending inclusion on listsEdit

  • 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)Edit

  • 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)Edit

List of film producers by date of deathEdit

how to search for copyright expired materialEdit

search for the date of death.

External BlogEdit

Mirror list List of playswrights deceased by 1955.


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