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Theater Subject Guide: Home

Theater Subject Guide

Subject guides are designed to help students begin the research process, find reputable sources, and save time.

Searching the Library's One Search Catalog for Books & Other Materials

Examples of Subject searches include: Acting, Actors, Actresses, Amateur theater, American drama, Authors and the theater, Classical drama, Copyright--drama, Copyright--performing rights, Costume, Costume design, Drama, Drama--history and criticism, Dramatists, English drama, Expression, Gesture, Monologues, Performing arts, Playbills, Set designers, Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616, Stage, Stage lighting, Stage photography, Theater, Theater and society, Theater architecture, Theaters, Theaters--decorations, Theaters--stage setting and scenery, Vaudeville. 

Browsing the Library Collection Materials in the Library are shelved by call number according to the Library of Congress classification system, and are placed on the shelves according to subject. Relevant areas in the collection to find materials on theater include:

Drama (works about drama in a literary form) PN 1600-1861
Theater (works about drama as acted on stage) PN 2200-3307
Acting PN 2055-2073
Shakespeare PN 1995.9.W6


Using Key Reference Sources

Reference books provide background information and overviews on a given topic. Some relevant reference books in theater include:

Hartnoll, Phyllis, ed. The Concise Oxford Companion to the Theatre : Oxford University Press, 1992. REF PN 2035 .C63 1992

Banham, Martin, ed. The Cambridge Guide to Theatre : Cambridge University Press, 1995. REF PN 2035 .C27 1995

Kennedy, Dennis, ed. The Oxford Encyclopedia of Theatre & Performance : Oxford University Press, 2003. REF PN 2035 .O92 2003

Bordman, Gerald, ed. The Oxford Companion to American Theatre, 3rd ed. : Oxford University Press, 2004. REF PN 2220 .B6 2004

Searching for Articles in Periodical Databases


Finding Web Resources

Below are some examples of academic/scholarly web sites for drama and theater studies. If you use a search engine, such as Google, remember to evaluate the quality of the results. 

Library of Congress Internet Resources for Music, Theater, and Dance 

Drama Library: Homepages Developed  A collection of Web pages useful for those doing research in theater. Created by Liz Fugate, Librarian at the Drama Library, University of Washington Libraries. 
International Theatre Institute   A collection of Web pages ranging from acting to world theatre. Edited by Richard Finkelstein, professor of theatre design. 
Performing Arts Links  A collection of theater and performing arts Web sites with an international focus. Edited by Maria Teresa Iovinelli, Burcardo Library and Theatre Collection in Rome. 
Theatre and Drama / WWW Virtual Library  Provides links to international online articles, journals, museums, organizations and theatre companies, etc. Developed by CTI Center for Textual Studies, Oxford. 
Visual and Performing Arts  A searchable database of scholarly resources on the Internet related to the visual and performing arts. Developed by Infomine. 
Voice of the Shuttle: Drama, Theater, & Performance Art Studies  A collection of selected links to Web resources related to theatre and drama. Created by University of California, Santa Barbara, English Department. 
Yahoo Theater Subject Directory  An online guide to professionally-evaluated Web sites related to theater. 
Working in the Theatre  (American Theatre Wing)  An acclaimed fixture on New York television and in the theatre community for 30 years, the American Theatre Wing's "Working in the Theatre" offers an unprecedented forum for the meeting of theatrical minds.
McCoy’s Guide to Theatre and Performance Studies 
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare  Complete works of William Shakespeare, including Internet resources, a discussion area, quotations, and a glossary.    Interactive site to increase the popular understanding and enjoyment of Shakespeare. 
Shakespeare Resources on the Internet  A true search engine attempts to build indices to "all that is out there" via automated information gathering programs known as robots or spiders, and then lets you search the indices by keyword(s).

Mr. William Shakespeare and the Internet  Provides links to online scholarly resources as well as new Shakespeare materials, such as a genealogy, a time line, information about the Shakespeare canon, etc.

Multimedia Resources

Films On Demand

Digital Theatre+

Film Studies

Eclipse Theatre's 10 by 10 - developed and produced by Eclipse Theatre, Britain’s leading Black-led national touring company. Ten films, made by ten writers, across ten different cities.

Shut Down and Virgin Territory Both productions reside alongside a theatre performance of the same title so great for analyzing artistic choices for both mediums.

British Council - Shakespeare Lives, funded by the British Council, took place in 2016 to commemorate 400 years since Shakespeare’s death. The global celebration encompassed film, theatre, dance, and literature.

Discovering Shakespeare: A Guide to WillShake's Henry V - A study guide accompanying a short film, that includes behind-the-scenes insight with production and film stills.

If you are experiencing problems with our guides and databases, please contact ProfessorJanet S. Ward,, Assistant Director of the Library and Web Services Librarian.