THEATER RESEARCH //

 

This is a research guide for finding materials on theater in the Greenfield Library at The University of the Arts. Reference materials are the first tab, followed by suggested subject headings for searching library catalogs. Periodical indexes to magazine articles and newspapers are next, followed by style manuals and finally Web sites. If you have questions about this topic please contact Sara MacDonald (smacdonald@uarts.edu, 215-717-6282), Public Services Librarian.

If you're interested in theater you may also be interested in Character Research for Theater and the Musical Theater Reference Sources guide for the UArts Music Library.

REFERENCE MATERIALS

The first place to look when beginning research on a topic is in reference material: specialized dictionaries, encyclopedias or handbooks. These allow you to check names, dates and places, find additional information, look up unknown terms, and check for the proper spelling of words. They are particularly helpful for finding basic background information on a topic, and are often the only place many students may need to look to find answers to their questions. They may include bibliographies (lists of additional materials on a topic, usually considered by the author to be the best materials on that topic) that you can use to find other materials.

Call numbers are for the Greenfield Library unless otherwise indicated. REF in front of a call number indicates the reference section of the library, which in Greenfield is opposite the circulation desk.


REFERENCE BOOKS || DIRECTORIES || CRITICISM


REFERENCE BOOKS

Simons, Linda Keir. The Performing Arts: A Guide to the Reference Literature. Libraries Unlimited, 1994.
REF 016.7902 Si57p
"This book describes, evaluates, and compares reference sources in the performing arts. In defining the scope of the work I have concentrated on theatre and dance along with the minor arts of puppetry, mime, magic, and the circus. Because other guides in this series have dealt with music, film, and television, I have excluded them here. I have included musical comedy, however ... When evaluating books, I have considered the busy reference librarian who needs to find an answer quickly; the student who requires guidance through an unfamiliar subject; and the scholar who may need help in a field other than her specialty. ... I have emphasized performance above all, and this guide does not look at books that are primarily interested in drama as literature." Author's preface, p. vii. A guide to the literature is an attempt to describe the major information tools and resources in a particular discipline or subject area.

Acting: An International Encyclopedia. Beth Osnes. Santa Barbara, CA; Denver CO: ABC-CLIO, c2001.
REF 790.203 Os5a
A better title would be Theater and Acting: An International Dictionary. Brief entries on people (including some film directors and actors), styles and forms of theater, geographical entries. Each entry has a short bibliography.

American Playwrights Since 1945: A Guide to Scholarship, Criticism, and Performance / edited by Philip C. Kolin. NY: Greenwood Press, c1989.
REF 812.016 Am35g

Bordman, Gerald Martin. The Oxford Companion to American Theatre. 3rd ed. Oxford University Press, 2004.
REF 792.0973 B644 2004

Brewer's Theater: A Phrase and Fable Dictionary. 1st U.S. ed. HarperCollins, c1994.
REF 792.03 B758h 1994

Pavis, Patrice. Dictionary of the Theatre: Terms, Concepts, and Analysis. University of Toronto Press, 1998.
REF 792.03 P288d

Cambridge Guide to American Theatre / edited by Don B. Wilmeth and Tice L. Miller. Cambridge University Press, 2007.
REF 792.0973 C144w 2007

The Cambridge Guide to Theatre. Cambridge University Press, 1995.
REF 792.03 C144b 1995

The Columbia Encyclopedia of Modern Drama / edited by Gabrielle H. Cody and Evert Sprinchorn. NY: Columbia University Press, c2007.
REF 809.2003 C723c v.1-2

The Concise Oxford Companion to the Theatre. 2nd ed. Edited by Phyllis Hartnoll and Peter Found. London, New York, Oxford University Press, 1992.
REF 792.03 Ox25c 1992

Leiter, Samuel L. The Encyclopedia of the New York Stage, 1920-1930. Greenwood Press, 1985.
REF 792.097471 L536e 1920-30 v. 1-2

Leiter, Samuel L. The Encyclopedia of the New York Stage, 1930-1940. Greenwood Press, 1989.
REF 792.097471 L536e 1930-40

The Encyclopedia of World Theater: With 420 Illustrations and an Index of Play Titles / introd. by Martin Esslin. NY: Scribner, c1977.
REF 792.03 En19e

North American Theatre Online. Alexander Street Press, 2005 - .
http://0-asp6new.alexanderstreet.com.catalog.library.uarts.edu/atho/
A growing resource that includes the text of titles such as Oxford Companion to the American Theatre (3rd ed.), Notable Women in the American Theatre (1989), Encyclopedia of the New York Stage, 1920-1930, American Theatre: A Chronicle of Comedy and Drama, 1969-2000 (2001), Profiles of African American Stage Performers and Theatre People, 1816-1960 and more to come.

Harrison, Martin. The Language of Theatre. Routledge, 1998.
REF 792.03 H247l

McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of World Drama: An International Reference Work in 5 Volumes / Stanley Hochman, editor in chief. 2nd ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, c1984.
REF 809.2 M178h vols. 1-5

Oxford Encyclopedia of Theatre and Performance / Edited by Dennis Kennedy. Oxford; NY: Oxford University Press, 2003
REF 792.03 Ox2k v. 1-2. See also the online version on our Reference Sources Online page.

Selected Theatre Criticism / Edited by Anthony Slide. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1985-
REF 792.015 Se48 v. 1, 1900-1919; v. 2, 1920-1930; v. 3, 1930-1950..
Selected reprints (i.e., the entire review) of theater reviews for the years covered.

Theatre Companies of the World / edited by Colby H. Kullman and William C. Young. Greenwood Press, 1986.
REF 792.092 T34k v. 1-2
"Contributors were asked to supply the following information in a clearly organized narrative essay: (1) the name and address of the company; (2) a general statement explaining the company's significance; (3) a brief history of the company ... ; (4) the achievements of certain playwrights who may have been associated with the company; (5) a philosophy or special purpose that might unify the company's approach to production; (6) the number of stages ...; (7) the future plans of the company." Preface, p. xiii.

The Crown Guide to the World's Great Plays: From Ancient Greece to Modern Times / by Joseph T. Shipley. Rev., updated ed. NY: Crown Publishers, c1984.
REF 809.2 Sh64c 1984

Handbook of Russian Literature. Edited by Victor Terras. New Haven: Yale University Press, c1985.
REF 891.703 H191t

The Oxford Companion to Classical Literature. 2nd ed. Edited by M.C. Howatson. Oxford University Press, 1989.
REF 880.3 H26 1989


DIRECTORIES
To find information about specific theaters and theater companies you should consult many of the reference books listed above as well as these directories.

American Theatre Companies, 1749-1887 / edited by Weldon B. Durham. Greenwood Press, 1986.
REF 792.0973 Am25d

American Theatre Companies, 1888-1930 / edited by Weldon B. Durham. Greenwood Press, 1987.
REF 792.0973 Am25d2

American Theatre Companies, 1931-1986 / edited by Weldon B. Durham. Greenwood Press, 1989.
REF 792.0973 Am25d3

Directory of Historic American Theatres / edited by John W. Frick and Carlton Ward for the League of Historic American Theatres. Greenwood Press, 1987.
REF 792.0295 D628f

Dramatists Sourcebook. Theatre Communications Group, c1981- .
REF 792.0295 D79 2002-2003

Regional Theatre Directory. Dorset Theatre Festival & Colony House, c1985- .
REF 792.0295 R263 1994-95

Theatre Companies of the World / edited by Colby H. Kullman and William C. Young. Greenwood Press, 1986.
REF 792.092 T34k


CRITICISM

The four literary criticism titles published by Gale listed below provide biographical information on authors, including playwrights, and excerpts of criticism. There are cumulating indexes and cumulating title indexes.

To find current theater reviews, consult the periodical indexes.

Contemporary Literary Criticism. Gale Research, 1973- .
REF 809 C76
Contemporary Literary Criticism is also available online as one of the UArts Libraries' subscription databases.

Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism. Gale Research, 1973- .
REF 809.034 N6225

Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism. Gale Research, 1973- .
REF 809.04 G131t

Drama Criticism: Criticism of the Most Significant and Widely Studied Dramatic Works from all the World's Literatures. Gale Research, c1991- .
REF 809.2 D79g vols. 1- .

Analytical Sourcebook of Concepts in Dramatic Theory / Oscar Lee Brownstein and Darlene M. Daubert. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1981.
REF 801.952 B825a

PERIODICAL INDEXES

Magazine and journal articles will always be the best place to look for current information on your topic. Periodical indexes are research tools that allow you to search for articles in journals and magazines.

Go to the library's Article Databases and Indexes page for a list of the UArts Libraries' subscription indexes.

I've found articles I want to read. Now what?
There are different ways to find an article once you retrieve a citation in the index:

  • See if there is a link in the index you're using to a full-text article online and download it or e-mail it to yourself.

  • Check to see if our library holds the journal title. Look up the journal title or the ISSN*** in the catalog and look at the holdings.

    • ***What is an ISSN? ISSN stands for International Standard Serial Number and is a unique number for a magazine or journal (not individual articles, but the magazine/journal title itself). You can use it in the UArts Libraries catalog and in many periodical indexes and databases. Searching with a number is much more precise than typing out a long title.

  • Use interlibrary loan to request materials not owned by the UArts Libraries.

  • See what other libraries in the area hold the journal.

Style Manuals: Citing Your Sources

When you find information on a topic, no matter what format it takes (book, journal, Web page), there are style manuals to show you the correct way to give cite those sources in a paper.

THEATER SITES ON THE WORLD WIDE WEB

Searching the Web can be overwhelming. If you are using the Internet for research you want to choose sites that meet the standards of accuracy, currency and authority.

Below are just a few theater-related sites that may be of interest to the University of the Arts community. Sites are usually selected for inclusion here because they have a lot of good links, so explore and look for that Web page's links.

American Theatre and Drama Society
http://www.atds.org/
"The American Theatre and Drama Society (ATDS) is an incorporated organization dedicated to the study of United States theatre and drama, its varied histories, traditions, literatures, and performances within its cultural contexts. ATDS also encourages the evolving debate exploring national identities and experiences through research, pedagogy, and practice. ATDS recognizes that notions of America and the US encompass migrations of peoples and cultures that overlap and influence one another. To this end, ATDS welcomes scholars, teachers, and practitioners world-wide."

IPL2: The Internet Public Library 2
http://www.ipl.org/
This is a great place to start any kind of Internet research.

Costume Society of America
http://www.costumesocietyamerica.com/
"The Costume Society of America advances the global understanding of all aspects of dress and appearance. We work to stimulate scholarship and encourage study in the rich and diverse field of costume."

Costumer's Manifesto
http://thecostumersmanifesto.com
This Web site appears on just about every costume Web site's links.

Dramaturgical Research
http://www2.ups.edu/professionalorgs/dramaturgy/dramrsch.htm
Excellent and thorough site by Lori Ricigliano at the University of Puget Sound. If you're doing dramaturgy this is worth spending some time with.

IDEA - The International Dialects of English Archive
http://web.ku.edu/idea/
Preparing for an audition or a role? Learning an accent? This is fun and free (but it is copyrighted).

International Costumers' Guild, Inc
http://costume.org/
Nice links: http://costume.org/links/resources.html

Jack Wolcott's Theatre History on the Web
http://www.videoccasions-nw.com/history/jack.html

New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
http://www.nypl.org/research/lpa/lpa.html
Great library, great Web pages. Be sure to see their Best of the Web: Performing Arts.

Theatre Communications Group (TCG)
http://www.tcg.org/index.cfm
TCG's mission: "To strengthen, nurture and promote the professional not-for-profit American theatre... our programs further our core values of fostering connection, embracing diversity and supporting artistry in the American theatre. In all our endeavors, TCG seeks to increase the organizational efficiency of our member theatres, cultivate and celebrate the artistic talent and achievements of the field, and promote a larger public understanding of and appreciation for the theatre." TCG publishes the magazine, American Theatre, plus various directories, plays and books. Note the link for Tools and Research.

Theatre Library Association, New York NY
http://www.tla-online.org/
"The Theatre Library Association is a non-profit, educational organization established in 1937 to promote the collection, preservation, and use of theatrical and performing arts materials. Membership includes librarians, scholars, curators, archivists, performers, writers, designers, historians, collectors, and students." Be sure to see their "Theatre Resources" links.

US Institute for Theatre Technology
http://www.usitt.org/
"Serving professionals and pre-professionals in design, production, and technology for the performing arts since 1960, the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) is a place to network, exchange ideas, and grow."

World Wide Web Virtual Library for Theatre and Drama
http://vl-theatre.com/
The Virtual Library is one of the best and most authoritative sources you can use to start finding good information on the Web.




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