Theatre Research Guide


Academic Search Premier
Multidiscipline, full-text database with much scholarly content.

Cambridge Journals Online
Covers multiple journals in the subject areas of music, drama, and theatre.

Columbia Granger's World of Poetry
Rich compilation of the world’s best remembered and most often taught poems and poets. 

Communication and Mass Media Complete

Gale Fine Arts and Music Collection
A collection of scholarly journals and magazines that support research in areas including drama, music, art history, and filmmaking.

Globe on Screen
High definition videos of live performances of William Shakespeare's plays at the Globe Theatre in London.

A full-text archival database with access to 15 journals in the field of the performing arts including reviews of Broadway plays and musicals.

Kanopy Streaming Video: Performance Art
262 streaming videos available on-demand.

Literature Online
Primary texts of over 350,000 literary works, with a number of key criticism and reference resources.

MLA Bibliography
Covers literature, languages, linguistics and folklore. Coverage: 1926 - present. 

Web resources

American Theatre Wing
Association dedicated to theatre education which operates an array of programs, including a long-running series of televised seminars, a weekly radio program, a free audio and video archive, as well as grants and scholarship programs.

Applied and Interactive Theatre Guide
Links to resources for interactive and applied theatre

Artslynx International Theatre Resources
Useful directory for all aspects of theatre, from acting, writing and directing to academic resources  Resource maintained by Professor Finkelstein, Professor of Theatre Design at James Madison University.

Records of Early English Drama
Links for theater history and early music

Costume Site
History, research, instructions, and resources for the creation of costumes.  Sponsored by U.S. Institute for Theatre Technology

The Internet Broadway Database
The official archival database for Broadway theatre information

The New York Times Online: Theater Section
Current news and topics in drama and theatre (Some content may be subscription-only; if so, access through New York Times Database.)

Theatre Glossary: Glossary of Technical Terms
Hosted by the University of Exeter (UK) Drama Department, it includes a comprehensive list of both American and British theater terminology.

Tony Awards
The ultimate guide to theatre accolades including video clips from the awards show, interviews with winners, and more. 

WWW Virtual Library of Theatre and Drama
Links to resources maintained by the Virtual Library Consortium – original web directory of Tim Berners-Lee

Professional organizations

Actors’ Equity Association
Labor union representing professional American actors and stage managers

Alpha Psi Omega
National Collegiate Theatre Honorary Society

Art Directors Guild
Guild for creative artists of narrative design

Association for Theatre in Higher Education
Organization advocates for theatre and performing arts in higher education

Christians in Theatre Arts
Organization dedicated to Christians in the theatre

Costume Society of America
Society which focuses and supports the understanding of costume and dress

Dramatists Guild of America
Guild which advances the interests of playwrights

Educational Theatre Association
Professional Association for Theatre Education

Screen Actors Guild
Labor union representing actors in film, television, commercials, and music videos

Theatre Support Organizations Gateway
Includes organizations in United States, Canada, and Europe

University/Resident Theatre Association
Consortium of professional theatre graduate programs serving as a resource and liaison to professional theatre companies

Finding books

By subject search

Below are some links to various subject searches in the catalog. The subject search is a specific and helpful way to find materials about your area of interest. Explore these or try some of your own subject searches using the "Subject" tab in Primo. For more information on "power searching" by subject, ask your reference librarian.


Children’s Plays

College and School Drama

Community Theater


Costume Design



Musical Theater


Performing Arts

Shakespeare, William

Special Effects

Stage Props

Stage Lighting

Stage Machinery


Theater Management

Theater History

Theater Law and Legislation

Theater Production and Direction

Theater Religious aspects

Theater Sound effects

Theaters Stage-setting and scenery

Theater Rehearsals

Theater Reviews

Theatrical Makeup

Theatrical Managers

Tony Awards

By call number

If you want to browse for books in the library, use the call numbers below to find the subject areas that are of interest to you. You can use them to browse the reference section or the main stacks. The Library of Congress website may have a more detailed outline of call numbers for your subject area.

PN1-PN110 Literary History – Biography & Literary Criticism
PN110-PN1530 Poetry – Lyric, Folk, Epic, History and Criticism
PN1530 The monologue
PN1551 The dialogue
PN1560-1590 The performing arts. Show business
PN1600-3307 Drama
PN1635-1650 Relation to, and treatment of, special subjects
PN1660-1693 Technique of dramatic composition
PN1720-1861 History
PN1865-1988 Special types
PN1990-1992.92 Broadcasting
PN1993-1999 Motion pictures
PN1997-1997.85 Plays, scenarios, etc.
PN2000-3307 Dramatic representation. The theater
PN2061-2071 Art of acting
PN2085-2091 The stage and accessories
PN2131-2193 By period – Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance, Modern
PN3035 The Jewish theater
PN3175-3191 College and school theatricals
PN3203-3299 Tableaux, pageants, "Happenings," etc.
PN3311-3503 Prose. Prose fiction, Philosophy, theory, technique, authorship
PN3427-3448 Special kinds of fiction. Fiction genres
PN4001-4355 Oratory. Elocution, debate
PN4390-PN4500 Diaries, letters, essays
PN6080-6095 Quotations
PN6121-6129 Orations
PN6141-PN6145 Essays
PN6146-PN6231 Humor