Theatre Appreciation

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Welcome to the Theatre Appreciation Research Guide. This guide is a starting point for finding materials related to dramaturgical research. If you have any questions regarding using the library's resources, please feel free to contact the Humanities Librarian.
 
 
 
 
 
 

  1. A - Play's World
  2. B - Author's World
  3. C - Our World
  4. D - Production and Review

The time period when the play was written.

Reference Works

Reference works include encyclopedias and literary criticisms that are located either on-line or in the Reference Collection. Books in the Reference Collection can only be used in the Library. Online resources can be used from any computer so long as you have a current COD library card.

Reference works include Literary and Historical sources listed below.

Literary Sources

Historical Sources

Find Books and Videos

Finding Books on a Particular Play

Use the Library Catalog and do a subject search on the play's author.
Some other subject headings to look for include:

  • (Name of the Play)
  • Characters
  • Criticism and Interpretation
  • Sources

Note that not all these subheadings will appear for each author.
If the name of the play appears, do not assume that the information you need is only under that heading. The other headings will have information on many plays, hopefully including yours.

Finding Books on a Play's Setting

To locate books on the setting of a play do a subject search on the country or city followed by one of the subheadings below, then add the time period that the play would be in. For example, try searching by century ("20th century") or decade ("nineteen forties" or 1940s).

  • Civilization
  • Politics and Government
  • Economic Conditions
  • Social Conditions
  • History
  • Social Life and Customs

Article Databases

Find general and scholarly articles on period, place, and conditions of the setting of the play.

  • Proquest One Academic
  • Proquest One Academic is a large multidisciplinary collection of journals, magazines, e-books, videos, dissertations, and theses.

  • Academic Search Complete (1984-present)
  • General database useful for arts, theater, history and psychology. Contains indexing and full text for 9100 journals. 7100 of these journals are peer-reviewed scholarly titles.

  • Artemis Literary Sources Artemis is a portal to the content contained in both Literature Online and Literature Resource Center. This database contains literary and drama criticism, reviews, topic overviews, author biographies, and so much more
  • History Study Center
    Primary and secondary history collections providing access to rare British, American and world history sources, full text articles and reference materials. Includes multimedia sources.

  • JSTOR
  • JSTOR is an archive of digitized scholarly journal articles ranging in date from the 1700's to the early 2000's. These collections span a variety of subjects in the Humanities, Social Sciences and Physical Sciences.

  • Literary Criticism Online
    Contains literary criticism in full-text from these important reference works: Contemporary Literary Criticism, Drama Criticism, and Short Story Criticism.

  • Literature Resource Center
  • Provides access to biographies of authors, and criticism and overviews of literary works.

  • Magill's OnLiterature Plus
  • Editorially reviewed critical analyses and brief plot summaries.

  • Project MUSE
  • Project MUSE offers full-text current and archival articles from 500+ scholarly journals from major university presses covering literature and criticism, history, performing arts, cultural studies, education, philosophy, political science, gender studies, and more. Updated continually.

Resources for finding information on the playwright and the influences on him/her.

Reference Works

Reference works include encyclopedias and literary criticisms that are located either on-line or in the Reference Collection. Books in the Reference Collection can only be used in the Library. Online resources can be used from any computer so long has you have a current COD library card.

Reference works include resources on authors and literary criticisms

Author Information

Use these resources to find author biographical information.

Criticism

These resources contain theater and literary criticisms.

Index of literary works

Index to Gale publications lists relevant works on authors and plays. This index lists titles, volumes and page numbers of books that contain information on the play the author.

Find Books and Videos

To locate books on a particular playwright, use the Library Catalog and do a subject search on the author. Some of the subheadings to look for include:

  • Biography Interviews
  • Correspondence Knowledge
  • Critisicm and Interpretation Philosophy
  • Correspondence
  • Political and Social Views

Not all these subheadings will appear for each author.

Article Databases

  • Proquest One Academic
  • Proquest One Academic is a large multidisciplinary collection of journals, magazines, e-books, videos, dissertations, and theses.

  • Academic Search Complete (1984-present)
  • General database useful for arts, theater, history and psychology. Contains indexing and full text for 9100 journals. 7100 of these journals are peer-reviewed scholarly titles.

  • Artemis Literary Sources Artemis is a portal to the content contained in both Literature Online and Literature Resource Center. This database contains literary and drama criticism, reviews, topic overviews, author biographies, and so much more
  • History Study Center
    Primary and secondary history collections providing access to rare British, American and world history sources, full text articles and reference materials. Includes multimedia sources.

  • JSTOR
  • JSTOR is an archive of digitized scholarly journal articles ranging in date from the 1700's to the early 2000's. These collections span a variety of subjects in the Humanities, Social Sciences and Physical Sciences.

  • Literary Criticism Online
    Contains literary criticism in full-text from these important reference works: Contemporary Literary Criticism, Drama Criticism, and Short Story Criticism.

  • Literature Resource Center
  • Provides access to biographies of authors, and criticism and overviews of literary works.

  • Magill's OnLiterature Plus
  • Editorially reviewed critical analyses and brief plot summaries.

  • Project MUSE
  • Project MUSE offers full-text current and archival articles from 500+ scholarly journals from major university presses covering literature and criticism, history, performing arts, cultural studies, education, philosophy, political science, gender studies, and more. Updated continually.

The period when the play was written, the nature of society, and contemporary events.

Reference Works

Reference works include encyclopedias and literary criticisms that are located either on-line or in the Reference Collection. Books in the Reference Collection can only be used in the Library. Online resources can be used from any computer so long has you have a current COD library card.

Reference works include resources on authors and literary criticisms

Find Books and Videos

To locate books on the playwright's time, use the Library Catalog and do a subject search on the country or city followed by one of the subheadings below, then select the time period in which the playwright lived.

  • Civilization
  • Economic Conditions
  • History
  • Politics and Government
  • Social Conditions
  • Social Life and Customs

Or look up specific topics you know are relevant.

Article Databases

  • Proquest One Academic
  • Proquest One Academic is a large multidisciplinary collection of journals, magazines, e-books, videos, dissertations, and theses.

  • Academic Search Complete (1984-present)
  • General database useful for arts, theater, history and psychology. Contains indexing and full text for 9100 journals. 7100 of these journals are peer-reviewed scholarly titles.

  • Artemis Literary Sources Artemis is a portal to the content contained in both Literature Online and Literature Resource Center. This database contains literary and drama criticism, reviews, topic overviews, author biographies, and so much more
  • History Study Center
    Primary and secondary history collections providing access to rare British, American and world history sources, full text articles and reference materials. Includes multimedia sources.

  • JSTOR
  • JSTOR is an archive of digitized scholarly journal articles ranging in date from the 1700's to the early 2000's. These collections span a variety of subjects in the Humanities, Social Sciences and Physical Sciences.

  • Literary Criticism Online
    Contains literary criticism in full-text from these important reference works: Contemporary Literary Criticism, Drama Criticism, and Short Story Criticism.

  • Literature Resource Center
  • Provides access to biographies of authors, and criticism and overviews of literary works.

  • Magill's OnLiterature Plus
  • Editorially reviewed critical analyses and brief plot summaries.

  • Project MUSE
  • Project MUSE offers full-text current and archival articles from 500+ scholarly journals from major university presses covering literature and criticism, history, performing arts, cultural studies, education, philosophy, political science, gender studies, and more. Updated continually.

Resources for finding Information on play productions & reviews

Play Reviews

Reviews for plays can be found in several types of resources, including newspapers, magazines, reference works on literary criticism and websites.

  • Proquest One Academic
  • Proquest One Academic is a large multidisciplinary collection of journals, magazines, e-books, videos, dissertations, and theses.

  • Academic Search Complete (1984-present)
  • General database useful for arts, theater, history and psychology. Contains indexing and full text for 9100 journals. 7100 of these journals are peer-reviewed scholarly titles.

  • Artemis Literary Sources Artemis is a portal to the content contained in both Literature Online and Literature Resource Center. This database contains literary and drama criticism, reviews, topic overviews, author biographies, and so much more
  • Chicago Tribune (1849-1989) Proquest Historical Newspapers
  • Digital image of every issue of the Chicago Tribune (1849-1989), cover-to-cover. For articles published between 1989-Present, use the Chicago Tribune (1989-Present).

  • Literary Index
  • Index to Gale publications that list relevant works on authors and plays. Index will list the titles, volumes and page numbers of books that contain information on the play the author.

  • Literary Criticism Online
    Contains literary criticism in full-text from these important reference works: Contemporary Literary Criticism, Drama Criticism, and Short Story Criticism.

  • Literature Resource Center
  • Provides access to biographies of authors, and criticism and overviews of literary works, and reviews of theatre performances.

  • New York Times (1851-2009) Proquest Historical Newspapers
  • Digital image of every issue of the New York Times from 1851-2009, cover-to-cover.

  • New York Times 2009-Present.
  • New York Times Theater Reviews
  • Theater reviews from 1870-2000.
    Reference PN 2266. N48

  • Newspaper Source
    Provides selected full text for 23 national (U.S.) and international newspapers, including USA Today, The Christian Science Monitor, The Washington Post, The Times (London), The Toronto Star, etc. The database also contains selected full text from nearly 200 regional (U.S.) newspapers, including The Boston Globe, The Chicago Tribune, The Detroit Free Press, The Miami Herald, The New York Daily News, The San Jose Mercury News, etc. In addition, full text television & radio news transcripts are provided from CBS News, FOX News, NPR, etc.

    Play Productions

  • The Internet Off-Broadway Database
    Provides production information for may off-Broadway productions, "...including title page credits, original cast members and replacements, window card photos, awards won, number of performances and much more. In addition, there’s information about Off-Broadway theatre spaces, theatre companies and the people who make Off-Broadway come to life."

Find Books and Videos

To locate books on a particular play, use the Library Catalog and do a subject or keyword search for the title of the play. Some of the subheadings to look for include:

  • Dramatic Production
  • Technique
  • Stage History

Not all these subheadings will appear for each author.
If the name of the play appears, do not assume that the information you need is only under that heading. The other (broader) headings will have information on many of the playwright's plays, hopefully including yours.
Other topics you may want to research and their subject headings:

Costume Design - search these terms:

  • Costume
  • Costume Design
  • Men's Clothing
  • Vintage Clothing
  • Fashion

Music- search these terms:

  • Music (by time period)
  • Popular Music - Chronology
  • Popular Music - Discography
  • Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616 - Musical Settings

Set Design- search these terms:

  • Scene Painting
  • Stage - Machinery
  • Stage - Models
  • Stage Management
  • Theaters - Sound Effects
  • Theaters - Stage Setting and Scenery

Stage Direction- search these terms:

  • Acting
  • Method (Acting)
  • Movement (Acting)
  • Musicals - Production and Direction
  • Theaters- Production and Direction

Also of note:
The London Stage, 1660-1800 (PN 1582 .G72 L65.) has some interesting information about staging, lighting, costumes, and the entertainment industry in general. This work also contains a catalog of plays performed during that time period with some contemporary commentary.

Annals of the New York Stage (PN 2277 .N5 O39) which covers the years 1750-1894.

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