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Theater Research

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This web site is a starting point for researching plays, playwrights, and other theater topics at the Dulaney-Browne Library. It is not intended to be a comprehensive guide. However, the site is intended to help students understand the various theater sources available and how to begin research. All print sources can be found at the Dulaney-Browne Library unless otherwise stated. The information presented here is intended for college students, who are new to library research or new to the theater subject matter.

Subject Headings

Monographs (books) can be located using the Library Discovery Search. Following are some examples of subject headings for researching theater topics:




Additional subject terms can be found in the LIBRARY OF CONGRESS SUBJECT HEADINGS.



When searching for people, it is a good idea to do both an author and subject search on their name.  The catalog will react better for you if you reverse the name when you search as you see here below

  • Marlowe, Christopher
  • Miller, Arthur
  • Shakespeare, William
  • Shaw, Bernard
  • Williams, Tennessee
  • Wilder, Thornton

    If you are having problems locating information on a person, it may be because you are searching one of their aliases. To find their given name visit the LIBRARY OF CONGRESS NAME AUTHORITIES.

Journal Titles & Indexes (Electronic & Print)

You may need your OCU email username and password to access electronic resources.

SEARCH EBSCOhost Databases listed below


  • International Bibliography of Theater and Dance in Full Text (EBSCO)
    Performing Arts Resources (11/1/2005-Present)
    Theatre Design & Technology (4/1/2004-Present)
    American Drama (2006-Present)
    Back Stage (1995-Present)
    ScriptWriter (2004-Present)
    Shakespeare (2005-1 year ago)
    Playbill (2004-Present)
    Plays (1994-Present)
    Text and Performance Quarterly (1980-Present)
  • Academic Search Complete (EBSCO)
    American Theatre (1995-Present)
    Asian Theatre Journal (2001-Present)
    Theatre History Studies (2003-Present)
    Theatre Research in Candada (2002-Present)
    Theatre Crafts International (1997-2005)
    Theatre Notebook (2006-Present)
  • Humanities International Complete (EBSCO)
    Contemporary Theatre Review (1992-Present)
    Theatre Symposium (2007-Present)
    Nineteenth Century Theatre & Film (2004-Present)

  • Professional Development Collection (EBSCO)
  • Journal of American Drama and Theater (print)
  • Readers’ Guide to Periodical Literature (print)
  • OOBR: The Magazine of off-off Broadway Review (online)

Dictionaries & Encyclopedias

Dictionaries and encyclopedias are a good place to start your research because they can give you a broad overview of the subject as well as terminology to use in subject searches. All items listed in this section are a part of the library’s reference collection and are LIBRARY USE ONLY.

  • 792.09 M293h. Mantzius, Karl. A History of Theatrical Art in Ancient and Modern Times. New York: Peter Smith, 1937.
  • R 792.09 B815h. Brown, T. Allston. History of the American Stage. New York: Blom, 1969.
  • R 792.02 B496g. Billington, Michael. The Guinness Book of Theatre Facts & Feats. Enfield, Middlesex: Guinness Superlatives, 1982.
  • R 792.03 En19. Encyclopedia of World Theater. New York: Scribner, 1977.
  • R 792.03 In8.. International Dictionary of Theatre. Chicago: St. James Press, 1992.
  • R 792.03 Ox2. The Oxford Encyclopedia of Theatre & Performance. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003.
  • R 792.03 H333o4. Oxford Companion to the Theatre. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990.
  • R 792.0321 C144 1995. Banham, Martin. Cambridge guide to the Theatre. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995.
  • R 792.03 H669d. Hodgson, Terry. Drama Dictionary. New York: New Amsterdam, 1988.
  • R 792.03 G765t. Granville, Wilfred. The Theater Dictionary. New York: Philosophical Library, 1952.
  • R 792.03 H247L. Harrison, Martin. Language of the Theatre. New York: Routledge, 1998.
  • R 792.03 B787t. Bowman, Walter Parker. Theatre Language. New York: Theatre Arts Books, 1961.
  • R 792.03 L889t3. Lounsbury, Warren C. Theatre Backstage From A to Z. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1989.
  • R 792.025 C246b3 1994. Carter, Paul. Backstage Handbook. New York: Broadway Press, 1994.
  • R 792.026 C838c. Ingham, Rosemary. Costumer’s Handbook. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1980.
  • R 792.026 T361p. Thomas, Beverly Jane. Practical Approach to Costume Design and Construction. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1982.

Historical Maps & Internet Sources



World Shakespeare Bibliography The World Shakespeare Bibliography Online is a searchable electronic database consisting of the most comprehensive record of Shakespeare-related scholarship and theatrical productions published or produced worldwide between 1960 and 2015. Containing over 142,500 annotated entries, this collected information is an essential tool for anyone engaged in research on Shakespeare or early modern England.

The library owns a large library of dialect instruction called Acting with an accent dialect instruction by David Alan Stern.  They are on permanent reserve behind the circulation desk at Dulaney-Browne Library.   Ask for the call number 792.028 St45a 2003 and tell

  • [pt. 1]. New York City
    [pt. 2]. American Southern
    [pt. 3]. 4 Texas dialects
    [pt. 4]. Boston
    [pt. 5]. Down East New England
    [pt. 6]. Upper class New England "Kennedy-esque"
    [pt. 7]. Chicago
    [pt. 8]. Midwest farm and ranch
    [pt. 9]. Australian
    [pt. 10]. Spanish
    [pt. 11]. Italian
    [pt. 12]. French
    [pt. 13]. German
    [pt. 14]. Russian
    [pt. 15]. Yiddish
    [pt. 16]. Polish
    [pt. 17]. Norwegian and Swedish
    [pt. 18]. Standard British (2nd ed.)
    [pt. 19]. British North Country
    [pt. 20]. Cockney
    [pt. 21]. Irish
    [pt. 22]. Scottish
    [pt. 23]. Arabic
    [pt. 24]. Persian (Farsi)
    [pt. 25]. West Indian & Black African.
  • Stage dialect instruction booklets by David Alan Stern copyrighted 1979 and 1983.
    pt.1-9, 12-13, 18, 20, 25, 2/13/09, 19.50 ea.

Music, Theater, Dance and Entertainment Business Librarian

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Beth Fleming
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Room 308 B
Wanda L. Bass School of Music