Drama & Theatre Research Guide
This lists all of our books, journals, and other resources. Please note that you must search for books or journals, NOT for individual chapters or articles within them.
Use a Subject begins with… search to find books if you already know how they are described in the catalog. Here are some terms that are important in theatre and drama:
- American drama -- History and criticism
- Costume design
- Drama -- Dictionaries
- Drama -- History and criticism
- Dramatists -- Biography
- Experimental theater
- Improvisation (Acting)
- Method (Acting)
- Musicals -- Production and direction
- Performing arts -- Reviews -- Index
- Stage lighting
- Stage management
- Theater -- Encyclopedias
- Theater -- Handbooks, manuals, etc.
- Theater -- History
- Theater -- Production and direction
- Theaters -- Directories
- Theaters -- Stage-setting and scenery
- Theatrical makeup
Searching under these headings will bring up an alphabetical list of subject headings, which you can read to find more subject headings related to your topic.
Notice that the subject headings use Theater, NOT Theatre and that Theaters is also a separate heading.
More Search Tips
Dictionaries and Encyclopedias are excellent places to begin your research. There are some related to specific dance styles as well as to dance in general.
Example: Ballet -- Dictionaries.
If you are searching for biographies or information about a specific person, try a Subject begins with… search for that person's last name.
Example: Shakespeare, William.
In some cases, you will have several headings to choose from.
Example: Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616 -- Dramatic production
If you are interested in theatre in a specific country or area, add that country's name to the heading “Theater.”
Example: Theater -- Japan -- History
Example: Theater -- New York (State) -- New York -- Dictionaries
There are also subject headings referring to the theatre of specific groups. These are harder to guess, so you may want to use the “Subject Keyword” search.
Example: African American theater
Example: Women in the theater
You can also look for books near others on the shelf. Try Floor 3 for reference materials and Floor 5 for other books.
Here are some call numbers you might try:
- PN 1560 - 1590 Performing Arts. Show business. General and Special Topics.
- PN 1600 - 1988 Drama.
- PN 2000 - 3307 Dramatic Presentation. The Theater.
- PN 2053 Production and Direction.
- PN 2061 - 2080 Art of Acting, including costuming, makeup and gesture
- PN 2080 Monologues
- PN 2085 - 2096 The stage and accessories
- PN 2100 - 2219 Theater: History and criticism by period.
If you don't have experience reading call numbers, this tutorial can help.
If you are looking for monologues, you may also wish to check our Course Reserves page.
- International Bibliography of Theatre and Dance
- Includes a wide variety of journals in the performing arts. A good starting point. If you are looking for reviews try selecting Entertainment Reviews in the Document Type box.
- A multidisciplinary, full-text database covering nearly every subject, including the performing arts.
- Searchable, digital library of nearly one million images, including theatre images.
- MLA International Bibliography
- The premier literature database; an excellent place to find critical information on dramatic texts.
- Literature Resource Center
- Another literature database. Less scholarly than MLA, but a good source for overviews and reviews of plays.
All these databases and more can be found on the Queens College Databases page. You can use the drop-down menu to sort for only theatre-related or drama-related databases.
Sometimes a database will not have the full text of an article. However, there is still a good chance we own the article.
- Click on the orange Find It button.
- If you see a link that says Full Text, click on it for full text.
- If you see a message that says CUNY has a copy, click to see library holdings. Make sure to check the date to see if we have that issue!
- If we do not have a copy, click on Interlibrary Loan. The first time you do this, you need to make an account. We will get the article for you.
Some databases are not compatible with FindIt, or you may have a citation from elsewhere.
Search CUNY+ for the journal title, NOT the article title. Then click on Queens to see which volumes and issues the library holds.
To search for videos and DVDs in CUNY+, use the Guided Search.
Under Format Type, select Visual Materials.
Type your search in the search boxes. A Title search for Hamlet retrieves several film productions.
Web Resources & Theatre Organizations
- New York Public Library's Guide to Costume and Fashion History
- Covers references and strategies for research in historical costume.
- University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Theatre Research Guide
- Although this is a guide for UIUC students, many of the resources listed are also available at Queens College. For other interesting Internet resources, see the Internet Resources section of the page.
- American Association of Community Theatre
- A professional organization representing the interests of community theatres. Their homepage is a useful resource, offering a discussion board, “Tips of the Month”, book recommendations and more.
- American Society for Theatre Research
- ASTR is a professional association in theatre scholarship. Their website is a very useful resource, including conference information, calls for papers, and information about their Graduate Student Caucus, a community for graduate students in theatre.
- Arts, Crafts & Theater Safety
- A not-for-profit organization providing publications and consultations on health and safety issues in theaters and the arts.
- Association for Theatre in Higher Education
- A professional association serving colleges, departments and individuals interested in theatre in higher education. Of particular interest is the ATHE Job Bank (for members only).
- Dramatists Play Service
- An excellent place to find plays and information about licensing for performance. The PlayFinder search tool allows you to browse plays or search for the one you want. Samuel French is also a good source.
- International Federation for Theatre Research
- The publishers of Theatre Research International, the International Federation for Theatre Research brings together organizations and individuals interested in theatre research. Information is available about sponsored conferences and publications, as is a good set of links to other theatre organizations.
- Internet Broadway Database
- IBDB (Internet Broadway Database) archive is the official database for Broadway theatre information. IBDB provides records of productions from the beginnings of New York theatre until today.
- Lortel Archives: The Internet Off Broadway Database
- A catalog of Off-Broadway shows from 1958 to the present. Includes credits, awards won, cast information, theater sizes, and more.
- Playbill Vault
- An online collection of Broadway Playbills. Includes extensive information about shows past and present, including not only cast lists and scans of the playbills, but also videos, awards and grosses. Sortable by show, theatre or performer.
- Theatre Communications Group
- A professional association dedicated to not-for-profit American theatre. Their website provides information about grants, professional development opportunities, the Annual Theatre Facts report on the state of not-for-profit American theatre, and job searching tools.