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Theatre: Getting Started


This guide will introduce you to major resources in theatre research. Please contact me at any time for research help.

To access online resources from off-campus, all you will need is your MyID and password.


1939 Poster from the Library of Congress Federal Theatre Project Collection

Dictionaries & Encyclopedias

Use reference sources for background information such as biographies, play summaries, theatre and company histories, and explanations of performance forms and theory.

This is a short list of major encyclopedias in theater; more can be found  below as ebooks, under the Design and Theatre History tabs in this guide, in the Main Library Reference stacks, or in GIL-Find.

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Theatre and Performance
Dennis Kennedy, ed.
1st floor Ref PN2035 .O94 2003 v. 1-2

World Encyclopedia of Contemporary Theatre 
Peter Nagy & Phillippe Rouyer, eds.
1st floor Ref PN1861 .W67 1994
v. 1 Europe / v. 2 The Americas / v. 3 Africa / v. 4 The Arab World / v. 5 Asia/Oceania

The Columbia Encyclopedia of Modern Drama
Gabrielle H. Cody & Evert Sprinchorn, eds.
1st floor Ref PN1861 .C65 2007

International Dictionary of Theatre
Mark Hawkins-Dady, ed.
1st floor Ref PN2035 .I49 1996
v. 1 Plays / v. 2 Playwrights / v. 3 Actors, Directors, and Designers

Literature Resource Center
Good source for biographies of playwrights.

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Kristin Nielsen
Main Library Research & Instruction Department

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