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TA 483: Play Analysis: Must-Search Places for Theatre Research Papers
A library research guide for the TA 483 course assignments & further research in play analysis. Fall 2021
When you start compiling sources for your research paper, these places are important to search.
research databases - best bets
These databases are the best places to start finding academic research articles for a theatre research paper assignment. You can search the databases by keyword, and the search results will give you a list of articles with their authors, titles, and the names of the journals they appear in.
Multi-disciplinary full-text database with more than 8,500 full-text periodicals, including more than 7,300 peer-reviewed journals. Indexes and abstracts more than 12,500 journals and a total of more than 13,200 publications including monographs, reports, and conference proceedings.
Covers literature and criticism, history, the visual and performing arts, cultural studies, education, political science, gender studies, etc. Contains current full text scholarly journals which cover these fields and a significant collection of recent scholarly books.
Theatre in Video: Volume I contains hundreds of videos, including documentaries and definitive performances of the world’s most important plays. From celebrated productions of Shakespeare to rare, in-depth footage of the work of Samuel Beckett, the collection covers a wide range of 20th century theatre history. Interviews with directors, designers, writers, and actors, along with excerpts of live performances deliver an authentic, behind-the-scenes look at hundreds of productions.
Search by names of playwrights and titles of plays in these news databases to find contemporary or historical reviews.
Nexis Uni provides full-text access to over 15,000 news, business, and legal sources. The outstanding news coverage includes deep archives and up-to-the-minute stories in national and regional newspapers, wire services, broadcast transcripts, international news, and non-English language news services.
You will also need to read even more books about your playwrights, their work, and their influences in order to write an outstanding original research paper. Check the footnotes and references in the best research articles you find, as well as the notes and bibliographies in other books you already have in order to find good ideas for more books to read!
Just like for scripts you cannot find in our online resources or in the Libraries, you can request an interlibrary loan (ILL) for any books or articles you need that we don't already own, and the UK Libraries will borrow them for you from another library, and let you know when they arrive.
Call Number: available online to University of Kentucky researchers
The Oxford Companion to Theatre and Performance is a database based on the Oxford Encyclopedia of Theatre and Performance, and covers styles and movements, buildings, organizations, regions and traditions; it contains 2,400 entries and has a particularly strong focus on biographies of actors, playwrights, directors, and designers.
play scripts in print at UK Libraries
Scripts can be found on the second floor of the Lucille Caudill Little Fine Arts Library, in the shelves where call numbers begin with "PN," "PQ," "PR," "PS" and "PT." Monologues can be found under the call numbers beginning with PN 2080. It is fun to browse for plays in these sections of the library.
If you're looking for a specific play or playwright, you can look up the name or title in InfoKat Discovery to find an exact call number. Critical editions of plays are often located in William T. Young Library, so check locations carefully.
The New Play Exchange®, a National New Play Network project, is the world’s largest digital library of scripts by living writers. The NPX serves writers, producers, directors, artistic directors, literary managers, dramaturgs, publishers, agents, actors, professors, students, and theatre fans by providing an open platform on which writers all over the world can share their work and others can discover that work. The NPX's Core Development Committee is composed of representatives from Chicago Dramatists, Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas, The Playwrights' Center, and the Playwrights Foundation.
An Alexander Street Press / University of Chicago publication offering 2,059 plays by 434 playwrights, selected using leading bibliographies and with the editorial advice of scholars and the playwrights themselves. The plays are presented together with information on related productions, theaters, and production companies, and the database also includes some playbills, production photographs, and other ephemera related to the plays.
An Alexander Street Press / University of Chicago publication that contains approximately 1,462 plays by 233 playwrights, together with detailed, fielded information on related productions, theaters, production companies, and more. The database also includes selected playbills, production photographs and other ephemera related to the plays.
Literature Online is the leading online resource for the study and teaching of literature in English. In addition to it many many other features for studying English literature, it includes the full texts of 6238 volumes of drama by 1400 authors, with dates from 1280 through the 19th century. See the Texts section, then Drama, and there are many ways to limit and narrow in on the plays you are looking for.
Containing more than 1,500 dramatic works from the early eighteenth century up to the beginning of the twentieth, American Drama 1714–1915 reflects American dramatic writing in all its richness and diversity: plays in verse, farces, melodramas, minstrel shows, realist plays, frontier plays, temperance dialogues and a range of other genres are represented. Major dramatists include David Belasco, Rachel Crothers, Augustin Daly, Clyde Fitch, Edward Harrigan, James Herne, William Dean Howells and Joaquin Miller.
Covering popular entertainment from 1870-1920, especially vaudeville, The American Variety Stage is a multimedia anthology selected from various Library of Congress holdings. Included are 334 English- and Yiddish-language playscripts, 146 theater playbills and programs, 61 motion pictures, 10 sound recordings and 143 photographs and 29 memorabilia items documenting the life and career of Harry Houdini.
The Internet Shakespeare Editions (ISE) is a non-profit scholarly website publishing in three main areas: Shakespeare’s plays and poems, Shakespeare’s life and times, and Shakespeare in performance. They deliver open-access, peer-reviewed Shakespeare resources, freely available to anyone online. All plays are currently published in old-spelling versions, and twenty-two plays and most of the poems now appear in modern spelling.
See the Performance tab for materials from over 1000 film and stage productions related to Shakespeare's works, including director's notes, images of stage and costume design, performance stills, posters, information about a particular company or festival and the actors involved in Shakespeare performance, and cast and crew listings.
play scripts not available through the UK Libraries
For scripts you cannot find in our online resources or in the Libraries, you can request an interlibrary loan (ILL), and the UK Libraries will borrow it for you from another library, and let you know when it arrives.