Performing Arts

Finding Books | Theatre: Encyclopedias | Theatre: Criticism | Copies of Play Texts

Finding Books

The main library catalog provides information on all the materials that the library owns; videos, and music recordings, in addition to books. 

I-Share is the shared catalog of the over 70 university and college libraries that belong to the Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois (CARLI).  You can use the I-Share catalog to see if books, videos or DVD’s are available for you to request to be sent here.  (You use a different procedure to get copies of articles.)  Items available in the I-Share catalog can be requested directly through a catalog link for delivery to Bradley at no charge.

Worldcat is the 3rd library catalog provided.   Worldcat is catalog that lists what materials are available through thousands of libraries located all throughout the world.   If a book, video  or DVD is not available through the Bradley library or I-Share, then Worldcat has a built in form for borrowing the item through the interlibrary loan office.

Theatre: Encyclopedias

  • World Encyclopedia of Contemporary Theatre. REF. PN1861 .W67 1994 These volumes are organized by country. Indexes in each volume.
  • Cambridge Guide to Theatre. REF. PN2035 .C27 1995 Comprehensive coverage of the history and performance practice in various cultures, popular and traditional. Theatre: History
  • History of World Theater Londre. PN2104 .B413 1991 (Lower Level)
  • World Drama from Aeschylus to Anouilh. PN 2101 .N55 (Lower Level)
  • General Information about Plays
  • All sorts of interesting information about actors and actresses, playwrights, musicals, directors, comedians, criticism. It lists the first burlesque, the longest-running show, the most popular, the largest, etc. It covers various countries and time periods.
  • Best Plays. PN 2266 .A2 B4 (Lower Level) This series of volumes appears annually. It lists awards for plays of the particular year and has a cumulative index of plays in the series. It provides production and cast information for plays produced during the year and, for the top plays of the year, it has excerpts from the text of the play.
  • Drury’s Guide to Best Plays. REF. PN1655 .D8 This work indexes full-length, non-musical plays published in anthologies. Coverage is for older anthologies going back to about 1900. Included are not only those in the series "Best Plays of the Year," but those most popular with high schools and amateur groups. Plot synopses, cast requirements, and publishers are listed. There is a subject index, cast index, and listing of prize-winning plays. Top

Theatre: Criticism

  • Drama Criticism. REF. PN1601 .D59 This is a series of volumes with fairly lengthy articles on plays and playwrights. There are excerpts of criticisms written on individual works as well as general commentary. Also there are references to more information contained in the series such as Contemporary Authors and 20th Century Criticism. There is an index in each volume.
  • Critical Survey of Drama. REF. PN1721 .C74 The index is in the last volume. Biographical information, analysis of plays and bibliography of critical works concerning each playwright. The final volume contains essays on broad historical eras and genres.
  • American and English works primarily.
  • New York Theatre Critics’ Reviews: Index. REF. PN2000.N76. 1940- This provides references to the reviews contained in New York Theatre Critics’ Reviews which are shelved with the PERIODICALS, 2nd floor, beginning with 1967.
  • On Stage; Selected Theater Reviews from the New York Times. Beckerman. REF. PN2277.N5 B4 Entries are by broad chronological divisions, then by play title. Brief details on performance and cast and the actual text of the review.

Copies of Play Texts

  • Guinness Book of Theatre Facts and Feats Billington. REF. PN2037 .B54 1982
    All sorts of interesting information about actors and actresses, playwrights, musicals, directors, comedians, criticism. It lists the first burlesque, the longest-running show, the most popular, the largest, etc. It covers various countries and time periods.
  • Best Plays. PN 2266 .A2 B4 (Lower Level)
    This series of volumes appears annually. It lists awards for plays of the particular year and has a cumulative index of plays in the series. It provides production and cast information for plays produced during the year and, for the top plays of the year, it has excerpts from the text of the play.
  • Drury’s Guide to Best Plays. REF. PN1655 .D8
    This work indexes full-length, non-musical plays published in anthologies. Coverage is for older anthologies going back to about 1900. Included are not only those in the series "Best Plays of the Year," but those most popular with high schools and amateur groups. Plot synopses, cast requirements, and publishers are listed. There is a subject index, cast index, and listing of prize-winning plays.
  • WARNING: the text of plays printed here are not complete. Some plays are featured as the "best" for that year; others are listed for casting and production information and brief synopses. There is a listing of awards. The index lists plays in the series and refers to the volume year of the series where they can be found. Indexed in Drury’s.
  • NOTE: You may also have some luck with the following publications (and others similar to these). To find more such publications, use "best plays" as a "Any Words Anywhere" search in the Library Catalog to get the exact titles of these books. Or you can use the call numbers given here as a guide for a shelf search.
  • Best Short Plays. PN 6111 .B47 (Lower Level)
    An annual publication with complete texts of 10-12 short plays for each year. Biographical introduction for each playwright. Not indexed in Drury’s.
  • Plays for the Theatre: an Anthology of World Drama. PN6112 .P57 (Lower Level)
    Several volumes of well-known plays. Not indexed in Drury’s.
  • Best American Plays. PS634 .B4 (Lower Level)
    Volumes cover a series of years each. Texts of complete plays. Indexed in Drury’s.
  • NOTE: The 2 main SOURCES FOR TEXTS of plays are Samuel French and Dramatists Play Service. If all else fails, contact one or the other to order a play text. These suppliers have catalogs for thousands of plays, reasonably priced
  • Samuel French, Inc., 45 W. 25th St. New York, NY 10010 212-206-8990
  • Dramatists Play Service, Inc., 440 Park Ave. South New York, NY 10016 212-683-8960

Meg Frazier
Information Literacy/Electronic Services Librarian

Library 108
(309) 677-3219
frazier@fsmail.bradley.edu