Skip to main content

Theater *: Reference Works

This guide is intended to help any faculty, graduate, or undergraduate student find resources in the areas of theater and drama.

Reference Works - Print (Selected Titles)

Historic Dictionary of African American Theater
"This dictionary celebrates more than 200 years of black theater in the U.S.  The authors, who have extensive backgrounds in African American theater, include more than 600 entries dealing with playwrights, producers, directors, actors, plays, theater companies. and awawds..."

The Columbia Encyclopedia of Modern Drama
"A variety of approaches and types of entries that capture the diverse ways in which modern drama is embedded in the histories of playwrights, theaters, audiences, and cultures. A truly comprehensive, well-conceived, and well-executed encyclopedia." - Martin Puchner, Columbia University

Ivan R. Dee Guided to Plays and Playwrighting
"With more than five hundred entries, from A to Z, providing information on the most important plays and playwrights (dead or alive) performed today, this is the most useful and comprehensive reference book for contemporary theatre now available. It is both biographically detailed and critically up to date, and offers an extensive cross-referencing system..." - Library Journal

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Theatre and Performance
"This new encyclopedia from Oxford views theater and performance as 'human expressions with large cultural significance.' These expressions extend beyond traditional theater to include opera, film, dance, radio, and even circuses, rituals, and parades. The 4,300 alphabetically arranged entries span all time periods, starting with ancient Greek theater to the present, and are international and cross-cultural in scope. Entries range from a small paragraph to several pages.."

The Routledge Guide to Broadway
"The Routledge Guide to Broadway is the second title in our new student reference series. It will introduce the student to the Broadway theater, focusing on key performers, writers, directors, plays, and musicals, along with the theaters themselves, key awards, and the folklore of Broadway..."

Reference Works - Electronic

The Cambridge Guide to Theatre
"This exciting new edition reviews and updates all entries to incorporate political changes and world theatre social transitions. First published in 1988, the work provides an excellent historical review and guide to past and present theatre movements, including newly commissioned articles on theatre in Africa and Asia as well as gay and feminist theatre. Excellent and well detailed." - Midwest Book Review

The Continuum Companion to Twentieth Century Theatre
"This theater companion features more than 2,500 alphabetically arranged entries on a broad array of stage-related topics. Although the emphasis is on English-speaking theater in the twentieth century, the scope is surprisingly comprehensive. Entry types include people, companies, countries, branches of theater making, trends, genres, definitions, and historical surveys. The objective is to 'define theater broadly and as a live and continuing activity.' The geographical scope spans five continents, and the 280 contributors hail from 20 different countries..."

Shakespeare's Theatre: A Dictionary of His Stage Context
"Shakespeare's Theatre consolidates the author's forty years of experience in studying and staging Shakespeare's plays. Under an alphabetical list of relevant terms, names and concepts, the book reviews current knowledge of the character and operation of theatres in Shakespeare's time, with an explanation of their origins. Coverage includes the practices of Elizabethan actors and script writers: methods of characterization; gesture, blocking and choreography, including music, dance and fighting; actors' rhetorical interaction with audiences; and use of costumes, stage props, and make-up. The author makes use of scripts and scholarship about original stagings of Shakespeare and suggests how those productions related to modern staging..."