Photo: A Midsummer Night's Dream in Sinatra Park by Alec Perkins
It is mostly simple to find plays by title or author in Summon (BGSU library), the BGSU Library Catalog (BGSU), OhioLINK (Ohio libraries), or WorldCat (libraries around the world).
But many plays are published in collections and you may or may not find them with a title search. For these, use the Play Index (1949-2002) to find the titles of the anthologies a play appears in, then search the library catalogs listed below for the anthology.
English Verse Drama covers the late thirteenth century through the Elizabethan and Jacobean periods to the end of the nineteenth century. A verse drama is generally defined as a work acted on or intended for the stage which is either completely in verse or includes significant verse content. It adds six centuries of poetry intended for the stage, masques and short dramatic pieces written primarily in verse, works written for children and numerous adaptations.
English Prose Drama is based on plays listed in the New Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature that were written or intended for the stage and wholly or primarily in prose. EPD contains more than 1,800 plays by approximately 400 authors from the renaissance to the end of the nineteenth century.
BGSU's Play Index set covers the years 1949-2002. Use this index to find information on plays published in anthologies or separately.
Magill's Critical Survey of Drama 2nd rev. ed. (2003). provides brief (2-3 pages) author biographies; essays on dramatic periods and types of drama.
The Thematic Guide to Modern Drama (2003) focuses on themes in modern drama and discusses plays that center on that theme. Coverage is roughly the last 100 years; limited non-American coverage.
The Oxford Dictionary of Plays (2005) offers play details such as author, title (and alternative title), date of writing, date and place of first performance, publication date, dramatic genre, setting and time of action, and cast composition. Also includes a brief synopsis and commentary.
Although older, the following resources are helpful in finding works that Play Index may not include.
Chicorel Theater Index to Plays in Anthologies, Periodicals, Discs, and Tapes indexes authors, titles, and plays of a particular nation or time period. Contains a subject index, an author index, a play index, and an editor index. (1970). Not held on site, this item can be requested via OhioLINK from storage.
|A journal of the history and technique of the British theatre. Full text online.|
BUT DON'T STOP HERE!
If you are researching a play, use the databases listed on the Literary Criticism tab to find books or journal articles discussing the play, its author, or its performances. Plot Summaries will guide you to a source containing, well, a plot summary. A separate guide to theatre resources, including additional information on finding play texts and criticism, is found in our Theatre LibGuide. At any rate, depending on your project or need, all of these tabs might be useful. So, we're glad you stopped by, but don't make this your only stop.