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Literature Studies: Plays

A guide to English literature and literary criticism.

Theatre Journals

Modern Drama
Nineteenth Century Theatre and Film
Modern Drama
19th Century Theatre & Film
Publishes articles on acting, directing, playwriting, and technology. In print at Jerome Library.
Scholarly journal covering research in world drama from 1850 to the present. Full text of Modern Drama is available online in Project MUSE.
Publishes research on all kinds of 19th century performance: theatre, early film, ‘pre-cinema’ optical and narrative forms, and illusions. Full text of 19th Century Theatre & Film is available online. Also in print.
Performance Research
Text and Performance Quarterly
Performance Research
Text & Performance Quarterly
Covers contemporary and historical performance and promotes a cross-disciplinary exchange of ideas, images and analysis. Full text of Performance Research is available online.
Prints royalty-free one-act plays and programs for schools, young people's clubs and libraries. Full text of Plays is avaialble online in EBSCO. Also in print.
Provides a scholarly forum to document and critique performances within issues in performance studies. Full text of Text & Performance Quarterly is available online.






Cover Art
Cover Art
Theatre History Studies
TDR: The Drama Review
Theatre Design & Technology
Theatre History Studies
Provides a forum for writing about performances and their social, economic, and political contexts, emphasizing the experimental, avant-garde, intercultural, and interdisciplinary. Full text of TDR is available online.
The journal for design, production, and technology professionals in the performing arts and entertainment industry. Full text of Theatre Design & Technology is available online in EBSCO. Also in print.
Covers research in all areas of theatre history. Full text of Theatre History Studies is available online in EBSCO. Also in print.
Theatre Journal
Theatre Notebook
Theatre Research International
Theatre Journal
Theatre Notebook
Theatre Research International
Features social and historical studies, production reviews, and theoretical analysis of dramatic texts and production. Full text of Theatre Journal is available online.
A journal of the history and technique of the British theatre. Full text of Theatre Notebook is available online.
Presents history and criticism of drama and the art of the theatre. Full text of Theatre Research International is available online.
Theatre Survey
Word Matters
Youth Theatre Journal
Theatre Survey
Word Matters
Youth Theatre Journal
Provides rigorous historical and theoretical studies of performance across all periods. Full text of Theatre Survey is available online.
Contains articles on the inter-relationship of communication, theater, drama and speech at all levels of education. In print at Jerome Library.
Includes articles covering theater and drama education for young audiences. Full text of Youth Theatre Journal is available online.
American Theatre
New Theatre Quarterly
American Theatre
New Theatre Quarterly
Reports on plays in print, performances, and theater season schedules in the US and abroad. Includes full-length play scripts five times per year. Full text of American Theatre is available online.
Subjects prevailing dramatic assumptions to scrutiny. Full text of New Theatre Quarterly is available online.
Covers the visual and performing arts, including reviews of new works in theatre, dance, film, and opera.  Full text of PAJ is available online.

Databases and Web Resources for Plays

English Prose Drama and English Verse Drama are full-text collections spanning several centuries of British drama.

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.

Reference Books and Indexes for Plays

Although older, the following resources are helpful in finding works that Play Index may not include.

Finding Plays

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.

Additional Resources

If you are researching a play, use the databases listed on the Literary Criticism guide 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.