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Theater Arts: Print Resources

A guide with resources on drama, the performing arts, and theater.


The Cambridge guide to world theatre
edited by Martin Banham
Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press [c1988]
Payson (Ref. PN 2035 C27 1988)

A broad-ranging source of information on individuals, organizations, theatrical forms and movements, individual countries, and a variety of specific topics. Articles are signed; some longer articles have bibliographies. Global perspective makes it useful for country surveys of cultures outside the U.S. and Western Europe and entries for forms and individuals associated with those cultures.

The Encyclopedia of world theater: with 420 illustrations and an index of play titles;
introd. by Martin Esslin
New York: Scribner [c1977]
Payson (Oversize PN 2035 E52 1977)

Brief entries for actors and actresses, playwrights, directors, designers, types of drama, theatrical institutions, awards, etc.

International dictionary of theatre 3 vols.
editor Mark Hawkins-Dady; picture editor, Leanda Shrimpton
Chicago; London: St. James Press [c1992-96]
Payson (Oversize PN 2035 I57)

Contents: v.1 Plays; v.2, Playwrights; v.3, Actors, directors, and designers.

International encyclopedia of dance : a project of Dance Perspectives Foundation, Inc.
founding editor, Selma Jeanne Cohen.
New York: Oxford University Press, 1998.
Payson (Oversize GV 1585 .I586 1998)

          Six volume work covers all forms of dance in all countries of the world, exploring dance in its cultural and social aspects.  Illustrated.

Kennedy, Dennis, 1940-
The Oxford encyclopedia of theatre & performance. 2 vols.
Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2003.
Payson (Ref. PN 2035 .O94 2003)

This international reference is genre-expansive: opera, film radio, dance, circuses, rituals, parades, Wild West shows, and public executions. Longer entries address such topics as commedia dell'arte, character, the Reformation and Counter-Reformation, scenography, lighting, and theories of drama, theater, and performance. Shorter entries address people such as Lucinda Ballard (American theatrical designer) and Crazy Gang (a group of British comedians), and such matters as Creole theater and Lai-Haraoba, an Indian religious festival. Longer entries contain a bibliography.

McGraw-Hill encyclopedia of world drama. 4 vols.
New York, McGraw-Hill [c1972]
Payson (Oversize PN 1625 M3)

Concerned mostly with dramatists and dramatic literature but also offers extensive articles on national and ethnic theater traditions in individual countries or areas, as well as entries for theater companies, major directors, and selected performance topics.

Notable names in the American theatre. New and rev. ed.
Clifton, N.J.: J. T. White [c1976]
Payson (Ref. PN 2285 N6 1976)

Main section offers detailed biographical/career sketches of performers, directors, playwrights, critics, etc., of importance to the American stage and living at the time of publication. Also includes a necrology, listings of productions, premieres, awards, published biographies, and profiles of theater groups and buildings.


Bowman, Walter Parker.
Theatre language; a dictionary of terms in English of the drama and stage from medieval to modern times by Walter Parker Bowman and Robert Hamilton Ball
New York: Theatre Arts Books [c1961]
Payson (Ref. PN 2035 B6)

Contains more than 3,500 definitions of words and phrases.

Hodgson, Terry.
The drama dictionary.
New York, NY: New Amsterdam Books [c1988]
Payson (PN 1625 H62 1988b)

Full working definitions of terms used in the theater and by theater critics. Includes some illustrations and bibliographic references.

Nungezer, Edwin.
A dictionary of actors and other persons associated with the public representation of plays in England before 1642.
New York: Greenwood Press [c1968, c1929]
Payson (PN 2597 N8 1968)

Brings together information on early players, with references to sources.

Sharp, Harold S.
Index to characters in the performing arts, compiled by Harold S. Sharp and Marjorie Z. Sharp.
New York: Scarecrow Press [c1966-73] 4 v. in 6.
Payson (PN 1579 S45)

A dictionary of major and minor characters (about 73,000 in all) from works of all periods.

Handbooks & History

American theatre companies, edited by Weldon B. Durham.
New York: Greenwood Press [c1986-89] 3 vols.
Payson (PN 2237 A43 1986) 1749-1887
Payson (PN 2256 A44 1987) 1888-1930
Payson (PN 2266 A54 1989) 1931-1986

Provides summaries of stock and resident acting companies founded during the periods covered, giving for each: a brief history, location(s), season highlights, policies, and critical assessment; rosters of administrative and creative personnel; complete or representative repertory, arranged chronologically; and a bibliography of published and archival sources.

Cassin-Scott, Jack.
Costumes and settings for staging historical plays. 1st American ed.
Boston: Plays, inc. [c1979] 4 vols.
Payson (PN 2067 C33 1979)

Contents: v.1, The classical period; v.2, Medieval; v.3, The Elizabethan and Restoration periods; v.4, The Georgian period.
Each volume includes a general introduction to the period, followed by illustrated descriptions of the costume of specific cultures and smaller time divisions, discussion and illustrations of stage properties, and basic stage setting and lighting considerations.

Herman, Lewis Helmar.
Foreign dialects; a manual for actors, directors, and writers, by Lewis Herman and Marguerite Shalett Herman.
New York: Theatre Arts Books [c1959]
Payson (PN 2071 F6 H4 1958)

Standard text for accent acquisition and practice.

Mullin, Donald C.
Victorian plays: a record of significant productions on the London stage, 1837-1901.
New York: Greenwood Press [c1987]
Payson (PN 2596 L6 M85 1987)

Production records taken from original playbills are provided for each play, giving playwright, first (or earliest known) production date, revivals, names of principal players and characters, and set design and music credits. Alphabetical by play title with index of playwrights, adapters and translators.

Stevenson, Isabelle.
The Tony Award : a complete listing of winners and nominees of the American Theatre Wing's Tony Award with a history of the American Theatre Wing, edited by Isabelle Stevenson and Roy A. Somlyo..
Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann [c2001]
Payson (Ref. PN 2270 A93 T6 2001)

A year-by-year lising of all Tony Award nominees and winners. Index of winners.

Theatre world
New York: Theatre World [c1945-] Annual
Payson (PN 2277 N5 A17) See Pepperdine Library Catalog for holdings

Illustrated yearbook of the American theater. Emphasis is on theater in New York City, but also records productions of national touring companies, professional regional companies, and Shakespeare festivals. Gives casts, production credits, dates of run or season, etc. Includes brief performer biographies, obituaries, lists of awards, and name/title index.

Wearing, J. P.
The London Stage, ... A Calendar of Plays and Players
Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press
Payson (Ref. PN 2596 .L6 W383)
Payson owns:  1890-1899, 1900-1909, 1910-1919, 1920-1919, 1930-1939, 1940-1949, 1950-1959

These day-by-day calendars of plays produced at the major London theaters cover major west-end theaters, thus dealing with all the big productions and names, revivals of the classics, and opera and ballet productions. Wearing lists each production in chronological arrangement of playbills. With full production and contemporary review information for each play and comprehensive indexes of persons, titles, and theatres.

Young, William C.
Famous American playhouses, 1716-1899
Chicago: American Library Association [c1973]
(His Documents of American theater history, v. 1)
Payson (NA 6830 Y67)

Young, William C.
Famous American playhouses, 1900-1971
Chicago: American Library Association [c1973]
(His Documents of American theater history, v. 2)
Payson (NA 6830 Y68)

Sourcebooks of primary and secondary readings concerning the physical structure of 199 American theaters of historical, architectural, social/cultural importance. Extracts from diaries, letters, journals, autobiographies, newspaper articles and reviews, magazine articles, playbills, publicity materials, and architectural descriptions. Illustrations include architects' drawings, etchings, and photographs.

Young, William C.
Famous actors and actresses on the American stage
New York: R. R. Bowker [c1975] 2 vols.
(His Documents of American theater history)
Payson (Oversize PN 2285 Y6 1975b)
Contents: v. 1. A-J.--v. 2. K-Z.

Covers 225 performers (not necessarily American), giving a portrait, brief biographical data, and a number of extracts from contemporary criticism (reviews of plays, interviews, memoirs of fellow actors, etc.)


Arnott, James Fullarton.
English theatrical literature, 1559-1900: a bibliography; incorporating Robert W. Lowe's 'A bibliographical account of English theatrical literature' published in 1888, by James Fullarton Arnott and John William Robinson.
London, Society for Theatre Research [c1970]
Payson (Oversize Z 2014 D7 A74 1970)

A scholarly, classified listing of pre-1901 imprints dealing with British theater. Areas covered include arts of the theater, the London theater, the theater out of London, biography, theory and criticism, and periodicals.

Howard, John T.
A bibliography of theatre technology: acoustics and sound, lighting, properties, and scenery. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press [c1982]
Payson (Z 5784 S8 H68 1982)

Lists some 5,700 items - books, periodical articles, and theses.

International bibliography of theatre sponsored by the American Society for Theatre Research, and the International Association of Libraries and Museums of the Performing Arts in cooperation with the International Federation for Theatre Research Brooklyn, N.Y.: Theatre Research Data Center, Brooklyn College, City University of New York, 1982-
Payson (Ref. Z 5783 I57)

A major ongoing attempt to document theater materials published throughout the world. Lists books, book sections, dissertations, and journal articles.

Stoddard, Richard.
Stage scenery, machinery, and lighting: a guide to information sources.
Detroit: Gale Research Co. [c1977]
Payson (Z 5784 S8 S79)

Lists and briefly describes some 1,600 articles, pamphlets, exhibition catalogs, and doctoral dissertations. Emphasizes historical aspects of scenic design and practice throughout the world.

Stratman, Carl Joseph.
American theatrical periodicals, 1798-1967; a bibliographical guide.
Durham, N.C., Duke University Press [c1970]
Payson (Z 6935 S75)

Lists 685 magazines, newspapers, annuals, and other serials by year of first issue. Indicates U.S. library locations, including partial holdings, where these have been determined.