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InfoGuides | Pepperdine Libraries

Theater Arts: Finding Plays in the Library

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

How Plays are Published

A play published as a book
A single play can be published as a book. For example, the library owns An American Daughter by Wendy Wasserstein. This book contains only the script of An American Daughter and nothing else.

A collection of plays by a single author
Several plays by the same author are often published as a book. For example, The Old Neighborhood: three plays contains a total of three plays, all of them written by David Mamet.

Collections of plays by different authors
Collections of plays written by different authors are also often published as a book. The plays in such collections may be connected by nationality, date, style, cast, or other factors. For example, the plays collected in Women on the Verge: 7 Avant-Garde American Plays are connected by the sex and nationality of their authors and by the fact that they are considered avant-garde plays.

Plays published in magazines
Plays are sometimes published in magazines. For example, each monthly issue of the magazine American Theatre includes the script of a new play.  Plays published in magazines from 1900 to the early 1970's can be located using the reference book, Chicorel theater index to plays in periodicals, (Ref. Z 5781 .C487)

Finding Monologues

There are a couple of ways to find monologues in the Library Catalog The first way is to do a subject search using the Advanced Search screen. Choose the 'subject' option and type in the word monologues.  You can also try a keyword search in the Library Catalog. If you do a keyword search on monologues, you'll find too many hits, but a search on monologues And women will narrow it down. You can also use monologues And men; monologues And minorities; monologues And gay; and so forth.


Thomson, Ruth Gibbons.
Index to full length plays, 1895 to 1925.
Boston, F.W. Faxon Co., c1956
Payson (Ref. Z 5781 T49)

Thomson, Ruth Gibbons.
Index to full length plays, 1926 to 1944.
Boston, The F.W. Faxon Company [c1946]
Payson (Ref. Z 5781 T5)

These volumes contain a title index, giving author, translator, number of acts, number of characters, subject, and scene; plus author and subject indexes referring to the title index and a bibliography giving publisher and title.

Ireland, Alleyne.
Index to full length plays 1944 to 1964.
Boston, F. W. Faxon Co. [c1965]
Payson (Ref. Z 5781 T52)

Continuation of Index to full length plays, by Ruth Gibbons Thomson. Combines author, subject, and title indexes in a single alphabetical list, and adds numerous new subject headings.

Ottemiller, John H.
Ottemiller's index to plays in collections: an author and title index to plays appearing in collections published between 1900 and 1985.
7th ed.; revised and enlarged by Billie M. Connor and Helene G. Mochedlover
Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press [c1988]
Payson (Ref. Z 5781 O8 1988)

Indexes some 6,548 plays by 2,555 different authors in 1,350 collections published 1900-75 in England and America, and 1975-85 in the English-speaking world. Includes (1) Author index, giving name and dates, title of play, date of first production (or of first publication if never performed), references from original titles and variant translated titles, and references from joint authors and translators; (2) list of collections analyzed and key to symbols; and (3) Title index, referring from all forms of titles, translated titles, and subtitles.

Play Index v.1 (1949-52) - v.11 (2003-2007). New York, Wilson, 1953-
Payson (Index Area)

Each volume contains (1) the main list arranged by author, title, and subject, (2) a list of the collections indexed, (3) cast analysis, listing each play under type of cast and number of characters, and (4) directory of publishers. All types of plays are indexed, including translations into English.