Theater and Performing Arts

Finding Plays

Find the script isn't a challenge when it's been published in paper or in an online database, but so many scripts exist only in anthologies.  Here are some resources to help find scripts.

Inter-play  The good folks at Portland State's Branford P. Millar Library provide this no frills way to locate plays in anthologies, collections and periodicals. 

Play Index, 1949-  
Search over 31,000 plays written in or translated into English over the centuries and  published since 1948.  Can search by author, title, subject, style, genre.  Includes plays in  collections, which can otherwise be hard to locate now that Ottemiller is no longer being updated.

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.  Metuchen: Scarecrow, 1988.  Doe Reference PN1654.A12.O7 1988


Victorian Plays Project: Lacy's Acting Edition of Victorian Plays (1848-1874)
Electronic versions of plays printed by Lacy.

  • English Drama
    A collection of over 3900 texts ranging from medieval mystery cycles to the plays of Oscar Wilde. Part of the Literature Online collection.
  • Early English Books Online (EEBO)
    Indexes over 125,000 volumes of early works printed in England or in English. These works constitute a significant portion of items included in the English Short Title Catalogue. It contains most of the works indexed in Pollard & Redgrave's Short-Title Catalogue (1475-1640), Wing's Short-Title Catalogue (1641-1700) and the Thomason Tracts (1640-1661) collection.
  • Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO)
    Contains over 150,000 items published in Great Britain and its colonies, including those in North America, during the 18th Century. This database complements the materials found in Early English Books Online (EEBO), which covers 1475-1700. The resource is thus a rich source of information about the American and French Revolution, scientific and medical advances, literature, law, religion, industry, and all aspects oflife in the 18th century.
  • North American Theatre Online
    More than 40,000 pages of critical, in-copyright reference works about authors, plays, theatres, productions, production companies, casts and related information covering the world of theatre from colonial times to the present. This collection includes Black Drama, Twentieth Century North American Drama, and North American Indian Drama
  • Twentieth-Century Drama
    Contains 238 plays by 25 authors from Britain, Ireland and Australia.Key historical milestones that are represented include: the social problem play, Naturalist plays, West-End comedies and alternative theater. Authors and plays have been selected by an academic advisory board. Selection has been limited to works originally written in English. Part of the Literature Online collection.
  • American Drama
    Contains more than 1,000 dramatic works from the period the early eighteenth century up to the beginning of the twentieth century.Major dramatists featured include Clyde Fitch, Augustin Daly, David Belasco, James Herne and Joaquin Miller. Part of Literature Online.
  • Asian American Drama
    Includes the complete text of more than 250 plays, from the late 19th century to the present, representing the various ethnicities within the Asian American community including works by writers of Japanese, Filipino, Vietnamese, Chinese, Hawaiian, Indian, Thai, Korean, Persian and Malaysian ancestry. Also includes biographical, production and theatrical information.
  • Black Drama
    Contains the full text of 1,200 plays written from the mid-1800s to the present by more than by more 100 playwrights from North America, English-speaking Africa, the Caribbean, and other African diaspora countries. The database is includes drama of the Harlem Renaissance and drama, the Black Arts Movement and 20th century African and Caribbean drama.
  • Black Drama, 2nd edition
    Contains almost 1,500 plays by more than 200 playwrights. Includes information on related productions, theaters, production companies, and more. Also includes selected playbills, production photographs and other ephemera related to the plays. The plays have been selected using leading bibliographies and with the editorial advice of James V. Hatch, co-author with Errol G. Hill of A History of African American Theatre. Complements the other Alexander Street Press database Black Drama,(first edition).
  • Early American Imprints, Series I (1639 - 1800)
    Indexes more than 36,000 items consisting of some 2,400,000 images offering insight into every aspect of American life in the 17th and 18th centuries such as agriculture, auctions, foreign affairs, diplomacy, literature, music, religion, the Revolutionary War, temperance, and witchcraft. Provides online access to the print and microform counterparts American Bibliography by Charles Evans, and Supplement to Evans' American Bibliography by Roger Bristol. (Archive of Americana allows cross-searching of several databases: Early American Imprints , Series I and II; Early American Newspapers; American State Papers; US Congressional Serial Set.)
  • Early American Imprints, Series II (1801-1819)
    Indexes more than 36,000 books, pamphlets, broadsides, state papers and other print genres published from 1801-1819. Covers all aspects of American life including taxation, public health and diseases, slavery, military law, Indians, Christianity, cosmology, etiquette, and much more. Based on the American Bibliography of Ralph R. Shaw and Richard H. Shoemaker. (Archive of Americana allows cross-searching of several databases: Early American Imprints , Series I and II; Early American Newspapers; American State Papers; US Congressional Serial Set.)
  • North American Women's Drama
    Full text of over 1,500 plays written by 275 playwrights women since Colonial times in the U.S. and Canada with approximately one-quarter of the collection never before published. Allows searching by author, play title, character, scenes, and more. Also includes related biographical, theatrical and production information.
  • Teatro Espanol del Siglo de Oro
    Contains the full-text of more than 800 plays written by 16 Spanish dramatists of the 16th and 17th centuries. Dramatists included are: Lope de Vega, Calderon de la Barca, Agustin Moreto, etc.
  • Bertolt Brechts Werke
    Electronic edition of Brecht's works based on the six-volume Bertolt Brecht-Ausgewahlte Werke in sechs Banden-Jubilaumsausgabe um 100. Geburtstag, edited by Werner Hecht, Wolfgang Jeske, and Jan Knopf. Includes brief notes on each text.

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Last Update: 24 Jul 16:21