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Reference materials provide an overview of topics, define terms, and list recommended readings. On this page you will find a selection of reference materials related to theatre.
For more reference books and ebooks search the Library Catalog or search all of the library holdings using Summon.
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Now offering more than 800 highly regarded reference titles from over 80 publishers, Credo Reference covers every major subject and also provides Topic Pages as a starting point for researchers.
GALE Virtual Reference Library
GALE Virtual Reference Library is a collection of encyclopedias and specialized reference sources with coverage in major subject areas.
Print Reference Books
Below is a selection of print reference books that can be found on the 1st floor of Drinko Library.
American Musical Theater by Gerald Bordman's American Musical Theatre has become a landmark book since its original publication in 1978. In this third edition, he offers authoritative summaries on the general artistic trends and developments for each season on musical comedy, operetta, revues, and the one-man andone-woman shows from the first musical to the 1999/2000 season. With detailed show, song, and people indexes, Bordman provides a running commentary and assessment as well as providing the basic facts about each production.
Call Number: ML1711 .B67 2001
Publication Date: 2001-03-01
American Theatre: A Chronicle of Comedy and Drama, 1969-2000 by Volume Four of the distinguished American Theatre: A Chronicle of Comedy and Drama series offers a thorough, candid and fascinating look at its subject. [Hischak] knows his facts and is such a compelling writer that this update can only thrill lovers of American theatre."--Gerald Bordman, editor of Oxford Companion to American Theatre (OUP,1992)
Call Number: PN2277.N5 H57 2001
Publication Date: 2001-02-08
The Cambridge Guide to Theatre by Substantially revised and updated for this new edition, this is the most comprehensive guide to the history and current practice of worldwide theatre available today: * Covers all major playwrights, works, traditions, theories, companies, venues and events * Details the origins of popular theatre tradition * Discusses the work of actors, directors and designers * Explains theatre architecture and design * Written by over 100 expert contributors * Illustrated throughout Providing information, assessment and entertainment, The Guide will prove an indispensable reference tool both for students of theatre, and the general theatregoer alike.
Call Number: PN2035 .C27 1995
Publication Date: 1995-09-21
Notable Women in the American Theatre: A Biographical Dictionary by This reference book has entries for some 300 women in American theater, ranging from actors, directors, choreographers, playwrights, and designers, to critics, agents, and managers, and should provide focus for future scholars of women's studies and theater. . . . . The volume will prove valuable to scholars and the curious. Library Journal The current and thoughtful treatment of this book will be valuable for academic and large public libraries, especially those that support research in women's studies, theater, American studies, and biography. Booklist From Mrs. Lewis Hallam, the first known professional actress in America to outstanding women of the present era, this biographical dictionary alphabetically examines some 300 notable women who had distinguished careers in the American theatre. Not simply a list of names and activities, the volume--to the extent possible--narrates and evaluates the women's lives and accomplishments providing not only relevant biographical information and bibliographical materials but also describing the women's professional contributions. In representing the careers of theatre artists from actors, directors, and designers, to choreographers, managers, playwrights, educators, critics, variety performers, and agents, this first reference of its kind devoted exclusively to women also serves as a unique survey of the history of American theatre. Notable Women in the American Theatre documents the widespread activities of women in the American theatre. As many of them functioned in more than one capacity, one of the two appendixes lists names in the various professional categories. Each entry describes the pertinent facts of biography and contains a descriptive narrative relating to the individual's career with a special notation of her distinguished role in the American theatre. A bibliography of the featured woman, including sources to be found in books, magazines, and newspapers, is also part of the alphabetical entry. To aid readers and researchers, 2 separate appendixes contain listings by place of birth and by profession and collate the interrelatedness of the careers of many of the women. Compiled primarily as a reference for college and university libraries, the volume would be a useful supplement to courses in women's studies, American studies, drama courses taught in English and theatre departments, courses in the history of the theatre, American history, and biography.
Call Number: PN2285 .N65 1989
Publication Date: 1989-12-06
The Oxford Encyclopedia of Theatre and Performance by The Oxford Encyclopedia of Theatre and Performance provides comprehensive, authoritative, and up-to-date information about the performing arts internationally, through history, and in the present. The 4,300 entries, totalling well over a million words, are complemented by more than 100 illustrations. Coverage ranges from ancient Greek theatre to the latest developments around the globe, including non-Western styles. Dance, opera, performance art, radio,film, and television are covered at length. The Encyclopedia also embraces para-theatrical, non-dramatic, and popular performance, including ritual, carnivals, parades, the circus, and public executions. Biographical entries cover the lives and work of major figures: actors, playwrights, directors,designers, and critics. Innovative entries on cities and regions place performance in its local social and political context. Thematic contents, timeline, a general bibliography, and an index of dramatic works help make the text accessible. This is an unparalleled resource for a wide range of readers interested in the performing arts, from academic specialists and students to theatre practitioners, critics, journalists, and general readers interested in the theatre.
Call Number: PN2035 .O92 2003
Publication Date: 2003-05-01
Digital Reference Books
Below is a selection of reference ebooks. Ebooks often provide the option to search, save, and print sections.
The A to Z of African American Theater by African American Theater is a vibrant and unique entity enriched by ancient Egyptian rituals, West African folklore, and European theatrical practices. A continuum of African folk traditions, it combines storytelling, mythology, rituals, music, song, and dance with ancestor worship from ancient times to the present. It afforded black artists a cultural gold mine to celebrate what it was like to be an African American in The New World. The A to Z of African American Theater celebrates nearly 200 years of black theater in the United States, identifying representative African American theater-producing organizations and chronicling their contributions to the field from its birth in 1816 to the present. This is done through a chronology, an introductory essay, a bibliography, and over 500 cross-referenced dictionary entries on actors, directors, playwrights, plays, theater producing organizations, themes, locations, and theater movements and awards.
Call Number: Online
Publication Date: 2009
The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Stage Actors and Acting by Acting is widely acknowledged to be the central art of the theatre and has a long and vibrant history. With over one thousand entries, this is the first encyclopedia of stage actors and acting around the world. More than one hundred renowned international contributors provide biographical, historical and technical information about actors both familiar and obscure whose work has been crucial in the development of acting methods and traditions from classical theatre to the present day. Entries on key directors, theorists and teachers, and on the elements and genres of acting provide insights into the history of acting as an art and its current practice. Including a chronological list of actors that spans the past two thousand years and many diverse countries and cultures, this Encyclopedia offers a fascinating and unique overview of acting onstage that will be of interest to anyone who attends or practises theatre.
Call Number: Online
Publication Date: 2015-01-08
The Complete Costume Dictionary by While there are costume and fashion dictionaries tied to specific countries or periods, none have been comprehensive. In The Complete Costume Dictionary, Elizabeth Lewandowski has collected from a variety of sources--including costume history texts, journal articles, historical publications, autobiographies, biographies, foreign language dictionaries, and contemporary publications--to create a resource that spans the globe, from the earliest record of fashion to the 21st century. Including more than 20,000 fashion and costume terms, this volume also features more than 300 illustrations. The first section of the book is an alphabetical listing of these words with their definitions, period, and country of origin. This volume also contains appendixes that list the terms by country of origin, period, and type of clothing. The book is not limited to the Western World and includes both archaic and current terms. Significantly greater in scope than anything currently available--online or in print--this one-of-a-kind publication is an invaluable resource for costume and fashion historians, textile preservationists, period re-enactors, and history and theatre scholars, as well as theatre professionals.
Call Number: Online
Publication Date: 2011-06-01
Dictionary of the Theatre by Patrice Pavis is one of France's most brilliant academics and a leading expert internationally in the theory of theatre. Dictionary of the Theatre is an English translation of Pavis's acclaimed Dictionnaire du théâtre, now in its second printing in France. This encyclopedic dictionary includes theoretical, technical, and semiotic terms and concepts. Alphabetical entries range from 'absurd' to 'word scenery' and treat the reader to a vast panoply of theatre and theory. The extended discussions are supported by useful examples drawn from the international repertoire of plays and playwrights, both classic and contemporary. The Foreword is by Marvin Carlson. This dictionary is remarkably well integrated, partly because of its excellent system of cross-referencing, but also because it represents the vision and scholarship of a single, recognized authority. There is no other source like it available and it will be warmly welcomed by the English-language theatre world.
Call Number: Online
Publication Date: 1999-02-05
Encyclopedia of Latin American Theater by Latin American culture has given birth to numerous dramatic works, though it has often been difficult to locate information about these plays and playwrights. This volume traces the history of Latin American theater, including the Nuyorican and Chicano theaters of the United States, and surveys its history from the pre-Columbian period to the present. Sections cover individual Latin American countries. Each section features alphabetically arranged entries for playwrights, independent theaters, and cultural movements. The volume begins with an overview of the development of theater in Latin America. Each of the country sections begins with an introductory survey and concludes with copious bibliographical information. The entries for playwrights provide factual information about the dramatist's life and works and place the author within the larger context of international literature. Each entry closes with a list of works by and about the playwright. A selected, general bibliography appears at the end of the volume.
Call Number: Online
Publication Date: 2003-12-30