Theater & Drama: Find Books

Requesting Books from Other Libraries

If the item you’re looking for isn’t available at the PSU Library, you might see a Request from Other Libraries option that will allow you to request a physical copy or, if it's a book, a PDF of an individual chapter.  

  • First, sign in to the catalog to enable the request function;
  • If the item is not available from our library, you can click the Request button for the physical copy or chapter PDF under Request from Other Libraries;
  • The system will automatically prioritize fastest delivery;
  • When your request has been filled, you will be notified by PSU email.

Researching Monologues

Theater Arts students who are trying to get a part in a production often need to find dramatic monologues or scenes to use in their auditions. While the PSU Library contains many texts of complete plays, it is very convenient for the student to be able to locate significant individual monologues and scenes, which have been collected into anthologies.

The PSU Library has a large number of these collections of audition materials. Many of these collections have a specific theme (e.g. contemporary scenes, scenes from the classical theater, comic monologues, scenes from Shakespeare, scenes from movies or from the stage) or are intended for a particular group of student actors (e.g. women actors, men actors, young actors, actors of color, scenes for two actors).

These monologue or scene books can be located in the online catalog by searching under KEYWORD for the following subjects:

Keywords: Monologues and Acting
Keywords: Dialogues and Acting

Drama Criticism

Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism
PN1601 .J68 v.6 (1991) - | 4th floor

Comparative Drama
PN1601 .C66 v.3:no.1(1969)-v.45:no.1(2011)  | 4th floor

Where are the Theater & Drama Books in the Library?

Subject headings allow you to search library catalogs for materials on a particular topic, and are often more productive than keyword searches. Some major subject headings for Theater and Drama are:

American drama
Clothing and Dress
Drama--history and criticism--bibliography
Theaters--sound effects

Browsing by call numbers in the library:

Browsing the library shelves by call number ranges is another strategy for locating information on a topic and can help you find the "right neighborhood"in the library stacks. Literature, including drama, is classified by its original language. Some useful call numbers for theater:

GT 500-2370 Costume. Dress. Fashion (Basement)
PN Literary history and collections (General) (4th floor)
PN1600-3307 includes Theater and Drama (4th floor)
PQ Romance literatures (4th floor)
PR English literature (4th floor)
PS American literature (4th floor)
PZ Juvenile literature (5th floor)

Researching in Plays

Plays are published in several different forms. A play may appear as a separate publication, as a part of a set of the author's "Works," in an anthology or collection along with works by other authors, or in a periodical publication. Each of these formats may require a different approach to finding the play.

1. The play as individual book. These may be found in the online catalog, either under author or under title.

2. The play as part of collection or in a periodical. In some cases, the online catalog may list the individual plays in a collection or anthology and you will be able to find the play under its title and/or author.

If you do not find a copy of the play published individually or in an anthology, try looking in the online catalog under the author's name for "Works" (complete or selected) or "Plays."

3. If you still have not found the play, look in one of the following sources:

Published indexes to plays in collections and periodicals. These are located on the 5th floor. Many overlap in their coverage, but each has certain unique features. The date of publication of the index and the period covered is important to note, especially when you know when the play was first performed or published.

(1) Index to Plays, 1800-1926. 1927 (Z5781 .A1 F5 and Supplement, 1935) Good for locating lesser-known 19th and early 20th century plays. Lists individual books and titles in collections and periodicals. Indexed by . author, followed by a title/subject index.

(2) Index to Plays in Periodicals. 1979 (Z5781 .K43 1979 and Supplement, 1990) This has author and title indexes. Good cross-references for translations, editors, etc.

(3) Plays in Periodicals. 1970 (Z5781 .P3) An index to English-language plays in 20th-century journals. Title and author indexes followed by a cast analysis, noting the number of males, females and children required to cast each play.

(4) Ottemiller's Index to Plays in Collections. 7th ed., 1988. (Z5781 .O8 1988) The author index is keyed by symbol to a list of collections of plays. There is a title index as well.

(5) Play Index. 1949-1997. The latest volume available is for 1988-92. (Z5781 .P53) Indexes by author, title, and subject in one alphabet plays published as individual books or in collections. Includes the number of acts/scenes, gives a cast analysis and level of performers/audience. Indexes titles published by French, Baker, and Dramatists Play Service. There is also an online version available under databases on the PSU Library website and here.

If you don't find the play you are looking for, consult the librarian at the Reference desk on the second floor. It may be that a library nearby has a copy, or it may be that you will need to request the collection, anthology, or periodical volume in which the play appears through Interlibrary Loan.

Online Play Indexes