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Drama: Dramaturgical Research

A resource center for students requiring information on the dramatic arts.

Historical Context

For information on historical context, see the History Subject Guide.

Production History

For information on production history, find individual plays by consulting the Plays - Indexes and Reviews section of the Reference page of the subject guide.

Dramaturgical Research

Exploring the many aspects of a play requires a broad range of research skills. Play research, or more properly, dramaturgical research, generally explores the:

  • biography of the playwright or author
  • the historical, social, economic, political and cultural context in which the play was conceived, written, and performed
  • the play's production history
  • analysis of the criticism and interpretation associated with the play.

Biographical Resources

Biographical Encyclopaedia & Who's Who of the American Theater, 1966. (Ref PN2285 .R5)

Biography and Genealogy Master Index [Online]

Contemporary Theatre, Film, and Television. 11 vols. (Ref PN2285 .C58)

Current Biography [Monthly with annual cumulation] (Ref CT100 .C8)

DAB – Dictionary of American Biography (Ref E176 .D562)

DNB – Dictionary of National Biography (Ref DA28 .D4 v.1-10, supplements)

DLB – Dictionary of Literary Biography (Ref PN451 .D5 Y3)

Notable Names in the American Theatre (Ref PN2285 .N6 1976)

Twenty Modern British Playwrights (Ref Z2014 .D7 K47)

Variety Obits: An Index to Obituaries in Variety, 1905-1986 (Ref PN1583 .P4 1980)

Who was Who in the Theatre, 1912-1976. 4 vols. (Ref PN2597 .W62)

Playwrights & Dramatists

For information on playwrights and dramatists, see the Reference page of this subject guide.

Criticism & Analysis

For information on criticism & analysis, see the Drama Criticism section of the Reference page of this subject guide.