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* Theatre Resources: Reference Books

Use this guide as a starting point for researching topics in theatre.

Selected reference books

 

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Theatre and Performance, edited by Dennis Kennedy

 

American Theatre: A Chronicle of Comedy and Drama, 1969-2000, by Thomas S. Hischak 

 

The Great Stage Directors: 100 Distinguished Careers of the Theater, by Samuel L. Leiter

 

 

The Cambridge History of British Theatre, edited by Jane Milling, et al

 

 book cover image

The A to Z of Japanese Traditional Theatre, by Samuel L. Leiter

 

Late and Great: American Designers 1960-2010

Late and Great: American Designers 1960-2010, edited by Bobbi Owen

 

Notable Women in the American Theatre: A Biographical Dictionary, edited by Robinson, Roberts, and Barranger

 

Key Concepts in Drama and Performance, by Kenneth Pickering

 

 

The Encyclopedia of Vaudeville, by Anthony Slide

 

The Oxford Companion to American Theatre, by Bordman and Hischak

 

The Cambridge Guide to Asian Theatre

The Cambridge Guide to Asian Theatre, edited by James R. Brandon

 

A Chronology of American Musical Theater, Vol. 1

A Chronology of American Musical Theater, by Richard C. Norton (3 vols.)

 

Drama Criticism (40 vols., 1991-current)

 

Broadway: The American Musical, by Laurence Maslon

 

The Gay and Lesbian Theatrical Legacy, edited by Harbin, Marra, and Schanke

Biography


UNITED STATES

American Theatre: A Chronicle of Comedy and Drama, 1969-2000
   by Thomas S. Hischak.
   Oxford University Press, 2001
   PN2277 .N5 H57 2000


The Biographical Encyclopaedia and Who's Who of the American Theatre

   edited by Walter Rigdon
   J. H. Heineman, 1965
   PN2285 .R5


Blacks in Blackface: A Source Book on Early Black Musical Shows
   by Henry T. Sampso
   Scarecrow Press, 1980
   ML1711 .S25


The Cambridge History of American Theatre
(3 vols.)

   edited by Don B. Wilmeth and Christopher Bigsby
   Cambridge University Press, 1998-2000
   PN2221 .C37 1998


Dictionary of the Black Theatre : Broadway, Off-Broadway, and Selected Harlem Theatre
   by Allen Woll
   Greenwood Press, 1983
   PN2270 .A35 W64 1983


The Encyclopedia of Vaudeville

   by Anthony Slide
   Greenwood Press, 1994
   PN2277 .N5 H57 2000


Enter the Playmakers: Directors and Choreographers on the New York Stage

   by Thomas S. Hischak
   Scarecrow Press, 2006
   PN1998.2 .H596 2006


The Gay and Lesbian Theatrical Legacy: A Biographical Dictionary of Major Figures in American Stage History in the Pre-Stonewall Era

   edited by Billy J. Harbin, Kim Marra, and Robert A. Schanke
   University of Michigan Press, 2005
   PN2286.5 .G38 2005


Great Stars of the American Stage

   by Daniel C. Blum
   Greenberg, 1952
   PN2285 .B6 


Late and Great: American Designers 1960-2010

   edited by Bobbi Owen 
   U.S. Institute for Theatre Technology, 2010
   PN2096.A1 L38 2010


Notable Women in the American Theatre: A Biographical Dictionary

   edited by Alice M. Robinson, Vera Mowry Roberts, and Milly S. Barranger
   Greenwood Press, 1989
   PN2285 .N65 1989


The Oxford Companion to American Theatre
(3rd ed.)

   by Gerald Bordman and Thomas S. Hischak
   Oxford University Press, 2004
   PN2220 .B6 2004 

 

BRITAIN

The Cambridge History of British Theatre (3 vols.)
   edited by Jane Milling, Peter Thomson, Joseph Donohue, and Baz Kershaw
   Cambridge University Press, 2004
   PN2581 .C36 2004


A Dictionary of Actors and Other Persons Associated with the Public Representation of Plays in England before 1642

   by Edwin Nungezer
   Greenwood Press, 1968
   PN2597 .N8 1968 


The Dramatic List: A Record of the Principal Performances of Living Actors and Actresses of the British Stage...

   by Charles Eyre Pascoe
   Scholarly Press, 1971 (reprint of 1879 edition)
   PN2597 .P3 1971

 

GENERAL

The Encyclopedia of World Theater
   Charles Scribner's Sons, 1977
   PN2035 .E52 1977 


The Great Stage Directors: 100 Distinguished Careers of the Theater

   by Samuel L. Leiter
   Facts on File, 1994
   PN2205 .L44 1994


The Oxford Companion to the Theatre
(3rd ed.)

   edited by Phyllis Hartnoll
   Oxford University Press, 1967
   PN2035 .H3 1967


Theatrical Directors: A Biographical Dictionary

   edited by John W. Frick and Stephen M. Vallillo
   Greenwood Press, 1994
   PN2205 .T54 1994


Who's Who in the Theatre
(6 editions)

   Pitman; Gale, 1947-1981
   PN2012 .W5

Theatre (general)


The A to Z of German Theater
   by William Grange
   Scarecrow Press, 2006
   PN2657 .G73 2010

 

The A to Z of Japanese Traditional Theatre
   by Samuel L. Leiter
   Scarecrow Press, 2010
   PN2921 .L45 2010

 

American Theatre: A Chronicle of Comedy and Drama, 1969-2000
   by Thomas S. Hischak
   Oxford University Press, 2001
   PN2277.N5 H57 2000

 

Broadway: Its History, People, and Places: An Encyclopedia
   by Ken Bloom
   Routledge, 2004
   F128.65.T5 B56 2004

 

The Cambridge Guide to Asian Theatre

   edited by James R. Brandon
   Cambridge University Press, 1993
   PN2860 .C35 1993

 

The Cambridge Guide to Theatre
   edited by Martin Banham
   Cambridge University Press, 1995
   PN2035 .C27 1995

 

The Cambridge History of American Theatre (3 vols.)
   edited by Don B. Wilmeth and Christopher Bigsby
   Cambridge University Press, 1998-2000
   PN2221 .C37 1998

 

The Cambridge History of British Theatre (3 vols.) 
   edited by Jane Milling, Peter Thomson, Joseph Donohue, and Baz Kershaw
   Cambridge University Press, 2004
   PN2581 .C36 2004

 

Complete Book of the American Musical Theater: A Guide to More Than 300 productions... (Rev. ed.)

   by David Ewen
   Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1959
   ML1711 .E9 1959

 

The Encyclopedia of the Musical Theatre (2nd ed., 3 vols.)
   by Kurt Gänzl
   Schirmer Books, 2001
   ML102.M88 G3 2001

 

The Encyclopedia of World Theater 

   Charles Scribner's Sons, 1977
   PN2035 .E52 1977

Gänzl's Book of the Musical Theatre
   by Kurt Ganzl and Andrew Lamb
   Schirmer Books, 1989
   MT95 .G2 1989


Key Concepts in Drama and Performance
   by Kenneth Pickering
   Palgrave Macmillan, 2010
   PN1579 .P53 2010


Metropolitan Opera Annals: A Chronicle of Artists and Performances (+ 2 suppl.) 
   compiled by William H. Seltsam
   Wilson and Metropolitan Opera Guild, 1947-68
   ML1711.8.N32 M48


The Oxford Companion to American Theatre (3rd ed.)
   by Gerald Bordman and Thomas S. Hischak
   Oxford University Press, 2004
   PN2220 .B6 2004


The Oxford Companion to the Theatre (3rd ed.)
   edited by Phyllis Hartnoll
   Oxford University Press, 1967
   PN2035 .H3 1967


The Oxford Encyclopedia of Theatre and Performance (2 vols.)
   edited by Dennis Kennedy
   Oxford University Press, 2003
   PN2035 .O94 2003


The Oxford Illustrated History of Theatre
   edited by John Russell Brown
   Oxford University Press, 1995
   PN2111 .O95 1995


The Penguin Dictionary of the Theatre
   edited by Jonathan Law, David Pickering, and Richard Helfer
   Penguin Books, 2001 (rev. and enlarged ed.)
   PN2035 .P46 2001


The Theater Dictionary: British and American Terms in the Drama, Opera, and Ballet
   by Wilfred Granville
   Greenwood Press, 1970 (reprint of 1952 edition)
   PN2035 .G7 1970


Theatre Language: A Dictionary of Terms in English of the Drama and Stage from Medieval to Modern Times
   by Walter Parker Bowman and Robert Hamilton Ball
   Theatre Arts Books, 1961
   PN2035 .B6


The World Encyclopedia of Contemporary Theatre (2 vols.)
   edited by Don Rubin
   Routledge, 1994-1996
   PN1861 .W67 1994

Musical theatre


The American Musical Theatre Song Encyclopedia
   by Thomas S. Hischak
   Greenwood Press, 1995
   ML102.M88 H59 1995


American Theatre: A Chronicle of Comedy and Drama, 1969-2000
   by Thomas S. Hischak
   Oxford University Press, 2001
   PN2277.N5 H57 2000


Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians (centennial ed., 6 vols.)
   Schirmer Books, 2001
   ML105 .B16 2001


Broadway: Its History, People, and Places: An Encyclopedia
   by Ken Bloom
   Routledge, 2004
   F128.65.T5 B56 2004


Broadway Musicals, Show by Show (5th ed.)
   by Stanley Green
   Hal Leonard, 1996
   ML1711 .G735 1996


Broadway: The American Musical
   by Laurence Maslon
   Bulfinch Press, 2004
   ML1711.8.N3 M37 2004


A Chronology of American Musical Theater (3 vols.)
   by Richard C. Norton
   Oxford University Press, 2002
   ML1711.8.N3 N67 2002


Complete Book of the American Musical Theater: A Guide to More Than 300 productions... (Rev. ed.)
   by David Ewen
   Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1959
   ML1711 .E9 1959


The Complete Encyclopedia of Popular Music and Jazz, 1900-1950 (4 vols.)
   by Roger D. Kinkle
   Arlington House, 1974
   ML102.P66 K55


The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (8 vols.)
   compiled and edited by Colin Larkin
   Muze, 1998
   ML102.P66 G84 1998


The Encyclopedia of the Musical Theatre (2nd ed., 3 vols.)
   by Kurt Gänzl
   Schirmer Books, 2001
   ML102.M88 G3 2001


Encyclopedia of the Musical Theatre: An Updated Reference Guide to over 2000 Performers, Writers, Directors, Productions, and Songs of the Musical Stage, Both in New York and London
   by Stanley Green
   Da Capo Press, 1976
   ML102.M88 G7 1980


Gänzl's Book of the Musical Theatre
   by Kurt Ganzl and Andrew Lamb
   Schirmer Books, 1989
   MT95 .G2 1989


Historical Dictionary of the Broadway Musical
   by William A. Everett and Paul R. Laird
   Scarecrow Press, 2008
   ML102.M88 E94 2008


The New Broadway Song Companion: An Annotated Guide to Musical Theatre Literature by Voice Type and Song Style (rev. ed.)
   by David P. DeVenney
   Scarecrow Press, 2009
   ML128.M78 D48 2009


The New Grove Dictionary of American Music (4 vols.)
   edited by H. Wiley Hitchcock and Stanley Sadie.
   Macmillan, 1986
   ML101.U6 N48 1986


The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (2nd ed., 29 vols.)
   edited by Stanley Sadie
   Grove, 2000
   ML100 .N48 2000


The Oxford Companion to the American Musical: Theatre, Film, and Television
   by Thomas Hischak
   Oxford University Press, 2008
   ML102.M88 H593 2008


Show Tunes: The Songs, Shows, and Careers of Broadway's Major Composers (rev. and expanded 3rd ed.)
   by Steven Suskin
   Oxford University Press, 2000
   ML128.M78 S86 2000


Stage It with Music: An Encyclopedic Guide to the American Musical Theatre
   by Thomas S. Hischak
   Greenwood Press, 1993
   ML102.M88 H6 1993

Drama Criticism


Contemporary Literary Criticism
(221 vols.)
   Gale, 1973-2006
   PN85 .C7


Drama Criticism (40 vols.)
   Gale, 1991-current
   PN1601 .D59


European Writers (14 vols.)
   edited by George Stade
   Charles Scribner's Sons, 1983-1991
   PN501 .E9 1983


Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism (177 vols.)
   Gale, 1981-2006
   PN771 .G27