Skip to Main Content


Theater Library Resources at Case

Get Online Help

Reminder: Online Access

  • Library resources require going through CWRU Single Sign-On.
  • The best method is to follow links from the library website.
  • When logged in and a browser window is not closed, access should continue from resource to resource.
  • Remember to close your browser when done.

Collections/Searching: Playscripts

Playscripts: The Separate Browsable Collection within the Kelvin Smith Library

There is a separate collection of playscripts within Kelvin Smith Library, located on the third floor. These are primarily individual plays, but include a few collections. These include items normally shelved in the PN - PT call number ranges, but have been segregated for ease of browsing at the end of the 'Z' section. Their catalog location, such as in the example below, reads: KSL Scripts 3rd Floor.

catalog record for Tennessee Williams' Not About Nightingales

Playscripts: Housed within the General Book Stacks within the Kelvin Smith Library

There are many other playscripts in the PN - PR call number ranges within the general book stacks on the third floor. These should be located by looking up title or playwright in the library's online catalog. Plays within anthologies can be looked up by doing a word search on the title with quotes around the title. Such a search will look for titles within the contents notes of an anthology.

Playscripts: Housed in OhioLINK Libraries

There are a wealth of playscripts available via OhioLINK. These should be located by looking up title or playwright in the OhioLINK online catalog. Plays within anthologies can be looked up by doing a word search on the title with quotes around the title. Such a search will look for titles within the contents notes of an anthology.

Collections/Searching: Basic Reference Sources

  • Oxford Reference Online is a suite of online tools. Once within the database, click on 'Subjects', select 'Performing Arts'. Look for the 'Refine by Subject' filter on the left, click the + sign next to 'Performing Arts' and select 'Theatre'. Your searches will then search across a variety of tools for which you can choose the one which you think will be most helpful. Note that you can also select 'Literature' under the subject filter for reference books on Shakespeare and plays.

Among the print reference sources at Kelvin Smith Library, several may be particularly helpful:

Among the print reference sources in the Kulas Music Collection, several are helpful when researching musical theater:

The best tool for discovering our holdings of these specialized tools is the library's online catalog. While some of these tools are in the reference section of the library, some are circulating items. Others may also be discovered among the OhioLINK collections as circulating items using the OhioLINK online catalog.

Collections/Searching: Book Collections

The collections at Kelvin Smith Library mirror the curricula of the theater degree programs at Case and the research interests of the theater faculty. All aspects of the craft of theater, of which some examples include:

Theater history, biography and criticism, of which some examples include:

The music print collections are supplemented by an increasing number of electronic book acquisitions, such as Engaging audiences [electronic resource] : a cognitive approach to spectating in the theatre or works within the series Early English Books Online such as A shorte treatise against stage-playes [electronic resource].

The best tool for discovering our holdings of books on theater is the library's online catalog and OhioLINK collections of books on theater is the OhioLINK online catalog.

Collections/Searching: Journal Collections

The journal collections at Kelvin Smith Library encompass journals we continue to collect in print format and which are housed in KSL, both current issues and back runs; and extensive online full text journals for which access is provide by Kelvin Smith Library via our own subscriptions or subscriptions which are part of our membership in OhioLINK. The library's online catalog has records for all titles. Records for print titles will include the holdings for our back runs and the records for online journals will include links to the online journal where one may view the issues for which we have access.

The Kelvin Smith Library also provides an eJournal portal which allows one to search and find all online journals for which we have access, as well as the specific issues available to us.

Collections/Searching: Video Collections

Kelvin Smith Library has a video collection of over 5,000 DVDs. Among these are staged productions of plays, film adaptations of plays, and many feature lengths films and collections of televisions shows.

In addition to the video collection at KSL, there are many DVDs available over OhioLINK. In the case of both collections, the library's online catalog and the OhioLINK catalog are the best tools for exploring these collections. They are searchable by title and by names of playwrights, directors, actors and actresses.

Collections/Searching: Online Newspaper Collections

Historical Newspapers:

Several of our historical newspaper collections may be useful in finding articles related to staged productions which occurred in New York or Washington D.C. during 19th or 20th century: The historical New York Times and Washington Post.

Please note some of the limits available to you (Publication date range, or document type 'review' or 'interview') since newspaper searches often retrieve many results.

Current News:

Current events, including staged productions, premieres and interviews may be covered in our online current news sources. Using Newsbank, under America's News and then USA, you can search current events across multiple newspapers and regions of the United States.

International coverage can be accessed via Nexis Uni. The text of all articles will be in English. Because Nexis Uni covers so many sources it can be quite challenging to use. A basic procedure to get a reasonably small number of results to browse through:

1. Once you have accessed the database, select 'Advanced Search' and 'News'.

2. Advanced Search provides options to work with for which Date range and Source can often be the most helpful.

3. Source requires you to begin typing and then the database will suggest sources. By typing Times you will be led to Times (London). You may not pick a specific source, but you will need to limit the Date range quite severely.

4. Another option on the advanced search screen is to use separate fields to search for the title of a play along with 'theatre review'.

Collections/Searching: Online Databases

The primary databases which index the literature of the theater and the cinema include:

Theater related articles appear in many other fields and the Research Databases list can help you in exploring those databases and literatures.

In addition, some full text databases may be highly relevant to theater. Early English Books Online provides access to facsimiles of English materials published in the 16th and 17th centuries and includes playscripts from the time.

CWRU Libraries Discovery