Skip to Main Content

University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Finding Journal Articles for Theatre Research

This guide is an introduction (or a refresher) to searching for, accessing, and evaluating articles for theatre research.

Thinking Outside of Theatre

If your topic crosses multiple subject areas or if you want to get a broader context for your topic beyond theatre, consider exploring a non-theatre-specific database. The University of Illinois subscribes to hundreds of databases, so it can be hard to know where to start. Here are a few suggestions for getting started: 

  • Filter the Library's Databases A-Z list by subject to see what databases we have available in other subject areas. Start with the Best Bets section as those databases have been selected by subject specialists as good places to start your research. 
  • Go directly to a departmental library's homepage to see what databases and resources they recommend. 
  • Reach out to a Subject Specialist by email or set up a research consultation. 
  • Check out our recommended resources below!

What's an Interdisciplinary Topic?

Still not sure when to look beyond your discipline? Here's an example to help you think through when your research might benefit from interdisciplinary sources. Let's say you are interested in Native American theatremaking. In addition to plays by Indigenous playwrights, what resources should you consult?

  • If the plays you are studying are about historical topics, it might be helpful to consult American history databases or general multidisciplinary humanities databases to develop a better understanding for a play's social and historical context.
  • Newspaper databases, particularly those focusing on alternative, ethnic, and minority presses like Ethnic NewsWatch might be helpful. 
  • You might also consult general newspaper databases if you are looking for play reviews.
  • Maybe you'll want to look at popular sources like magazines to find interviews with playwrights about their work. 

Whatever your topic, try casting a wide net and exploring how different perspectives from multiple academic disciplines might enrich your research. 

Humanities and Social Sciences

Scenic and Costume Design

Historical Coverage