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Playscripts in the Library
The Music & Performing Arts Library has a large collection of playscripts. These can be found in their own dedicated section in the computer area and are arranged alphabetically by playwright's last name and then title of play. Additional playscripts can be found in other libraries, including the Literatures & Languages Library, the Undergraduate Library, and the Main Stacks, so make sure to search the library catalog as well!
The following online tools can help you identify plays based on specific criteria.
Index to more than 30,000 plays written from Antiquity to the present and published from 1949 to the present; includes mysteries, pageants, plays in verse, puppet performances, radio and television plays, and classic drama.
A free online guide to modern playwrights and theatre plays which have been written, adapted or translated, into English since the production of Look Back in Anger in 1956. doollee.com contains information on 55,018 Playwrights and 185,532 of their Plays.
Similar to the online tools above, the following print resources can help locate playscripts.
Play Index (print version)
Call Number: Z5781 P539
Location: Music & Performing Arts Reference
Multi-volume work which indexes plays by author, title, and subject. It also includes a cast analysis index, which allows the user to locate plays by type of cast and number of players. Each volume covers a particular date range. See also Index to Plays in Periodicals.
Index to Plays in Periodicals by
Call Number: Z5781 K45
Location: Music & Performing Arts Reference (see record for additional locations)
Provides citations to plays published in periodicals from the early 20th century through 1987. Also see Ottemiller's Index to Plays in Collections below.
Online Playscript Collections
Asian American Drama Documents the Asian American experience, from its beginnings to contemporary playwrights, together with associated material such as playbills.
Audio Drama: The L.A. Theatre Works Collection This curated archive contains more than three hundred important dramatic works in streaming audio from the nation’s premiere radio theatre company. The plays - which include some of the most significant dramatic literature of the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries - are performed by leading actors from around the world and recorded specifically for online listening. Specialized indexing at the track level for over half of these recordings links individual segments of plays to specific academic disciplines and subject keywords. This allows researchers to find relevant scenes that touch on subjects in the humanities, social sciences, theatre, hard sciences, law, medicine, and virtually every other field of study.
Black Drama Contains full texts of over 1,400 plays written from the mid-1800s to the present by 233 playwrights from North America, English-speaking Africa, the Caribbean, and other African diaspora countries.
The plays are accompanied by reference materials, significant ancillary information, a rich performance database and images.
Black Drama: Third Edition This database's expanded third edition contains the full text of more than 1,700 plays written from the mid-1800s to the present by more than 200 playwrights from North America, English-speaking Africa, the Caribbean, and other African diaspora countries. Many of the works are rare, hard to find, or out of print. This edition also contains previously unpublished plays by writers such as Langston Hughes, Ed Bullins, Willis Richardson, Amiri Baraka, Randolph Edmonds, Zora Neale Hurston, and many others.
Contemporary World Drama This collection features new work of both established playwrights alongside up-and-coming playwrights from around the world. This includes recently produced world premieres, previously unpublished works, etc. from every continent.
Eighteenth Century Drama: Censorship, Society and the Stage This comprehensive collection makes available the Larpent collection of plays, as well as hundreds of documents that provide social context for the plays.
English Drama A unique collection of more than 3,900 plays in verse and prose tracing the development of drama in English from the medieval mystery cycles to the comedies of Oscar Wilde.
North American Indian Drama 2nd Edition This database collection contains 256 plays by 49 playwrights representing the stories and creative energies of American Indian and First Nation playwrights of the twentieth century. More than half of the works are previously unpublished, and hard to find, representing groups such as Cherokee, Métis, Creek, Choctaw, Pembina Chippewa, Ojibway, Lenape, Comanche, Cree, Navajo, Rappahannock, Hawaiian/Samoan, and others.
North American Women's Drama, 2nd Edition This online database contains 1,517 plays by 330 playwrights and brings these writings the attention they deserve, by publishing the full text of plays written from Colonial times to the present by more than 100 women from the United States and Canada. Many of the works are rare, hard to find, or out of print. Almost a quarter of the collection consists of previously unpublished plays. This collection includes playbills and other ephemera as well.
Twentieth Century Drama Bringing together an unparalleled collection of the most important works from the last century from the English-speaking world, Twentieth Century Drama is the essential resource for the study and research of the drama of this influential period.
Featuring plays from noted playwrights as well as lesser known dramatists, the collection includes works by over 300 writers including Amiri Baraka, Noël Coward, Susan Glaspell, Langston Hughes, Brian Friel, David Mamet, Eugene O’Neill, John Osborne, Sean O’Casey, Harold Pinter, Bernard Shaw, Neil Simon, Gertrude Stein, Tom Stoppard, Derek Walcott, August Wilson and Elizabeth Wong.
Twentieth Century North American Drama, 2nd Edition Twentieth Century North American Drama contains 2,059 plays by 434 playwrights, and more than 150 of the plays are published here for the first time, including a number by major authors. It offers a unique window into the economic, historical, social, and political psyche of two countries, allowing Scholars and students to study the signal events of the twentieth century in a new way through drama. This collection includes scripts, playbills, photographs, posters and more.
Free Online Script Resources