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English - Drama - Literature: Books

Library Books

Use the Library Discovery system (see the link below) to search for books by keyword, title, author, or by using the subject search option.

Example search terms:

  • acting
  • acting auditions
  • actors psychology
  • American drama
  • American drama and history and criticism
  • dramatists
  • dramaturges
  • ​dramaturgy
  • one-act plays
  • performing arts
  • scripts (documents)
  • theater
  • theater United States history
  • theater - philosophy or acting philosophy
  • theater- audiences

For additional tips and information about book searching see the Book Searching tab in this guide.

Drama and Literature - History and Criticism

In addition to the print titles listed below, search in the NSU databases for articles about a playwright or drama or literary period or drama forms. For example, try searching for "drama history and criticism" like the general database Academic Search Premier

For information about a particular drama, search by the playwright's name and title of the drama. Example search: Glaspell, Susan and Trifles, using the database Literature Resource Center, the advanced search option, choose Person-By or About and enter the writer's name, and in the box for the Name of Work, enter the name of the drama/play.

Here are some books that might be of interest:

  • Arab American Drama, Film, and Performance: A Critical Study, 1908 to the Present (PS153.A73 N35)
  • British Drama Before 1660: A Critical History (PR651.G66) early modern to Elizabethan, drama - 17th Century
  • The Cambridge Companion to English Renaissance Tragedy (PR658.T7 C36) early modern to Elizabethan, drama - 17th Century
  • The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare and Contemporary Dramatists (PR653.C27)
  • The Comic Mode in English Literature: From the Middle Ages to Today (PR147.C65 R67) Literary history and criticism
  • Drama Criticism (Ref. PN 1721.C65)
  • Drama Criticism Index (Ref. PN 11861.B8)
  • Drama for Students (Ref. PN1601.D595) vols. 1-5. online version is listed in database, Literary Resource Center
  • English Drama, 1485-1585 (PR641.W58) history and criticism
  • English Drama 1586-1642: The Age of Shakespeare (PR421.H86) history and criticism
  • European Drama Criticism (Ref. PN1721.P2)
  • Guide to American Drama Explication (PS332.O84) history and criticism
  • Reading Modern Drama (PN1851.R43) drama - 19th Century and 20th Century history and cricitism
  • Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Comedy (PR1248.M3) comedy, history and criticism
  • Women Playwrights in England, 1363-1750 (PR635.W62 C6) English drama 17th and 18th Century - women dramatists

Library Information

Use the Library Discovery system (link below) to search for books that provide biographical information, criticisms, collections of dramas, playscripts, and terminology. 

Many items include information about theatrical performances of dramas, offer biographical and historical content, and criticisms. Use the Library Discovery, select the "subject" search. (Example: theater history or drama -- history and criticism or drama -- dictionaries) When searching the Library Catalog for one-act plays, choose the "subject" search option and enter one act plays or one act plays American or use the "keyword" search or "publisher" search options and enter dramatists play service for many items or plays in the library's collection.

Biographical Information

Biographical information:

Print books and eBooks are available that provide a brief biographical overview of a dramatist/playwright.

An index to biographical sources is the Biography and Genealogy Master Index, which will list sources providing biographical information about writers. 

Use the database WorldCat (OCLC) to search for books in other libraries in addition to NSU libraries.

Many print and online sources contain biographies and criticisms. Examples of sources are listed below:

The Columbia Encyclopedia of Modern Drama (Ref. PN1861.C65)
International Dictionary of Theatre: Plays (Ref. PN2035.I49) vol 1
International Dictionary of Theatre: Playwrights (Ref. PN2035.I49) vol. 2
McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of World Drama: An International Reference Work in Five Volumes (Ref. PN1625.M3)
Notable Playwrights (eBook, search by title in the EBSCOhost eBook Collection)
The Oxford Dictionary of Plays (Ref. PN1625.P38)
Aspects of the Drama: A Handbook (PN1621.B3) dramatic terms, essays
The Drama Dictionary (Ref. PN1625.H64) terminology, drama forms, movements, styles, stage and acting terms
Reader's Encyclopedia of World Drama (Ref. PN1625.G3) literary periods, playwrights, plays, genres

Drama Collections

Here are some specific "collections" of drama within the library collection:

  • Anton Chekhov's Plays (PG3456.A19 B7)
  • The Best One-Act Plays (PN6111.B47)
  • The Collected Works of John Ford (PR2521.M66)
  • Drama on Stage (PN6112.G64)
  • Female Playwrights of the Restoration: Five Comedies (PR1266.F39)
  • The Meridian Anthology of Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Plays by Women (PR1266.M47)
  • Ottemiller's Index to Plays in Collections: An Author and Title Index to Plays Appearing in Collections Published Since 1900 (Ref. PN1655.O8)
  • The Play Index (Ref. PN2000.P53) an index to plays in anthologies
  • Restoration Plays (PR1266.R47)

Example Authors (Books About)

  • Arthur Miller: A Playwright's Life and Works (PS3525.I5156 Z547) biographical
  • Anton Chekhov (eBook in Bloom's Major Dramatists in the EBSCOhost eBook Collection)
  • Eugene O'Neill: A Life in Four Acts (PS3529.N5 Z6284) biographical
  • Susan Glaspell: Her Life and Times (PS3513.L35 Z595) for the eBook - search by title in the EBSCOhost eBook Collection
  • The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare (Ref. PR2892.O94) biographical
  • A Difficult Woman: The Challenging Life and Times of Lillian Hellman (PS3515.E343 Z74) biographical

Reference Books