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Theatre 373: Landmark Productions: Project Sources

This guide is intended as a starting point for dramaturging a landmark production project.

Landmark Production Research

Choose a landmark production of the late 20th century or early 21st century and focus on these four parts:

  • The play itself and its playwright
    • Due April 8
  • The director, designer, and performance choices
    • Due April 15
  • The space and the company
    • Due April 22
  • Analysis: Why was this a landmark production?
    • Due May 6

Additional Due Dates:

April 22, 24: Oral presentation of high points of research

May 6: Manifesto and revised Landmark project

Before you begin your research, establish some basic facts about the production.

  • Author
  • Production Dates
  • Director/Designers
  • Actors
  • Venue

Websites

Search the names of authors, directors, and designers to find their websites.

Theatre websites provide information about a company or venue. Look for links to "about,"  "history," or "history and background."

Background Sources

Search Primo

Use Primo to find resources about the author at Collins Library and beyond.

Primo Search Tips

Use Primo to find information about theatre companies, authors, directors, or designers. For example:

  • National Theatre Great Britain
  • Abbey Theatre
  • Split Britches

If you can't find anything about a specific company, try broader terms.

  • "experimental theater"
  • "theatrical companies"
  • "Off Off-Broadway theater"

Search the author or designer's name for biographies, autobiographies, collected letters, and general studies.

  • Do both an author and subject search in Primo.
  • Note the words casebook, notebook, or sourcebook in the title as these books provide insightful studies of an author.

In addition to the director or designer's name, try these broader terms in Primo.

  • "Theatres Stage Setting and Scenery"
  • "Set Designers"
  • "Theatrical producers and directors"

Database Search Tips

With common play titles, refine your search by adding a name (director, author, or actor) or the phrase "theatrical production."

Ex. Venus  AND "theatrical production"

Ex. "Waiting for Godot" AND "Robin Williams"

For the best results, use the database's limiters, typically found in the left column, to modify your search by date, article, or review.

Magazine & Journal Databases

Start with these databases to find articles about an author, play, or company.

About Reviews

Reviews are examples of primary sources in theatre research. They may be found in blogs, newspapers, magazines, and other current sources. Sometimes, reviews are compiled and published in books.

Reviews provide information about the reception of a play. The length of a review varies but may include the following:

  • Basic information about the play, including the director, date, author, production company, set designer, actors, plot and themes
  • Background about the production
  • Directing choices
  • Performances of the actors
  • Set design
  • Costume design
  • Lighting design and sound

Newspaper Reviews

Search Tips: When searching newspaper reviews of a particular production, include the author, director, theatre, or production dates to refine your results.

You may also be able to limit your search to reviews if this option is available.

Reviews for Plays within the last 25 years
Historical Newspaper Backfiles

To find reviews of older productions, try these databases.

Finding Images & Video

Once you've identified the play's designer, search for his or her portfolio

Search the company or venue's website for production photos. They may be included in reviews, articles, and theatre websites.

Film sources for authors, context, and directors.
Digital Image Collections