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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
- The director, designer, and performance choices
- The space and the company
- Analysis: Why was this a landmark production?
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.
- Production Dates
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."
Includes the Broadway cast, production credits, photos, a brief blurb about the theatre, and the text of the playbill
Internet Broadway Database
The official database for Broadway theatre information. IBDB provides records of productions from the beginnings of New York theatre until today.
Internet Off-Broadway Database
A catalogue of all shows ever produced Off-Broadway.
Includes production credits, cast, dates, a link to the theatre, and awards.
Information about a play varies and may include dates, reception, awards, production history, and photos.
Good resource for established authors, actors, theatres. Includes Oxford Encyclopedia of Theatre and Performance, Oxford Companion to American Theatre, and more.
Literature Resource Center
Contains articles from academic journals and literary magazines as well as excerpts from scholarly monographs, literary correspondence and diaries.
International Dictionary of Theatre by
Call Number: PN2035.I49 1992 v.2
Publication Date: 1995
International and historical in scope, this reference includes nearly 1,500 entries and is divided into three volumes: Volume 1: Plays focuses on 600 of the world's most significant plays, with an authoritative essay on each play and more than 300 photographs. Volume 2: Playwrights contains biographical and bibliographical information and essays on 485 playwrights. Volume 3: Actors, Directors and Designers, features a capsule biography, descriptions: of roles and theatre productions and bibliographic information on 300 entrants.
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.
Performing Arts Periodicals Database
Provides indexing, abstracts and some full-text, for international periodicals. Covers a broad spectrum of the arts and entertainment industry - including dance, drama, theater, stagecraft, musical theater, circus performance, opera, pantomime, puppetry, magic, performance art, film, television and more.
Humanities International Complete
Access to journals with content pertaining to literary, scholarly, and creative thought
Literature Criticism Online
Includes overviews by topic, author, and work, as well as excerpts from articles, books, and essays written by scholars.
MLA International Bibliography
Covers books, essays, and articles on modern literature
Academic Search Premier
A mix of scholarly and popular sources
Research Library (ProQuest)
Features the full text of a diversified mix of scholarly journals, trade publications, magazines and newspapers covering all academic subject areas.
An interdisciplinary journal archive
Covers popular press publications.
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
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
Nexis Uni (formerly LexisNexis Academic)
Access to news, business, governmental and legal sources.
New York Times (ProQuest)
Includes The New York Times; Late Edition (East Coast), New York Times Magazine, and New York Times Book Review.
New York Times (nytimes.com)
Full and unlimited access to all of the content on The New York Times web site. Users must register and log in. Once you’ve registered for an account, which you must do from within the campus network (i.e. on-campus), you may “log in” to that account from anywhere, anytime.
In order to register from off-campus you may utilize vDesk. Technology Services provides information on utilizing vDesk: https://www.pugetsound.edu/about/offices-services/technology-services/vdesk-2/
Once on the campus network, or connected to vDesk, to register go to: https://nytimesineducation.com/access-nyt/
And search for "University of Puget Sound."
Click "Create Account" and complete the registration fields using your @pugetsound.edu email address.
If you have previously registered your email address on The NYT site, click the "Already have an account? Log in here" link just below the "Create Account" button.
Access to the nytimes.com is partially supported by a contribution from ASUPS.
Search the most recent U.S. news content, featuring newspapers, newswires, blogs, and news sites in active full-text format. Offers exclusive access to the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and co-exclusive access (with Factiva) to The Wall Street Journal. US Newsstream also offers one of the largest collections of local and regional newspapers.
Provides cover-to-cover full text for national (U.S.) newspapers, including The Christian Science Monitor, USA Today, The Washington Post and The Washington Times. The database also contains selective full text for regional (U.S.) newspapers. Also includes international news sources including The Times (London), The Toronto Star and others.
Historical Newspaper Backfiles
To find reviews of older productions, try these databases.
Los Angeles Times Historical Newspaper (1881-1995)
Full page and article images with searchable full text back to the first issue of the Los Angeles Times newspaper.
London Times Digital Archive
Since its first publication in 1785, The Times (London) has become one of the most preeminent, global daily (except Sundays) newspapers of the 18th century through the early 21st century, covering international events, people, places, politics, business news, opinion and debate, entertainment, and advertising.
New York Times Historical Newspaper
Includes full page images of the New York Daily Times (1851-1857) and the New York Times (1857-2012).
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.
You can search for production photos included in articles by doing an advanced search. Enter the name of the play and choose captions.
New York Times (nytimes.com)
This site provides full and unlimited access to all of the contents on the New York Times web site. You will need to register for an account if you don't already have one.
This site is media rich and you may find photos or video clips of a production.
Film sources for authors, context, and directors.
Films on Demand
Provides online streaming access to thousands of films from 'Films for the Humanities and Sciences.' Films can be searched by title or by subject area. Users may set up an individual account and create their own playlists.
Theatre in Video
Contains definitive performances of the world's leading plays together with film documentaries, online in streaming video.
Digital Image Collections
Billy Rose Theatre Division of The New York Public Library
Billy Rose Theatre Division of The New York Public Library is one of the largest and most comprehensive archives devoted to the theatrical arts.
Global Performing Arts Database
"GloPAD (Global Performing Arts Database) records include authoritative, detailed, multilingual descriptions of digital images, texts, video clips, sound recordings, and complex media objects related to the performing arts around the world, plus information about related pieces, productions, performers, and creators."
The theatre work includes plays and musicals in the West End, London fringe, the major national and regional theatres and the Edinburgh Festival. There is a particularly strong Shakespeare collection comprehensively covering Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) productions since 1970, and also at the National Theatre (NT), Shakespeare's Globe (SG) and elsewhere in the UK, including visiting international companies.
Includes images of theatre stage settings and scenery