Theater and Dance Research Guide

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  • Databases
  • Reference
  • Media
  • Web
  • New Titles
Try these databases first to find journal articles in this discipline.
  • Arts & Humanities Database
    Full-text publications that focus on art, architecture, design, history, philosophy, music, literature, theatre and cultural studies.
  • World Shakespeare Bibliography Online (1972 to present)
    Includes annotated entries for books, articles, reviews, productions, and more.
  • Performing arts database (1864 to present)
    Covers a broad spectrum of the arts and entertainment industry - including dance, drama, theater, opera, film, television and more.
  • Academic Search Premier (date coverage varies)
    Full-text articles from over 3,600 journals in the social sciences, arts and humanities, and sciences.
  • Project Muse
    Online database of more than 200 journals from nonprofit publishers. (Alumni access)
  • JSTOR
    Full-text backfiles of over one thousand leading academic journals across the humanities, social sciences, and sciences. (Alumni access)
Use these encyclopedias and reference works to get started on a topic.

Print reference:
Encyclopedia of Clothing and Fashion by Valerie Steele  Frost Reference GT507 .E53 2005
The Dictionary of Fashion History by Valerie Cumming  
Frost Reference GT507 .C86 2010

Find images and streaming audio and video in these collections (also see the Web tab in this guide and the Images Research Guide).
  • OntheBoards.tv
    Videos of full-length performances by contemporary artists working in dance, theater, music, and other performance forms.
  • ARTstor
    Image database including architecture, painting, sculpture, photography, decorative arts, and design as well as many other forms of visual culture.
  • Ensemble [An Open Database of the Performing Arts]
    A database of transcriptions and digitized images of early 20th century theater programs collected by the NY Public Library of the Performing Arts.
  • Kanopy Streaming Video
    Kanopy offers a broad selection of thousands of streaming films, documentaries, and theatrical releases covering a wide variety of subject areas, with additional new releases launched monthly. If close-captioning is not included, it can be requested. Interactive transcripts are included. Note that US feature films are not typically part of the Kanopy offerings.
  • Aluka
    Digital resources and data in three major content areas: African Cultural Heritage Sites and Landscapes, The African Plants Initiative and Struggles for Freedom in Southern Africa.

Audio and Video sites:

The Chocolate Factory Theater on Vimeo
Jacob’s Pillow Dance Interactive
Jerome Robbins Dance Division Moving Image Archive at NYPL
The Joyce Theater on YouTube
National Theater (London) video
New York Live Arts on Vimeo
OntheBoardsTV
PS122 TV
Walker Art Center Dance
Walker Art Center Theater

Start with these recommended freely available resources in this discipline.

Online Databases and Exhibits:

Hemispheric Institute Digital Video Library
Digital video library of performance practices in the Americas. Includes artist profiles,interviews, bibliographies, production information, image galleries, scripts, and additional materials.

Internet Broadway Database
Online database of Broadway production history

Performing Arts Encyclopedia
Database of performing arts resources at the Library of Congress. Includes digitized photographs, manuscripts, correspondence and ephemera.

PBS American Masters Database--Performing Arts
Biographical profiles, video clips of interviews, interactive career timelines, and interviews with artists

Performing Arts in America, 1875-1923
Database of 16,000 objects representing archival materials from the New York Performing Arts Library collections.

Ensemble [An Open Database of the Performing Arts]
A database of transcriptions and digitized images of early 20th century theater programs collected by the NY Public Library of the Performing Arts.

The Theatrical Lighting Database of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
Digitized plots, focus charts, and cue sheets from landmark productions in the collections of the New York Public Library

Global Shakespeare (MIT)
The archive is a work in progress and currently includes a catalog of more than 397 productions, 75 video clips, and online videos of over 30 full productions.

Global Performing Arts Database
Digital images, texts, video clips, sound recordings, and complex media objects related to the performing arts around the world

North American Indian Drama
Full text of plays by American Indian, First Nation, and Pacific Islanders playwrights of the 20th century; information about the plays and their production, and biographical data. Also includes issues of the Native playwrights' newsletter.

 

Kyoto Costume Institute timeline
Digital images and information about objects in the Kyoto Costume Instituite collections

Metropolitan Museum Costume Institute highlights
Digital images and information about objects in the Met's Costume Instituite collections

Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) Museum collections
Digital images and information about objects from the FIT Musuem

Victoria & Albert Fashion Collections
Digital images and information about clothing in the Victoria & Albert Musuem

New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts houses one of the worlds most extensive combination of circulating, reference, and rare archival collections in its field. These materials are available free of charge, along with a wide range of special programs, including exhibitions, seminars, and performances.

Billy Rose Theatre Division of the NYPL for the Performing Arts
The Billy Rose Theatre Division of The New York Public Library is one of the largest and most comprehensive archives devoted to the theatrical arts.

Theatre on Film and Tape Archive, NYPL Performing Arts
Since 1970, the Theatre on Film and Tape Archive (TOFT) has preserved live theatrical productions and documented the creative contributions of distinguished artists and legendary figures of the theatre. This is one of the only places you will be able to see taped performances of live theatre productions. Be sure to read the guidelines for using the collection.

Digital Public Library of America
A free, online portal to the digitized collections of various libraries, archives and museums.

 

Audio and Video sites:

The Chocolate Factory Theater on Vimeo
Jacob’s Pillow Dance Interactive
Jerome Robbins Dance Division Moving Image Archive at NYPL
The Joyce Theater on YouTube
New York Live Arts on Vimeo
OntheBoardsTV
PS122 TV
Walker Art Center Dance
Walker Art Center Theater

    The Oxford handbook of dance and politics Frost Library; GV1588.45 .O94 2017

    Dance and gender : an evidence-based approach Frost Library; GV1588.6 .D363 2017

    Dance and politics : moving beyond boundaries (Mills, Dana, 1981-, author.) Frost Library; GV1588.6 .M55 2017

    Ungoverning dance : contemporary European theatre dance and the commons (Burt, Ramsay, 1953-, author.) Frost Library; GV1643 .B87 2017

    Choreography and corporeality : relay in motion Frost Library; GV1782.5 .C465 2016

    Embodied philosophy in dance : Gaga and Ohad Naharin's movement research (Katan, Einav, author.) Frost Library; GV1783 .K39 2016

    Radical bodies Frost Library; GV1785.A1 R23 2017

    Beyond the steps : Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Frost Library; GV1786.A42 B47

    Hawaiian hula ʹolapa : stylized embodiment, percussion, and chanted oral poetry (Lilleike, Monika, author.) Frost Library; GV1796.H8 L55 2016

    Truevine : two brothers, a kidnapping, and a mother's quest : a true story of the Jim Crow South (Macy, Beth, author.) Frost Library; GV1811.A1 M33 2016

    Between us : audiences, affect and the in-between (Whalley, Joanne, Dr., author.) Frost Library; PN1590.A9 W43 2017

    Nabokov's favorite word is mauve (Blatt, Ben, author.) Frost Library; PN165 .B55 2017

    The theatre of death (Twitchin, Mischa, author.) Frost Library; PN1650.D4 T95 2016

    Theatre, time and temporality : melting clocks and snapped elastics (Rabey, David Ian, 1958-, author.) Frost Library; PN1650.T56 R33 2016

    What playwrights talk about when they talk about writing (Sweet, Jeffrey, 1950-, author.) Frost Library; PN1661 .S86 2017

    The prettiest girl on stage is a man : race and gender benders in American vaudeville (Casey, Kathleen B., author.) Frost Library; PN1968.U5 C37 2015

    May Irwin : singing, shouting, and the shadow of minstrelsy (Ammen, Sharon, 1951-, author.) Frost Library; PN1969.M5 A46 2017

    Antitheatricality and the body public (Freeman, Lisa A., author.) Frost Library; PN2047 .F74 2017

    Hideous characters and beautiful pagans (Nathans, Heather S., author.) Frost Library; PN2248 .N38 2017

    Show town : theater and culture in the Pacific Northwest, 1890-1920 (George, Holly, 1978-, author.) Frost Library; PN2277.S66 G46 2016

    How to talk dirty and influence people : an autobiography (Bruce, Lenny, author.) Frost Library; PN2287.B726 A3 2016

    W.C. Fields from the Ziegfeld Follies and Broadway stage to the screen (Wertheim, Arthur Frank, 1935-, author.) Frost Library; PN2287.F45 W47 2016

    In the country we love : my family divided (Guerrero, Diane, 1986- author.) Frost Library; PN2287.G7455 A3 2016

    Philip Seymour Hoffman : the life and work (Shelley, Peter, 1962-, author.) Frost Library; PN2287.H565 S54 2017

    You'll grow out of it (Klein, Jessi, 1975-, author.) Frost Library; PN2287.K6725 A3 2016

    From scenarios to networks : performing the intercultural in colonial Mexico (Cabranes-Grant, Leo, 1960-, author.) Frost Library; PN2312 .C33 2016

    Truths, half truths and little white lies (Frost, Nick, 1970-, author.) Frost Library; PN2598.P367 A3 2015

    Performing Grand-Guignol : playing the theatre of horror (Hand, Richard J., author.) Frost Library; PN2636.P4 G753 2016

    After '89 : Polish theatre and the political (Lease, Bryce, author.) Frost Library; PN2859.P6 L365 2016

    Performing Whitely in the postcolony : Afrikaners in South African theatrical and public life (Lewis, Megan, 1968-, author.) Frost Library; PN2984.2 .L49 2016