THEA 25100: Theatre Organization & Management

Theatre Organization & Management

              Guthrie Theater

IC Library Print & Media Resources

IC Library Databases (Articles)

Full Text Theatre Journals

ArticleLinker, a software we use to link article citations in one database to full text in another, provides a list of all the "Drama" journals available across our databases, each title with a date range for when full text is accessible.  In this way you can target particular journals (and remember that in virtually all our databases you can limit your search to a single publication title).  

Databases in Theatre

International Bibliography of Theatre and Dance with Full Text :
  • Try Subject searching as an alternative to Keywords. To test what Subject Headings will work in this database click on "Indexes" above the search slots, choose "Headings,"and test a Subject term. In finding the right Subject Term you will also see a preview of results and related subheadings. 
  • I also recommend putting in “Theater” as a Subject term—to let the database know what universe you’re interested in—and then adding one or more Keywords such as “Copyright” or “Marketing.” Also use “Theaters” as your Subject, since the plural is more likely to retrieve articles on financial, administrative, and operational issues.
  • Play titles may be searched as "Subject Terms" here--and you should take advantage of this. In many databases a play title must be searched as a Keyword phrase--and this retrieves many articles in which the play is only briefly mentioned. Searching a play title as a Subject guarantees that the articles retrieved will be substantially about the the play. For example, here in the International Bibliography of Theatre & Dance a Keyword search on Hamlet retrieves about 2200 articles, whereas a Subject search retrieves about 700. The Subject search eliminates 1500 articles that are not primarily about Hamlet.
  • If you wish to focus on reviews of a theater or dance piece, search the title in the "Reviews and Products" field.
  • Names are best searched, last name first, as "People." If a People search doesn't generate enough hits, try searching the name as a keyword phrase--the name in its natural order, enclosed in quotation marks.
  • If both Subject and Keyword searches don't score many retrievals, try searching your term in the "All Text" field. But only use this as a last resort, since it will retrieve articles in which your search term is merely mentioned in passing.
  • For an interview with a contemporary figure from the performing arts, try setting the "Document Type" limit at the bottom of the main search screen to "Interview."

Theatre in Video :
     Streaming video of stage productions and movie adaptations. "Productions" represent all eras, from The Agamemnon and Oedipus Rex to Twelfth Night and The Alchemist to She Stoops to Conquer and Tartuffe to Krapp's Last Tape and To be Young, Gifted and Black.  Browse the "Documentaries," which include videos on various theatre companies and interviews with producers such as Joseph Papp and Peter Brook.

     Note: Theater in Video requires Flash Player v.8 or higher and a minimum of 400kbps of bandwidth. Also note: a limit of 5 simultaneous users.

Comprehensive Databases

General OneFile :
  • Note the default Subject search. Whatever Subject Heading you search, you will be offered links to "Subdivisions" and "Related Subjects." Take a look at the dozens of "Related Subjects" offered for an initial search on "Theater" or "Dance."
  • Once you've discovered the Subject that best matches your interest, look at the "Subdivisions" for it. The standard "subdivisions" for General OneFile Include "Economic Aspects," "Employment," "Forecasts and Trends," "History," "International Aspects," "Management," "Political Aspects," "Social Aspects," and "Statistics." If the retrievals for these categories are still too broad, use the the "Search within these Results" slot at the upper left to enter some Keywords.
  • If you want to focus on a particular play or show, use the "Advanced search," enter the title, and select "Named Work" from the drop-down menu of search fields.
  • Note that below the "Search within these Results" slot on the upper left of your retrievals there is a "Narrow results by" slot and one of the options is "Document type." These document types include "Theater Review" and "Dance Review."
     Note: Whenever you open your first page of retrievals in General OneFile, you are viewing ONLY the articles from magazines. If you wish to see your retrievals from more scholarly sources you must click on  "Academic Journals" at the left.

ProQuest Research LibraryAcademic Search Premier :
  •  ProQuest offers "Theater companies," "Theater Producers & Directors," "Theater" + "Management," or "Entertainment Technology & Design" + "Theater" as Subject Headings.  Academic Search Premier includes "Theater management," "Theater--Finance," and "Theater--Production & direction."
  • In running searches on playwrights directors, or actors, don't settle for a Keyword search on the individual's name, as this will retrieve too many articles in which the he or she is only mentioned. Instead use the specialized Subject search each provides. In ProQest enter the name, last name first, in the "Person" search field (open the drop-down menu under "All Fields"). In Academic Search Premier open the "Select a Field" drop-down menu and search the name, last name first, in the "People" field.
  • In both databases the titles of shows should be searched as Keyword phrases, so be sure to put them in quotation marks. (Note: in ProQuest you can run a Subject search on a play title, but it will retrieve only newspaper reviews of particular productions--not scholarly criticism.)
  • In Academic Search Premier you can set a "Document Type" limit and choose "Entertainment review"--if you want a performance review--or "Literary Criticism"--if you want scholarly analysis of a play. If your subject is a contemporary writer/director/performer, you might try "Interview." In ProQuest you can set "Document type" to "Review" or "Interview."


LexisNexis Academic :
  • The “News” section provides very extensive national and international newspaper coverage, so this is a good resource for reviews of particular productions and feature articles on performing artists . Since this is a Keyword search of 100% full text, change the default search “Anywhere in the Document” to “In Headline and Lead Paragraphs”—since this will help ensure that your search term is the main topic. Remember to put names and phrases in quotation marks.
  • This is also a good database for news stories about the community and region in which your theater is located. On the LexisNexis home page click the “Sources” tab and then under “Select a category to view sources” click on the “News” folder icon. This will open an alphabetical list—several pages long—of news sources, including each of the 50 states. Choose the state where a theater is located, click continue, and then search on the name of the city or town, setting the time limit to “1 year,” since there are liable to be so many hits. This should pull up recent local and regional stories about your community.
  • If you click on the “Legal” button at the top of the LexisNexis home page, you are automatically dropped into a search of “Law Reviews,” which are an excellent resource for articles discussing the legal/commercial aspects of operating a theater or staging a show. The search is Keyword of 100% full text and often your retrieval sets will be large. The best way to focus your results is to use the “atleast” command before your search terms. For instance, if you were searching for liability laws affecting theaters, you would enter: atleast5(theater and liability). This will guarantee that both words occur at least 5 times in all the articles retrieved—indicating a main topic.

Full Text Articles Before 1980

     Try searching a theater/company in both these databases to pull up stories about its past. Most databases offer coverage only back to about 1980—at most—but both of these extend into the first half of the 20th century and the second half of the 19th. If your theater has that long a past, these resources might provide information you could use in a marketing campaign or fundraising activity.
  • JSTOR : 100% full text from a wide range of disciplines, this database can be especially valuable for the historical perspective it provides, as its coverage begins approximately 5 years before the current date but extends back the first issue of a journal—even into the nineteenth century.
  • New York Times (1851-2009) (full text 1851-2006): This database allows you to retrieve, for example, an article on "Ibsen's Method" from 1889 or a review of an Isadora Duncan performance from 1898. Begin by switching the search field from the default "Citation and document text" to "Citation and Abstract," since this helps ensure your search terms will be the main topic of the articles. And take advantage of the date range limits below the search slots if you want to focus on a particular event or time period.

Business Source Premier

Business Source Premier (Special Business Interface) : Not a lot here that you won’t find in the above databases, but the business focus may be helpful. And you can search by NAICS code (North American Industry Classification System). The NAIC for theater groups is 711110. 

Grants & Fundraising

Federal & State

  • National Endowment for the Arts: The NEA is the United States' largest annual funder of the arts. Under "Research" see both "Research Notes" and "Research Reports" for recent statistical information on topics such as consumer spending on the Performing Arts. Under "Publications" see the "Annual Report" (click on the free pdf version to the right) for a financial summary of the fiscal year and profiles of some of the grants awarded. Just below the link to the annual report note that you can click on Dance, Musical Theater, and Theater for federal grant information. Under "Resources--Funding" see "State Arts Agencies & Regional Arts Organizations" for state and local funding.    
  • A one-stop approach to all federal grants, with plenty of tutorial assistance for the grant application process. You can search grant opportunities by subject Category, including "Arts." 

Foundation Center

      The Foundation Center: Many of the resources here must be purchased, but the Foundation Center allows you a free registration which gives access to some materials and allows you to sign up for newsletters on grant opportunities in your area of interest, for instance arts, or health, or the environment.
  • Mouse over "Get Started: for the menu of options. Under "Reference Guides" there are free resources such as "Proposal Writing Short Course" and "Proposal Budgeting Basics," as well as resources under "Proposal Writing Online Training" that are free if you have registerd with the Foundation Center: for example, "Introduction to Fundraising Planning."
  • On the "Get Started" menu also look at the "Topical Resource Lists," where you'll be able to find fundraising information by category: Health, Education, or Arts (for which note "Corporate Philanthropy in the Arts" and "Individual Giving in Support of the Arts." In all these categories you will find some linked online resources, some articles that you can locate by doing a "Journal Titles" search at the top of the IC Library home page, and some books that you can look for by title in the IC collection, the Cornell Library collection, and in the WorldCat database--though which you can place interlibrary loan orders.
  • Also mouse over "Gain Knowledge" on the Foundation Center home page and take a look at the free resources available under "Research Studies," including "National Trends" and "Special Topic Trends," which in includes "Vital Signs: Arts Funding in the Current Economy July 2009." .
  • Also mouse over "Find Funders" to access the "Foundation Finder"--where you can search by foundation name or city, state, zip code--or the "990 Finder" which offers free access to 990 PF forms.

Arts Funding At Large

  • Fundsnet Art & Culture Grants: A list of organizations, foundations, agencies, and businesses that provide arts funding--with links to their sites.
  • National Arts Marketing Project: Resources: Many  practical and creative ways to market arts programing under "Featured Articles," "Profiles in Creativity," and "Practical Lessons."
  • Americans for the Arts:Look under "information & Services" and "Networks" for imformation about arts funding and organizations providing it.
  • Performing Arts Alliance: Advocacy group for arts funding.  Visit the "Issue Center" for information on current funding needs and what is being urged to address them.
  • Arts Funding Watch:  An electronic newsletter from the Foundation Center.  Full access requires (free) registration with the Foundation Center.  There are links to many interesting resources here.

Contact Us

Picture: Brian Saunders
Humanities Librarian
(607) 274-1198

Web Resources

Finding Your Way

Some of the Web sites listed below require that you drill one or two levels down from the home page to access the most relevant information. 
Click here for visual directions.

Theatre Communications Group (TCG)

Theatre Communications Group (TCG): TCG is a national organization that serves--and collects data from--almost 500 non-profit theatres across the country. Under "Grants" both "Grants at a Glance" and "Grants for Organizations" are helpful, and under "Tools & Research" note the database of "Theatre Profiles" and "Theatre Facts." Theatre Facts is an annual publication on not-for-profit theatre in America, for which TCG collects its own extensive data.

The Broadway League

     The Broadway League: As the name implies, this site restricts its focus to New York theater and touring shows that originate there, but within this sphere there is some interesting data under “Research & Information.”

NYPL: Performing Arts

New York Public Library: Performing Arts: An outstanding portal to "Dance" resources on the Web, as well a good gateway to "Arts Administration" and "Theatre" sites.

National Arts Marketing Project

National Arts Marketing Project: Useful information, articles and best practices under "Resources."

Actors' Equity Association

Actors' Equity Association:  Approaching a century old now, Actor's Equity offers some interesting online resources. Look over the "Document Library" and the "FAQ" sections, and especially note the Annual Study under "News & Media."

American Theatre Wing

American Theatre Wing: Besides the glitz of the Tony awards, this organization also supports theatre education.  Of particular interest here are the hour-long video interviews with a wide range of contemporary Theatre professionals accessible under "Working in the Theatre" and "Career Guides" on the left of the home page.


     GuideStar: 990 filings provide a financial x-ray of non-profit organizations--including many theaters and theater companies.  Most resources here must be purchased, but the site does offer a free search of 990 filings with a Keyword component (use "advanced" search) so that in addition to searching specific organizations already known to you--Oregon Shakespeare Festival--you can enter terms likely to occur in the names of the types of organizations that interest you--theater/theatre--limit the location by city and/or state, and retrieve all the nonprofit organizations with those words in their name. After selecting one, choose "Forms 990 & Docs"--accessible via a free registration.

Brief Guide to Internet Resources in Theatre

Brief Guide to Internet Resources in Theatre and Performance Studies: This not-so-brief guide is quite comprehensive--just be sure to scroll down to the actual contents (you might want to skip the "Introduction"). Categories include "Arts Management and Non-Profit" and "Of Regional Interest"--this last being an excellent collection of links to regional theatre from around the world.

U.S. Census Bureau: Arts Data

Citation Help


Noodlebib guides you through the required data entry for citation in the MLA, APA, and Chicago/Turabian styles. It takes care of punctuation, alphabetization and formatting, producing a polished source list for import into Word.

MLA "Cite LIke the Devil" Guides

  1. MLA citation for books: in print, from databases, on the Web
  2. MLA citation for articles: in print, from databases, on the Web.
  3. MLA citation for Web and Multimedia resources, including Web sites, movies, DVDs, CDs, and videos.
  4. MLA in-text (parenthetical) citation (far less satanic than the first three).