Theatre & Dance



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IC Library Databases (Articles)

Journals by Title

Note: The databases below allow you to search by topic for articles in thousands of newspapers, magazines, and journals.  If you wish to see full-text availability for a particular publication, use the Journal Titles search on the Library home page.  You can also use the following links to browse full-text journals in Drama and DanceEnglish literature and American literature, as well as Decorative Arts, Architecture, and Arts & Crafts.

International Bibliography of Theatre & Dance

International Bibliography of Theatre and Dance with Full Text
     You can run Subject searches on play titles here by searching them in the Reviews & Products field, transposing any initial "The" to the end of the title, and following it with the term "theatrical production." This is worth the trouble since 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 but merely mention it.
   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."

MLA International Bibliography

MLA International Bibliography  
    The MLAprovides the most complete and fully indexed coverage of articles and books on modern literatures, linguistics, folklore, rhetoric, and composition from 1925 to the present. There is ample full text provided by ProQuest, as well as links to full-text articles in JSTOR and Project Muse. Full text from other IC databases is also readily available via the "GetIt" links below article citations.

     Because books, book chapters/essays, and dissertations will usually not be available full text, you may wish to limit your search to "Journal article" under "Source type."
     "Author's Work" and "Author as Subject" will be especially helpful search fields at finding literary criticism. And for additional search field options either click on "Show more fields," or, for the complete list, open the drop-down menus to the right of the "Anywhere" default for the top three rows of search slots. This list includes both "Literary Influence"--who influenced a particular author you have entered--and "Literary Source"--who was influenced by that particular author.


     This database has good full-text coverage of theater studies and drama criticism. There is no Subject searching, so remember to put titles and authors' names in quotation marks to search them as Keyword phrases--and leave authors' names in the normal first-name last-name order. Set "Limit" to "Article."
   JSTOR access to journal articles begins 2-4 years prior to the present--so don't look for any criticism from the last couple of years--but coverage always extends back to the first issue of each journal--in some cases into the 19th century and beyond. This allows you, for instance, to retrieve articles responding to the early works of Eugene O'Neill in the 1920s and 30s. Set the date range "Limit" below the search slots to target an era.

Project Muse

Project Muse
     Although a smaller database, Project Muse complements JSTOR.  LIke JSTOR it provides 100% full text of mostly scholarly journals, but its coverage is entirely current--mainly spanning the last 10-15 years.  Muse offers a basic keyword search (be sure to put the titles of literary works in quotation marks).  Once you've retrieved a set of articles you can sort them into broad categories using the Research Area options on the left.  

    Note: Checking the "Articles" box under Content Type before you run a search will eliminate reviews of books about your topic and leave you with just the articles on your topic.

ProQuest & Academic Search Premier

ProQuest Research Library & Academic Search Premier :
     Both of these comprehensive databases cover the performing arts, including drama criticism and preformance reviews--much of it full text. 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 ProQuest the titles of literary works must be searched as Keyword phrases, so be sure to put them in quotation marks. In Academic Search Premier search the title of a play followed by the words "Theatrical production" in the "Reviews and Products" field. 

General OneFile

General OneFile :
     Another comprehensive database with considerable literary criticism, but with a 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 the "Academic Journals" tab at the top.  


 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.
     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.

New York Times Historical

 New York Times (1851-2009) :
     This database can retrieve articles about theater, dance, and performers back to the 19th century.  It provides the full text of the New York Times 1851-2006 and allows you to retrieve, for example, an article on "Ibsen's Method" from 1889 or a review of an Isadora Duncan performance from 1898. Search in the "Anywhere except full text" field to begin with, 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.

RILM Abstracts of Music Literature

RILM Abstracts of Music Literature :
     The focus is music, but there are many articles here on the Subjects of Theater, Musical Theater, and Dramatic Arts.

Other Than Articles:

Theatre in Video

Theatre in Video : Streaming video of stage productions and movie adaptations. "Productions" represent all eras, from The Agamemnon & Oedipus Rex to Twelfth Night & The Alchemist to She Stoops to Conquer & Tartuffe to Krapp's Last Tape & To be Young, Gifted and Black. Also browse the "Documentaries" which include videos on the Renaissance Stage, Restoration Theater, and Kabuki or interviews with Arthur Miller, Lee Strasberg, Tennessee Williams, and John Gielgud. 
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.


     ebrary is IC's database of over 90,000 full text online books.  Playwrights, plays, dancers, and the performing arts are sometimes discussed in books that are not primarily about theatre, and so full-text Keyword searching becomes a real advantage.  Run a Keyword search on an author and a work--remembering to put multi-word titles in quotation marks.  When browsinging a particular book, you can enter a new Keyword in the slot next to the "Search Document" button.  Your search term will display in purple, and all you have to do is keep clicking the question-mark-with-right-pointing-arrow button at the top to fast forward through all the pages on which one of your search term appears.

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

Finding Visual Resources

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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.

Trouble getting started?  Try my Noodlebib Users' Guide.


  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).