Theatre: History & Theory

This guide provides links to basic theatre research: history, design, acting, production, scripts, videos, and careers.

Basic Library Catalog Research

If you know exactly what you are looking for, use an Author or Title Exact search in the library catalog Usearch.

If you only know the topic you want, do an Advanced (keyword) Search.

  • For theatre-related keyword searches, type in the following, exact keyword phrase:
    • (theat* OR drama*) AND your topic.
    Note: The * used in the search statement above is truncating the word to its root spelling. This tells the database or library catalog to search for any word that begins with the letters preceding the *. For example, theat* will find: theater, theaters, theatre, theatres, theatrical, etc.
  • Replace the words  your topic  with other topics you want included, such as:
    • religion, politics, aesthetics, renaissance, etc.
    • Germany (German), France (French), Greece (Greek), etc.
    • commedia, farce, classical, Jacobean, etc.
    • encyclopedias, dictionaries, bibliography, translations, etc.
    • criticism, influences, social aspects, religious aspects, etc.
  • To add concepts, connect additional terms with the word AND, for example:
    • (theat* OR drama*) AND greek AND masks
  • To search for synonyms or related terms, enclose them in parentheses & connect with OR:
    • (theat* OR drama*) AND commedia AND (masks OR music)
  • To get related results from disciplines outside of Theatre, replace thea* or drama:
    • (Greece OR Greek) AND (religio* OR ritual* OR myth*) AND (society OR government)
    • (poetry OR music) AND (religio* OR ritual*OR myth*) AND (moral* OR ethic*)


Find an item (book, video, etc.) of interest to you, then click on the "Details" link below the item's title.  Now, look at the Subjects that appear in those details (you many need to scroll down to see them). Clicking on any of those Subject links will lead you to additional items with a similar topic.

For example, after doing a keyword search for (theat* OR drama*) AND religion, I found books and other items with these Subjects:

  • Drama -- Religious aspects
  • Religion and drama
  • Religion in drama
  • Theater -- Origin
  • Ritual in literature
  • Rites and ceremonies
  • Greece -- Religion
  • Mythology, Greek


Do a Subject search by changing the search box label from "Any" to "Subject. Then, cut-and-paste to search for one of the exact phrases below. You can also replace the word "England" with another country (Germany, Italy, China, India, etc.), and the word "English" with another nationality (German, Italian, Chinese, Indic, etc.).

  • Theater -- England
  • Theater -- England -- History
  • English drama
  • English drama -- To 1500
  • English drama -- 16th century
  • English drama -- 17th century
  • English drama -- Restoration, 1660-1700 (Note, the term "Restoration" is specific to English drama and won't work well for other nationalities.)
  • English drama -- Medieval.
  • English drama -- Early modern and Elizabethan, 1500-1600 (Note, you may need to adjust the terms to relate directly to the nationality you're researching. For example, Spanish drama -- Classical Period, 1500-1700)

Books & Resources at Other Libraries

Please make suggestions in the Comments section below for other items to be listed here.

Marriott Library Eccles Library Quinney Law Library