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Dramaturgy is the research that goes into understanding the world of the play.
- The author and the world in which she or he lived
- The world in which the play takes place
- The play's production history
- Critical analyses of the play
The World of the Author
Want to know what was happening during the time in which the author lived? Check out the appropriate Chronology of World History below!
History of the Play
These sources will help you find reviews and other historical information about past productions of your play. You can also try to do a search for the title of your play as a subject in the advanced catalog search to see what books exist about your play.
New York Times
We have the New York Times in full-text in LexisNexis Academic from 1980 to present, so if your play was produced during that period on Broadway or off-Broadway, you may be able to find reviews.
International Broadway Database
The official database for Broadway theatre information. IBDB provides records of productions from the beginnings of New York theatre until today.
"The largest Broadway database on the Internet." Free, searchable historical record of performances.
This database contains plenty of newspapers from 1980 to present and you may be able to find reviews of your play if it was put on during that period.
Full text for regional U.S. newspapers, international newspapers, news wires, newspaper columns as well as 24 TV and radio news transcripts. Also contains indexing and abstracts for national newspapers.
Academic Search Premier
Includes newspaper articles and journals such as American Theatre and Backstage, which might contain useful reviews.
Getting a book we don't have through Summit
If we don't have a book, chances are we can get it for you!
When you find an item with a Check holdings message that means the book is not in our collection or is checked out. You may be able to request the book from a library in our region. If you don't see the "Request from another Summit library (about 5 days)" link button, you will need to log in with your MyPCC username and password after you click the blue "Sign in" button.
Items requested through Summit can be delivered to any PCC Library at no cost for pick-up in 2-5 days. An email to your MyPCC account will notify you when your item is ready for pick up. PCC students and staff can visit any Summit library and borrow items directly with your PCC photo ID. Return your borrowed items to any PCC library.
What Was Life Like Then?
To find books on the social history of a particular place and time, there are three possible ways to search the catalog. Each may pull up different books, so it's a good idea to try all three.
1. Search for your place and/or time with the term daily life
2. Search for your place and/or time with the term social life and customs
3. Search for your place and/or time with the term social conditions
Here are a few of other sources that may be useful to you in looking at daily life in America in different regions and time periods:
The Greenwood Encyclopedia of American Regional Cultures
Online books on culture, dress, food, and more in the Pacific, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, South, Rocky Mountain, New England, Great Plains, Southwest regions.
Online book series that documents and analyzes periods of American social history.
What Did They Wear?
Textiles and Costumes at the Henry Art Gallery
Look at costumes by such characteristics as age, gender, ethnicity, ceremony, etc.
Europeana Fashion Portal
Access to hundreds of thousands of fashion items from Europe's richest collections.
Costume Collection at the Museum of the Fashion Institute of America
The Museum’s permanent collection now encompasses some 50,000 garments and accessories from the 18th century to the present.
Costume Gallery Research Library
This site provides images from original period publications, including fashion magazine articles, catalogs, books, and period photographs dating from 1804-1923.
Kent State University's Gallery of Costume
Documents various changes in silhouettes, accessories, lingerie, and hairstyles from the 18th to the 20th centuries.
Contains scans of all issues published between November 1867 – December 1900
Vogue Paris 1920-1940
From the National Library of France in .pdf format; searchable and browseable.
Finding Criticism of Your Play
These three databases contain literary and drama criticism, and you may find criticism of your play in one of the following three databases and the eBook.
You can also try to do a search for the title of your play as a subject in the advanced catalog search to see what books exist about your play.
Literature Criticism Online
Searches Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism (authors who lived during the 19th century) and Poetry Criticism (includes poets and their poems). Includes scholarly and popular commentary from broadsheets, pamphlets, encyclopedias, books and periodicals.
Drama for Students
This 16 volume online book collection provides context and criticism of commonly-studied dramas. You can click on the Item Details tab for each one to see which plays are covered.
Full text of over 1000 scholarly journals in the arts and sciences, from their earliest issues up to 3-5 years ago. Does not include current issues of the journals. Video tutorials are available.