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Database Subject: Performing Arts


Research Starting Points

American Film Institute Catalog 

A comprehensive and detailed national filmography, the AFI Catalog includes the entire print version, which currently comprises five volumes documenting all films produced in the United States from 1892 to 1971, as well as new content and important updates for all previous records. Offers authoritative plot summaries and insider production notes, as well as subject and song indexing for each film record.

American Variety Stage 

A multimedia anthology, this collection covers diverse forms of popular entertainment, especially vaudeville, that thrived from 1870-1920. Includes 334 English- and Yiddish-language play scripts, more than 140 theater playbills and programs, several dozen motion pictures, ten sound recordings, and a substantial collection of photographs and ephemera on Harry Houdini.

Asian American Drama 

Asian American Drama contains 252 plays by 42 playwrights, together with detailed, fielded information on related productions, theaters, production companies, and more. Some 50% have never been published before.

Based on the Book 

A database of selected books that have been made into movies.

Black Drama 

1850 - present.Black Drama contains 908 plays by 171 playwrights, together with detailed, fielded information on related productions, theaters, production companies, and more. When complete, the collection will include more than 1,200 plays.

Box Office Guru 

Compiles box office data on films released since 1989, updated weekly using data from Variety. The site also includes upcoming releases and a list of the all-time top-grossing motion pictures.

British Library Archival Sound Recordings 

The British Library holds one of the world's foremost sound archives with a collection of over 3.5 million audio recordings. These recordings cover the entire range of recorded sound from music, drama and literature, to oral history, wildlife and environmental sounds.

Dramatists Play Service, Inc. 

A catalog of acting editions of scripts. Plays can be searched for by title, author, subject, number of cast members, length of play, and other search options.

Internet Broadway Database 

A source for finding the original production information for theater openings from the beginning of the New York Theater to the present. Provides a listing of cast members, credits and statistics.

Internet Movie Database (IMDb) 

Reviews, plot summaries, cast information; television too: over 200,000 movie and TV titles are covered.

North American Theatre Online 

More than 40,000 pages of critical, in-copyright reference works about authors, plays, theatres, productions, production companies, casts and related information covering the world of theatre from colonial times to the present.

North American Women's Drama 

This edition of North American Women's Drama contains 1,174 plays by 275 playwrights, together with detailed, fielded information on related productions, theaters, production companies, and more.

Performing Arts Periodicals Database (Proquest) 

1864-present. Indexes more than 210 scholarly and popular performing arts periodicals, as well as a variety of documents such as biographical profiles, conference papers, obituaries, interviews, discographies, reviews and events. Previously International Index to Performing Arts Full Text.

Play Index (EBSCO) 

1949 - present. Citations to 31,000 plays. Includes monologues, plot summaries, cast sizes, male and female roles, etc. Search for plays by title; author; subject (culture conflict, marriage); style (symbolism, experimental theater); genre (comedy, melodrama, musical); cast type; and more.


News, feature and performance listings for Broadway, Off-Broadway, London and Regional Theatre.


This catalog allows you to search by length of a play, for monologues, by gender, time period, age of characters, and more.

The Arts (Proquest) 

Simultaneously searches multiple arts and humanities databases, including ARTbibliographies Modern, Ethnic NewsWatch, MLA International Bibliography, and many more. Previously Arts & Humanities Combined Databases (ProQuest).

Theatre in Video 

A collection of approximately 500 hours of streaming video files. Includes recordings of live theatre performances and also documentary videos about theatre production.