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Theatre LibGuide: Books & Media

What are books good for?

Besides being "super-great-things-to-escape-inside-by-reading-them", books can help you with research. Some books contain criticisms and essays by multiple authors, much like journals contain articles. And once you've found a book that is relevant, check out the bibliography (usually in the back of the book or at the end of chapters) for citations the author used to write the book. These can lead you to more relevant sources, in books, and in journals. Browsing a general topic book can also help you narrow your topic to something more specific, or give you ideas for completely different topics or papers.

Browsing for Books on Theatre in KML

Books are shelved according to the Dewey Decimal System. All of our books can be found in the Basement of the library, accessed either by the elevator or the main front stairwell.

Here are some suggested Dewey Decimal areas for browsing the library’s shelves for Theatre books:

391 Costume/Fashion(Examples, not Construction)
792 Theatre (Performance, all aspects)
808.8245 Monologues
812 and 822 Plays and criticism; 812 for American, 822 for British
822.33 Shakespeare


Popular Reading Collection

The library features a Popular Reading Collection, located on the second floor by the front picture windows. While not essential to research, these titles do provide quality entertainment when you need a break from writing "that paper." There are three different categories, defined by colored tape on the spine:

  • Yellow - Fiction
  • Pink - Non-Fiction (biographies, factual interests)
  • Green - Graphic Novels (comic books)

You can check them out, then "check them out" at the Circulation Desk.


The following are collections of full text electronic books available to you through your library. For instructions or assistance viewing or downloading, click on the "help" box in each collection:

Full text plays

In addition to the e-book databases in the box above, the following will link you to sites that contain full length plays:

  • ProPlay - the premiere site for online, professionally produced stage plays, which you can read right now, free of charge. In most cases, the playwright has chosen to have the entire script posted. In all cases, substantial portions of the play may be read now, for free.
  • Playscripts Inc. - Playscripts, Inc. brings new plays and musical to professional, school, community, and college theaters to perform, read and enjoy. You can find full length plays to read, and pricing if you choose to mount the production.
  • The Complete Works of William Shakespeare - the Web's first edition of the Complete Works of William Shakespeare. This site has offered Shakespeare's plays and poetry to the Internet community since 1993. The HTML versions of the plays provided are placed in the public domain. Hosted by MIT.
  • Project Gutenberg - offers over 54,000 free eBooks. Choose among free epub books, free kindle books, download them or read them online. This link will take you to the Plays bookshelf, with full text of public domain plays.

Streaming Videos

Kanopy -  A large streaming video site, view films in the cultural arts and film study, as well as popular films.

Films on Demand - View documentaries or film clips on a number of Theatre topics, including many full length productions of plays.


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