Library Web Pages

Spring Hill College -- Thomas Byrne Library

How to find Materials about
American Plays and Playwrights
Intro to Drama

Biography | Bibliographies and Guides to Criticism | Theater and Drama Journals | Indexes | See Also | Online Library Catalog


American Writers: A Collection of Literary Biographies. L. Unger, ed. New York, Scribner.  PS129.A55 REFERENCE

        4 volume set with 7 supplements

The Concise Oxford Companion to the Theatre. P. Hartnoll, ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992.
PN2035.C63 1992 REFERENCE

        See for brief, overview-type entries. This is an updated version to the 1983 edition.

Dictionary of American Biography. New York: Scribner, 1943. E170.D56 vol.1-21 REFERENCE

        Includes biographical information on James A. Herne.

Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History. J. Salzman, ed. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1996.  E185.E54 1996 vol.1-5 REFERENCE


American Playwrights, 1880-1945: A Research and Production Sourcebook. William W. Demastes, ed.
Westport, CN: Greenwood Press, 1995.  PS351.A43 1995 REFERENCE

        Each entry includes plays, an assessment of the playwright’s career, plus a bibliography.
        Glaspell, Barry, Hellman, Hughes, and Odets can be found.

Black Literature Criticism. J.P. Draper, ed. Detroit: Gale Research, Inc., 1992. PS153.N5 B556 1992 vol.1-3 REFERENCE

Bordman, Gerald Martin. The Oxford Companion to the American Theatre. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992. PN2220.B6 1992 REFERENCE

Contemporary American Dramatists. K. A. Berney, ed. London: St. James Press, 1994.  PS352.C65 1994 REFERENCE

        Entries include biography, list of works, list of bibliographies and critical studies on the
        playwright, and a signed essay.

Drama Criticism. Detroit: Gale Research, Inc., 1991. PN1601.D59 vol.1-7 REFERENCE

        Twelve Volume set . Reprints or excerpts covering history, criticism, bibliographies, biographies and reviews.

Eddleman, F. E. American Drama Criticism: Interpretations, 1890-1977. Hamden, CT: Shoe String Press, 1979.   PS332.E3 REFERENCE

        Includes "List of Books indexed" and "List of Journals indexed". We also have Supplement 1
        (1984) and Supplement 2 (1989) to this edition.

Gavin, Christy. American Women Playwrights, 1964-1989. New York : Garland Pub., 1993. PS338 .W6 G38 1993 REFERENCE

Gunn, Drewey W. Tennessee Williams, A Bibliography. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1980.  PS3545.I5365 REFERENCE

International Dictionary of Theatre. Mark Hawkins-Dady, ed. Chicago: St. James Press, 1992-1994.
PN2035.I49 1992 vol.1-3 REFERENCE

        See especially volume 1 Plays, and volume 2 Playwrights, containing a brief biography, list of
        works, list of critical books and articles, and a short criticism

McCann, John S. The Critical Reputation of Tennessee Williams: A Reference Guide. Boston: G.K. Hall, 1983.  PS3545.I5365 C7 REFERENCE  (2nd copy in stacks)

        See Arrangement and Form Section on page X-XI

Shafer, Yvonne. American Women Playwrights, 1900-1950. New York: Peter Lang, 1995
PS338.W6 S48 1995 REFERENCE

        Includes specific discussions on Glaspell and Hellman and general information on women and the
        theater in this time period. See bibliographic references also.

Shakespearean criticism : excerpts from the criticism of William Shakespeare's plays and poetry, from the first published appraisals to current evaluations / Laurie Lanzen Harris, editor, Mark W. Scott, associate editor. Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., c1984-present.  PR2965 .S43 1984 REFERENCE

Shuman, Robert Baird. American Drama, 1918-1960: An Annotated Bibliography. Pasadena, CA: Salem Press, 1992. PS350.S58 1992 REFERENCE

        Useful bibliography including general reference works and resources, plus information on
        Glaspell, Barry, Hellman, Odets, Hughes, Miller, Williams, and Albee.

Spiller, R. E. The Roots of National Culture, American Literature to 1830. New York: Macmillan, 1949.
PS504.A62 vol. 1 STACKS

        Includes the play, The Contrast and a bibliographic sketch of Royall Tyler.


American Drama                            Modern Drama
American Theatre                          Studies in American Drama
Comparative Drama                     TDR (The Drama Review)
Essays in Theatre                          Theatre
Performing Arts Journal              Theatre Journal

                                                          The Tulane Drama Review


MLA International Bibliography. New York: Modern Language Association of America, 1921-

Find also on CD-ROM workstations. An aid to searching can be found at the bibliography
display, or online, under English Language and Literature folder.

Play Index. D.H. West, ed. New York: H.W. Wilson. PN1600.P5 1949-1987 INDEX

        7 volumes. Use to locate a particular play or translation, for selecting a play on a certain period or subject,
        or for cast size, etc.

SEE ALSO (at bibliography display)

How to Find Literary Criticism Using the Library Catalog

How to Find Literary Criticism in Expanded Academic Index

ONLINE LIBRARY CATALOG - Sample Subject Headings*

American dramatists
American drama—Afro American authors—History and criticism

American drama—History and criticism—Theory, etc.
American drama—Men authors—History and criticism
American drama—20th century—History and criticism
American drama—Women authors—History and criticism—Bibliography
American drama—Women authors
Drama—20th Century
Dramatists, American—20th century—interviews
Experimental theater (see for Karen Finley and Theater of Obscenity information)

Feminism and theater—United States
Feminism in literature
National characteristics, American, in literature
Postmodernism (Literature)

Realism in literature
Theater and society—United States.
Theater—History—20th Century
Theater of the Absurd
Theater—United States

*A very useful subject heading is the author’s last name, first name, birth year-death year
That plus Criticism and interpretation is another one, or instead of Criticism and interpretation,
try the Play title you are interested in.
** The extended dash is not required as a divider for subject headings. It is intended as a visual aid only.

Example: Albee, Edward 1928 Criticism and interpretation

Content Contact:  Phyllis Compretta
Content revised:  10/17/2000

Web Page Contact

Revised: 09/14/01