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Theatre & Performance Studies Research Guide

Your guide to Theatre & Performance Studies resources in the UM Libraries!

Looking for an online/dgital copy of a play?

For a full list of the databases containing full text plays available through Research Port and online, see the Playscripts Databases page in this guide.

LAPL - Play File Index

The Los Angeles Public Library maintains an online database of plays not yet published, or only published in periodicals.

See the link below for more information about this unique resource:

Using LCSH to Find Plays

 If you do not have a particular title/playwright in mind, you can browse the library catalog for plays using the Library of Congress Subject Headings.

Set your search box to subject beginning with... or subject word/s anywhere

Sample Library of Congress Subject Headings for locating plays:

american drama
american drama 20th century
american drama afro american authors
american drama 20th century jewish authors
american drama women authors
drama 15th 16th centuries
drama medieval
european drama
english drama
english drama 19th century
one act plays


Locating Published Plays by Title

Search for Plays by Title


Strategy #1 - Title Beginning With...

Play Title: Mother Courage and Her Children

  • Step 1: Using the Catalog and the Basic Search; type the title of the play in the title beginning with... search box.
  •   Step 2: Click on a title from the search results.
  •   Step 3: Check availability, note the location and call number.



Can't find your play?

Many plays are published in collections and anthologies, and will not be retrieved when conducting a title search.

To find out if your play is published in a collection or anthogology, use Strategy #2.


Strategy #2 - Word/s Anywhere...

Play Title: Joe Turner's Come and Gone

  • Step 1: Using the Catalog and the Basic Search; type the title of the play in the word/s anywhere search box*

*Expert Tip: Put quotations (") around your play title to search for the words as a phrase.

  • Step 2: Click on a title from the search results.

Example: Twelve Plays for Theatre [edited by] Robert Cohen.

  • Step 3: Look at the full record. Notice the play, Joe Turner's Come and Gone is listed in the contents notes.

contents notes for Joe Turner's Come and gone

  • Step 4: Check availability, note the location and call number


Still can't find your play?

Try using a Printed Index to Plays in Collections (see above, right),

a Playscript Database, or contact Leahkim for assistance.

    by Playwright

    You can apply these same strategies to searching for plays by name of playwright.


    To use author beginning with..., put the playwright's name in last name first:

    Wilson, August


    To use word/s anywhere, put the playwright's name in first/last order, and in quotes:

    "August Wilson"

    Printed Indexes to Plays in Collections

    This RSS feed only displays 10 items.

    Click on the "View Website" link below to view the full list in WorldCatUM.

    (See also Inter-Play, Portland State Univerity Library's free online index to plays in collections, anthololgies and periodicals.)

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