For a specific play, try a keyword search for the playwright's surname and one or two keywords from the title. DO NOT restrict your search to the author or title fields, since such a search might miss the play where it is part of a collection.
Browse the call numbers beginning with "P" from the results of a search by Subject Heading "drama", e.g., PT 1-4897 German Literature
For individual screenplays, browse the call numbers beginning with "PN1997" through "PN 1997.85" from the results of a call number search or a search by Subject Heading "motion picture plays"
Full text of 1,000+ scripts by writers together with detailed, fielded information on the scenes, characters and people related to the scripts. Includes over 500 original images of previously unpublished screenplays.
The "legacy" American Film Scripts site is linked from the Film Scripts Online homepage. This may be temporary.
A comprehensive reference work covering all aspects of the Canadian and American Theatre. "O’Dell’s Annals of the New York Stage, the Oxford University Press Companion series, and Greenwood’s American Theatre Companies series are just a few of the many in-copyright sources included in the Theatre in Context Collection. Placed alongside thousands of playbills, posters, photographs, and related theatrical ephemera, users will be able to paint a more comprehensive picture of the life and evolution of dramatic works."
A selective author, title, and subject index to English-language plays and translations -- classical through contemporary -- published separately or in collections. Entries usually include a brief plot summary and production specifications, and are keyed to a list of collections in the back of each volume. The Cast Analysis section "is designed to locate plays by type and number of players or readers. It is divided into these six sections: (1) all male cast (2) all female cast (3) mixed cast (4) puppet plays (5) unidentified cast (6) variable cast. Unidentified cast is used for non-human characters. Variable cast is used when roles can be acted by either male or female characters, or when an actor can take several parts.... Under each type of cast the arrangement is by total number of characters in ascending order.... The symbol "c" denotes a play intended for children through grade six. A "y" indicates material for grades seven through twelve approximately."
Database of play citations as well as literature and poems. To search Play Finder, Search in LitFinder and set the Type of Work to Play.
"Over 1,000 complete plays covering the range of dramatic expression: including one-act plays, puppet plays, Harlinquinades, tragedies, gothic, children's, religious, romantic, historical, children's and comedic plays. The collection includes many nationalities, all in English or English translations. Plays are analyzed for subjects, and also list all characters."
Play Publishers -- Online Catalogs
Some of the publishing companies provide online indexes:
The Sixth Edition of Enser's Filmed Books and Plays presents for the new millennium an update of the famous reference book which for more than 30 years has guided readers to the fascinating link between books, plays and films. Enser's Sixth Edition includes entries about films made in the English language, as well as some foreign language material. In all, this edition is based on about 8,000 main entries, nearly 2,000 more than the previous edition, opening up to the reader ever more fascinating links between print and film. The introduction addresses recent changes in the film and television industry, including the growth in independent production in the last decade and the burgeoning of made-for-cable films.As previously, the book is organized around indices for the film titles; authors; musicals; made-for-TV films, miniseries and serials; animated films; and changes of original title. Each entry indicates the title of the film; studio name and country of origin; date of release; director's name; author of book, and title if different from film title; and an indicator of whether the film was adapted from a play. A list of codes at the end of each entry allows the reader to see other facts about the film, such as whether it was made for television, is aimed at children, or was shown as a series or miniseries.With this new updated and revised edition, Enser's renews its claim to being the only comprehensive compendium of motion picture and television adaptations of books and plays. Now covering more than 70 years of film history, Enser's remains an essential reference tool for the serious film buff, as well as for researchers of literary or performance history.
The 525 notable works of 19th and 20th century American fiction in this reference book have many stage, movie, television, and video adaptations. Each literary work is described and then every adaptation is examined with a discussion of how accurate the version is and how well it succeeds in conveying the spirit of the original in a different medium.In addition to famous novels and short stories by authors such as Nathaniel Hawthorne, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Willa Cather, many bestsellers, mysteries, children's books, young adult books, horror novels, science fiction, detective stories, and sensational potboilers from the past two centuries are examined.
"a multimedia anthology selected from various Library of Congress holdings. This collection illustrates the vibrant and diverse forms of popular entertainment, especially vaudeville, that thrived from 1870-1920. Included are 334 English- and Yiddish-language playscripts, 146 theater playbills and programs, 61 motion pictures, 10 sound recordings and 143 photographs and 29 memorabilia items documenting the life and career of Harry Houdini. Groups of theater posters and additional sound recordings will be added to this anthology in the future."
"the online guide to modern playwrights and theatre plays which have been written, adapted or translated, into English since the production of Look Back in Anger in 1956. doollee.com contains information on 56,025 Playwrights and 189,890 of their Plays."
The Drama Scholars' Index to Plays & Filmscripts: A Guide to Plays & Filmscripts in Selected Anthologies, Series, & Periodicals
A selective author and title index to plays, and scripts or radio, television, and film productions in a variety of languages. Coverage extends from eighteenth-century collections through the early 1980s.
Includes Cast Index, Index of Selected Subjects (The Black Experience, The Woman Experience, Plays Requiring No Scenery), Prize Plays, Long Running Plays on the New York Stage, Popular Plays for High School Production (1974-1975), Frequently Produced Plays (High School Theater), Most Popular Plays for Amateur Groups, Plays Recommended for "All Groups"
provides the scripts of plays, organized by historical period: Classical, Medieval, Renaissance/Early Modern, Seventeenth Century, Eighteenth Century, Nineteenth Century, Modern Drama, Contemporary Drama.
Guide to Play Selection: A Selective Bibliography for Production & Study of Modern Plays
Arranged by playwright's name, the entries include:
- general classification, e.g., drama, melodrama, tragedy, comedy, fantasy, farce, verse play, morality play, documentary
the number of acts or scenes, or in the case of short plays, the approximate playing time
- information about set requirements
- information about costumes
- number & sex of the players
Indexes: Number of players, topical, author, and title
Part I - Non-Musical Plays - approximately 30,000 major & minor characters appearing in some 3600 plays by 1400 authors, from the late 5th century B.C. to the 1964-1965 Broadway season.
Part II - Operas, and Musical Productions - approximately 20,000 major & minor characters appearing in 2542 musical productions from folk plays of the 13th century to the 1965-1966 Broadway season.
Part III - Ballets - approximately 3000 major & minor characters appearing in 818 ballets from the late 16th century to those of the present day.
Part IV - Radio & Television - approximately 20,000 characters, actors & actresses appearing in approximately 2500 programs from the inception of these broadcasting media to about 1955 for radio and to the Fall 1972 season for television.
The 1895 to 1944 volumes have a title index giving author, translator, number of acts, and other production specifics, followed by author and subject indexes referring to the title index. The 1944 to 1964 volume combines author, title, and subject indexes in one alphabetical list.
Title, author, and subject indexes to English-language one-act plays in collections and also to separately-published scripts. Five supplements have been published, indexing collections published between 1900 and 1964. The third supplement includes radio plays; the fourth and fifth, radio and television plays.
"Examines 327 works of twentieth century drama from 148 playwrights from around the world...arranged alphabetically by the title best known to an English-speaking audience. Each essay is divided into six sections:
- The author and his or her birth and death dates, the time and place of the work's first performance, the setting, and the principal characters.
- 'The Play' presents an overview of the action and plot.
- 'Themes and Meanings' gives insight into the issues with which the playwright is concerned.
- The 'Dramatic Devices' section describes such elements of the theatrical presentation as plot devices, staging techniques, and characterization.
- In 'Critical Context,' the work is analyzed in relation to its place in the playwright's canon, its genre, and its social and historical background.
- 'Sources for Further Study' offers a listing of readily available secondary reference material on the work and its author."