theater-study-guide : a 3 minute introductory video on searching for information in theater at Maag Library.
To help define your research topic, it helps to consult some of the standard reference works before searching for books, theater materials, and journal articles. A good article in a specialized encyclopedia can give you the necessary background you need to get started and can help suggest keywords or other research avenues. You can look for relevant sources in the reference collection in the Maag Library, as well as the reference section located on the Library’s main floor.
Unlike text, a theatrical work isn’t about something. Usually, thespians are most interested in the work’s format (script, set design), genre (english, medieval, modern), and venue.
In general if you are searching for plays or scripts, be as specific as you can. If a title is “distinct” (unique), such as a play title, use that. Often complete plays are found in collections or anthologies and knowing teh genre, period, or playwright will help your search. Also, depending on your research need(s) you will need to understand the distinction between the play as prose or the play with complete stage directions
For materials that we don’t own here at Youngstown State University, or items that are checked out or otherwise unavailable, use OhioLINK. You’ll find theater materials in libraries across Ohio that you can request and have sent to the Maag Library circulation desk where you can check them out.
For items not available in MaagNET or OhioLINK, you can request items through Interlibrary Loan. This is a particularly valuable resource for finding specific theatrerical works that may be hard to locate, as well as a great way to discover to what playwrights, acting theories, and biographies on playwrights.
“Dramatic action, therefore, is not with a view to the representation of character: character comes in as subsidiary to the actions.” -ARISTOTLE, Poetics
Updated 10/08/09 jmk