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Literary Forms and Genres: Drama, Theater, Performance

Gitenstein Library resources: print and electronic


Use this guide to find scholarly books, journal articles, and reference works about American and English drama. Questions? Use my contact information in the left-hand column (scroll down) to schedule your research consultation.

Selected Titles

These reference works offer biographical essays about dramatists, the publishing history of plays, and/or bibliographies—sometimes annotated—of primary (e.g., author interviews) and secondary sources.


American dramatists only:

American voices:

English, Irish, and Scots dramatists only:

English voices:

A companion is a "a handbook intended to be used in connection with the study of a particular subject or field" (ODLIS). Companions provide introductory essays and topic overviews. I especially recommend titles in the Cambridge Companions to Literature series, several of which I have listed below.

A handbook is a "single-volume reference book of compact size that provides concise factual information on a specific subject, organized systematically for quick and easy access" (ODLIS).


American drama:

American voices:

Asian drama:

English and Irish drama:

English voices:

Greek (ancient) drama:

A dictionary is a "single-volume or multivolume reference work containing brief explanatory entries for terms and topics related to a specific subject or field of inquiry, usually arranged alphabetically. The entries in a dictionary are usually shorter than those contained in an encyclopedia on the same subject..." (ODLIS).

An encyclopedia is " book or numbered set of books containing authoritative summary information about a variety of topics in the form of short essays, usually arranged alphabetically by headword or classified in some manner. An entry may be signed or unsigned, with or without illustrations or a list of references for further reading" (ODLIS).

Most up-to-date (all published after 2014):

American theater:

Published between 2003 and 2009:

American theater:

Asian theater:

Published before 2000: