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Literary Forms and Genres: Drama

Gitenstein Library resources: print and electronic

Dictionary of Literary Biography (DLB)

Need to find a playwright? In Literature Resource Center, perform an Advanced Search for drama in Subject. Click Biographies at the top of the results list. In the right-hand column, FILTER RESULTS by Publication Title. Now select the Dictionary of Literary Biography and Apply the filter.

If desired, filter your results once more by Publication Title. Note DLB volumes including:

  • British and Irish Dramatists...
  • Latin American Dramatists
  • Modern British Dramatists
  • Twentieth-Century American Dramatists

Click here to see a list of printed DLB drama volumes held in the Reference Stacks, 1st floor (Gitenstein Library).

Recommended Website

Humanities Librarian

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David C. Murray
TCNJ Library,
Room 216
Skype Contact: xpuhil


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 only:

American voices:

English, Irish, and Scots 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:

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: