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Best of the Web: History & Social Sciences » Native North American Resources » Archaeology & Anthropology » Theatre

  • Images of various papers found in a box that hadn't been opened in over 100 years. The Theatre section has seating plans, program covers, and clippings of theatres and productions in the 1870's and 1880's.
  • An online illustrated textbook which describes in detail what life was like during Shakespeare's time.

  • From SACD(The French Society of Dramatic Authors and Composers), this publication and website contains articles about and excerpts from the work of contemporary French playwrights. A playwright database is included, as well as electronic issues of Actes du Theatre in French and English since 1999.
  • Online almanac listing awards for organizations without a web presence.
  • Scroll down past the ads to find links to informal, chatty reviews of current Broadway and off-Broadway shows, as well as productions in major U.S. cities, by the magazine's band of critics. Updated biweekly.
  • A multicultural theatre group which produces plays by and about Native America. They strive to provide training in the theatre arts and teach about native cultural traditions and history.
  • Guides to the plays (plot summaries, thematic discussions, character analysis, etc.), quotes, critical essays, biographical info, questions and answers, all in an easy-to-navigate, searchable site.
  • The American Association of Community Theatre (AACT) is the national voice of community theatre, representing the interests of its members and over 7,000 theatres across the U.S. and with the armed forces overseas.
  • Established in 1956, ASTR provides a public voice for theatre scholars and promotes theatre as a field for serious scholarly study and research.
  • Links to the home pages of hundreds of theatre companies, professional, semi-professional, and amateur, nationwide.
  • The American Theatre Wing operates an array of programs to support excellence and education in theatre, including televised seminars with top practitioners, a weekly radio program on XM Satellite Radio, a free audio and video archive on its website, grants and scholarships for New York City theatres and students, and the annual presentation of The Tony Awards.
  • The Library of Congress site includes theatre programs, vaudeville scripts, recordings, motion pictures of performers, and a section on Houdini.
  • Thoughtful overview of standard and scholarly print sources on Commedia dell'Arte and its theatrical descendants, by Jose Garriga.
  • Good gateway for information on contemporary playwrights, including Ayckbourn, Ensler, Fo, Hansberry, Hwang, Kushner, Ravenhill, Shepard, Anna Devere Smith, Vogel & Wasserstein.
  • Maintained by Richard Finkelstein, a college professor, stage designer, and arts advocate, this compendium of internet sites includes material from unusual topics, like Drama Therapy, Fight Direction, Performance Art, Stage Management, Storytelling, Theatre Architecture, and Theatre of Social Responsibility. Also included is This Month in Theatre History, which lists landmark theatre events and the birthdays of influential theatre practitioners.
  • Includes texts 19th Century posters performance schedules bibliographic databases on Canadian Theatre from its beginnings through 1984, and from 1984 to the present and the publication Theatre Research in Canada.
  • Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance-"A funky and welcoming performance space." -The New York Ti mes The Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance was created by Bessie Award-winning dancer/choreographer, Arthur Aviles along with the help of the Point Community Development Corporation. For the first part of the project, they worked with the building owners to convert 9000 square feet of raw warehouse space into a performance/workshop space, and artist's studios. The performance area (3500 sq. ft.) houses BAAD!
  • A publisher's catalog organized by subject, with a keyword search. Offers a good selection of musicals and plays for holidays, for children and youth, and on religious themes. Includes titleson acting, producing and directing, voice and dialects, as well as a directory of suppliers for production needs. An excellent resource for amateur theatre groups.
  • The colorful home page of the one-ring circus originating in New York. Includes articles about the founding of the Company, the history of circus through the ages, how the animals are cared for, statistics on the dimensions of the circus tent and materials used to mount a show, and previews of touring shows.
  • Resources from the guild, which protects and promotes the skills of puppetry and model theatre in all its forms.
  • Mounts online texts of plays not widely available in print, publishes working papers and responses on important issues, and provides research resources, including a detailed bibliography of works on Romantic drama & British women playwrights [last updated: 23 December 2001].
  • Specializes in full-length, contemporary American plays also publishes some musicals and one-acts. Alphabetical lists of scripts and authors, and lists of titles categorized into musicals, full-length plays, one acts, long one acts, and 2-, 3-, and 4-character plays. Not searchable.
  • This site training new theatrical producers includes a good glossary of terms, sample Broadway and off-Broadway budget workups, and a comparison of Broadway, off-Broadway and Alliance production expenses. (Some parts of the site are members-only).
  • Includes Broadway news, up to the minute reviews (earlier reviews are in the archives), The Insider (a column by Ken Mandelbaum), multimedia clips, profiles of stars of the moment, sound clips from cast albums, ticketing, forums & chat rooms.
  • Click the "links" button for a list of internet resources relating to each chapter of Franklin Hildy's 8th edition of Brockett's History of the Theatre and the "bibliography" button for chapter-by-chapter booklists.
  • The California Heritage Collection is an online archive of over 28,000 images illustrating California's history and culture from the collections of the Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley.
  • Information on the plays, people and performance spaces of French theatre between 1600 and 1800. Covers plays, operas, ballets and incidental theatrical entertainments of all kinds, whether performed, published, or merely described in contemporary documents. Includes images of characters, actors, sets, theatres, playwrights.
  • This national historic landmark and museum located on the Ringling Bros original winter quarters is a repository of info about different aspects of the circus.
  • Articles on circus history and lore links to the sites of circus companies and related associations.
  • The Home Page of the innovative company, with a history of the company and information about its current activities.
  • The noted scenographer and writer Darwin Reid Payne (The Scenographic Imagination) has assembled a workshop in computer-generated model-building, painting, and a scenographic research library comprised of links to hundreds of museums. (Be patient when loading the research library-it's worth the wait.)
  • You can enter a phrase or word to search from works by Aeschylus, Aristophanes, Euripides, Goldsmith, Shakespeare, Jonson, Sophocles and Wilde, and retrieve all occurrences of the word or phrase.
  • The Costume Society of America advances the global understanding of all aspects of dress and appearance. We work to stimulate scholarship and encourage study in the rich and diverse field of costume.
  • Classroom ideas, theatre games, suggestions of plays for performance, and a bibliography
  • An annotated list of worthwhile websites about children's theatre and teaching theatre to children.
  • Primarily written by Elyse Sommer, this site's strength is its serious style and focus on off-Broadway & off-off-Broadway events. Also includes reviews from London, Philadelphia, D.C., and L.A.
  • Didaskalia "is a web-site and journal dedicated to the study of ancient Greek and Roman theatre in performance, and to the legacy of ancient theatre." Issues beginning with volume 1 number 1, March 1994, are available, though the index and search mechanisms are under construction.
  • A well-designed website and electronic journal on Greek and Roman drama, dance, and music. The website provides historical background (including descriptions of staging and plans of Greek & Roman theatres), while the journal explores contemporary performance of classical works.
  • Organization that bestows awards honoring Broadway, Off-Broadway, not-for-profit, and Off-Off-Broadway productions. Database of winners going back to 1955.
  • The site of this established publisher of plays for children and young people includes a classified index of the catalog, featured plays and authors, and procedures for submitting new plays, and for applying for production rights.
  • Easy to use, searchable index of the catalog of this publisher of acting editions of plays. You may apply for performance rights.
  • Links of interest to literary managers and dramaturgs, and those hoping to work as such.
  • This nonprofit organization, founded in 1929, sponsors the International Thespian Society and Dramatics Magazine. The site includes contact information, teaching resources, tips on advocacy, forums, and links to university and college drama department websites.
  • Links to resources in the following categories: Comprehensive Sites Shakespeare's Work on the WWW Shakespeare's Life on the WWW Shakespeare's Theatre(s) on the WWW Scholarly Sites, Criticism and Bibliography Authorship Debate, Teaching Shakespeare Shakespearein Performance Miscellaneous Shakespeare Sites.
  • Simple, well-organized list of reputable shakespeare sites on the Internet.
  • Tinted photographs and paintings of 44 actors from a book entitled "Players of the Day", published in London by George Newnes, circa 1902.
  • ESTA is a non-profit trade association representing the entertainment technology industry. The Job Board section provides job posting and job searching employment opportunities.
  • Excellent collection of material on O'Neill, including texts of some of the plays, archival finding aids, production artifacts, and an online critical study, Travis Bogard's Contour in Time.
  • A nonprofit trade association for the North American entertainment technology industry, ESTA addresses issues concerning technical standards, customer service, equipment quality, business practices, insurance, and credit reporting. The website includes industry news and links to members' pages.
  • The online presentation includes over 13,000 images of items selected from the Federal Theatre Project Collection at the Library of Congress, including playscripts from Federal Theatre Project productions, still photos, posters, stage & costume designs. Indispensable.
  • Enter an author or title in the search box and you will be directed the North American publisher and/or rights manager. Produced by Playscripts, an independent publisher of new plays & playwrights, with selections from plays produced at Playwrights Horizons and Actors Theatre of Louisville, among others.
  • Debates about who wrote Shakespeare have been prominent in Shakespearean scholarship for centuries. This site from PBS, based on a Frontline special, explains the issue.
  • From the UK: A downloadable dictionary of terms also subdivided into Lighting, Sound and Stage Management categories. British terminology, rather than American is used, but much is the same.
  • Plates of the book by the same name, originally published between 1861 and 1880.
  • A textbook with 500 plates of historical dress from antiquity to the end of the 19th Century. Originally published from 1861-1880, the book is now available online in its entirety.

  • Critical articles and reviews about the contemporary theater scene. Writers include Gordon Carver, Robert Brustein, Caridad Svich, Stanley Kauffmann, Tony Kushner and more. Published by the Hunter College Theatre Department and edited by Jonathan Kalb.
  • A detailed information database on improvisational comedy troupes across North America. An easy way of finding comedy troupes and when & where they perform.
  • An online index to plays in collections, anthologies & periodicals, devised at the Portland State Univ. Library. The database includes works from the late 19th Century through 1999.
  • A chronology of Brecht's life, a history of the Berliner Ensemble, a list of Brecht's works in English, a bibliography, a forum for Brecht researchers to aid one another.
  • ICWP support women playwrights around the world by bringing international attention to their achievementsencouraging production of their plays translation, publication, and international distributions of their works providing means for communication and contact among women dramatists, and other means.
  • The site includes an online catalog of the holdings of the International Dada Archive (located at the University of Iowa Libraries), information on the Dada movement and individual Dada writers and artists, and bibliographies.
  • Gateway to thousands of scenic, costume and lighting designs documented on the web, indexed by title, playwright, designer or producer.
  • Searchable gateway to online texts, many of which include dramatic works.
  • Publishes peer-reviewed editions of early Shakespearean texts. The site also contains an excellent online textbook, Shakespeare's Life and Times by Michael Best, developing sections on Shakespeare in performance, supporting reference materials, and a good page of links to diverse Shakespeare and Renaissance sites.
  • The International Theatre Institute (ITI), an international non-governmental organization (NGO), was founded in Prague in 1948 by UNESCO and the international theatre community. The website features the World Theatre Directory, with contact information for ITI Centers and theatres in approximately 90 countries, and often, a brief history of recent theatre in each country.
  • Play translations, images, glossary, costumes, and interactive models provide a textured picture of theatre in Japan. Some sections require registration.
  • A peer-reviewed online journal examining the spirituality of world cultures in all disciplines of the theatre, performance studies in sacred rituals of all cultures, and other topics concerning the relationship between religion and theatre.
  • Please see the Theatre Journals section of Selected Internet Resources in Theatre for descriptions of journals and e-zines about Broadway, Off-Broadway, and Off-Off Broadway, most of which include listings and reviews of current productions.
  • A list of links to international scholarly publications. However, most theatre journals on the web are not full text, but only offer tables ofcontents and indexes of past issues.
  • Published by the University of Haifa Theatre Department in Israel, this journal began as a publication devoted only to Jewish Theatre, but has broadened its scope to include the full range of theatre topics. Tables of Contents of issues from vol. 1 (1995) to the present.
  • Everything a juggler needs to know.
  • A large collection of links to worldwide theatre resources from Australia, with well-chosen and well-organized categories. Frequently updated.
  • An extensive list of games, handles, warmups, and exercises by Hugh MacLeod.
  • This site from Bill Williams and Associates, a lighting design firm in Canada, includes a history of lighting, a "lighting library" of reference documents online, a concise and informative introduction to stage lighting, and a massive collection of internet links to lighting companies and suppliers. Noteworthy for its readable, informative, science-oriented, professional presentation.
  • The League of American Theatres and Producers provides up-to-date news, listings and ticketing for Broadway shows and touring productions, as well as summaries of Broadway demographics and economics, and technical information on theatres across the country that host touring productions.
  • This comprehensive site features the Internet Off-Broadway Database, a work-in-progress assembling information about productions playing Off-Broadway from the beginning to the present documents the Lucille Lortel awards provides current and historical information about the Lortel Theatre and Playwrights Sidewalk and describes the activities of the Lucille Lortel Foundation, including guidelines for grants.
  • E-texts, essays and resources covering three time periods in English literature:
    " Medieval (includes Everyman and several plays each from the Wakefield and York cycles)
    " Renaissance (includes Marlowe & Shakespeare)
    " Early 17th Century (includes Ben Jonson, Thomas Dekker, John Webster, Thomas Middleton & John Fletcher).
  • From antiquity to the present, divided by period, this database leads you to web-based & print resources on playwrights and other innovators (Judith Malina, for instance) including e-texts, biographies & critical essays.
  • A mediated guide, with a table of contents directing you to particular areas of theatrical research, an account of its origin, and information on its purpose and scope.
  • A comprehensive collection of links covering all facets of medieval performance.
  • A well-organized and categorized set of links to reliable sites on various facets of medieval drama, dance and song.

  • The foremost gateway to Shakespeare on the Internet. The sitemap reveals paths to e-texts of the plays, criticism, biographical and historical info, original source material, pop culture uses of Shakespeare, & more. Also includes: " Shakespeare Timeline " A Shakespeare genealogy " Charles and Mary Lamb's Tales From Shakespeare " Prefatory materials from the First Folio.
  • A licensing site for musical productions with a wealth of information on a large selection of musicals.
  • A U.K. site about musical theatre in Britain, Australia, France and selected other countries. Biographies of the reviewers are included. Associated with the journal Musical Stages.
  • An informative, occasionally subjective look at Musical Theater. Includes a history of musicals in theatre, in film and on television, reviews, features & essays, a chronology, a photo gallery, a who's who of people in musical theatre, and an index of significant Broadway shows with opening & closing dates and licensing information about each.
  • Song lists and synopses of about 50 current and past Broadway musicals.
  • A directory of playwrights, bibliographies, links, and an online exhibit of Spiderwomen documentation.
  • Part of a large medieval site, this page, consistently updated, points to playtexts and other resources.
  • New Dramatists is the nations oldest nonprofit center for the development of talented playwrights. The work of its resident playwrights is cultivated through a free, seven-year program of play readings, workshops, educational and career support. Internships are also available.
  • Full text of 13 Noh dramas, as well as an intro, notes, and glossary of Noh terms.
  • With a Branch library card, you can access the Biography Resource Center on the NYPL site, and find biographies, a critical overview, and articles on 20th century playwrights from O'Neill and Williams to Kushner, Stoppard, and Fornes.
  • NYPL Electronic Resources, related to health and medicine, provide access to a wealth of health information from newsletters, magazines, reference books and professional journals. These databases require a library card for offsite access.
  • Offers news, features, reviews, show listings and summaries, ticket info and discounts, a good late-night theatre guide, and a "starfile" linking well-known actors with their current shows.
  • The Village Voice OBIE Awards for Off-Broadway. OBIE database for winners 1955 to present.
  • Frequently updated job postings, efficiently organized by category.

  • The International Organization of Scenographers, Theatre Architects and Technicians is the world-wide parent organisation for scenographers, theatre technicians and architects, and operates under the auspices of UNESCO.
  • Another source for e-texts which include plays, accessible by author, title and subject.
  • Serves as an index to more than 18,000 public domain books on the web, searchable by author, title, and subject.
  • Provides links to theatre company web pages organized by region.

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