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Best of the Web: Performing Arts » Theatre

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • A refreshingly uncluttered site offering intelligent reviews of off-off Broadway shows. Past reviews are archived, and current "oobr" listings are provided. Also includes instructions on how to get a theatre production reviewed.
  • This site provides listings of acting and threatrical support positions on and off Broadway and throughout the United States, London, Canada, and Brazil.

  • A directory of websites by playwrights, a forum for playwrights, a directory of plays, and a messageboard of opportunities for playwrights, sponsored by the Internet Theatre Bookshop.
  • Comprehensive collection of electronic texts.
  • Puppeteers of America, a national nonprofit organization founded in 1937, provides information, encourages performances, and builds a community of people who love puppet theatre
  • Chapters 5 through 8 in Volume 8 of this standard work provide an overview of the plays, playwrights and development of the Restoration Stage, with references to primary sources and bibliographies listing the works of Restoration dramatists.
  • From the Richard III Society, resources on films and plays about Richard III, including a hypertext version of Shakespeare's play.
  • Provides a search, or alternatively, listings of plays by type and number of characters.
  • The Paris Music Hall Collection comprises over 6,000 original renderings of costume designs and 1,000 original renderings of curtain designs for the music halls of Paris from 1920-1938.
  • A set decorator selects furniture, drapery, lighting fixtures, art and other objects to "dress the set" of a motion picture, television program, music video or commercial.
  • A site championing Shakespeare as the author of the plays.
  • A site championing Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford (1550-1604), as the author of the works.
  • Information on the man, his works & his times, as well as play synopses, a copy of his will, a reading list, and a noteworthy section on Shakespeare's language.
  • A resourceful site which includes bios of designers and examples of their work.
  • A publication with timely articles written by and for community, regional, & academic theater participants. A subject index of articles published since 1988 is online.
  • A growing collection of forms that describe the important technical features of stage houses throughout the country. Useful for planning touring productions.
  • Consistently reliable e-zine with 27 contributors, published twice weekly, with features, interviews, reviews and listings from on and off-Broadway, the West End, and Regional Theatre. Also find a history of Broadway with archival photographs, discussion groups, and a prominent link to the Internet Theatre Database (http://www.theatredb.com).
  • Theatre Communications Group offers the addresses, phone numbers, and websites of member theaters accessible by name or by state. On the left navigation menu, click on "membership" and then click on "search member theatres."
  • A searchable database of costume images from the stock of the costume program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Department of Dramatic Art and the PlayMakers Repertory Company. Searchable by period and/or type of garment.
  • This small site provides illustrated articles from such historical resources as a Milanese tailor's handbook from 1580 and Ladies' Home Journals from the early 1900's.
  • Provides an index of Costume Institute exhibits going back to 1937 features on current exhibits descriptions of the collections access information to the Collections and the associated library a history of the Institute and links to Costume Museums throughout the world.
  • Links to historical resources and more. Helpful for theatrical, motion picture and festival costumers as well as costume hobbyists.
  • Particularly useful is the "instruction" page on this site, which will lead you to answers for a wide variety of costume-construction problems.
  • Contains "How To" advice, info on ethnic costume & makeup, resources on designers, info about "Costume" films, and a proficient Costume History Resource Page, as the links are divided into a wide variety of periods. By a Costume Historian at the Univ. of Alaska-Fairbanks.
  • Resources and information on the creation of the scenic spectacle in Europe in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries.

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