Circulating Theatre Collection

Second Floor

Phone: (917) 275-6975

Fully accessible to wheelchairs

The circulating  theatre collection encompasses all aspects of the performing arts that are not strictly music or dance. The collection contains available published plays and screenplays in English. The collection also has an extensive collection of film and dramatic criticism and history. The collection includes much material on film and theatre production. The collection covers every aspect of acting, directing, playwriting, screenwriting, set design, costume, makeup, etc. Other subjects represented include television and radio broadcasting, magic, puppetry and the circus. The collection contains important periodicals in our fields, plus trade papers such as Variety and Backstage.

The Play Index, housed in a freestanding catalog in the Miriam and Harold Steinberg Reading Room, directs users to plays that have been published in collections, anthologies or periodicals which are held in the drama collection and were acquired before the Catalog included indexing for these materials. To find plays published individually in book form throughout the NYPL Library system, users should consult The Catalog.  

Library staff are currently compiling a list of suggested monologues for young actors.  A draft of this list can be viewed here.

The Circulating Theatre Collection contains materials on:

  • Theatre - all aspects
  • Film - all aspects
  • Plays and screenplays
  • Radio and television
  • Magic in performance
  • Costume and design
  • Performance art
  • Puppetry
  • Circus
  • Vaudeville
  • Performing arts biographies 

The Circulating Theatre Collection does not contain materials on:

  • General literary works
  • Poetry
  • Fiction
  • Photography
  • Repairing or engineering of media equipment
  • Occult or supernatural
  • Fine arts
  • Public speaking or speeches
  • Plays in foreign languages