Skip to Main Content

Theatre 230 Spring 24

Searching for Plays in the Library

Tips for searching the library's collections:

  • When you use the Search@UW box on the library homepage, you're searching all the books, videos, and other media in the UW system, plus encyclopedias, articles in periodicals, and some free online resources.
  • Search@UW is best for looking for specific titles or authors, but even a search for the title of a specific play will turn up a mix of encyclopedia entries, articles analyzing the play, and videos, as well as the script itself.
  • If your title includes common words, you may want to put it in quotation marks, so that the search looks for the whole phrase (ie., "Our Town").
  • Within your search, you can control the format and location of the results you see. Along the left side, you'll see options to limit your results by criteria like "Library" and "Resource Type." If you only want to see book results that are available at UWM, you can limit your results this way.
  • Remember that you can request materials from other libraries if we don't have them here!



Finding Plays and Monologues

Online Sources for Plays and Synopses

When you're looking to find a play or monologue that suits you or your group, having access to synopses, or plot summaries, of the plays is very important. Also important is knowing what the cast requirements are and whether the play calls for period costuming, etc. The sites that theatre professionals use to buy multiple copies of the play and to pay the performing rights to perform the play often organize the plays in ways that are helpful to performers looking for repertory.

Once you've identified titles that might be useful, return to Search@UW to locate a copy you have access to.

  • Drama Online We don't have full access to this database, but the available monologue search allows you to identify plays with good monologues passages containing specific keywords. Then you can look those plays up in the library.
  • StageAgent.comSearch plays, monologues, scenes, etc. Full text of scenes is only available with a paid membership, but it's useful for identifying works to look for in the library.
  • Broadway Play Publishing - Search by title and author, filter by number of cast members required, gender distribution, run-time, and costume requirements.
  • Dramatists Play Service - Search by title and author, with the added ability to limit by number of cast members required & the gender distribution.
  • Dramatic Publishing - Search by title and author, with the added ability to limit by number of cast members required & the gender distribution.
  • Playscripts - Search by title, etc
  • Samuel French - Search by title and author.

We also have access to details about plays through specialized library databases:

Getting Ideas

As you select something to perform, you might get ideas for exciting, contemporary work by looking at recent award winning plays, lists of frequently-produced plays, and recent reviews.