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THEATRE 410: Stage Directing

Biographical Research

When you're conducting biographical research on a figure in theater, you'll want to access basic reference works, as well as books about the individual (if they're available), and samples of their work. Below are tips for finding resources of each type.

Biographical Reference Sources

Biographical reference sources, like biographical dictionaries and encyclopedias, are good sources for basic information about a figure's life, dates, major works, awards, etc. Some are available only in the form of physical reference books, while there are other similar sources that are available in the form of databases.

When choosing a source, make sure to check the date, to see if it's likely to include the lifetime of your director. Look at the call number to locate the book on the shelves.

A few examples of reference sources that might be useful for this project are:

Books and Articles

You may also want to consult books about your chosen figure. You can search for a particular person by name, but you can also explore what full-length biographies about directors are available by using broader "subject" terms like:

Theatrical producers and directors -- Biography
African American theatrical producers and directors

You can also add countries to the subject terms to narrow your search. 

Theatrical producers and directors -- United States -- Biography

Finding Productions by Director

To find examples of productions by your chosen figure, use the Advanced Search option. Set the field to "author/creator" and enter the director's name. Setting the "Material Type" to "Video/Film" will also limit your results to filmed productions you can watch through the library.

To find reviews of productions, search for their name as in "Any field." After you search, select "Reviews" and "Newspaper articles" as the resource types to find reviews, interviews, and articles.