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A guide to various tools and resources for studying theatre

Finding Books on Theatre

In-depth and introductory material may be found in online and print books on a variety of topics. Books take much longer to write (and read) and are designed for in-depth explanations of entire fields and larger issues. Use Library Search or the box below to find print and electronic books in Rowan's collection.

Library Search

Subject headings are descriptions of the content of library materials using precise language. You can click on them in a relevant catalog record or search for them in advanced searches

Following is a list of examples of Subject Headings that might be useful for finding materials on theatre and related topics in Library SearchEZBorrow, and Worldcat:


  • Drama
  • Drama--History and criticism
  • Drama--19th century
  • Theater--United States
  • Plays
  • Drama--Philosophy
  • Comedy
  • Experimental drama
  • Folk drama
  • Melodrama
  • Monologue
  • One-act plays
  • Puppet plays
  • Radio plays
  • Religion and drama
  • Religious drama
  • Tragedy
  • Verse drama
  • Dialogue
  • Drama in education
  • Theater in education
  • Theater
  • Theater management
  • Theater and society
  • Jewish theater
  • Black theater
  • Children's theater
  • College theater
  • Community theater
  • Experimental theater
  • Gay theater
  • Musical theater
  • Street theater
  • Theater audiences
  • Theater in propaganda
  • War and theater
  • Women in the theater
  • Acting
  • Actors
  • Actresses
  • Male actors
  • Commedia dell'arte
  • Improvisation (acting)
  • Method acting
  • Movement (acting)
  • Theaters--Stage-setting and scenery
  • Scene painting
  • Theaters--sound effects
  • Set designers
  • Stage machinery
  • Stage props
  • Costume design
  • Costume designers
  • Theatrical makeup
  • Stage lighting

Campbell Library uses the Library of Congress classification system to organize its books, using call numbers to place items on a physical shelf.


You can find books on dance under these call numbers in the Performing Arts Collection on the second floor of Campbell Library:

GV 1781 - GV 1795 -- Theatrical dancing

PN 1530 - PN 1559 -- Monologue. Dialogue

PN 1560 - PN 1599 -- Performing Arts. Show Business

PN 1625 -- Theatre Dictionaries   

PN 1660 - PN 1697 -- Technique of dramatic composition

PN 1720 - PN 1861.2 -- Theatre History     

PN 1865 -- One-act plays

PN 2061 -PN 2071 -- Art of acting

PN 2080 -- Selections for practice (Scenes, monologues, dialogue, etc.)

PN 2085 - PN 2091 -- Stagecraft, lighting, scenery design

PN 2131 - PN 2193 -- Theatre history by period

     PN 2131 - PN 2145 -- Ancient
     PN 2152 - PN 2160 -- Medieval
     PN 2171 - PN 2179 -- Renaissance
     PN 2181 - PN 2193 -- Modern

PN 2219.3 - PN 3030 -- Special regions or countries

PN 3035 -- The Jewish theater

PN 3151 - PN 3171 -- Amateur theater

PN 3175 - PN 3191 -- College and school theatricals

PN 3203 - PN 3299 -- Tableaux, pageants, "Happenings," etc.


You can find books on related topics on the fourth floor in the general collection of Campbell Library:

GT1740-1747---Theatrical Costumes

NX 456.5 P38 -- Performance art

TT 507 -- Costume and fashion design

Caution! Theater vs. Theatre

For almost all online searches, the spelling theater or theatre really matters and can drastically affect search results. Here are some general guidelines:

  • American practice (can be inconsistent):
    • Theater: standard spelling used in most U.S. academic writing and popular journalism about the discipline and productions, as well as the general term for the performance venue. Also the prescribed usage for subject descriptors in U.S.-based library catalogs and journal databases.
    • Theatre: spelling often found in titles of companies, institutes, performance houses, journals, and websites (e.g., Signature Theatre, Schubert Theatre, New York City Theatre; in publisher and distributor names (Applause Theatre, Theatre Communications Group); and in academic and arts-focused writing to express the collective art form (e.g., "the American theatre," "theatre arts," "theatre and performance studies").
  • British and Canadian practice: theatre for all contexts (including titles of books issued  jointly in the U.S. and the U.K., such as the Oxford and Cambridge university presses, and several others).
  • Subject search in library catalog or database: use theater for all contexts (unless working in a Canadian or British resource or catalog), even if the title of the publication has "theatre."
  • Tip: using an asterisk allows you to search for all variations of a word after a certainly letter. For example, a search on theat* will retrieve results with both spellings, plus the plural forms and the adjective "theatrical."

Finding Books and Media in Other Libraries

Rowan University Library Services can locate and obtain books/media not in our own collection.  Items from other libraries can be obtained in a matter of a few days in most cases.