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University Library

Theatre Arts

A general research guide for projects in theatre arts.

Getting Started with your Research

Research in Theatre Arts can be varied and wide-ranging. Your research process and the kinds of information you need will depend on your assignment. This guide will offer some suggestions to get you started. 

The first thing to do is to make sure you understand your assignment and to think through what you might need to know in order to complete it successfully. What do you already know about the topic you're researching? What do you need to find out? 

The kinds of information you should look for will depend a lot on where you are in the research process and what you need to learn. If you're assignment is broad, and you have a general topic you're interested in, you will probably need to spend some time learning about your topic and gathering background information. This background information can help you form a more specific question for research. 

If there is a specific theater piece you're interested in, you may need to find books and articles that are about that piece or its creator. You may also want to find newspaper or magazine reviews of various productions, or recordings of those productions. 

I generally recommend starting with OneSearch to see what kind of information is out there on your topic. OneSearch includes books, media, scholarly articles, non-scholarly articles, government sources, dissertations, and much more. Search for your topic and spend some time browsing through the results to see what kinds of research and work people have written or created about your topic. 

Search OneSearch

Use this form to search OneSearch. You can choose whether to search keywords, or look for a specific title, author, or subject term. You can also narrow down to the type of item you're looking for.

You may also want to search some reference sources for background information on your topic. These databases contain brief articles and overviews of many different topics in theatre arts, history, culture, and art.