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THEA 281: Visual Elements - Research Using Online Resources

A guide to research for theatre production and design using only online resources, created Spring 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.


The following resources are helpful for close reading and analysis of the text. They are literature databases, so they will not likely contain visual elements but will include text, descriptions, and interpretations

Criticism and Analysis

Humanities Source

  • Journals in the humanities
  • Includes a number of theatre-focused titles (Studies in Musical Theatre, Theatre History Studies, and more) 


  • Full-text archive of journals
  • Excellent resource for historical research and context as well
  • Includes several important titles for theatre research such as Theatre Journal and TDR

Literature Criticism on Line

  • Good place to look for critical analysis of a work & information about writers
  • Sample titles: Contemporary Literary Criticism; Shakespeare Criticism; Contemporary Authors

Literature Resource Center

  • Criticism, biographies, and bibliographies of major writers

Magill's Survey of World Literature, available in the EBSCO ebooks Collection

  • Includes biographical information about playwrights as well as critical essays on selections of their works