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TD 311C - Performance as Public Practice / Bonin, Carlson, O'Rear, & Pitchford

Research for Performance as a Public Practice

Research for Performance as Public Practice

These tabs contain help with doing traditional types of

            theatre & performance research here at UT.


Use the additional tabs on the left for help with

            researching arts policy, marketing, & Austin arts information.



to research a production's/performance's/play's themes, plot, style,

  or other literary elements -

    reference sources & journal articles can help you analyze your play in depth


search for them in these databases:


TIP: if your production/performance/play or author/creator/performer/playwright

              is well known, search for books of critical analysis of their work

using the Subject Search of the Library Catalog

              search for the author/creator/performer/playwright (last name first)


and look for subheadings, such as:


Williams, Tennessee -- Criticism and interpretation


Williams, Tennessee -- Streetcar Named Desire


to find in-depth criticism and reviews of productions, look in these databases:


to find in depth criticism in books,

use the Keyword Search in the Library Catalog by

production/play/performance or author/playwright/creator/performer or genre

or a combination of these


to find contemporaneous reviews, look in these databases:



also see:

Deborah Jowitt’s blog - DanceBeat




to find details about major productions

         (such as a production's director, theater, city, date, cast, etc.),

start with these databases:


information you find in the criticism/reviews tab above

can also help you piece together a production/performance/play’s history


ALSO try these databases:

      *TIPS: try your production/performance/play’s title

           or broaden your search it to the author/creator/performer/playwright.

          if you are getting too many unrelated hits with the title,

          try adding the author's/creator's/performer's/playwright’s name

           or other keywords like “theatre” (or “theater”) or “drama” or “productions”

using the Subject Search of the Library Catalog

search for the playwright, actors, producers (last name first), or theatre companies, etc. and look for subheadings, such as:

stage history

dramatic production





use these databases to find biographical information about









Long and in-depth analysis of a person's life can often also be found in a book, depending on how well-known the person is. 

using the Subject Search of the Library Catalog

          search for the person (last name first) and look for subheadings, such as:




also, here are some books available in the Fine Arts Library to get you started:

International Dictionary of Theatre PN 2035 I49 1992 FAL

Oxford Encyclopedia of Theatre and Performance PN 2035 O92 2003 FAL & PCL



to find information about the culture and society of-

      when & where your production/performance/play was written,

      when & where it was produced, and

      when & where it was set


use reference works to

       get an overview of the era

       learn what & who the key events/people were

       find out what the social/political climate was


You also may need to search in databases other than those in the arts in order to find materials on




     general culture


find these in the A-Z Database List, using the By Subject pull down list

     TIP: try History or Sociology for starters


and think about these keywords to help you with your searching:


social life






begin with these databases:


AND from the Library Catalog try these reference sources (in print and electronic)

       American Decades E 169.12 A419 1994 FAL

       World Eras D 20 W67 2001 PCL

some examples of other helpful types of sources:

Encyclopedia of the Renaissance and the Reformation

Encyclopedia of Contemporary Latin American and Caribbean Cultures F 1406 E515 2000 PCL

Encyclopedia of Contemporary French Culture DC 33.7 E53 1998 PCL

Africana : The Encyclopedia of the African and African American Experience DT 14 A37435 2005 PCL

Colonial America : An Encyclopedia of Social, Political, Cultural, and Economic History E 162 C68 2006 PCL

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Theatre & Dance Liaison

Beth Kerr's picture
Beth Kerr
Fine Arts Library (FAL)
DFA 3.212
the University of Texas at Austin
Austin, TX 78713

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