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Starting points for research in drama

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Access & Help

The resources on this page are meant to support your educational experience in DRAMA 10 - Introduction to Theatre. All links are to streaming videos on the Digital Theatre Plus platform. You have two options to access these resources when you're not connected to the UCI network:

  1. Use UCI's VPN software which makes it look like you're on the campus network even when you're physically somewhere else. Complete information here:
  2. Sign in directly to Digital Theatre Plus (NOTE: this is the only library resource that allows this option).
    • To do this, click on any of the links below to open up the DT+ site.
    • Click "Sign in" and enter your UCI email address. 
    • A new page opens up with a menu of different libraries providing this resource. Scroll down to University of California, Irvine (or search for it).
    • After selecting UCI, you will be prompted to sign in with your UCINet ID and password (what you use for your email). Depending on your account, you might need to authenticate yourself with Duo.
    • After authentication, enjoy watching your video!

If you need any help with these resources or other library resources, please reach out to me, Scott Stone, Research Librarian for Performing Arts at

What is Theatre?

Who's Who in Theatre

Additional videos to learn about Playwrights:

  • Talking About Plays - Anita and Me: An Interview with Tanika Gupta (29 mins)
    • Playwright Tanika Gupta discusses her writing process, inspiration and passion for adapting Meera Syal’s semi-autobiographical novel, Anita and Me, as well as exploring her career progression from radio dramas to stage plays. Gupta also considers how her upbringing helped understand the themes and characters of Syal’s work, highlights the importance of creating big moments for big theatrical spaces, and expresses how the use of comedy provides further dramatic effect when preceding tragedy.

  • Writers - Practice and Process (17 mins)
    • Lee Hall defines the power of transformation and imagination, Diane Samuels talks about the nature of nurturing your craft, Alecky Blythe describes the process of trusting your instincts and Bryony Lavery focuses on getting to the 'spine of a scene'.
  • Key Concepts in Playwriting: Character (11 mins)
    • This episode on character uses clips from Death of a Salesman to explore character detail, A Doll's House to demonstrate how a character’s aims and objectives show their motivations, and After Miss Julie as an example of social positions and contexts.

Additional videos to learn about Acting:

  • Key Concepts in Acting: Acting Defined (16 mins)
    • This episode on how to define acting uses clips from On Acting: David SuchetA Long Day's Journey Into Night, and Funny Girl as examples of different methods of acting and how actors transform themselves on stage.
  • The Actor's Profession (22 mins)
    • In this interview, Joanna Merlin, Ron Van Lieu, and Stephen McKinley Henderson share their thoughts on casting, technique, and how actors can become ‘alchemists of empathy’.
  • Insights into Acting (27 mins)
    • In this interview, Joanna Merlin, Ron Van Lieu, and Stephen McKinley Henderson share their thoughts on technique, transformation, the actor’s body, and the influence of their own teachers such as Lloyd Richards and Michael Chekhov.

Additional videos to learn about the Director:

  • On Directing: Carrie Cracknell (17 mins)
    • Carrie Cracknell directed the critically-acclaimed production of Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House.Cracknell provides an invaluable insight into the processes of rehearsing a play, conveys the thrill of sharing her work in front of an audience, and considers how extensive research allowed her to gain further context and inspiration for the production.
  • Directors on Directing: An Introduction to the Craft (22 mins)
    • Eugenio Barba describes his process when working with text, Carrie Cracknell and Michael Buffong consider working with actors on developing characters, and Jatinder Verma explains the importance of communicating with an audience on a visceral level.
  • On Fight Directing: Renny Krupinski (23 mins)
    • Krupinski shares his perspective on the collaborative process that enables a team to produce an authentic combat sequence, explores how audience reactions influence his work and examines the role that imagination plays within the boundaries of stage directions.

Additional videos to learn about Stage Managers:

  • My West End: An Insight Into Working in Stage Management (21 mins)
    • Deputy Stage Manager Vicky Eames and Assistant Stage Manager Joanne Dunne provide invaluable insight into their roles behind the scenes of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie at the Apollo Theatre. Eames and Dunne examine the functions of the prompt box and demonstrate how organisation and creativity are essential for working in stage management.
  • Practitioners on Practice - On Stage Management: An Interview with Ali Wade (19 mins)
    • Ali considers in detail the different demands on the stage management team, from the pastoral to the technical, and explains why communication, organisation and being a people person are skills that no stage manager can do without. She explains the varied working day of a stage manager, explores different routes into the profession and reiterates the need to be a team player.
  • On Technical Stage Management: Angel Hasted (10 mins)
    • Technical Stage Manager, Angel Hasted has over 18 years of experience under his belt, Angel tells us how he got his start in "show business" and shares his advice for young people aspiring to a theatrical career.

Additional videos to learn about Producers:

  • On Producing: Tom O'Connell (30 mins)
    • Tom O'Connell, one of the West End's youngest producers, discusses how he began to put plays on for audiences and his work behind the 20th anniversary revival of Beautiful Thing.
  • On Producing: Debra Hauer (6 mins)
    • Producer Debra Hauder discusses some of the complicated choices that staging The Container presented and the decisions she took on behalf of the production.

Additional videos to learn about Costume Designers:

  • Encounters: Costume & Character - Experience (10 mins)
    • Award-winning designer Katrina Lindsay (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and The Lehman Trilogy) shares her process for creating costumes.
  • Demonstrating Costume Design (12 mins)
    • Agnes Treplin gives an introduction to the role of costume designer. Agnes shows her working process, discusses the influence of costume on theatre productions, and demonstrates the ways she brings her ideas to life.
  • Key Concepts in Costume Design (13 mins)
    • This episode on costume design uses clips from The Railway Children to explore Realism, Maurice Maeterlinck's The Blue Bird Trilogy as an example of Surrealism, and Macbeth to demonstrate character development through costume.


Additional videos to learn about Set Designers:

  • Demonstrating Set Design (14 mins)
    • Lulu Tam gives an introduction to the role of set designer. Lulu shows her working process, discusses the influence of the set on theatre productions, and demonstrates the ways she brings her ideas to life.
  • Key Concepts in Set Design (14 mins)
    • This episode on set design uses clips from resources on Frantic Assembly, Gecko Theatre, Eugene O'Neill and Henrik Ibsen to demonstrate how design decisions can support the storytelling on stage.
  • Interview with Set Designer: Ben Stones (20 mins)
    • Set designer Ben Stones talks at length about creating designs for Some Like it Hip Hop in this behind-the-scenes interview. As well as detailing the role and responsibilities of a set designer, Stones explains the creative process of designing set-heavy scenes and how his artistic choices communicate meaning and key themes.

Additional videos to learn about Lighting Designers:

  • My West End: An Insight Into Working as a Lighting Designer (18 mins)
    • Lighting Designer Prema Mehta takes us behind the scenes of Simon Dormandy’s A Passage to India at the Park Theatre in London. Mehta explores how lighting is used to create atmosphere, signal scene changes and support the overall narrative, and highlights the importance of making brave choices when using colors on stage.
  • On Lighting: Peter Mumford (23 mins)
    • Peter sheds light on how a Lighting Designer works in collaboration with the rest of a theatre company, describes how technological advances have changed the industry, and discusses his thoughts on establishing a career in a field that wasn't formally recognised until the 1950s.
  • Key Concepts in Lighting Design (13 mins)
    • This episode on lighting design uses resources from dance to musical theatre productions and adaptations of William Shakespeare to Sam Shepherd's plays to explore the basics of lighting for live performance.

Additional videos to learn about Sound Designers:

  • Practitioners on Practice - On Sound Design: An Interview with Gareth Fry (25 mins)
    • Having trained at Central School of Speech and Drama in theatre design, Gareth switched focus to sound and has since collaborated on a variety of hugely successful theatrical productions, including Harry Potter and the Cursed ChildWaves, and Black Watch. Gareth talks of recording and utilising binaural sound to maximum effect, considers the distinction between sound and music, and describes creating the soundscape for Complicite's epic sensorial experience The Encounter.

  • Key Concepts in Sound Design (12 mins)
    • This episode on sound design uses examples from Steven Berkoff's Metamorphosis and Vincent Dance Theatre's Virgin Territory, amongst other shows and takes a comparative look at the use of sound in three adaptations of Macbeth.

  • Collaborating on Music and Sound (13 mins)
    • Musician and sound designer David Coulter demonstrates his experimental approach to creating music and sound for Greek drama, working on a key scene and moment with actor Nike Imoru.

Theatre Histories and Genres


Non-European Theatre Traditions

Theatre Histories