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Starting points for research in drama

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Accessing Resources

There are so many different resources you can use to find information. Some are from the library, and some aren't. This guide is focused on helping you locate information resources provided by UCI Libraries. 

Perhaps the most important bit of information is HOW to access electronic resources. If you are off campus then you need to make sure you are using the campus VPN software to authenticate that you are a UCI student. This will give you access to the resources we license (that cost major $$$$). To save space on this page focused on DRAMA 148C/248C, please make sure to check out the Accessing Resources page for complete information about how to connect to electronic resources.

Additional relevant resources, including streaming video of selected professional productions, can be found on the Musical Theater page.

Musical Theatre History

Newspaper reviews are an amazing way to better understand the reception history of a musical. You can find these in many papers, but perhaps the best are the New York Times and (London) Times. Due to the sheer volume of information published in a newspaper, finding reviews and articles about an individual show can sometimes be like finding a needle in a haystack. You might try narrowing your search down by making sure to search for the full title of the show in combination with the composer's name, limiting the document type to a "review," and narrow the time period you're searching to within a small timeframe surrounding the premiere (use other resources to determine this date if you don't know it already).

These are a few selected ebooks that will help you gather factual information on shows, as well as how they fit into the broader flow of the development of the genre, and why shows that were successful were successful (normally through an examination of how they reflect their contemporaneous society). Many more books, particularly physical books, are available on more specific topics, including entire books focused on a single show as well as biographies of composers, lyricists, and performers.

History & Society

In order to understand the success of your musical, you need to historically place it. This will normally involve learning about the historical occurrence when it was being written or caused it to be written, along with the social norms of that time and place. Here are some resources to potentially help you in this quest for knowledge.

Historical Happenings

There are too many individual books that might be helpful to list here, but one of the best platforms to discover more on a wide variety of topics is Gale Virtual Reference Library. All of the above books are from this resource, and you can discover others like: