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Below are examples of subject headings that you might find useful. Note that many of the headings are also subdivided, making it possible to narrow your search.
Many of the subject headings related to theatre are accompanied by notes (the link to the note appears to the left of the heading). Check the information links when they appear. One important note explains the distinction made between Theater (the Library of Congress subject heading system uses the American spelling) and Theaters:
"Here [Theaters] are entered works on facilities used to stage drama. Works on drama as a literary form are entered under Drama. Works on drama as acted on the stage are entered under Theater."
Theatre as developed by ethnic groups (e.g., Hispanic American theater)
Headings on the topic of acting:
Headings for types of theatre
Headings for works dealing with stagecraft
Headings for playwriting and dramaturgy
Headings for theatre in its social context
You may also be interested in browsing the shelves. You will find books and plays in the following classification numbers. Note that some areas of the classification schedule have changed but older material may not have been reclassified. Nevertheless, you'll find most of what you're looking for in the numbers given.
Dewey Decimal Classification for browsing the shelves
Books about theatre
792 Stage presentations
792.024 Special effects
792.027 Makeup and hair
792.028 Acting and performance
792.08… Theatre and groups of people (e.g., 792.082, women and the theatre)
792.09 Theatre history
792.09… Theatre in geographic areas (e.g., 792.0941, British theatre)
792.1 to 792.8 Specific kinds of theatrical presentations
792.1 Tragedy and serious drama
792.2 Comedy and melodrama
792.6 Musical plays
792.7 Variety shows and theatrical dancing
792.8 Ballet and modern dance
792.9 Stage productions (specific shows, including production scripts, criticism of specific productions, etc.)
See the Finding plays page for call numbers for the text of plays.
Do you need a play that the library does not own? Try the library's interlibrary loan services. Books may arrive within a few days, depending on where they are shipped from. You may also request books the library owns that are checked out.