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Hope Library Guides

.Theatre (General): Finding Plays

This is the main portal to databases and other library sources for theatre research at Van Wylen Library, Hope

Browse New Plays

Searching for Playscripts

Searching for plays can be tricky since there is not one separate theatre section.  Instead, it's mixed in with all of literature.  Here are some tips for locating physical playscripts in our collection. 

Tip #1: Search by Author

Do you have a playwright that you know you are looking for?  Do an author search Hope Primo to find the general location of this writer's work in the stacks.

author search for bertolt brecht

Tip #2 - Digital Browsing

Don't have any idea what play you are looking for?  Create a browsable list of many of our 20th and 21st century plays by limiting to the Genre "Drama" in Primo:

Primo Advanced Search for Genre Drama Facet for Genre highlighting drama

Note: This is not exhaustive, because it depends on whether or not the record contains this genre. It is most consistent for late 20th and 21st century plays.


Tip #3 - Stacks Browsing

Yes, browsing the stacks is often the most effective way to discover new things.  If you know you need a recent play, there are a couple of areas in the basement that have a higher concentration of contemporary plays, so they are easier to spot.  For US or British playwrights, go to the following areas in the basement and look for the "skinny spines" as these are usually plays.

  • PR6100-6126 (21st century British)
  • PR9199.3-9200 (21st century Canadian)
  • PS3600-PS8000 (US) 2001-present

Any scripts you decide not to take, please put them on a reshelving cart, and we'll put them back for you!

Tip #4 - Need Monologues, Dialogues, or One Act Plays?  

If you don't need entire full-length plays, the library has many anthologies for you to browse.  Click the Subject Headings below to see potential titles: