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Theatre and Dance: Biographical Resources

Oxford Reference Online: Performing Arts

Oxford Reference Online: Performing Arts  features biographical information on individuals in theatre and dance.  

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography is the premiere scholarly resource for information about British individuals.  It contains approximately 58,000 entries on performers, playwrights, directors, designers, impresarios, etc.

North American Theatre Online

North American Theatre Online. A comprehensive online database covering all aspects of the Canadian and American theatre, including 40,000 pages of major reference materials, approximately 30,000 plays, 57,000 people, 5,400 theatres, 22,000 productions, and 2,500 production companies. Includes links to the full text of plays.

Off Broadway Oral Histories

Biographical information

African American Dramatists: An A-to-Z Guide. Ed. Emmanuel S. Nelson. Westport, Ct.: Greenwood Press, 2004. PS 338 .N4 A69 2004 Geisel Reference

African Americans in the Performing Arts. Compiled by Steven Otfinoski. New York: Facts on File, 2003. Biographical sketches, with credits, of 192 performers. Geisel Floor7, PN2286 .O88

Highfill, Philip H., Kalman A. Burnim, and Edward A. Langhans. A Biographical Dictionary of  Actors, Actresses, Musicians, Dancers, Managers & Other Stage Personnel in London, 1660-1800. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1973-1993. 16 vols. PN 2597 .H5 Geisel Reference and online in Eighteenth Century Drama.

Contemporary Theatre, Film, and Television. Detroit: Gale Research, 1984-.  The cumulative index at the back of the most recent volume identifies the volume(s) that have information on the person you are seeking.  Note: Ceased publication with v. 123, 2013. PN 2285 .C58 (Offsite Annex Indexes)

Billman, Larry. Film Choreographers and Dance Directors: An Illustrated Biographical Encyclopedia, with a History and Filmographies, 1893 through 1995. Jefferson NC: McFarland, 1997. GV 1779 .B55 1997 Geisel Reference

50 Contemporary Choreographers. 3rd ed. Compiled by Martha Bremser and Lorna Sanders. NY: Routledge, 2021.

Fifty Key Theatre Directors. Ed. Shomit Mitter and Maria Shevtsova. London; NY: Routledge, 2005. (Available in print and online)

Fifty Modern and Contemporary Dramatists. Ed. Maggie B. Gale and John F. Deeney. London; NY: Routledge, 2014.

Wells, Stanley. Great Shakespeare Actors: Burbage to Branagh. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2015.

International Dictionary of Theatre. Ed. Mark Hawkins-Dady. Chicago: St. James Press, 1992- . Volume 2: Playwrights. Volume 3: Actors, Directors, and Designers.  PN 2035 .I49 1992 Geisel Reference  

Notable Women in the American Theatre: A Biographical Dictionary. Ed. Alice M. Robinson, Vera Mowry Roberts, and Milly S. Barranger. NY: Greenwood Press, 1989.

Peterson, Bernard L. Profiles of African American Stage Performers and Theatre People, 1816-1960. Westport, Ct.: Greenwood Press, 2001.

Bryan, George B. Stage Deaths: A Biographical Guide to International Theatrical Obituaries, 1850 to 1990. NY: Greenwood Press, 1991. 2 vols.  PN 2205 .S762 1991 Geisel Stacks

Bryan, George B. Stage Lives: A Bibliography and Index to Theatrical Biographies in English. Westport, Ct.: Greenwood Press, 1985.  PN 2205 .S78 1985 Geisel Reference

Theatrical Designers: An International Biographical Dictionary. Ed. Thomas J. Mikotowicz. New York: Greenwood Press, 1992.    

Theatrical Directors: A Biographical Dictionary. Edited by John W. Frick & Stephen M.Vallillo. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1994.     UCSD: PN 2205 .T54 1994 Geisel Reference

Who Was Who in the Theatre, 1912-1976: A Biographical Dictionary of Actors, Actresses, Directors, Playwrights, and Producers of the English-Speaking Theatre.  Detroit: Gale Research., c1978. PN 2597 .W52 Geisel Reference 

Who's Who in Contemporary World Theatre. 2nd ed. Daniel Meyer-Dinkgrafe. London; NY: Routledge, 2002. 

The World Encyclopedia of Contemporary Theatre. Ed. Don Rubin. London & New York: Routledge, 1994-2000. 6 vols.  v. 1 Europe, v. 2 The Americas, v. 3 Africa, v. 4 The Arab World, v. 5 Asia/Pacific, v. 6 Bibliography/Cumulative Index.  PN 2035 .W67 1994 Geisel Reference