Wednesday, June 24, 2009

And for our final act: Twentieth Century North American Drama

Hello again! I hope you've found this tour of our new drama databases interesting, and maybe checked out a few plays along the way. Today we're going to wrap up this series with our final new drama database from Alexander Street, Twentieth Century North American Drama.

This database contains works by selected authors from Black Drama, Asian American Drama and North American Women's Drama, as well as from Latino Literature (another new database we have), among many others. Currently the collection includes the full text of 1,530 plays by 223 playwrights. It is hoped that when complete the collection will contain hundreds of plays which have never before been published. A special effort has been made to include works by LGBT playwrights, as well as plays drawn from the Jewish theatre, American Indian theatre, and other groups which may have been traditionally underrepresented in mainstream theaters or anthologies.

Major playwrights featured in this database include Sam Shepard, Marsha Norman, Robert Sherwood, Edward Albee, Tony Kushner, Tennessee Williams, Susan Sontag, Susan Glaspell, David Mamet, Langston Hughes, Christopher Durang and many others. The intent is to include the full body of work for each major author.

This database will be useful for students of literature and theatre and also for students of film, as many of the plays included here have been adapted for the screen. In addition, the editors intend to include a number of plays with particular social emphasis, such as the "people’s theatre" exemplified in performances by The Living Theatre and The Open Theatre. This should make the collection of interest for students of history and popular culture as well.

Like the other databases we've been talking about this week, Twentieth Century North American Drama contains not only plays but also detailed production information, photographs and ephemera. Of course, all of these databases are heavily indexed and searchable.

That's it for the drama database show! Stay tuned to see what else is new at the Hill Freeman Library and Spruill Learning Center at Reinhardt College!

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