Theatre: Performances

A Research Guide for Theatre from West Chester University Libraries

Featured videos

Videos in the library

The library has a very large VHS/DVD collection which includes many filmed stage productions and films based on plays. The collection is housed in the Instructional Media Center on the first floor of the library. Filmed musicals may also be found in the Presser Music Library.

There are many films, VHS or DVD, on the subject of theatre as well.

Use the library catalog to see if the library owns a video of a play or documentary.

  • Select "Video" from the "Set Single Limit" drop-down menu; this includes both the VHS and DVD formats.
  • Use one of the Keyword searches and enter keywords from the title of the play or the playwright's name; enclose multiple words in quotation marks. Any keyword search can return irrelevant material, but you should be able to quickly scan for relevant results.
  • For example, with the limit set to Video, a Keyword Boolean search for Samuel and Beckett returns 10 results, 4 of which are DVD or VHS productions of plays by Beckett or films about Beckett. The others are streaming video from Films on Demand or Theatre in Video.
  • When doing a Keyword Boolean search that uses people's names as search terms, first name and last name results in a more comprehensive search; with relatively uncommon names, the last name alone works well (e.g., Ibsen)
  • With the Set Single Limit set to Video, Keyword Boolean searches of significant words in the title also work well (e.g., searching for school and scandal produces the record for a DVD of the Sheridan play as well as a few irrelevant hits)
  • Another way to search is to do an Author search for a playwright, director, or performer (last name first name order); scan the results list for videos. Call numbers for videos begin with either Video or IMC DVD. Limits cannot be set for Author searches.

 

Streaming video

The library provides access to more than 250 performances and theatre documentaries in streaming video through Theatre in Video. From off campus, choose West Chester from the drop-down list of universities, and log in with your campus username and password.

Three screen sizes are available. The mid-size screen gives the best results for most viewers. Once logged in, for technical requirements, click on Help and choose Compatibility/Overview. Please email me if there are any problems.

Once logged in, there are a number of ways to search for specific productions (e.g., by title, playwright, director, actor). Clicking on Productions under the Browse menu provides an alphabetical list by title of all productions. Clicking on Documentaries under the Browse menu provides an alphabetical list by title of all documentaries.

Theatre in Video productions and documentaries can also be found in the library catalog.

The library also offers performances and theatre/dance documentaries in streaming video through Films on Demand. From off campus, choose West Chester from the drop-down list of universities, and log in with your campus username and password. Scroll down to English & Language Arts, click on View All Titles, and then scoll down to and click on Drama and the Theater. You can search within this group or within the entire database by keyword. By the end of this semester, Films on Demand titles should be in the library catalog.

And be sure to check out Digital Theatre Plus, which has both filmed stage productions and interviews with performers, designers, directors, etc.

 

West Chester University   ---    WCU Libraries  25 West Rosedale Avenue, West Chester, PA 19383  610-430-4400