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Drama Online Review

drama-onlineDrama Online is a subscription-based treasure trove of digital resources for drama and theatre teachers and students. Originating as a joint arrangement between Bloomsbury Publishing and Faber and Faber, Drama Online has now expanded to include additional publishers of theatre-related content, ranging from play texts and videos to audio plays and production images from across the world. Here’s just a slice of what Drama Online has on offer to whet your appetite:

  • over 2,000 plays, including:
    • the complete Arden Shakespeare series (Bloomsbury Publishing), perfect for the serious theatre student
    • over 400 original and classic professional audio plays from LA Theatre Works that will appeal to teenagers who love podcasts
    • hundreds of play texts from the vast catalogue of Nick Hern books, UK specialist theatre publisher
    • the Faber and Faber play catalogue (Waiting for Godot etc.)
    • the highly acclaimed Methuen Drama collection (Bloomsbury Publishing)
  • 500+ images from the Victoria and Albert Museum’s collection of theatre and performance materials
  • a large collection of production images from the American Shakespeare Center
  • over 100 theatre theory and criticism titles by Bloomsbury Publishing, ideal for teachers and university students
  • 17 titles from Shakespeare’s Globe on Screen series, with more titles being added

While the search function at Drama Online can prove to be a little unwieldy at times, consider it a testament to how many titles are available! Nevertheless, there is a plethora of advanced search options, plus all titles can be filtered by type, playwright and practitioner, genre, period, theme, and setting.

Text, audio and video titles open in the Drama Online Reader in your web browser (no app required), while all texts have citation and print tools available. Video titles can be opened for viewing in either the web page or in full screen on your device.

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A convenient list of playwrights, time periods and genres is also available, linking to relevant works in the library. Playwright and practitioner biographies, plus genre explanations are extracted from scholarly texts in the library for teachers and students to easily view. Shakespeare titles have commentary, annotations and footnotes helping to explain words, terms and references.

Play text titles clearly list the number of acts, scenes and characters (male, female, neutral). Hundreds of monologues from plays are also directly searchable without even opening the relevant play. Try doing this in the university library!

Drama and theatre teachers will enjoy the many academic titles in the collection about practitioners and their works, such as Antonin Artaud, Bertolt Brecht Brecht, William Shakespeare, Carly Churchill, Tennessee Williams, Harold Pinter, Samuel Beckett, Henrik Ibsen, David Mamet and more.

Play texts from theatre’s most famous playwrights are represented in the Drama Online collection, including Eugene O’Neill, David Henry Hwang, Steven Berkoff, David Hare, Alan Ayckbourn, Euripides, and many others.

Drama Online is a huge collection of classic, modern and contemporary plays, monologues, audio plays, Shakespeare plays on screen, and performance images. This vast library of online resources is as accessible to the high school drama student as it is to theatre teachers, actors and university students.

Drama Online collections are available as a subscription service to institutions only. Free trials are available. Highly recommended.

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