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126 awesome drama topics to inspire you.

November 10, 2021

As students of literature, you’re already aware drama portrays fictional and nonfictional events. It does this through the performance of written conversations or scripts of prose or poetry.

drama topics

Drama can either be staged or performed as a film; it can even be broadcast on radios. These are all categorized as plays, and those who write them are called playwrights or dramatists, while those who perform on stage are referred to as thespians.

There are a series of drama topics since the drama was first performed in the days of Aristotle. Being long-standing, you may need creative and comprehensive dramatic topics for your research.

Good Drama Essay Guideline

Writing a top grade drama essay or writing assignment can become difficult. You should try your best and not leave it to the last minute, and dedicate enough time for editing. Here’s a brief guideline on the process of writing a good drama writing assignment:

  • Choose topic. Always try your best to choose a topic in which you have at least some interest in. If you choose a topic that is boring you will not have the energy and motivation to put in the work required to write a good essay. Also make sure your topic is not too general, but also not to narrow.
  • Research. After you have the topic, it is time to research and get some information and context on your topic. Begin by using the internet to find general information. Then begin to look into specific, credible sources which you can cite in your paper. Try your best to have varied types of sources (videos, articles, studies, books etc.).
  • Outline: Once you feel like you did enough research and are comfortable to begin, start with an outline. An outline is a very quick layout of your essay structure. This is where you put everything on your mind on paper, and then begin to organize and forming your paper. A good paper will always be well structure.
  • Writing: This is the main part. Once you have an outline you now must take some time and actually write everything out in draft. If you have a substantial outline and good research this part shouldn’t take very long.
  • Editing and proofreading: Finally, once you have written a first draft it is time to reread and edit. For the first draft, you shouldn’t strive to make it perfect, so there should be quite a lot of editing to do. It is important to leave a good amount of time for editing, because it is as important as actually writing. A high quality essay should go through a number of drafts before it is acceptable.

Drama is a very interesting topic. Drama is most times built on people’s tensions as it is used to keep them wondering what will happen next. For your theatre topics for research, you can consider these different informative, fun-filled and original research topics .

Theatre Research Paper Topics

As a university student, you may need to develop an awesome drama paper for your certificate. These are papers that talk about the basic features of theatre and its significance in society.

You may need to trace the history of theatre itself, as well as the trend of theatrical performances. You may also need to consider an in depth assessment of how theatre topics shaped the present. You can use these custom topics for your research:

  • Examine the role of women in medieval theater.
  • Examine the complexities in the history of European theatre.
  • Give a historical overview of the evolution of theatre from ancient Greece to the Mid 19th century.
  • Examine the influence of Aristotle on the drama of his time and after his time.
  • Account for the evolution of American drama.
  • Examine any three recorded theatrical performances of the 19th century of your choice and state the unifying factors.
  • Give a detailed overview of what ancient Greek theatre is all about.
  • Give a detailed review of how ancient Greek theater seems to be replicated today.
  • Examine the influence of Greek tragedy on the works of Shakespeare and his contemporary.
  • Redefine drama and theatre.
  • What distinguishes modern drama and pre-medieval drama?
  • Examine the significance of Antigone in Sophocles drama.
  • Examine the role of Canadian drama in the world.
  • Analyze the role of Bertold Brecht in drama.
  • Examine how the stylistics of Shakespeare negates that of Brecht.
  • Examine the differences between drama from the United Kingdom to that of Germany during the period of 14 to 18 centuries.
  • How has the medieval period Influenced Elizabethan drama?
  • What is the significance of Henrik Ibsen in Contemporary drama?
  • Examine the Differences between the stylistics of Bertold Brecht, Shakespeare, and Henrik Ibsen.
  • Examine what Greek comedy entails in comparison to the comedy of today.

Theatre History Research Topics

You may also require theatre essay topics for long research. These are historical topics that call for in depth research. As students, you can study the past to read more meanings to the present. In this section, you’ll find relevant topics to juxtapose the past and the present and how all these have influenced drama today. Consider:

  • Give a detailed analysis of the contemporary influences of The Wizard of Oz.
  • Examine the evolution and trends in horror movies.
  • Examine the evolution and trends of witchcraft movies.
  • How are emotions evoked in the drama of William Shakespeare?
  • Examine the subject of homosexual characters in a drama.
  • Examine the Influence of Greek drama in creating a symbol and perception of Jesus Christ.
  • Examine the stigma which Elizabethan actors were faced with
  • Account for the activities of William Blake.
  • What are the influences of George Orwell in the American drama Industry?
  • Compare and Contrast American drama and British drama.
  • Examine the role of symbols in Greek drama.
  • Analyze the significance of learning about the history and trend of drama.
  • Rationalize the role of Aristotle’s treatise on today’s drama.
  • Compare and contrast the Bollywood and Hollywood Industries.
  • Document the role of drama in the spread of racism before the end of slavery in America.
  • Examine the role of slaves in circus performances.
  • Examine any circus performance company of your choice and carefully detail their exploits.
  • Examine the evolution of tragic-comedy in drama.
  • Examine how the church has stopped drama before the 10th century.
  • Give an in depth overview of the complications in stage drama in a world dominated by films.

Theatre Essay Topics

As a college or university student, you may also need to create theatre essay topics for your classroom work. You may even need it for an assignment. Creating a good topic is essential to writing one of the best essays. You can consider any of these drama ideas for your essay:

  • Examine the life and times of Caryl Churchill.
  • What are the experiences of theatre houses with strict censorship?
  • Discuss the effects of the closing and reopening of American theatre houses throughout the centuries.
  • Account for the role of tragedy in Shakespeare’s books.
  • Account for the essence of “Squid Game” in the polarized world.
  • Account for the essence of “Squid Game” in demeaning humanity.
  • What are your reflections on the subject of realism?
  • Examine two plays of your choice and analyze them.
  • What do you think took Shakespeare’s plays to the global stage?
  • What is the influence of Spanish theatre on Latin American drama?
  • Examine the effects of globalization on theatre.
  • Examine the emergence of black actors on white-dominated stages.
  • What are the symbols in French theatre?
  • What are the reputable symbols of Italian theatre?
  • How has the Elizabethan theatre shaped drama today?
  • Criticize any performance of your choice.
  • Praise any performance of your choice.
  • Compare two or more performances of Macbeth by different themes: focus on their diction and costume.
  • Examine what a drama portfolio means.
  • Examine the distinguishing factors of modern theatres and Greek theatre.

Interesting Theatre History Topics

Interesting theatre history topics are topics that consider the fun and lighter part of the past in drama. These are topics that could border on present issues and how they relate to the last and past issues. For your comprehensive theatre historical research topics, you can consider the following:

  • How have social issues been challenged or discussed through drama?
  • Examine the significance of Dionysus on the history of drama.
  • Examine the myths in stage performances.
  • Examine the personages in Greek drama.
  • How does television drama share family virtues as expected in the UK?
  • What are the essential performance skills for a circus act?
  • What do you know about the adaptation of s cinematic performance to the screen?
  • Compare and contrast the relationship between acting and expression.
  • Examine the symbols in Chinese tragedy.
  • Critically examine the role of the depiction of disobedience in three Theban plays.
  • What is the usual pop culture which is frequent on television?
  • Examine the negro movement and its role in the drama.
  • How has theatre survived the restoration period?
  • Examine the role of drama in musical performances.
  • Evaluate the function of identity crisis in drama and acting.
  • Evaluate the metaphors and what they mean Shakespeare’s The Tempest.
  • Examine how Shakespeare’s plays exhibited chivalry.
  • Examine how Shakespeare’s plays exhibited the priority in royalty.
  • What are the philosophies of theatre that have shaped it today?
  • Examine the evolution of drama and its changing significance in society.

Musical Theatre Research Topics

As students of theater, you may also need drama ideas relating to musical theatre research topics. These are topics that talk about the musical performance of plays. There were many of these centuries ago. One of the most important is opera. You can examine the following traditions and genres for your theatre class homework or essay:

  • Examine the purpose and significance of comic opera.
  • Compare and contrast farsa and fasta teatrale operatic performances.
  • Comment on the use of lights in opera performances.
  • Comment on the use of curtains in opera performances.
  • Examine the technical skills required for. effective opera performances
  • Identify the role of pop culture in opera.
  • Comment on the life and times of any two sopranos of choir choice.
  • Examine what operetta means.
  • How does ballet fit into musical performances, and what is its essence?
  • Evaluate the significance of musical performances in enjoying the drama.

Drama Topics for School Students

You may also need drama topics for teenagers for your drama class. If you have enrolled in a drama class as a student, you can try out some of these scenes. These could be graphic and romantic scenes. Depending on the event in your school, you can secure your spot in the national drama team by acting any of the following:

  • Tennessee Williams and Lucy Bailey’s Baby Doll.
  • Act any scene of romance in Shakespeare’s plays.
  • Act any three scenes of compassion in Henrik Ibsen’s play.
  • Act any three scenes of valor in Shakespeare’s plays.
  • Build on a comedy scene in Shakespeare’s play and make it funnier in the contemporary understanding of fun.
  • Play the role of divorce couples arguing over the children and exhibit the mental stress on the children.
  • Act the roles of violence in settling Political scores.
  • Read any historical horror story and act three scenes on stage.
  • Make entertainment with Halloween masks.
  • Play a role where you manipulate people into your perverted desires.
  • Play a role of a president refusing to leave power.
  • Take any three scenes in “Lights Over Tesco Park” by Jack Bradfield and Poltergeist Theatre and perform them to the best of your ability.
  • Perform any German drama of your choice.
  • Engage in a musical performance.
  • Perform without saying words, only gestures.
  • Perform No Quarter by Polly Stenham.
  • Perform scenes about the consequences of drugs.
  • Perform scenes about the cruelty of sexual violence.
  • Perform scenes about the need for religion for social order.
  • Perform scenes about the Russian revolution.

Drama Thesis Topics

As students of drama, you may likewise need drama thesis topics for your project or paperwork. You can even need them for your essays. You can consider these awesome topics to create one of the most relevant pieces in the theory of drama. You can choose any of these custom and available topics:

  • Interrogate the growth of Latin American dramatic culture in the UK.
  • Discuss the growth of Hollywood in the world.
  • Discuss the growth and evolution of Bollywood in the world.
  • Examine the role of pornography in the industry.
  • Discuss the role of Canadian musical performances in the international space.
  • Examine how the standards in the industry have changed if any.
  • Elucidate how drama is used to advance feminist ideas.
  • Comment on science fiction and its falsity to reality.
  • Briefly examine any Hollywood thriller of your choice.
  • Examine the issues of sexual exploitation in Hollywood.
  • How was drama used as propaganda in the Soviet Union?
  • Examine how China used drama during the cultural revolution.
  • Examine the role of subtitles in helping non-language speakers relate to drama from any culture.
  • Examine how modern drama brings back terror and trauma through collective pain.
  • How has black lives matter influenced drama?
  • Comment on any two theatre or circus groups of your choice and why they haven’t stopped.

Running Late On Your Drama Writing?

With all these custom topics online, you can carefully carry out precise research for your drama paperwork or essay. You can also use these to create the best submission ever in your school.

However, you may be too busy to write your drama paperwork or essay. We are a reliable writing company with experts that offer all kinds of research paper help . We have reliable professors and teachers amongst our writers, and they are willing to offer their creativity every time.

With a click of your fingers, you can hire the best writing service available online at this moment for your work. Our customer support team is available 24/7 to help you through any challenge. With us, you can get a comprehensive essay at a cheap price for a fast turnaround time to secure your grades.

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Drama Dissertation Topic Ideas – Based on the Latest Industry Trends

Published by Ellie Cross at December 29th, 2022 , Revised On August 11, 2023

Drama is one of the most extraordinary forms of communication. Besides being aesthetically pleasing, drama plays are also socially and ethically significant. Technological innovation and drama considerations also affect the drama business. Researchers will be able to gain a deeper understanding of the fundamental intuition involved in drama production through comprehensive research on theatre dissertation topics.

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Gain a deeper understanding of the global theatre sector using readily available resources.

The Top Drama Dissertation Topics & Ideas For You

  • The development of Latin American plays in the UK: A challenge that has gone unmet.
  • The popularity of true wrongdoing portrayals and false wrongdoing fiction in French media in the interwar period. Discuss
  • Inquiry on the transition from dispersed arrangements to film
  • Youth perspectives in 21st-century Latin American cinema
  • Digital media, television, and embodied difference in the identity debate
  • Current Francophone Contact Zones: Language and Identity Politics
  • A Shifting Viewpoint: Analysing the New Greek Cinema
  • A Study of World Cinema on the Festival Circuit, Different Landscapes
  • The West as a Trope in the New Romanian Cinema, The Promised Land
  • An analysis of reproducing theatre in authentic outdoor situations
  • From the music corridor to the variety nights: popular performing venue in the past
  • Theater’s estimate in an era of supported gravity: a personal investigation
  • With the flag in hand and roots in the ground: American Musical Theater’s depiction of rural gender identity
  • African Dance and Its Essence: How Conventional Is It Today?
  • The theatre’s exploration of societal concerns and subjects
  • The role of spectacle in contemporary theatre
  • How the musical theatre of today has changed: Hammerstein and Rodgers
  • Tracing the evolution of theatre and Dionysus
  • Highlighting the evolution of spectacle across time?
  • Proving the connection between tragedy and ancient mythology
  • A look at how Shakespeare has improved drama
  • A critique of stage and screen performance in plays: examining the complex components
  • Performance abilities of stage actors: A review
  • Investigate in depth how expressiveness affects stage acting in a significant way
  • Establishing the connection between theatre and music
  • How has Greek tragedy altered the nature of theatre? A critique
  • A thorough examination of role-playing in group therapy
  • Vocabulary used in dramas based on the Holocaust
  • A review of radio drama as a source of entertainment and popular culture before the invention of television
  • An examination of creativity and appearance in a historical and contemporary play
  • Dramatic learning in the fundamentals: Examining logical, emotional, and expressive abilities
  • A discussion on drama and how it fosters imagination
  • Dramatic direction skill: Bringing stories to life
  • Blaxploitation and African American expression: The negative connotations attached to Elizabethan actors
  • Examining drama and the self-confidence mentality
  • Dramatic imagination: A critical examination
  • From music corridor to variety evenings: A well-known theatre act centre has changed over the years
  • Dramatic changes in television and digital media. An extensive analysis
  • A theatrical examination of trauma and contemporary terror
  • An examination of several stylistic approaches to dynamic translation
  • An assessment of the key differences between a translation and a translation of the dialect
  • An analysis of the drama’s many characters’ roles
  • An examination of the role actor plays in creating new drama genres
  • An exploration of the neo-burlesque notion about negotiating exoticism
  • Examine software’s use to create interface metaphors and interactive dramaturgy in depth
  • An in-depth analysis of Latin American theatre’s development in the UK
  • Is computer-generated action in plays the way of the future of theatre? An analysis
  • A discussion of the benefits of drama for those with learning difficulties
  • How can theatre support the growth of imagination? An evaluation
  • Does contemporary theatre follow advancements in the current social movement trends?
  • Has casting that is inclusive of all races and genders become a worthwhile discussion point in drama? An extensive analysis
  • An examination of how theatre performance has changed in a media-driven era
  • Examining the training programs for performers hoping to go from theatre to cinema
  • A study of overcoming the disconnect between the actor and the character
  • The use of playback theatre to analyse teenagers’ individual and dominant discourses
  • An investigation on how to improve performers’ ability to convey purpose and emotion
  • Does modern drama still have the ability to surprise viewers, or has it lost that ability due to present issues? A thorough examination
  • An analysis of street theatre and how it affects theatre for people
  • Is drama on the internet becoming more popular? Comprehensive research
  • In a “dance-based” physical drama performance, intended and perceived emotions were compared
  • An overview of how the drama’s make-believe universe was created
  • A descriptive study on the advancement of theatrical methods
  • An investigation on improvisation and artistic innovation in plays and theatre
  • Study the relationship between homosexuality and the drama industry
  • An analysis of the influence of theatre on adolescent culture

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Drama Paper Topics

Drama can be defined as a play for television, radio, or theater. While the mediums of television and radio are more modern and contemporary in nature, theater has been present in the human experience for some time. Originating in ancient Athens, drama developed during the 6th Century BC as facilitated through performances that were conducted to honor the god Dionysus (Drama, 2015). Definitions that are more formal have been articulated as “a visual display of a composition or prose through a live performance of dialogue or narration” (Drama, 2015). Though its original roots were religious in nature, theater has evolved into a variety of representations. While it is not uncommon for drama to engage in social commentary, drama can also be for pure entertainment purposes. Though not necessary to be considered drama, there is also a cross section of the genre that includes music as a mechanism to set moods, increase meaning, deliver dialogue, or to tell the entire story. Drama can be minimal and improvisational or it can be full of spectacle and quite complex. As a subset of the humanities, drama is an important topical pursuit for understanding the human experience as a whole or at a given point in history.

The professional staff at has the necessary skills, experience, and background to tackle any drama paper topic. Helping students select suitable frames of inquiry for their drama projects from singular or interdisciplinary perspectives is well within our staff’s expertise. Whether or not your project is a short discussion post or a completed Doctoral thesis on a drama subject, has a proven track record of satisfied and returning clients. For your drama paper topic needs ,’s staff members can be reached by email for questions regarding scopes of inquiry or for placing an order from our secure server.

Interesting Drama Paper Topics

Drama is multifaceted in that it can be used to tell stories, express artistic ideas, influence people, champion causes, express religiosity, entertain, advertise, and educate, among other things. As a result, there are a multitude of perspectives in which one can employ in selecting a drama paper topic and completing an academic project on the subject. Drama studies can include actual constructs for increasing ones acting skills or they can equally be employed in educational explorations for classroom use. In addition, drama can be tied into virtually any period of human history since its development during the 6th century. While drama majors may have to stick more with traditional explorations of the subject, those outside the major can find ways to incorporate drama into their field of study. A military historian, for example, could examine dramatic representations of human warfare as expressed through plays Julius Caesar and South Pacific. Similarly, a geography major may choose to explore the geographic characteristics of a region and apply this information to the development and expression of drama among those people.

Below is a list of some topics that would fall within the spectrum of drama paper topics. This list can be utilized as a literal selection tool for a research paper topic or it can be used to generate ideas related to a student’s original concepts. In either scenario, is ready to help with all phases of project completion from topic selection to editing as well as anything in between. The interdisciplinary nature of drama is such that it would not be an understatement to say that there is more than likely some area of inquiry that can satisfy even the most discriminate student.

  • The exploration of social issues in drama
  • The role of spectacle in contemporary theater
  • Revolutionizing contemporary musical theater: Rodgers and Hammerstein
  • Dionysus and the origins of theater
  • A brief history of drama
  • Drama and the Harlem renaissance
  • Classical mythology and tragedy
  • Shakespeare and his contribution to drama
  • Adaptations of theater to cinema
  • Drama on the stage and screen
  • Television dram and depictions of family values
  • Performance skills
  • Acting and expression
  • Music and theater
  • Shakespeare’s histories
  • To Kill a Mockingbird: Race and dramatics
  • South Pacific: Depictions of war in theater
  • Choreography and contemporary theater
  • Tennessee Williams and modern theater
  • Types of stages and drama productions
  • A history of Broadway
  • Chinese Drama
  • Greek Tragedy
  • The Interrogation of Nathan Hale: Minimalism and the forging of a nation
  • Role play in group therapy
  • European drama
  • Three Theban plays: Depictions of civil disobedience
  • The Diary of Anne Frank: Expressions of the Holocaust in art
  • Radio drama: Pre-television popular culture entertainment
  • Improvisation and expression
  • The Wizard of Oz: Contemporary influences
  • Contemporary theater influence in Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange  
  • Operetta and emotion: An analysis of Sweeney Todd
  • Multiple intelligence: Howard Gardner and drama
  • Drama in elementary education: Developing thinking, feeling and moving skills
  • Drama and the development of imagination
  • The art of directing: Bringing stories to life
  • Homosexuality and theater
  • African American expression and Blacksploitation: The Wiz.
  • Social stigma and Elizabethan actors
  • Drama and the psychology of self-confidence
  • Creative dramatics
  • Set design and modern theater
  • Drama and team building
  • Drama and the facilitation of leadership

Click for more great research paper topics listed by discipline .

Drama. (2015). Questia: Trusted Online Research. Retrieved from

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  • Modern Drama

About this Journal

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Modern Drama was founded in 1958 and is the most prominent journal in English to focus on dramatic literature. The terms, "modern" and "drama," are the subject of continuing and fruitful debate, but the journal has been distinguished by the excellence of its close readings of both canonical and lesser known dramatic texts through a range of methodological perspectives. The journal features refereed articles that enhance our understanding of plays in both formal and historical terms, largely treating literature of the past two centuries from diverse geo-political contexts, as well as an extensive book review section. Published quarterly.

University of Toronto Press

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Available issues, table of contents, volume 66, 2023.

  • Volume 66, Number 3, September 2023
  • Volume 66, Number 2, June 2023
  • Volume 66, Number 1, March 2023

Volume 65, 2022

  • Volume 65, Number 4, December 2022
  • Volume 65, Number 3, September 2022
  • Volume 65, Number 2, June 2022
  • Volume 65, Number 1, Spring 2022

Volume 64, 2021

  • Volume 64, Number 4, Winter 2021
  • Volume 64, Number 3, Fall 2021
  • Volume 64, Number 2, Summer 2021
  • Volume 64, Number 1, Spring 2021

Volume 63, 2020

  • Volume 63, Number 4, Winter 2020
  • Volume 63, Number 3, Fall 2020
  • Volume 63, Number 2, Summer 2020
  • Volume 63, Number 1, Spring 2020

Volume 62, 2019

  • Volume 62, Number 4, Winter 2019
  • Volume 62, Number 3, Fall 2019
  • Volume 62, Number 2, Summer 2019
  • Volume 62, Number 1, Spring 2019

Volume 61, 2018

  • Volume 61, Number 4, Winter 2018
  • Volume 61, Number 3, Fall 2018
  • Volume 61, Number 2, Summer 2018
  • Volume 61, Number 1, Spring 2018

Volume 60, 2017

  • Volume 60, Number 4, Winter 2017
  • Volume 60, Number 3, Fall 2017
  • Volume 60, Number 2, Summer 2017
  • Volume 60, Number 1, Spring 2017

Volume 59, 2016

  • Volume 59, Number 4, Winter 2016
  • Volume 59, Number 3, Fall 2016
  • Volume 59, Number 2, Summer 2016
  • Volume 59, Number 1, Spring 2016

Volume 58. 2015

  • Volume 58, Number 4, Winter 2015
  • Volume 58, Number 3, Fall 2015
  • Volume 58, Number 2, Summer 2015
  • Volume 58, Number 1, Spring 2015

Volume 57, 2014

  • Volume 57, Number 4, Winter 2014
  • Volume 57, Number 3, Fall 2014
  • Volume 57, Number 2, Summer 2014
  • Volume 57, Number 1, Spring 2014

Volume 56, 2013

  • Volume 56, Number 4, Winter 2013
  • Volume 56, Number 3, Fall 2013
  • Volume 56, Number 2, Summer 2013
  • Volume 56, Number 1, Spring 2013

Volume 55, 2012

  • Volume 55, Number 4, Winter 2012
  • Volume 55, Number 3, Fall 2012
  • Volume 55, Number 2, Summer 2012
  • Volume 55, Number 1, Spring 2012

Volume 54, 2011

  • Volume 54, Number 4, Winter 2011
  • Volume 54, Number 3, Fall 2011
  • Volume 54, Number 2, Summer 2011
  • Volume 54, Number 1, Spring 2011

Volume 53, 2010

  • Volume 53, Number 4, Winter 2010
  • Volume 53, Number 3, Fall 2010
  • Volume 53, Number 2, Summer 2010
  • Volume 53, Number 1, Spring 2010

Volume 52, 2009

  • Volume 52, Number 4, Winter 2009
  • Volume 52, Number 3, Fall 2009
  • Volume 52, Number 2, Summer 2009
  • Volume 52, Number 1, Spring 2009

Volume 51, 2008

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Volume 47, 2004

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Volume 46, 2003

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Volume 45, 2002

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Volume 44, 2001

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Volume 43, 2000

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Volume 42, 1999

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Volume 41, 1998

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Volume 40, 1997

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Volume 39, 1996

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Volume 38, 1995

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Volume 37, 1994

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Volume 36, 1993

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Volume 35, 1992

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Volume 34, 1991

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Volume 33, 1990

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Volume 32, 1989

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Volume 31, 1988

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Volume 30, 1987

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Volume 29, 1986

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Volume 28, 1985

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Volume 27, 1984

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Volume 26, 1983

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Volume 25, 1982

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Volume 24, 1981

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Volume 23, 1980

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Volume 21, 1978

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Volume 20, 1977

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Volume 19, 1976

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Volume 18, 1975

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Volume 17, 1974

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Volume 16, 1973

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Volume 15, 1972

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Volume 14, 1971

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Volume 13, 1970

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Volume 12, 1969

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Volume 11, 1968

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Volume 10, 1967

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Volume 9, 1966

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Volume 8, 1965

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Volume 7, 1964

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Volume 6, 1963

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Volume 5, 1962

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Volume 4, 1961

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Volume 3, 1960

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Volume 2, 1959

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Volume 1, 1958

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Additional Information

Additional materials.

external link

  • Indexing/Abstracting

Additional Issue Materials

external link

  • Editorial Board -- Volume 63, Number 2, Summer 2020
  • Editorial Board -- Volume 63, Number 1, Spring 2020
  • Editorial Board -- Volume 62, Number 4, Winter 2019
  • Editorial Board -- Volume 62, Number 3, Fall 2019
  • Editorial Board -- Volume 62, Number 2, Summer 2019
  • Editorial Board -- Volume 62, Number 1, Spring 2019
  • Editorial Board -- Volume 61, Number 4, Winter 2018
  • Editorial Board -- Volume 61, Number 3, Fall 2018
  • Editorial Board -- Volume 61, Number 2, Summer 2018
  • Editorial Board -- Volume 61, Number 1, Spring 2018
  • Editorial Board -- Volume 60, Number 4, Winter 2017
  • Editorial Board -- Volume 60, Number 3, Fall 2017
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  • Editorial Board -- Volume 59, Number 4, Winter 2016
  • Editorial Board -- Volume 59, Number 3, Fall 2016
  • Editorial Board -- Volume 59, Number 2, Summer 2016
  • Editorial Board -- Volume 59, Number 1, Spring 2016
  • Editorial Board -- Volume 58, Number 4, Winter 2015
  • Editorial Board -- Volume 58, Number 3, Fall 2015
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  • Editorial Board -- Volume 58, Number 1, Spring 2015
  • Editorial Board -- Volume 57, Number 4, Winter 2014
  • Editorial Board -- Volume 57, Number 3, Fall 2014
  • Editorial Board -- Volume 57, Number 2, Summer 2014
  • Editorial Board -- Volume 57, Number 1, Spring 2014
  • Editorial Board -- Volume 56, Number 4, Winter 2013
  • Editorial Board -- Volume 56, Number 3, Fall 2013
  • Editorial Board -- Volume 56, Number 2, Summer 2013
  • Editorial Board -- Volume 56, Number 1, Spring 2013
  • Editorial Board -- Volume 55, Number 4, Winter 2012
  • Editorial Board -- Volume 55, Number 3, Fall 2012
  • Editorial Board -- Volume 55, Number 2, Summer 2012
  • Editorial Board -- Volume 55, Number 1, Spring 2012
  • Editorial Board -- Volume 54, Number 4, Winter 2011
  • Editorial Board -- Volume 54, Number 3, Fall 2011
  • Editorial Board -- Volume 54, Number 2, Summer 2011
  • Editorial Board -- Volume 54, Number 1, Spring 2011
  • Editorial Board -- Volume 53, Number 4, Winter 2010
  • Editorial Board -- Volume 53, Number 3, Fall 2010
  • Editorial Board -- Volume 53, Number 2, Summer 2010
  • Editorial Board -- Volume 53, Number 1, Spring 2010
  • Editorial Board -- Volume 52, Number 4, Winter 2009
  • Editorial Board -- Volume 52, Number 3, Fall 2009
  • Editorial Board -- Volume 52, Number 2, Summer 2009
  • Editorial Board -- Volume 52, Number 1, Spring 2009
  • Editorial Board -- Volume 51, Number 4, Winter 2008
  • Editorial Board -- Volume 51, Number 3, Fall 2008
  • Editorial Board -- Volume 51, Number 2, Summer 2008
  • Editorial Board -- Volume 51, Number 1, Spring 2008
  • Editorial Board -- Volume 50, Number 4, Winter 2007
  • Editorial Board -- Volume 50, Number 3, Fall 2007
  • Editorial Board -- Volume 50, Number 2, Summer 2007
  • Editorial Board -- Volume 50, Number 1, Spring 2007
  • Editorial Board -- Volume 49, Number 4, Winter 2006
  • Editorial Board -- Volume 49, Number 3, Fall 2006
  • Editorial Board -- Volume 49, Number 2, Summer 2006
  • Editorial Board -- Volume 49, Number 1, Spring 2006
  • Editorial Board -- Volume 48, Number 4, Winter 2005
  • Editorial Board -- Volume 48, Number 3, Fall 2005
  • Editorial Board -- Volume 48, Number 2, Summer 2005
  • Editorial Board -- Volume 48, Number 1, Spring 2005

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Cover image of Theatre Topics

Theatre Topics

John Fletcher, Louisiana State University and Susanne Shawyer, Elon University

Journal Details

To view the most recent  Theatre Topics  Author Guidelines, please visit:

The Hopkins Press Journals Ethics and Malpractice Statement can be found at the ethics-and-malpractice  page.

Peer Review Policy

Theatre Topics  is a peer-reviewed journal published by the  Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) .  Topics  is committed to publishing original scholarship written in accessible, well-defined language addressing a wide range of subjects, with an emphasis on articles that reflect the intersection of theory and practice. The journal is published three times a year (March, July, and November).  Topics ’ readership includes theatre educators, practitioners, and scholars. Subjects of interest include theatre practice (acting, design, directing, dramaturgy, playwriting, etc.), theatre pedagogy, advocacy, and applied theatre.

Theatre Topics  accepts submissions in the following three formats:

Peer-reviewed article  A double-spaced MS Word file 4,000–6,000 words in length. This is a double blind peer-review process. Editors read all submissions. Should they deem a submission potentially worthy of publication, they send the essay to two external reviewers. Based on the recommendations, the editors will either reject the essay, invite the author to revise and resubmit, or accept contingent upon successful revision (minor or major as indicated). Authors should allow up to 2-5 months from submission to final response. If accepted, the issue's editor will work with the author on any needed revision. The completed essay will then be sent for copy edits and finally for proofs. 

Note from the Field  are brief works of fewer than 4,000 words. These projects should articulate relevant and meaningful perspectives on subjects of current interest in theatre, the performing arts, and / or pedagogical activity. The editors value work that invites readers to consider making or teaching theatre in the present moment in addition to strategies for assessing a specific theatre practice or pedagogy. Notes can be creative in nature and focus on direct, personal experiences. The editorial staff is particularly interested in Notes that expand beyond the personal essay to include interviews, dialogic formats, and manifestos. We also consider discussions of classroom exercises, resource lists, syllabi, and other hands-on tools or guides to practice and pedagogy. Unlike peer-reviewed articles, the author need not include a detailed theoretical frame; however, Notes must have a clear argument that is supported by evidence. Notes will not be sent through the double-blind peer-review process but will be evaluated by the editorial staff. The editors will contact the author with the decision of rejection, an invitation to revise and resubmit, or an acceptance (contingent upon successful revision, minor or major as outlined). Authors should allow up to 2-5 months from submission to final response. If accepted, the issue's editor will work with the author on any needed revision. The completed Note will then be sent for copy edits and finally for proofs. 

Book Reviews  The journal publishes reviews of works relevant to theatre pedagogy and praxis. Interested reviewers for  Topics  should send a resume and a letter indicating areas of expertise to the Book Review Editor, Megan Sanborn Jones, at  [email protected] . Commissioned authors will be provided more detailed guidelines.  

The journal acknowledges receipt of submissions by e-mail within 1–2 weeks. Simultaneous submissions are not accepted.

To view the most recent  Theatre Topics  Call for Papers, please visit:

To view the most recent  Theatre Topics  Editorial Board list, please visit:

Inquiries concerning book reviews should be addressed to the Book Review Editor:  

Jessica Del Vecchio James Madison University School of Theatre and Dance Forbes Center for the Performing Arts MSC 5601 147 Warsaw Avenue Harrisonburg, VA 22807

Email:  [email protected]

The length of book reviews must be limited to: 1,000 words for a review of one book; 1,500 words for two books; and a maximum of 2,000 words for three books.

Please send book review copies to the contact above. Review copies received by the Johns Hopkins University Press office will be discarded.

Abstracting & Indexing Databases

  • Dietrich's Index Philosophicus
  • IBZ - Internationale Bibliographie der Geistes- und Sozialwissenschaftlichen Zeitschriftenliteratur
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  • Academic Search Elite, 3/1/2005-
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  • Biography Index: Past and Present (H.W. Wilson), vol.12, no.2, 2002-vol.19, no.2, 2009
  • Book Review Digest Plus (H.W. Wilson), Jul.1997-
  • Current Abstracts, 3/1/2005-
  • Education Abstracts (H.W. Wilson), 9/1/1997-
  • Education Index (Online), 1997/07-
  • Education Research Complete, 3/1/2004-
  • Education Research Index, Mar.2005-
  • Education Source, 9/1/1997-
  • Humanities International Complete, 3/1/2005-
  • Humanities International Index, 3/1/2005-
  • Humanities Source, 3/1/2005-
  • Humanities Source Ultimate, 3/1/2005-
  • International Bibliography of Theatre & Dance with Full Text, 1/1/1992-
  • MLA International Bibliography (Modern Language Association)
  • OmniFile Full Text Mega (H.W. Wilson), 9/1/1997-
  • Poetry & Short Story Reference Center, 3/1/2004-
  • TOC Premier (Table of Contents), 3/1/2005-
  • ArticleFirst, vol.6, no.1, 1996-vol.21, no.2, 2011
  • Electronic Collections Online, vol.6, no.1, 1996-vol.21, no.2, 2011
  • Art, Design & Architecture Collection, 07/01/2017-
  • Arts & Humanities Database, 07/01/2017-
  • Arts Premium Collection, 3/1/1996-
  • Education Collection
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  • Music & Performing Arts Collection, 07/01/2017-
  • Performing Arts Periodicals Database, 03/01/1996-
  • Periodicals Index Online
  • Professional ProQuest Central, 03/01/2003-03/01/2009
  • ProQuest 5000, 03/01/2003-03/01/2009
  • ProQuest 5000 International, 03/01/2003-03/01/2009
  • ProQuest Central, 07/01/2017-
  • Research Library, 03/01/2003-03/01/2009
  • Social Science Premium Collection, 07/01/2017-
  • The Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature (ABELL)

Source: Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory.

Published three times a year

Readers include: Scholars, educators, and students of performing arts, dramaturgy, and pedagogy; actors; directors; playwrights; designers; drama researchers; library patrons; conservatories; members of theatre associations; theatre enthusiasts; bookstores; and all members of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education

Print circulation: 567

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Bridge Essay: Modern Drama

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2019, A Companion to World Literature

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Modern Drama special issue: Teaching Modern Drama

Modern Drama Special Issue: Teaching Modern Drama

Call for Papers

Abstracts due 15 June 2021

Guest editor: Jennifer Buckley ( [email protected] )

Since its founding in 1958, Modern Drama has offered innovative scholarship on dramatic literature to higher education professionals in theatre, literature, language, and adjacent disciplines. While educators have written the great majority of the journal’s articles and book reviews – many of which are clearly relevant to teaching drama in colleges and universities – a minority of contributions have focused intensively on pedagogy. Those that do, such as Harry Elam, Jr.’s “Teaching Joe Turner’s Come and Gone ” (50.4, Winter 2007), demonstrate the interpretive value of pedagogical approaches – and vice versa. Scholars learn how drama works not only through performance, reading, researching, and writing, but also through teaching in classrooms and outside them.

For this special issue, “Teaching Modern Drama,” guest editor Jennifer Buckley seeks contributions that examine the most salient elements and aspects of pedagogy as it has been, is now, and could or should be practiced in various institutions and settings. Why and how do we and our students work with modern plays and playwrights? What effects or outcomes do we seek and/or experience?

Essays might consider how educators’ and students’ engagements with a specific play or plays address these topics:

  • histories and theories of drama, including particular forms and genres
  • modern dramatic canon formation and re-formation
  • methods of reading, writing, performance, and research
  • world, continental, national, regional, and diasporic histories
  • personal and group identity formation

Please note that Modern Drama does not normally publish articles exceeding 9000 words. All essays will undergo anonymous peer review.

Browse Course Material

Course info.

  • Prof. Diana Henderson


As taught in.

  • Comparative Literature

Learning Resource Types

Introduction to drama, assignments.

This course requires submission of analytic response papers (2-3 pages each) on four of the plays read or attended; a theatrical scene, with dialogue (3-5 pages); and a major paper ( PDF ). There is also a final exam. In addition, during the latter half of the course, students are required to lead the discussion of one play, and to perform in a scene from it as part of that process. They must also give a brief (5-minute) presentation based on the research paper, sharing their most interesting insights with the class.

Student Questions

Student questions regarding Death and the King’s Horseman were collected anonymously during the term and are summarized in the following document.

Student-generated Questions and Theses - ( PDF )

MIT Open Learning

Essay Freelance Writers 

Top 235 Theatre Research Paper Topics for Students

Mar 17, 2022 | 0 comments

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Mar 17, 2022 | Topics | 0 comments

The theater is always captivating because of the different genres and topics of study. The theater has roots that date back centuries and is a part of the entertainment scene worldwide. For people who love theater, writing about it for research papers must be enjoyable because they get to write more deeply on their favorite subject matter–theater. Theatre Research paper topics can center around anything imaginable but typically cover those with creative art in executing plays for radio, TTV or auditorium audiences. It could explore any aspect of life, from Shakespearean dramas detailing warring European monarchies to experimental modernist drama exploring sexuality issues between men and women. Teachers expect students to pick a good area for their theatre paper, but they can also provide them with ideas when they make that decision themselves. Writing research papers helps many different types of people in ways like improving literacy skills and helping you find new information. Some think research papers are too demanding because they require extensive time and detail. However, the advantages to writing a paper outweigh the negatives by far with things such as helping learners get better grades, expanding their knowledge base past what’s taught in school, impressing teachers/professors grading assignments, and knowing how long it is going to take them for future projects. You can approach theatre research paper topics from many different angles. One could write a history of theatre, tracing its origins to the Greeks and naming the various periods since then. In this context, you might study the works of playwrights such as William Shakespeare or Sam Shepard. Another approach that you could use for theatre research paper topics would be a study of the meaning or message being delivered by a particular play or scene. This topic would provide an opportunity to examine a given play’s theme and see its relevance in modern society if any. A third possible choice is a study on the influence of culture on theatre. Overall, an individual’s best interest would be covered when completing this assignment. Topics are the foundation for writing good, engaging theatre research papers. However, getting appropriate subject ideas can be difficult and often obscure to those trying to write a paper. Fortunately, you can easily get creative with your topic! Here are some theatre Research Paper Topics that will make you stand out from the rest:

Theatre Research Paper Examples

  • Artaud’s theatre influence
  • Costumes use by actors and actresses to exemplify history on the theatre stage.
  • Theater reserved for the irrational
  • O’Neill Eugene and Players from Provincetown
  • David Belasco, Producer of Theatre
  • Theatre in an era where home entertainment dominates
  • My preliminary Impression of Acting
  • Describe and explain science occasions in European theatre presentations
  • Influence of religion on theatre development
  • Theatre in a Shakespeare era
  • Piscator Erwin and scenery projection
  • The Music Function in Theatre
  • The theatre that lives
  • The 3D entry and how it has impacted the experience of going to theatre halls
  • Theatre is used as a tool to impact politics.
  • The differences and similarities between Chinese and American operas
  • The propagandist methods used to spread dictatorship
  • Where war plays a role in driving nationalism
  • The impact of the second world war on arts social development
  • When theatre grows into a blasphemous entity
  • Technology infusion in theatre
  • The role children play in European performances on the theatre stage
  • Theatre role as a lesson in philosophy
  • Community theatre commercialization
  • The elements that are the most influential in the Elizabethan theatre and culture era
  • European society’s gender bias
  • Puppetry influence on cartoons these days
  • Who was the most guilty for blame in the demise of Smith Eva?
  • Foreman Richard and the hysterical theatre/Ontological theatre
  • Wealth and morality in renowned European plays
  • Theatre’s position as the source of Europe’s liberalism
  • Theatre’s role as an emblem of nationalism. Theatre’s place in the history of European
  • Theatre’s role as a tool in social commentary
  • The melodramatic assembly in the shape of racism
  • Svoboda Josef, the scenographer master

Interesting Theatre Research Paper Ideas

  • How Has Theatre Changed Since the Turn of the Century?
  • What Was the First Play to Receive a Pulitzer Prize?
  • Who Is Your Favorite Stage Actor, and Why?
  • What Is the History of Experimental Theatre in New York City?
  • What Is the History of Theatre in Medieval Times?
  • What Are Some Common Themes of Shakespearean Plays?
  • What Are Some Common Themes of Greek Plays?
  • How Have dramatic Techniques Changed Throughout Time?
  • Who Are Some Famous Directors Today, and How Do They Compare to Those of the Past?
  • Greek Theatre in the 5th Century BC
  • The Roman Theatre and its Influence on Modern Theatre
  • Important women and Theatre in 17th and 18th Century England
  • The Shakespearean Globe Theatre
  • Commedia del’Arte
  • The Development of Realism in Nineteenth-Century European Drama
  • Brechtian Theory and Epic Theatre
  • The Development of Realism in American Drama from O’Neill to Williams
  • Antonin Artaud: The Development of the ‘Theatre of Cruelty
  • Stanislavski’s Method: A Case Study of a Modern Actor Training System
  • Which Is More Important: Acting or Directing? Why?

Easy Theatre Topics for Students

  • What is the relationship between representation and reality in theatre?
  • In what ways are theatrical conventions used to construct and communicate meaning?
  • What is the role of the spectator in theatre?
  • What does it mean to say that theatre is a social process?
  • In what ways is the study of theatre important to understanding human experience?
  • How does theatre contribute to our understanding of history, culture, and society?
  • What is the relationship between live stage performances and technology?
  • Why study Theatre Studies?
  • How will theatre change as a result of the pandemic?
  •  What are some topics that would make great theatre essays?
  •  Why do most people prefer watching movies to watching plays in theatres?
  •  How can we encourage more people to watch plays rather than films?
  •  Do you prefer watching films or plays at the theatre, and why?
  •  Why do people like watching plays?
  •  What is the history of the theatre?
  •  How to write a play review?
  •  How do movies differ from theatres?
  •  What are the different roles in a theatre play?
  •  Why was the Greek Theatre built in the way it was?
  •  What is the purpose of a Theatre Review?
  •  Should Theatre be made more accessible for blind people?
  •  How does music affect theatre performance?
  •  What is theatre?
  •  What are the characteristics of Shakespeare’s plays?
  •  A topic on the dramatic play, “Othello.”
  •  In the play Hamlet, the character Polonius and his “famous” advice to Laertes.
  •  Movie adaptations of novels: How do they compare with the printed word?
  •  How does a play or novel you have studied change your understanding or appreciation of history?
  •  The life and works of famous playwrights, for example, Aristotle, Sophocles, William Shakespeare, Henrik Ibsen, Anton Chekhov, and Tennessee Williams.
  •  The lives of actors and actresses in ancient Greece, the Elizabethan era, or modern times
  •  What is tragic drama? Tragic heroes from Greek drama and modern plays
  •  The history of Greek theatre
  •  The changing role of women in theatre since the Elizabethan period
  •  The Importance of Theatre
  •  The Best Form of Entertainment
  •  A Brief History of Drama
  •  The Role of Women in the Theatre
  •  How to Write a Play
  •  The Role of Music in the Theatre
  •  The Evolution of the Art of Acting
  •  The Evolution of Theatre Design and Architecture
  •  How to Become an Actor or Actress
  •  Famous Actors and Actresses
  • How has the concept of the theatre changed over time?
  • How does theatre influence society?
  • What is the role of theatre in modern society?
  • What is the purpose of theatre?
  • What are the historical origins of theatre?
  • Who was the first playwright in history?
  • What is the impact of theatre on education?
  • Explain how drama can help develop children’s social skills and self-esteem.
  • What are some factors that contribute to the successful production of a play?
  • How can I choose a good play to perform with my students?
  • What are some strategies for teaching students about acting and stagecraft?

A-List Of Intriguing  Theatre thesis topics and Prompts

This list of Theatre thesis topics has been divided into Master’s thesis topics and Ph.D. thesis topics. The current thesis topics below are available for theatre studies students.

  • “The Clash Between Classical and Contemporary Music Theater: A Study in British Musicals from 1970 to 1980.”
  • “The Effects of Music on Audience Perception of Emotion in Musical Theater.”
  • “The Importance of the Musical Director in Modern Musical Theater Productions.”
  • “The Evolution of Race Relations in Tennessee Williams’s Glass Menagerie and A Streetcar Named Desire.”
  • “Sam Shepard’s Use of Mythology in Buried Child and True West.”
  • “An Analysis of the Role of Women in William Shakespeare’s Comedies.”
  • The Future of Theatre Criticism: Implications of Social Media on the Profession.
  • The Relevance of Shakespeare in Contemporary Theatre.
  • The Performance and Impact of Greek Theatre Today.
  • The Influence of the Cultural Revolution on Modern Chinese Theatre.
  • The Influence of Milton’s Poetry on Modern Theatre.
  • Using Theatrical Symbols in Political Propaganda.
  • Nationalism, Globalization and Contemporary Theatre in Latin America.
  • Latin American Women’s Role in Contemporary Theatre.
  • I will write a thesis exploring the intersection of drama therapy and disability theatre. Working with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and mental illness is an important part of my life. I became interested in this topic because it combines two things that are so meaningful to me.
  • My thesis concerns performance-making’s role in forming a cultural identity for diverse communities. The topic I am exploring is how theatre can be used as a tool for participatory development. Specifically, I am looking at how performance-making can be used as a tool for community engagement and dialogue and the pedagogical implications of this practice.
  • I want to write my thesis on the relationship between narrative structure and theater design: how we use stories to shape spaces and how spaces inform our stories. This is a question I’ve been thinking about since studying abroad, when I learned that all of the theaters in Italy were built before Shakespeare wrote Romeo and Juliet, despite being designed to accommodate his plays specifically.
  • My thesis falls into Theatre & Performance Studies (TPS) category. It’s about Shakespeare’s use of clowns in his plays, focusing on Falstaff in the Henry IV plays Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

List of possible term paper topics on Theatre

Theatre term paper topics range from Contemporary Theatre to Historical Theatre, Broadway Theatre to Theatre Design. I have listed a few topic suggestions below to help you get started on your theatre term paper. In addition, I have included a list of the most popular theatre research paper topics. The following is a suggested list of topics for your theatre term paper:

  • Brecht and Epic Theatre
  • The Golden Age of Broadway – 1920-1940
  • The Renaissance in England and France
  • The influence of Greek culture on American drama
  • Shakespeare’s Hamlet – a psychological study
  • Your favorite Shakespeare play
  • The styles and themes of Tennessee Williams’ plays
  • Anton Checkhov’s plays – an analysis of female characters
  • Chekhov as a modern dramatist
  • Bertolt Brecht’s use of alienation in Mother Courage and her Children
  •  The importance of theatre in the modern world
  •  Theatre as a lifestyle
  •  Theatre and politics
  •  How to attract more people to attend theatre shows?
  •  Reasons why people watch theatre today
  •  The history of theatre
  •  The place of theatre in the past and present world
  •  The reason why fashion is so important for theatres
  •  Differences between modern and old-school theatres
  •  How do politics influence the work of playwrights?
  • “The Lion King” and Social Responsibility
  • “A Raisin in the Sun”: Walter’s Dream
  • “A Raisin in the Sun”: The American Dream Deferred
  • A Doll’s House: The Decline of the Institution of Marriage
  • A Doll’s House: Nora Helmer Character Analysis
  • Antigone: The Role of Women in Antigone
  • Antigone: Creon or Antigone – Who is the Tragic Hero?
  • Antigone: Creon as a Tragic Figure in “Antigone”
  • Antigone: Power Corrupts, but Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely
  • The Crucible: What Made “The Crucible” Such a Successful Play?
  • The Crucible: John Proctor Character Analysis
  • Death of a Salesman: A Research Paper on Arthur Miller’s American Dream
  • Death of a Salesman: Willy Loman’s Failing American Dream
  • Death of a Salesman: Willy Loman as Tragic Hero in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman

Theatre Research Paper Questions and Essay Prompts

✔ Choose one particular element of theatre and analyze its role in modern performance. For example, you may write about costume design, lighting, stage props, or the screen itself. ✔ Compare and contrast modern theater with the theater of the past – for example, popular theaters in Shakespeare’s time. How has theater changed? Are there any elements that have remained intact? ✔ Analyze a specific actor (or actress). You may compare their work to other actors of their time; also, you can compare their work to actors of today. In either case, provide examples from at least three performances by this actor. ✔ Write an essay on how the audience impacts a given performance. If a performance is well-received by an audience, does it necessarily mean it is good? Conversely, can a poor performance receive rave reviews from an audience? Make sure to support your thesis with examples from specific performances. ✔ Analyze how various theatrical traditions address social issues. For example, you may write about Chinese Peking Opera or Japanese Kabuki Theatre. Alternatively, you may address Theater of the Absurd and analyze its key elements as well as its functions within society as a whole

Interesting Drama Paper Topic Ideas

  • Drama and the facilitation of leadership
  • Types of stages and drama productions
  • Operetta and emotion: An analysis of Sweeney Todd
  • South Pacific: Depictions of war in theater
  • Adaptations of theater to cinema
  • The role of spectacle in contemporary theater
  • History of Broadway
  • A brief history of drama
  • Creative dramatics
  • Set design and modern theater
  • Drama and the development of imagination
  • Music and theater
  • Classical mythology and tragedy
  • To Kill a Mockingbird: Race and dramatics
  • European drama
  • Television drama and depictions of family values
  • Social stigma and Elizabethan actors
  • Radio drama: Pre-television popular culture entertainment
  • Dionysus and the origins of theater
  • Tennessee Williams and modern theater
  • Role play in group therapy
  • Greek Tragedy
  • Drama and the Harlem renaissance
  • Drama and the psychology of self-confidence
  • Acting and expression
  • African American expression and Blacksploitation: The Wiz.
  • Drama on the stage and screen
  • Shakespeare’s histories
  • Revolutionizing contemporary musical theater: Rodgers and Hammerstein
  • The art of directing: Bringing stories to life
  • Chinese Drama
  • The Wizard of Oz: Contemporary influences
  • Drama in elementary education: Developing thinking, feeling and moving skills
  • The exploration of social issues in drama
  • Shakespeare and his contribution to drama
  • The Diary of Anne Frank: Expressions of the Holocaust in art
  • Homosexuality and theater
  • The Interrogation of Nathan Hale: Minimalism and the forging of a nation
  • Contemporary theater influence in Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange
  • Performance skills
  • Choreography and contemporary theatre
  • Three Theban plays: Depictions of civil disobedience
  • Drama and team building
  • Multiple intelligence: Howard Gardner and drama
  • Improvisation and expression

Ideas for good topics for theatre research papers

  • Does a director or an actor define what the play will be like?
  • Drama as a universal language;
  • Does cinema kill theater?
  • The role of music in a certain play;
  • The place of improvisation in contemporary theatre;
  • History and origins of opera and ballet;
  • The roles of ‘personal’ and ‘collective’ in a play.
  • Shakespeare’s contribution to the development of theater;
  • The influence of ancient Greek tragedy on modern-day theater;
  • How does theater develop a viewer’s imagination?

An excellent theatre research paper starts with selecting a captivating and robust subject. It offers a good foundation that, coupled with other research guides, will provide a polished and exciting paper. So as a writer interested in writing about theatre, your choice of topic will define the rest of the document. The catalog of theater research paper topics provided will set you on a course to writing an excellent paper.

Get Help from the Experts with your Theatre Research Paper Topics Paper

We hope you’ve found this article useful. It may seem like there are many theatre research paper topics to choose from, but maybe not as many as before after reading this blog post! If none of these ideas sparks your interest, don’t worry – we have writers who can help with that too. Place an order today and start crafting your perfect essay or dissertation for school or work tomorrow morning.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you write a theatre research paper.

  • Define Your Thesis Statement
  • Do Research
  • Sketch an outline of your essay
  • Write Your Research Paper in a Structured Way: Introduction, body, and conclusion.

What are some drama topics?

  • Drama in elementary education: Developing thinking, feeling, and moving skills

What are some good ideas for a research paper?

Some common research paper topics include climate, birth control, health, abortion, change, technology, global warming, history, gun control, science, social media, AI, and child abuse.

What are the five acceptable research topics?

  • The Impact of U.N. Policies on the Environment
  • Bar Code Implants
  • The Impact of Globalization on Religion
  • Imposed Democracy
  • Marketing and Media Influence on Teens

Joseph Oleksandr

With a passion for education and student empowerment, I create blog content that speaks directly to the needs and interests of students. From study hacks and productivity tips to career exploration and personal development

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Literature Research

  • Literary Analysis
  • Find Books and More
  • Literature and Writing Books
  • Journals, Articles, & Databases
  • Audiovisual Materials
  • Short Stories
  • Plays (Drama)
  • Cite Your Work

Tips on Analyzing Drama

  • Tips and Tools from the UNC Writing Center Discusses important elements to consider when analyzing a play.
  • How to Review a Play Tips on how to do a close objective analysis of a performance and an interpretation and evaluation of the entire ensemble of staging, acting, directing, and so on.

Theater Reviews

  • Curtain Up The Internet Theater Magazine of Reviews, Features, and Annotated Listings.
  • OffOffOnline Your resource for New York City theater Off- and Off-Off-Broadway reviews.

Theater Images

  • Broadway Photographs This site supplies cogent biographical profiles and histories of the most artistically significant and culturally influential theatrical photographers and studios.
  • New York Public Library Digital Collections, Billy Rose Theatre Division One of the largest and most comprehensive archives devoted to the theatrical arts encompassing dramatic performance in all its diversity.

LibriVox Audiobooks

Follow the links below for just a couple of the offerings from LibriVox . Search the site for much, much more!

  • Favourite Scenes From Shakespeare Listen to a collection of 21 scenes from the most popular of Shakespeare's plays! You will also find most of Shakespeare's plays in full on the LibriVox site.
  • The One-Act Play Collection A series of 10 volumes comprising one-act plays in the public domain. Listen to the first volume of this series here.
  • The Three Sisters Listen to a rendition of Anton Chekhov's naturalistic play about the decay of the privileged class in Russia and the search for meaning in the modern world here.

Here you will find resources specifically related to drama and the theater. They are meant to be consulted in addition to the sources found in other pages of this guide.

Drama and Theater Websites

  • Drama Online Features 1200 titles from the pre-eminent theatre lists from Bloomsbury's Methuen Drama and Arden Shakespeare imprints, as well as and Faber and Faber Ltd. Also includes 350 Audio plays from L.A. Theatre Works and 350 modern plays from Nick Hern Books. The platform now also includes video with 21 filmed theatrical performances from Shakespeare's Globe on Screen, 4 early modern drama performances from Stage on Screen, Maxine Peake's Hamlet and a six-hour acting masterclass.
  • Global Performing Arts Database (GloPAD) GloPAD (Global Performing Arts Database) records include authoritative, detailed, multilingual descriptions of digital images, texts, video clips, sound recordings, and complex media objects related to the performing arts around the world, plus information about related pieces, productions, performers, and creators.
  • Internet Broadway Database Directory of Broadway theaters, with current and recent shows and information about the buildings (date built, architect, capacity, former names, address, etc.).
  • Playbill Breaking news stories about casting, new productions, video clips, a "vault" of recent historical information, links to theater merchandise, links to discount tickets.
  • Theatre in Context 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.

Historical Theater Websites

  • Perseus Digital Library A massive resource containing numerous texts from Ancient Greek and Roman drama, as well as more recent Western theatrical traditions.
  • Didaskalia Didaskalia is a peer-reviewed electronic journal dedicated to the study of all aspects of ancient Greek and Roman performance. Didaskalia is committed to open access and the free dissemination of scholarship.
  • Noh Plays English and Japanese translations of 13 Noh plays of the Medieval period, including technical term and glossary information.
  • Open Source Shakespeare Open Source Shakespeare attempts to be the best free Web site containing Shakespeare's complete works. It is intended for scholars, thespians, and Shakespeare lovers of every kind. OSS includes the 1864 Globe Edition of the complete works, which was the definitive single-volume Shakespeare edition for over a half-century.

Drama and Theater Books at the STCC Library

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Choose Your Test

Sat / act prep online guides and tips, 113 great research paper topics.

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General Education


One of the hardest parts of writing a research paper can be just finding a good topic to write about. Fortunately we've done the hard work for you and have compiled a list of 113 interesting research paper topics. They've been organized into ten categories and cover a wide range of subjects so you can easily find the best topic for you.

In addition to the list of good research topics, we've included advice on what makes a good research paper topic and how you can use your topic to start writing a great paper.

What Makes a Good Research Paper Topic?

Not all research paper topics are created equal, and you want to make sure you choose a great topic before you start writing. Below are the three most important factors to consider to make sure you choose the best research paper topics.

#1: It's Something You're Interested In

A paper is always easier to write if you're interested in the topic, and you'll be more motivated to do in-depth research and write a paper that really covers the entire subject. Even if a certain research paper topic is getting a lot of buzz right now or other people seem interested in writing about it, don't feel tempted to make it your topic unless you genuinely have some sort of interest in it as well.

#2: There's Enough Information to Write a Paper

Even if you come up with the absolute best research paper topic and you're so excited to write about it, you won't be able to produce a good paper if there isn't enough research about the topic. This can happen for very specific or specialized topics, as well as topics that are too new to have enough research done on them at the moment. Easy research paper topics will always be topics with enough information to write a full-length paper.

Trying to write a research paper on a topic that doesn't have much research on it is incredibly hard, so before you decide on a topic, do a bit of preliminary searching and make sure you'll have all the information you need to write your paper.

#3: It Fits Your Teacher's Guidelines

Don't get so carried away looking at lists of research paper topics that you forget any requirements or restrictions your teacher may have put on research topic ideas. If you're writing a research paper on a health-related topic, deciding to write about the impact of rap on the music scene probably won't be allowed, but there may be some sort of leeway. For example, if you're really interested in current events but your teacher wants you to write a research paper on a history topic, you may be able to choose a topic that fits both categories, like exploring the relationship between the US and North Korea. No matter what, always get your research paper topic approved by your teacher first before you begin writing.

113 Good Research Paper Topics

Below are 113 good research topics to help you get you started on your paper. We've organized them into ten categories to make it easier to find the type of research paper topics you're looking for.


  • Discuss the main differences in art from the Italian Renaissance and the Northern Renaissance .
  • Analyze the impact a famous artist had on the world.
  • How is sexism portrayed in different types of media (music, film, video games, etc.)? Has the amount/type of sexism changed over the years?
  • How has the music of slaves brought over from Africa shaped modern American music?
  • How has rap music evolved in the past decade?
  • How has the portrayal of minorities in the media changed?


Current Events

  • What have been the impacts of China's one child policy?
  • How have the goals of feminists changed over the decades?
  • How has the Trump presidency changed international relations?
  • Analyze the history of the relationship between the United States and North Korea.
  • What factors contributed to the current decline in the rate of unemployment?
  • What have been the impacts of states which have increased their minimum wage?
  • How do US immigration laws compare to immigration laws of other countries?
  • How have the US's immigration laws changed in the past few years/decades?
  • How has the Black Lives Matter movement affected discussions and view about racism in the US?
  • What impact has the Affordable Care Act had on healthcare in the US?
  • What factors contributed to the UK deciding to leave the EU (Brexit)?
  • What factors contributed to China becoming an economic power?
  • Discuss the history of Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies  (some of which tokenize the S&P 500 Index on the blockchain) .
  • Do students in schools that eliminate grades do better in college and their careers?
  • Do students from wealthier backgrounds score higher on standardized tests?
  • Do students who receive free meals at school get higher grades compared to when they weren't receiving a free meal?
  • Do students who attend charter schools score higher on standardized tests than students in public schools?
  • Do students learn better in same-sex classrooms?
  • How does giving each student access to an iPad or laptop affect their studies?
  • What are the benefits and drawbacks of the Montessori Method ?
  • Do children who attend preschool do better in school later on?
  • What was the impact of the No Child Left Behind act?
  • How does the US education system compare to education systems in other countries?
  • What impact does mandatory physical education classes have on students' health?
  • Which methods are most effective at reducing bullying in schools?
  • Do homeschoolers who attend college do as well as students who attended traditional schools?
  • Does offering tenure increase or decrease quality of teaching?
  • How does college debt affect future life choices of students?
  • Should graduate students be able to form unions?


  • What are different ways to lower gun-related deaths in the US?
  • How and why have divorce rates changed over time?
  • Is affirmative action still necessary in education and/or the workplace?
  • Should physician-assisted suicide be legal?
  • How has stem cell research impacted the medical field?
  • How can human trafficking be reduced in the United States/world?
  • Should people be able to donate organs in exchange for money?
  • Which types of juvenile punishment have proven most effective at preventing future crimes?
  • Has the increase in US airport security made passengers safer?
  • Analyze the immigration policies of certain countries and how they are similar and different from one another.
  • Several states have legalized recreational marijuana. What positive and negative impacts have they experienced as a result?
  • Do tariffs increase the number of domestic jobs?
  • Which prison reforms have proven most effective?
  • Should governments be able to censor certain information on the internet?
  • Which methods/programs have been most effective at reducing teen pregnancy?
  • What are the benefits and drawbacks of the Keto diet?
  • How effective are different exercise regimes for losing weight and maintaining weight loss?
  • How do the healthcare plans of various countries differ from each other?
  • What are the most effective ways to treat depression ?
  • What are the pros and cons of genetically modified foods?
  • Which methods are most effective for improving memory?
  • What can be done to lower healthcare costs in the US?
  • What factors contributed to the current opioid crisis?
  • Analyze the history and impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic .
  • Are low-carbohydrate or low-fat diets more effective for weight loss?
  • How much exercise should the average adult be getting each week?
  • Which methods are most effective to get parents to vaccinate their children?
  • What are the pros and cons of clean needle programs?
  • How does stress affect the body?
  • Discuss the history of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.
  • What were the causes and effects of the Salem Witch Trials?
  • Who was responsible for the Iran-Contra situation?
  • How has New Orleans and the government's response to natural disasters changed since Hurricane Katrina?
  • What events led to the fall of the Roman Empire?
  • What were the impacts of British rule in India ?
  • Was the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki necessary?
  • What were the successes and failures of the women's suffrage movement in the United States?
  • What were the causes of the Civil War?
  • How did Abraham Lincoln's assassination impact the country and reconstruction after the Civil War?
  • Which factors contributed to the colonies winning the American Revolution?
  • What caused Hitler's rise to power?
  • Discuss how a specific invention impacted history.
  • What led to Cleopatra's fall as ruler of Egypt?
  • How has Japan changed and evolved over the centuries?
  • What were the causes of the Rwandan genocide ?


  • Why did Martin Luther decide to split with the Catholic Church?
  • Analyze the history and impact of a well-known cult (Jonestown, Manson family, etc.)
  • How did the sexual abuse scandal impact how people view the Catholic Church?
  • How has the Catholic church's power changed over the past decades/centuries?
  • What are the causes behind the rise in atheism/ agnosticism in the United States?
  • What were the influences in Siddhartha's life resulted in him becoming the Buddha?
  • How has media portrayal of Islam/Muslims changed since September 11th?


  • How has the earth's climate changed in the past few decades?
  • How has the use and elimination of DDT affected bird populations in the US?
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How to Write a Great Research Paper

Even great research paper topics won't give you a great research paper if you don't hone your topic before and during the writing process. Follow these three tips to turn good research paper topics into great papers.

#1: Figure Out Your Thesis Early

Before you start writing a single word of your paper, you first need to know what your thesis will be. Your thesis is a statement that explains what you intend to prove/show in your paper. Every sentence in your research paper will relate back to your thesis, so you don't want to start writing without it!

As some examples, if you're writing a research paper on if students learn better in same-sex classrooms, your thesis might be "Research has shown that elementary-age students in same-sex classrooms score higher on standardized tests and report feeling more comfortable in the classroom."

If you're writing a paper on the causes of the Civil War, your thesis might be "While the dispute between the North and South over slavery is the most well-known cause of the Civil War, other key causes include differences in the economies of the North and South, states' rights, and territorial expansion."

#2: Back Every Statement Up With Research

Remember, this is a research paper you're writing, so you'll need to use lots of research to make your points. Every statement you give must be backed up with research, properly cited the way your teacher requested. You're allowed to include opinions of your own, but they must also be supported by the research you give.

#3: Do Your Research Before You Begin Writing

You don't want to start writing your research paper and then learn that there isn't enough research to back up the points you're making, or, even worse, that the research contradicts the points you're trying to make!

Get most of your research on your good research topics done before you begin writing. Then use the research you've collected to create a rough outline of what your paper will cover and the key points you're going to make. This will help keep your paper clear and organized, and it'll ensure you have enough research to produce a strong paper.

What's Next?

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Christine graduated from Michigan State University with degrees in Environmental Biology and Geography and received her Master's from Duke University. In high school she scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT and was named a National Merit Finalist. She has taught English and biology in several countries.

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How to do Research on Theater & Dance

academic writing services

In addition to combing through general humanities and arts sources, the focus of your research paper can include books, periodicals, and videos, art history and studio art materials, music, sound recordings, and musical scores, and special collections of theatrical manuscripts and rare print materials, all specific to your topic or subject of interest. Described in this article are selected sources and references for research papers on theater and dance.

Academic Writing, Editing, Proofreading, And Problem Solving Services

Get 10% off with fall23 discount code, selected subject headings.

Listed below is a sample of a few broad Library of Congress subject headings—made up of one word or more representing concepts under which all library holdings are divided and subdivided by subject—which you can search under and use as subject terms as well when searching online library catalogs for preliminary and/or additional research, such as books, audio and video recordings, and other references, related to your research paper topic. When researching materials on your topic, subject heading searching may be more productive than searching using simple keywords. However, keyword searching when using the right search method (Boolean, etc.) and combination of words can be equally effective in finding materials more closely relevant to the topic of your research paper.

Suggested Research Topics for Theater:

  • Children’s Theater
  • Drama Technique
  • Improvisation Acting
  • Method Acting
  • Movement Acting
  • One-Act Plays
  • Playwriting
  • Psychodrama
  • Puppet Plays
  • Radio Plays
  • Stage Fighting
  • Stage Fright
  • Stage Lighting
  • Stage Management
  • Theater and Society
  • Theater—Audiences
  • Theater—History
  • Theater—Production and direction
  • Theatrical Makeup
  • Women—Drama

Suggested Research Topics for  Dance:

  • Choreographers
  • Choreography
  • Dance for Children
  • Dance—History
  • Dance—Music
  • Dance—Notation
  • Dance—Periodicals
  • Dance—Philosophy
  • Dance—Physiological aspects
  • Dance—Social aspects
  • Dancers Biography
  • Dance Therapy
  • Dancing Injuries
  • Folk Dancing
  • Improvisation in Dance
  • Modern Dance
  • Movement—Aesthetics of Rhythm

Selected Keyword Search Strategies and Guides

theater and dance

If your research paper topic is “the mental and physical benefits of dance therapy,” for example, enter “benefits” and “dance therapy” with “and” on the same line to locate sources directly compatible with the primary focus of your paper. To find research on more specific aspects of your topic, alternate with one new keyword at a time with “and” in between (for example, “disabilities [or disorders] and dance therapy,” “history and dance therapy,” “principles and dance therapy,” “qualifications and dance therapy,” “treatments and dance therapy,” etc.).

For additional help with keyword searching, navigation or user guides for online indexes and databases by many leading providers—including Cambridge Scientific Abstracts, EBSCO, H.W. Wilson, OCLC, Ovid Technologies, ProQuest, and Thomson Gale—are posted with direct links on library Web sites to guides providing specific instruction to using whichever database you want to search. They provide additional guidance on how to customize and maximize your searching, including advanced searching techniques and grouping of words and phrases using the Boolean search method—of your topic, of bibliographic records, and of full-text articles, and other documents related to the subject of your research paper. Many libraries, under the “Help” sections of their Web sites, post their own tutorials on subject and keyword searching, which you can also consult.

Selected Source and Subject Guides

As part of your preliminary research to find appropriate resources for your paper, information source and research guides are available at most public and academic libraries and are keyword searchable through your library’s online catalog (to search and locate guides, enter your “subject” followed by these keywords one search at a time: “information sources,” “reference sources,” and “research guide”). Printed guides available for this subject area include

American Theater and Drama Research: An Annotated Guide to Information Sources, 1945–199 0, by Irene Shaland (Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Co, 1991)

The American Stage to World War I: A Guide to Information Sources , by Don B. Wilmeth, 269 pages (Detroit, Mich.: Gale Research Co., 1978)

Performing Arts Research: A Guide to Information Sources , by Marion K. Whalon, 280 pages (Detroit, Mich.: Gale Research Co., 1976)

Research in Dance: A Guide to Resources , by Mary S. Bopp, 296 pages (New York: G. K. Hall; Toronto: Maxwell Macmillan Canada; and New York: Maxwell Macmillan International, 1994)

Theatre and Cinema Architecture: A Guide to Information Sources , by Richard Stoddard, 368 pages (Detroit, Mich.: Gale Research Co., 1978)

In addition to these sources of research, most college and university libraries offer online subject guides arranged by subject on the library’s Web page; others also list searchable course-related “LibGuides” by subject. Each guide lists more recommended published and Web sources—including books and references, journal, newspaper and magazines indexes, full-text article databases, Web sites, and even research tutorials—you can access to expand your research on more specific issues and relevant to the subject of your research paper.

Selected Books and References

General references.

American Musical Theatre—A Chronicle , 3rd ed., by Gerald Bordman, 936 pages (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000)

Written by Gerald Bordman, author of Oxford University Press’s acclaimed American Theatre series, this exhaustively researched guide offers detailed summaries of musical theater productions, including musical comedies, operettas, reviews, and one-man and one-woman shows, from 1866 to 1960. A detailed show, song, and people index is included.

American Theatre—A Chronicle of Comedy and Drama 1869–1914 , by Gerald Bordman, Vol. 1, 808 pages (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994)

The first of four volumes, this well-written and researched book examines American theater history, from post–Civil War era to the start of World War I. Every Broadway show is fully chronicled by season, including plot summaries, details of the production and its stars, and other characteristics.

American Theatre: A Chronicle of Comedy and Drama 1914–1930 , by Gerald Bordman, Vol. 2, 464 pages (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995)

This second volume in Oxford’s American Theatre series chronicles every American theater production in chronological order from 1914 to 1930, what many historians believe to be the richest period in American theater. Covering the works of such noted playwrights as George Kaufman, Eugene O’Neill, and Elmer Rice and the era’s biggest stars, such as John and Ethel Barrymore and Alfred Lunt, entries include plot summaries, production details, cast and character names, and critical reviews.

American Theatre: A Chronicle of Comedy and Drama 1930–1969 , by Gerald Bordman, Vol. 3, 480 pages (New York: Oxford University Press, 1996)

In the third volume of Oxford’s American Theatre series, Gerald Bordman once again surveys American theater, this time focusing on nonmusical theater—comedy and drama—between 1930 and 1969. Following the same format as previous editions, Bordman vividly details Broadway productions offering plotlines, historical context, cast and credits, critical response, and more. This premier history also chronicles the best work of playwrights from this era, including Arthur Miller (Death of a Salesman), Eugene O’Neill (Long Day’s Journey into Night), Tennessee Williams (A Streetcar Named Desire), and many others.

American Theatre: A Chronicle of Comedy and Drama 1969–2000 , by Thomas S. Hischak, Vol. 4, 520 pages (New York: Oxford University Press, 2001)

This last edition and final volume of Oxford’s American Theatre series, written by State University of New York professor of theater Thomas S. Hischak, coauthor of The Oxford Companion to American Theatre, offers a fascinating look at Broadway productions through the end of the 20th century.

The Cambridge Guide to American Theatre , 2nd ed., edited by Don B. Wilmeth, 786 pages (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009)

This alphabetically arranged, second-edition chronicle offers extensive coverage of American theater history, including major plays and all forms of theater, including burlesque, circuses, and vaudeville, from their beginnings through 2008. Featuring the contributions of more than 80 experts, this book covers more than 2,700 subjects, including biographical sketches of theater personalities, entries for individual plays, essays on production companies and theaters, historical sketches of theater, and related subjects, from overviews of Asian-American theater to Shakespearean stage productions. This volume includes a list of 1,000 additional sources for further reading, and a biographical index of more than 3,200 names.

A Chronology of American Musical Theater , by Richard C. Norton, 3 vols., 3,078 pages (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002)

Named an Outstanding Reference Source for 2003 by the American Library Association, this three-volume reference set surveys more than 3,000 musicals by year and by season, from the 1860s through 2001. Each entry provides considerable detail about the productions, including information about the cast and crew, composers, lyricists, set designers, and songs, and every kind of production—Broadway and off-Broadway musicals, operettas, revues, and other stage works. Contents are extensively indexed.

Contemporary Dramatists , 6th ed., edited by Thomas Riggs, 897 pages (Detroit: St. James Press, 1998)

This fully revised and updated sixth edition offers 450 entries examining the lives and works of the most famous living playwrights in the English language. Entries include biographies, bibliographies, and critical essays on the most studied dramatists in the world of theater.

Contemporary Theatre, Film, and Television: A Biographical Guide Featuring Performers, Directors, Writers, Producers, Designers, Managers, Choreographers, Technicians, Composers, Executives, Dancers, and Critics in the United States and Great Britain , 97 vols. (Detroit, Mich.: Gale Group, 2009)

This first-rate biographical reference, also available in e-book format through the online library database Gale Virtual Reference Library, details the lives and careers of some 20,000 entertainment industry professionals, such as choreographers, critics, designers, directors, executives, producers, technicians, and writers from the United States and Great Britain. Entries provide personal and career vitals, including birth dates, education and professional training, and political and religious affiliations. This series was published as a supplement to  Who’s Who in Theatre , which ceased publication in 1981.

International Encyclopedia of Dance , 2nd ed., edited by Selma Jeanne Cohen, 6 vols., 4,000 pages (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004)

This heavily illustrated six-volume encyclopedia features more than 2,000 topical essays exploring all forms of dance throughout the world and its cultural and social significance.

The New Penguin Dictionary of the Theatre , edited by Jonathan Law, David Pickering, and Richard Helfer, 668 pages (New York: Penguin USA, 2001)

An invaluable reference guide for students and aficionados of drama, containing more than 5,000 articles exploring all aspects, styles, and developments in theater.

The Oxford Companion to American Theatre , 3rd ed., by Gerald Bordman and Thomas S. Hischak, 696 pages (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004)

Fully updated and expanded, this encyclopedia is an authoritative source of information about all aspects of American theater, from its beginnings to the late 20th century. More than 3,000 entries highlight great American playwrights, producers, and directors, Broadway stage productions, composers and lyricists, theater companies and organizations, performers, and some foreign plays. Entries include such celebrated plays as Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Cats, The Iceman Cometh, Arsenic and Old Lace, My Fair Lady, and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, and the greatest names in theater, such as Clifford Odets, Lillian Hellman, George Gershwin, Neil Simon, Florenz Ziegfeld, Mae West, Lee Strasberg, and Jessica Tandy.

Theatre Backstage From A to Z , 4th ed., by Warren C. Lounsbury and Norman C. Boulanger, 231 pages (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1999)

An ideal source for amateurs and professionals alike, this copiously illustrated revised and expanded manual covers the technical aspects of theater production, including construction, design, lighting, painting, stage managing, and more.

Theatre World , by John Willis, et al., 65 vols. (New York: Daniel C. Blum, 1945–50; Crown Publishers, 1966–91; Applause Theatre and Cinema Books, 1992– )

Annual survey of the American theater offering brief summaries and cast lists for Broadway, off-Broadway, and regional theater productions. Information covered includes awards, biographies, and obituaries for the previous year. Between 1944 and 1965, the series was published by various publishers, including its first, Daniel C. Blum, which issued the first six volumes in the series through 1950. Eighteen additional annual volumes followed. Publication continued under the Crown Publishers imprint in 1966, when the seventh volume in the series was released. Crown became the principal publisher of this series, continuing publication through the 1989–90 season (Volume 46). In 1973, the publication was renamed after its author John Willis’ Theatre World before returning to its former title in 1982. In 1992, Applause Theatre and Cinema Books acquired the series, publishing its first edition, Volume 47 (1990–91), that same year.

Variety Obituaries , 15 vols. (New York: Garland Publishing Co., 1905–94)

This 15-volume set reprinted show business obituaries of well-known celebrities in the performing arts from 1905 through 1993–94.

Who’s Who in Theatre: A Biographical Record of the Contemporary Stage , 17th ed., 4 vols. (London: Pitman; Detroit, Mich.: Gale Research, 1981– )

No longer in print but still available at some school and public libraries, this important four-volume set was the first reference of its kind featuring biographies of people from all aspects of theater from 1912 to 1981. Largely emphasizing London theater in earlier volumes, the entire set offers biographical entries on leading actors, composers, critics, dramatists, designers, and historians from both the London and New York stage. In addition, playbills from various productions are included.

Who Was Who in the Theatre, 1912–1976: A Biographical Dictionary of Actors, Actresses, Directors, Playwrights, and Producers of the English-Speaking Theatre , 15 vols., 2,664 pages (Detroit, Mich.: Gale Research, 1978)

Now out of print but still useful, this 15-volume reference is a “who was who” of noted theater actors, actresses, directors, producers, and playwrights. Biographical sketches offer personal and career information on each subject.

The World Encyclopedia of Contemporary Theatre , by Don Rubin, 6 vols., 3,470 pages (London and New York: Routledge, 1994–2000)

This six-volume set, called by its publisher “the largest international cooperative publication in the history of world theater,” covers the theater productions and performances of 30 countries around the world. Coverage includes dramatists, plays, and theatrical companies and the cultural, political, and religious impact of their work and performances.


Critical Survey of Drama , 2nd ed., edited by Frank N. Magill, revised edition edited by Carl Rollyson, 8 vols. (Pasadena, Calif.: Salem Press, 2003)

Eight-volume set of alphabetically arranged articles about major playwrights and their plays comprises the original seven volumes edited by Frank N. Magill, formerly called Critical Survey of Drama: English Language Series (1985) and Critical Survey of Drama: Foreign Language Series (1986). This acclaimed reference series features biographical and critical essays on important English-language dramatists from ancient times to the present and such areas as Africa, Australia, Britain, Canada, West Indies, and the United States. Each entry discusses the subject’s achievements and principal dramas combining critical analysis and bibliographies for further reading. Additional essays also focus on other aspects of the development and presentation of drama, such as acting, costumes, lighting, and more. Cumulated author and title indexes accompany the set.

Critics’ Theatre Reviews , 3 vols. (New York: Critics Theatre Reviews, 1940–42)

This three-volume set offers full text of critical reviews for stage productions from 1940 to 1942. The series continued publication under two different names: New York Theatre Critics’ Reviews and National Theatre Critics’ Reviews, each containing full-text reviews from 1943 through 1996.

Dramatic Criticism Index: A Bibliography of Commentaries on Playwrights from Ibsen to the Avant-Garde , compiled and edited by Paul F. Breed and Florence M. Sniderman, 1,022 pages (Detroit, Mich.: Gale Research Co., 1972)

A good source of criticism and lists of plays by modern playwrights from Ibsen to the early 1970s, this comprehensive index includes approximately 12,000 critical articles, essays, and books on individual plays, arranged alphabetically by playwright. Indexed are both American and foreign 20th-century playwrights. Title and critic’s name indexes are provided for cross-referencing of subjects.

A Guide to Critical Reviews , 3rd Ed., by James M. Salem, 2 vols. (Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1984–91)

This two-volume, three-part series indexes in alphabetical order critical reviews published in magazines, newspapers, and theater journals by subject. Following the name of each entry, the title of the production, debut date, number of performances, and reviews are listed by publication and date published. Part I of the series indexes reviews of American drama from 1909 to 1982; Part II, musicals from 1909 to 1989, and Part III, foreign dramas from 1909 to 1977.

International Bibliography of Theatre , by Benito Ortolani (Brooklyn: Theatre Research Data Center, Brooklyn College, City University of New York, 1982–1999)

Updated annually from 1982 to 1999, its last edition, this popular reference is considered by librarians as one of the best indexes in theatre. This annual lists international publications in theater and performing arts and more than 5,000 entries in all, covering all time periods and geographic areas of theater arts. Coverage includes books, articles in scholarly journals, articles in literary and theater magazines, criticism and interviews, and reviews published around the world and in several languages. This directory is divided into two parts: a list of resources and a subject index. Unlike the MLA International Bibliography and other arts and humanities indexes, this publication does not list reviews in newspapers and popular media.

Modern Drama Scholarship and Criticism 1966–1980: An International Bibliography , by Charles A. Carpenter, 587 pages (Toronto, Canada, and Buffalo, N.Y.: University of Toronto Press, 1986)

Suitable for researching international criticism on contemporary and modern playwrights, this first of two volumes covers nearly 25,000 international publications arranged by topic. Books and articles are arranged by geographic area, and playwrights’ names are conveniently indexed in the front of the book. Content includes criticism and interviews through 1980.

Modern Drama Scholarship and Criticism, 1981–1990: An International Bibliography , by Charles A. Carpenter, 632 pages (Toronto, Canada, and Buffalo, N.Y.: University of Toronto Press in association with Modern Drama, 1997)

This follow-up volume to Modern Drama Scholarship and Criticism, 1966–1980 adheres to the same format as its predecessor, chronicling 25,200 additional periodicals since 1981, including books, articles, criticisms, and interviews on contemporary and modern playwrights.

National Theatre Critics’ Reviews , 2 vols. (Woodside, N.Y.: Critics’ Theatre Reviews, 1995–96)

Formerly known as Critics’ Theatre Reviews, 1940–1942 and New York Theatre Critics’ Reviews, 1943–1994, this two-volume set reproduces full-text reviews from 1995 to 1996.

New York Theatre Critics’ Reviews , 52 vols. (New York: Critics’ Theatre Reviews, 1943–95)

The best source for Broadway and off-Broadway show reviews, this 52-volume index features full-text New York theater critic reviews from 1943 to 1995. The last volume indexes actors, choreographers, directors, and other personnel from the shows reviewed.

The New York Times Index , 95 vols. (New York: The New York Times Co., 1851–2007)

Indexes citations from 1857 to the present (under the subject heading “Theater”) of articles about theater and reviews of individual plays listed alphabetically by title corresponding with The New York Times microfilm collection.

The New York Times Theater Reviews  (New York: The New York Times, 1870–2001)

Ceasing publication with the 1999–2000 edition, this set of indexes contains the full texts of theater reviews published in The New York Times since 1870.

Selected Full-Text Article Databases

Academic Search Elite  (Ipswich, Mass.: EBSCO Publishing, EBSCOHost, indexing: 1980– , full text: 1990– )

Covering a variety of disciplines, Academic Search Elite is a good source for reviews and general articles on theater and stage personalities culled from popular magazines and some scholarly journals.

Academic Search Premier  (Ipswich, Mass.: EBSCO Publishing, EBSCOHost, indexing: 1972– , full text: 1972– )

Another good source of entertainment reviews, this major database contains full-text articles from many academic journals, such as Cineaste and Journal of Performance and Art, and popular magazines, including People, Time, and Rolling Stone. Coverage varies by title.

Art Full Text  (Bronx, N.Y.: H.W. Wilson Co., Wilson Disc, WilsonWeb/Ovid Technologies, Inc., indexing: September 1984– , abstracting, Spring 1984/– , full text: 1997– )

Abstracts and indexes, with full text of 98 journals, a wide array of peer-reviewed journals that are international in scope, plus links to Web sites of many articles, from 1997 to the present. As with the print version, this online edition indexes only a handful of journals, mostly geared towards the technical side of theater arts. Also offered on CD-ROM and online as Wilson Art Full Text.

Expanded Academic ASAP  (Farmington Hills, Mich.: Thomson Gale InfoTrac, 1980– )

One of the best sources for theater reviews and theater criticism, Expanded Academic ASAP contains citations and full-text articles from 1,900 popular magazines, scholarly journals, and major newspapers. Articles cover a wide range of theater topics, as well as related subjects in the arts, humanities, and sciences. Subjects are keyword searchable; to search, combine the name of the production with the phrase “theater reviews.” This database includes full-text access to the following magazines and journals: American Theatre, Back Stage, Dance Magazine, Down Beat, Early Music, Opera News, Performing Arts Journal, TDR, Theatre Journal, Theatre Research International, among others, from 1994 to the present.

JSTOR  (Ann Arbor, Mich.: Journal Storage Project, 1996– )

This electronic archive contains the complete back files of 119 scholarly journals in the arts, humanities, and the social sciences, with many titles extending back to the 1800s. Options allow users to browse journals online or retrieve full text using title or subject search. The journals in this collection have been digitized back to the first issue published, and more than 4.5 million pages are available.

LexisNexis Academic Universe  (Dayton, Ohio: LexisNexis, 1977– )

LexisNexis Academic Universe includes full-text articles from virtually thousands of newspapers, magazines, trade journals, industry publications, and more published in the United States and abroad. This easy-to-use database is a good source for finding current information on actors, performers, and reviews of performances. Reviews are searchable under the “General News Topics” category, and under “News/Arts and Sports/Book, Movie, Music and Play Reviews.”

Periodical Abstracts Research II  (Ann Arbor, Mich.: UMI ProQuest, 1986)

Another solid source is this full-text edition of Periodical Abstracts Research featuring abstracts and some full-text articles to reviews and general articles about stage and theater. Out of some 1,600 general reference publications represented, PAR indexes articles from approximately 396 humanities periodicals in the field.

ProjectMUSE  (Baltimore, Md.: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1990– )

One of the best collections on the Web today, with access to almost 250 electronic journals published by major universities, including film, television, mass media, and theater arts studies. Coverage dates back 10 years but varies by journal. Users can browse or search journals by title or subjects. Among the full-text journals featured are Asian Theatre Journal (1999– ), Discourse (2000– ), Performing Arts Journal (1996– ), TDR: The Drama Review (1999– ), Theater Journal (1996– ), and Theatre Topics (1996– ).

ProQuest Direct  (Ann Arbor, Mich.: ProQuest/UMI, indexing: 1971– , full text: 1986– )

Indexes more than 1,100 Web-searchable scholarly periodicals, as well as newspapers and general-interest magazines, from 1986 to the present. In most cases, full-text articles are available from such journals as American Theater and Theatre Journal.

Selected Periodicals

American Theatre  (New York: Theatre Communications Group, 1984– , monthly)

This highly regarded monthly, published by the nonprofit Theatre Communications Groups of New York, primarily focuses on professional theater. Published in each issue are two or three major features, including actor profiles, articles on legal and professional issues affecting the theater arts community, and articles covering trends and events in theater. Online access is provided to certain articles from back issues since January 2000. To access, visit .

Back Stage  (New York: Back Stage Publications, 1960– , weekly)

Providing an inside look into the performing arts since 1960, this weekly trade paper covers East Coast theater. Coverage includes the latest industry news, feature stories, reviews, casting notices, and advice articles for industry professionals and students. A collection of feature stories is accessible online at .

Drama: The Journal of National Drama  (Shaftesbury, U.K.: National Drama, 1993– , biannual)

Designed for educators and practitioners in theater arts, Drama is the official publication of National Drama in Great Britain. This scholarly journal, published biannually, offers a forum for educators and practitioners worldwide to discuss theories and practices, opinions and criticisms, debate key issues, and share new research in the field.

Early Theatre  (Hamilton, Canada: McMaster University, 1998– , biannual)

A journal associated with the records of early English drama, Early Theatre is a peer-reviewed print journal, now published biannually by the Department of English at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, devoted to drama and theater history of England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales. This scholarly journal publishes research studies, articles, and notes on the performance history, as well as literary and analytical articles about individual performances.

Performing Arts Journal  (New York: Performing Arts Journal Publications, 1976–97; Baltimore, Md.: Johns Hopkins University Press for PAJ Publications, 1998– , three times a year)

Originally titled the Performing Arts Journal from 1976 to 1997 (Volumes 1–19), this scholarly journal, renamed PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art in January 1998, explores new directions and new work in dance, film, music, performance, theater, and the visual arts. Published three times yearly, PAJ includes essays and critical commentaries, interviews and book reviews, artists’ writings and festival reports, and performance texts and plays in the performing arts. Contents of current and past issues are abstracted and indexed in such popular online indexes as Arts and Humanities Citation Index, ISI Current Contents, Film Literature Index, Humanities Index, and International Index to the Performing Arts.

Playbill  (New York: American Theatre Press, 1982– , monthly)

This monthly print magazine covers the professional theater, especially New York theater. Each issue contains feature articles and columns by or about theater personalities, engaging editorials, and travel, fashion, and dining news aimed at active theatergoers. In addition, Playbill offers free access to information published on its Web site ( ), such as news, features, theater listings, and other resources, including box-office grosses and a theater awards database.

Shakespeare Quarterly  (Washington, D.C.: Folger Shakespeare Library, 1950– , quarterly)

First published in 1950 by the Shakespeare Association of America, this quarterly journal is the foremost publication covering all aspects of Shakespeare studies, including play criticisms and theater histories. Issues include essays and research studies, reviews of books, films, and stage productions, and criticism and scholarship of Shakespeare-related works.

Stage Directions  (West Sacramento, Calif.: SMW Communications; New York: Lifestyle Media, 1988– , monthly)

With members of community, regional, and academic theater including producers, lightning technicians, and set designers among its readers, Stage Directions offers practical help to people involved in theater production, featuring articles about new strategies, ideas, and solutions to common problems, as well as book, CD, and play reviews.

TDR: The Drama Review  (New York: New York University, School of Arts, 1968–87; Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1988– , quarterly)

This widely read, highly acclaimed scholarly journal is devoted to serious study and debate on various kinds of performances, including dance, theater, performance art, popular entertainment, and sports. Published by the New York University School of Arts from 1967 to 1997 and by MIT Press since 1988, each issue features articles, commentaries, interviews, texts of performances, and translations of important works on contemporary performing arts and performing theory. Bibliographic citations with abstracts and full-text articles, in some cases, are indexed in such well-known library databases as Arts and Humanities Citation Index, Expanded Academic ASAP, Humanities Index, International Index to the Performing Arts, and MLA International Bibliography.

Theatre Journal  (Baltimore, Md.: Johns Hopkins University Press in cooperation with Association for Theatre in Higher Education, 1941– , quarterly)

The scholarly Theatre Journal, published quarterly by Johns Hopkins University Press in association with the Association of Theater in Higher Education, offers a global view of all aspects of theater arts. Issues feature many social and historical studies and critical reviews of productions, written by noted scholars and practitioners. Issues and contents are indexed and abstracted in ProjectMUSE.

Theatre Topics  (Baltimore, Md.: Johns Hopkins University Press in cooperation with Association for Theatre in Higher Education, 1991– , semi-annual)

Hailed as “an excellent addition to literature of drama,” this scholarly, peer-reviewed electronic journal, accessible through ProjectMUSE (1996– ), features timely articles on a vast number of practical, performance-oriented subjects of interest to theater educators and practitioners and scholars and students of theater. First published in March 1991, it offers articles that reflect the theory and practice of acting, community-based theater, design, directing, dramaturgy, performance studies, and theater pedagogy. Theatre Topics is indexed and abstracted in several article databases including American Humanities Index, Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature, Education Index, and MLA International Bibliography.

Variety  (New York: Variety Pub. Co., 1905– , weekly)

Published weekly, Variety, the longest-running industry trade paper, features news and reviews covering all areas of show business, including Broadway and off-Broadway players and shows abroad, as well as regional and New York theater productions. It is a good source for theater industry news casting and box-office gross information each week.

Selected Web Sites

American Variety Stage  ( )

This multimedia online anthology, presented by the Library of Congress, displays various stage and theater holdings from its collection of popular entertainment material, including vaudeville, from 1870 to 1920. Items include English- and Yiddish-language play scripts, theater playbills and programs, motion pictures and sound recordings, and photographs and other memorabilia.

A Brief Guide to Internet Resources in Theatre and Performance Studies  ( )

Celebrating its 16th anniversary in 2009, this Web site is actually one of the most comprehensive listings of content and links on theater and performance studies.

Federal Theatre Project  ( )

This Web presentation of the Library of Congress’ Federal Theatre Project Collection features more than 13,000 images of stage and costume designs, still photographs, posters, and scripts (for Orson Welles’s productions of Macbeth and The Tragical History Dr. Faustus) from 1935 to 1939. The FTPC was originally established by President Franklin D. Roosevelt during the New Deal era.

Internet Broadway Database (IBDB)  ( )

This official database for Broadway archives features searchable records of theater information for stage productions from its early New York beginnings to the present.

Performing Arts in America 1875–1923  ( )

Partially funded by the National Endowment of the Arts and part of the New York Public Library for Performing Arts, Performing Arts in America 1875–1923 is a searchable online database, funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, of 16,000 items representative of this period of performing arts, including newspaper clippings; photographs; music sheet samples (popular music, show tunes, jazz, and dance music); photographs of artists and theater, dance, and popular performances; and movie posters and lobby cards.

Theatre Reviews Limited  ( )

Online source providing free access to reviews of recent Broadway, Off-Broadway, and Off-Off Broadway shows in New York City.

The WWW Virtual Library Theatre and Drama  ( )

This multicultural, multilingual Web site features resources from more than 50 countries on all aspects of theater, designed for amateurs, professionals, and students of all ages.

Careers Related to Theater and Dance

Dance Career Field ( )

Dance is one of the oldest of the arts. Anthropologists believe the first formal dances were probably symbolic dances performed by early tribal societies as part of ritual ceremonies held to ask spirits or gods for success in hunting or in battle. Some anthropologists think that dancing and music originally came from the same mating-display impulses that occur in other species. The Egyptians used dance to honor their leaders and during parades, funerals, and religious ceremonies. Israelites performed circle dances, processional chain dances, and energetic stamping- and-jumping dances at religious festivals. Greek children learned to dance as part of their education; adults performed dances in festivals honoring the god Dionysus and as part of Greek comedy and tragedy. Many of these dances were adopted and developed by the Romans as well.

Theater Career Field ( )

Theatrical performance is among the oldest of human art forms. It probably began with storytelling to recount recent and historical events in small communities. Ancient peoples often performed elaborate rituals to ask spirits or gods for success in hunting or in battle. Sometimes community leaders or religious officials wore masks and colorful costumes. Ceremonies also were held to pray for the health of individuals, mourn the dead, ward off evil spirits, or promote the welfare of the society. Later societies enacted the myths and stories involving their gods and heroes. For example, Egyptian dramas often centered around the god Osiris.


modern drama research paper topics

Research Papers on Drama

Writing arts drama research papers is one of the most important tasks for the students in the field of arts and drama. To write exceptionally well research papers it is essential to have proper research material. This section of Researchomatic helps its users to get the best quality research material from its huge database which is especially tailored for writing arts drama research papers.

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modern drama research paper topics

Modern Drama: Tragedy Versus Comedy Research Paper

It is extremely difficult to circumscribe modern drama as a tragedy or a comedy. A drama can be in either of the two senses. Its roadmap for life can be tragic and the method that is exploited to bring it before the eyes of the public can also be tragic. The atmosphere in which the drama breathes appears to be tragic but there are certain elements owing to which the tragic sense does not absolutely dominate the ambiance of the play. Resultantly the tragedy comes on out on the stage as comedy. Critics who name it comedy have focused mostly on the humorous touches with which certain characters are endowed. As a matter of illustration, we can quote here Lopakhin’s mooing like a cow, Trofimov’s falling from the stairs, Lopakhin getting a bash mistakenly. Those who entitle it a tragedy are looking at the consequence of time passing and leaving a devastating generation in its train. “Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard has been played both as a comedy poking fun at class, age, and intellectualism and as a tragedy revealing the pain of change and loss that accompanies the passing of time”. (Ariana Mufson, The Cherry Orchard).

This appears to be a simplified method of tacking the play. To me, it is not any of them. Chekhov’s characters seem tragic but the tragedy is regarded as the destiny of humanity. That is to stress that it is not put under the limelight on the stage. In a tragedy, the characters on the stage and the audience also develop rapport with the central character on the stage, or at least they seem to be. It serves to magnify the tragic encounter. This mark is not present as it is carefully avoided in the given drama. The characters are having a queer attitudinal pattern for each other. They do not look at each others’ tragic positions. Seen from this perspective, the emotional experience is detached from the audience. As a result, the unhappiness and gloom imbibed by the characters in the play do not realize the tragic magnitude. They remain absolutely private. Chekhov’s comic touches have the purpose of embodying the play above the tear-jerking emotional content and the audience is not deprived of objectivity.

It appears to be very easy and plain to get the voices of the past, present, and future in the play as identified with a conventional order, fresh order, and the present as well. “That Chekhov saw it as a comedy is understandable- the actions of Ranevskaya and Gayev are proud and stupid – they fiddle whilst Rome burns. The boorish Lopahkin and the meek Varya, with their tortuous romance, are also figures of fun. Anya and her love interest, the eternal student Trofimov, are funny in their earnestness and the love triangle that develops between the uppity servant Yasha, the simple maid Dunyasha and her long-suffering clerk boyfriend, the bumbling Yepihidov is worthy of a chuckle. Finally, the very aged servant Firs has some genuinely funny moments as he dithers around the house” (Trevor Darge, The Cherry Orchard at a Glance). However, it is more than the exposure of the social transformation. Lyubov and Gaev are truant landlords and therefore they are economically dependent people. They do not have a role in earning the capital; to live on. It is a tribute to Chekhov that without getting emotional he generates the characters that have human touch even if they are land grabbers. They have links with the class that is going to be omitted from the social scene. These characters are the remnant of the class like all other characters spring from their own genre. “Chekhov wrote to his wife, Olga Knipper, “The next play I write will definitely be funny, very funny – at least in intention and there are moments when an overwhelming desire comes over me to write a four-act farce [ vodevil ] or comedy for the Art Theatre.” (Benedetti, Jean. Stanislavski). Chekhov does not advise at any turn in the play that two characters could have overcome their social genesis and become the inhabitants of the new order with which Lopakhin is identified. Although they come to know that the cherry orchard is going to be sold yet they do nothing because they are accustomed to an easy lifestyle and they cannot escape it. They have a sentimental affection for the cherry orchard which is instrumental in making them avoid extreme measures like cutting away the trees. Their tragedy is wrapped in their being what they are and what they cannot be. They belong to the upper strata of life where they can lead an indulgent life. They are unable to look over the socio-economic propellants which drive them. In their own style, they are hesitant to confront reality owing to their status in society. These places bar on them to be pitted against the facts. “ANYA. [Dreamily] It’s six years since father died. Then only a month later little brother Grisha was drowned in the river, such a pretty boy he was, only seven. It was more than mamma could bear, so she went away, went away without looking back […] (Act 1).

Anton Chekov’s The Cherry Orchard provides insights into the lives of upper-middle-class Russians. The play sometimes becomes the blend of sad accounts of previous mistakes but it appears to be very humorous at others. “Chekhov manages to combine the genres of comedy and tragedy. The playwright originally wrote The Cherry Orchard play as a comedy and was aghast the first time he saw it staged because the director had produced it as a tragedy. Scholars have argued about this duality and there is now general agreement that the play cleverly mixes comedy and tragedy” (Baring, Maurice. Landmarks in Russian Literature). The final moment’s lean-to portrays it as a tragedy with no dearth of lighthearted scenes. It engenders many feelings in the readers. Happiness, sadness, and anger are all coming out in the interactions of many characters with rich and complex personalities. The readers look at some sections of the characters as compelling while others are disgusting. The complexity maximizes the truthfulness of the contributions and therefore increases the passionate involvement of the readers. The play revolves around the life and property of Lubov Ranevskya, belonging to a landlord family. As consequence, she is generous and even spendthrift with her money that incurs her incredible debt. “I had also included in the casebook, the essay, the Cherry Orchard as a comedy because, I, like the rest of the readers, saw the Cherry Orchards as a tragedy. Stanislavsky, the founder of the Moscow Art Theatre, misunderstood the nature of his comedies, The Seagull and The Cherry Orchard and after the production of the latter, Chekhov wrote to his wife: How awful it is! An act that ought to take twelve minutes at most lasts forty minutes. There is only one thing I can say: Stanislavsky has ruined my play for me”. (Meister, Charles W. Chekhov Criticism).

In Act III, the concurrence of comedy and tragedy is present. While the overwhelming tragic moments happen indirectly off the stage the sale of the orchard and the ambiance at the empire onstage is ridiculous. While they are looking for the sale of the orchards Barbara concerned about the payment of the musicians admonishes Trophim and Pishtchik for having drunk and the young servant lost in the rhythm of ballads. Characters are all but engaged in their own business and there is a very dramatic atmosphere having farcical overtones. “ Comedy and tragedy are like two sides of the same ruble; which one you see depends on your perspective. Only the perspectives are so legion, and so shifting, in Chekhov’s last masterpiece, The Cherry Orchard – now in a richly appointed production at the Huntington Theatre – that even defining the great play’s tone has remained elusive. Its central event (the destruction of that famed orchard) is so poignant that the play’s original director, Stanislavski, directed its premiere as tragedy, straight up. This only appalled the dying Chekhov, however, who insisted his swan song was “a comedy – even in places a farce!”.( Thomas Garvey, from Russia with love).

It is clear that the author perfected and conceived it as a comedy but it was taken and dramatized as a tragedy. The final outcome was at variance with the original intentions of the play writer. Now it depends upon us how we take us. Different critics name it according to their convenience. However, we can notice the fact that it has more comic-like traits than those of tragic ingredients. We are never allowed to empathize with the characters beyond some boiling pit where we feel to be over-emotional there is no such situation in the play though there are such undercurrents present. It is a tribute to the author that he is capable of writing a rare genre of ambivalent types of dramas that could later be construed in either sense. It is this quality of the play that has been endowed with permanent imprints for survival in literature.

Ariana Mufson, The Cherry Orchard . A curtain up review. 2008. Web.

Trevor Darge, The Cherry Orchard At A Glance. Arch 13 2008. chard review. Web.

Baring, Maurice. Landmarks in Russian Literature. London, England: University Paperbacks, 1960.

Meister, Charles W. Chekhov Criticism. Jefferson, NC: McFarland and Company, Inc., Publishers, 1988.

Thomas Garvey, From Russia with Love. 2008. Hub review. Web.

Benedetti, Jean. Stanislavski. New York: Routledge, 1990.

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55 Research Paper Topics to Jump-Start Your Paper

Matt Ellis

Coming up with research paper topics is the first step in writing most papers. While it may seem easy compared to the actual writing, choosing the right research paper topic is nonetheless one of the most important steps. Your topic determines the entire writing process: your core arguments, which sources you use, the structure of your outline, and ultimately how well the paper is received.

Unfortunately, how to select a research topic isn’t always obvious. So here, we explain how to come up with research paper topics that will work for you. We even share a list of research topics to help inspire you.

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What are research paper topics?

A research paper topic is the main focus of a piece of academic writing , encompassing the author’s main argument, thesis, or hypothesis that they plan to research and investigate.

Usually, the assignment stipulates what kind of research paper topics you can use, but even so you should choose topics that you feel passionately about and that have ample resources to fully develop your ideas.

How to come up with research paper topic examples

The ideal approach is to create a list of research topics that fulfill the criteria, and then choose the best one. Because research paper topics can be pretty broad, creating a list helps you narrow down ideas and consider fresh alternatives.

Of course, creating a list of research topics takes some effort. To save you time, here are some tried-and-true methods for how to come up with research paper topic examples:

  • Personal interest: Which topics are you interested in or particularly curious about?
  • Topics in class discussions: Was anything mentioned in class that you’d like to examine more deeply?
  • Current events: Are there any topics in the news that fit the requirements for the assignment?
  • Research gaps: For dissertations , are there any topics that haven’t been sufficiently researched before that you could contribute original data to?
  • Advice from teacher, colleagues, or friends: Can you ask someone knowledgeable to help you brainstorm research paper topics?
  • Search online: What kinds of relevant topics do people discuss online?

Once you have a short list of research topics, it’s time to move on to the next step: deciding how to select a research topic from the list.

How to select a research topic

As we explain in our guide on how to write a research paper , you should choose a topic with enough content to fill the length of your paper. On top of that, it’s best to pick a topic that you’re personally interested in, since you’re going to be spending long hours researching it and discussing it.

To keep your paper focused, choose a specific topic instead of a broad one . For example, instead of a general topic like “the eating habits of cats,” try to narrow it down a little, like “the eating habits of tigers.” With broad topics, you won’t be able to cover everything . Limit the scope of your topic so you can fully discuss it within the paper.

However, if you get too specific, you won’t have enough data, sources, or knowledge to write a substantial report. For example, if your topic was “the eating habits of my cat Charlie,” most likely you wouldn’t have enough information to fill more than a page or two.

So try to pick a topic that’s not only precise but manageable enough to describe completely within the limitations of the assignment.

Research paper topic vs. thesis vs. hypothesis

What’s the difference between a research paper topic, a thesis, and a hypothesis?

A research paper thesis is the main argument your paper tries to prove or explain. As such, the thesis is a core part of your entire research paper topic. A thesis is typically summed up in a thesis statement , a single sentence at the beginning of the paper to introduce your argument to the reader.

For example, if your topic was analyzing wind power in Mexico, your thesis might be:

Wind power effectively enabled Mexico to meet the requirements of the Paris Agreement, thanks to natural winds in the south.

With this thesis, your paper would then discuss the availability of wind, what factors of the south make it ideal, and how Mexico went about enacting it with regard to the Paris Agreement.

Specific to scientific works, a research paper hypothesis is a statement that describes what the author hopes to prove or disprove with their paper. A hypothesis is similar to a thesis in that it sums up the research paper topic, but a hypothesis requires original data and often testing to prove whether it’s true, whereas a thesis can draw on other people’s research.

55 examples of research topics

  • The evolution of antibiotic-resistant bacteria
  • Comparing the impacts of pollution on freshwater and saltwater ecosystems
  • How the Human Genome Project changed the field of biology
  • How modern-day urbanization affects wildlife and natural habitats
  • The ethical considerations of CRISPR technology
  • Leveraging sustainable business practices for marketing purposes
  • How attitudes about financial risk management have changed over time
  • Different leadership styles and their impact on organizational performance
  • The challenges of cross-cultural business negotiations
  • The practicality of big data analytics for small businesses


  • How the internet changed in-person social interactions
  • The most effective strategies for interpersonal conflict resolution
  • The relationship between media literacy and voting habits
  • The evolution of communication in family dynamics
  • How advertising affects decision-making outside of sales

Computer science

  • The application of blockchain technology outside of finance
  • The future of quantum computing
  • The greatest threats to cybersecurity at present
  • The ramifications of humanizing AI
  • An in-depth comparison between cloud computing and fog computing

Criminal justice

  • Rehabilitation versus punishment in the juvenile justice system
  • The merits of decriminalizing certain drugs
  • Comparing the apprehension of white-collar and blue-collar criminals
  • The evolution of profiling and behavioral analysis
  • The effects of a private prison system on lawmaking
  • Cultural appropriation versus cultural appreciation
  • Comparing the historic traditions of younger and older countries
  • Effective strategies to preserve indigenous cultures
  • The merits of multiculturalism in big cities
  • The influence of public school systems on cultural understanding
  • The relationship between socioeconomic factors and educational achievements
  • The challenges of early childhood education compared to that of older students
  • Effective strategies for promoting interest in STEM fields
  • Predicting the future of education based on current trends
  • Pros and cons of multilingual classrooms
  • The evolution of mental health treatment over time
  • Analyzing the most successful public health campaigns throughout history
  • Misinformation and diet-related illnesses
  • Comparing the health effects of natural drugs and synthetic drugs
  • The future of telehealth and telemedicine
  • Comparing feminist literature of the first, second, third, and fourth waves
  • How colonization historically affected literature
  • Comparing the genres of high fantasy and magic realism
  • The decline of literary journals in the modern era
  • The history of metafiction and self-referential literature
  • Effective strategies for combating political corruption
  • Leading causes of political extremism and terrorism
  • Comparing the efficiency of different electoral systems around the world
  • Comparing populism in North America and Europe
  • The connection between specific governments and the happiness index of their people

Research paper topics FAQs

A research paper topic is the main focus of a piece of academic writing, encompassing the author’s main argument, thesis, or hypothesis, as well as the evidence to support it and the ultimate conclusion.

How do you come up with research paper topic examples?

You can brainstorm some research paper topics by asking people or searching online. Sometimes current events or topics discussed in the classroom can fit the type of topic you need. Try to think of topics you have a personal connection to, or perhaps topics that have not yet been sufficiently researched.

What’s the difference between a research paper topic, thesis, and hypothesis?

A research paper topic describes the general subject matter of the entire paper. A thesis is the specific argument that the author is trying to prove or explain. A hypothesis is particular to scientific papers; it is what the author attempts to prove or disprove through original testing.

modern drama research paper topics

modern drama research paper topics

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    Benedetti, Jean. Stanislavski. New York: Routledge, 1990. This research paper, "Modern Drama: Tragedy Versus Comedy" is published exclusively on IvyPanda's free essay examples database. You can use it for research and reference purposes to write your own paper. However, you must cite it accordingly . Donate a paper.

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  20. 55 Research Paper Topics to Jump-Start Your Paper

    55 Research Paper Topics to Jump-Start Your Paper. Matt Ellis. Updated on October 9, 2023 Students. Coming up with research paper topics is the first step in writing most papers. While it may seem easy compared to the actual writing, choosing the right research paper topic is nonetheless one of the most important steps.

  21. Modern Drama Essays

    encourages her husband, she keeps her house neat and is a good mother. Linda stays in her place, never questioning out loud her husband's objectives and doing her part to help him achieve them. Works Cited Miller, Arthur. "The Family in Modern Drama" The Theater Essays of Arthur Miller, Da Capo, 1996. Miller, Arthur.

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