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Drama: Plays and Monologues: Overview

In this guide

How to find plays, scenes and monologues in Hunt Library and search them in library catalogs and other databases.

Find plays and monologues in Hunt Library

To find a play  in Hunt Library search Cameo, the CMU Library Catalog by play title or author.
Most plays are shelved on the 2nd Floor of Hunt Library with other literary works by country, culture or region and then by playwright... e.g. Shakespeare = PR (English)

PA Greek. Roman. Latin
PG Slavic. Baltic. Albanian
PJ Oriental
PK Indo-Iranian
PL Eastern Asia. Africa. Oceania
PN2080 Monologues (Hunt, 4th floor); Other monologues on HUNT-2 various call numbers.
PN1997 Screenplays (Hunt, 4th floor)
PQ1-3999 French
PQ4001-5999 Italian
PQ6001-8929 Spanish
PR English (Shakespeare = 2750-3112)
PS American
PT1-4897 German
PT5001-5980 Dutch
PT7601-9449 Danish. Norwegian. Swedish.

M1500-1527.8 for Dramatic Music and Musical Theatre

Browse a list of monologues or scenes in Cameo
These tips will help you find most monologues. If you can't find what you need, Ask a Librarian!

1. Search the term monologues (or monologue in some cases) as one of your search terms in Cameo.
2. OR use monologues as one of your search terms to limit your search.
3. OR wearch the phrase - acting and auditions as one of your search terms.

4. OR searching the keyword scenes (in place of the word monologues) as one of your keyword searches

Browse monologues in the library stacks. These tips will find many, but not all monologues. Ask for help.
Note call number locations for some monologues and screenplays on the 4th Floor of Hunt
PN 2080 Monologue collections (scripts)...e.g. Best Stage Monologues for Men...Women...etc. HUNT STACKS-4 (4th floor)
PN 4001-4800 Oratory and Elocution HUNT STACKS-2 (2nd Floor)
PN 1530 Art of the monologue HUNT STACKS-2 (2nd Floor)

Guides to Plays and Scenes (a selection of print indexes)

Firkins, Ina Ten Eyck (compiler). Index to Plays, 1800-1926. New York: H.W. Wilson, 1927.
HUNT FA-REF-4 Z5781 .A1 F5 (4th floor Hunt Library>
11,000 plays by 3,500 playwrights are listed. The playwright index is seperate from the title and subject index. Periodicals and books are covered. English and American plays and English translations of foreign language plays are included.

Firkins, Ina Ten Eyck (compiler). Play Index. New York: H.W. Wilson.
HUNT FA-REF-4 Z5781 .P53 10 Vols: 1949-1997.(4th floor Hunt Library)
An augmentation of Firkins (see above) covering scripts in the English language published in the United States, Britain, or Canada. Playwrights, titles, and subjects are arranged in one list.

Ireland, Norma (Olin). Index to Full Length Plays 1944 to 1964 . Boston: F.W. Faxon, Co., 1965.
HUNT FA-REF-4 Z5781 .T52 (4th Floor Hunt Library)
A list of plays that have been successfully produced and published in either England or the United States. Arrangement by title with entries describing cast, set, and costuming requirements. Indexed by subjects. This is a companion volume to the indexes by Thomson (see below).

Logasa, Hannah. An Index to One-Act Plays . Supplement. Boston: F.W. Faxon, Co., 1965.
HUNT FA-REF-4 Z5781 .L83 5 Vols:1924-1964. (4th floor Hunt Library)
Playwright, title, and subject indexes to one-act plays written or translated into English. Includes plays appearing in periodicals and collections as well as those seperately published. Some radio and television dramas appear in the later volumes.

Thomson, Ruth Gibbons. Index to Full Length Plays, 1895 to 1925. Boston: F.W. Faxon, Co., 1956.
HUNT FA-REF-4 Z5781 .T49, 1895-1925 (4th floor Hunt Library)
Predecessor to Ireland (see above) and arranged in the same manner.


Bell, Richard O. and Kuder Bell, Joan Auditions and Scenes from Shakespeare. Boulder: Armando & Moth, 1979.
PN2080 .B4 (Offsite. Obtain by request)
A very extensive listing of potential scenes and speeches from all of Shakespeare's plays.

Grumbach, Jane and Emersonan, Robert. Actors Guide to Scenes: An Index of 600 Scenes from Classical and Modern Plays. New York: Drama Book Specialists, 1973.
HUNT FA-REF-4 Z5781 .G78
A listing of two-character scenes classified by the gender of the characters and the style of the play (comic, serious, etc.). Running time and beginning line are indicated.

Grumbach, Jane and Emersonan, Robert . More Actors Guide to Monologues: An Index of 600 Monologues for Auditions and Class Work. New York: Drama Book Specialists, 1974.
HUNT FA-REF-4 PN4321 .G87
Very similar to the Actor's Guide described above, but lists monologues rather than two-character scenes.

Find plays in other library catalogs
Pittcat  University of Pittsburgh Library holdings

Other Pittsburgh library catalogs  Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Duquesne University, Chatham University, Carlow University, Point Park University, and Robert Morris University.

WorldCat  includes holdings for all of the above as well as other local, regional, national and international library holdings


A number of the following databases give details about the play as well as the number and types of players (e.g. genre, gender etc.).

Full-Text Play and Book Databases

Asian American Drama
Contains the full-text of 250 plays by Asian American playwrights. It is searchable by author, play title, characters, scenes, subjects, years, productions, theatres, and companies. The database also contains playwright biographies, details on productions, theatres and theatrical companies, as well as production photographs, selected playbills and other information related to the plays.

Black Drama
Contains the full-text of 1200 plays by black playwrights. It is searchable by author, play title, characters, scenes, subjects, years, productions, theatres, and companies, including related resource and biographical information.


Drama Online
1550 plays: classic to contemporary
; L.A. Theatre Works audio plays; Globe on Screen streaming video, more....

Early English Books Online
A searchable full text database of over 95,000 titles published between 1475 and 1700.

Eighteenth Century Collections Online
Scanned images from a diverse collection of 18th century printed material including books, directories, Bibles, sheet music, advertisements, sermons; collections on the French Revolution and works by woman writers; editions of the works of Shakespeare.

Internet Shakespeare Editions (ISE) is an open-access, non-profit scholarly website presenting full-text Shakespeare plays and poems, Shakespeare’s life and times, and Shakespeare in performance.

North American Women's Drama
over 1,500 full-text plays by women from colonial times to the present. Allows in-depth browsing and searching; includes detailed information on related productions, theaters, production companies and and more. Plays were selected by the Alexander Street Press editorial board using recognized play bibliographies and in consultation with other scholars and playwrights.

Twentieth Century North American Drama is a growing full-text database, currently containing 850 plays including the complete works of major playwrights as well as plays by emerging playwrights. Searchable by keyword, author, play title, characters, scenes, subjects, years, productions, theaters, and companies. Additional information on playwrights, theaters, companies, productions and performances is included along with a selection of playbills, posters and other ephemera.

Play Index Online
Lists plays (including one-act plays, pageants, plays in verse, radio and television plays and classic drama) from 1949-present; includes author, title, style, genre, cast type, by number of players with one-sentence plot summaries and musical, cast and scenery requirements. To see if a play in Play Index is accessible in the Carnegie Mellon Libraries check Cameo.
If the Libraries do not have the play you want. contact the Art and Drama Librarian, Mo Dawley, about obtaining the play for the CMU Libraries collection.

Streaming Video

Digital Theatre Plus
Recent British theatre productions streamed in high definition; additional educational content. One year trial.

Drama Online Globe on Screen

World-class performance at the Globe on streaming video.
Offers filmed concerts performed by today’s greatest names in classical music, archive movies, inspiring documentaries on performers and composers, educational programs, and master classes.

Met Opera on Demand
Provides unlimited access to more than 450 extraordinary Met performances.
High-quality films of full-length performances by current provocative artists working in dance, theater, music and other forms.

Dance in Video and documentaries in streaming video with influential performers and companies of the 20th century. Includes ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, experimental, improvisational dance, and forerunners of the forms and the pioneers of modern concert dance; search, browse, cite or bookmark videos to the moment; make custom clips, annotate and share them.

Opera in Video
...important opera performances, captured on video through staged productions, interviews and documentaries; selections are based on a work’s importance to the operatic canon.

Theatre in Video
...definitive performances and documentaries in streaming video with leading actors, playwrights and directors covering a wide range of 20th century theatre history. Includes contemporary revivals of classic works, television broadcasts of New York productions, experimental performances and more; search, browse and bookmark scenes, monologues, and staging examples to a link that can be shared.


Mo Dawley
Art and Drama Librarian

Acqs of interest

The Art and Drama Librarian continually acquires plays for the collection (approx. 40 a month not including plays online).
If we don't have a play that you need contact Mo Dawley.

by Sarah Ruhl

The night alive : and other plays

by Conor McPherson