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Drama: 54-281: Foundations of Drama II: 20th Century Productions: Get started: Biography

Full-Length Biographies/Autobiographies

Cameo (Carnegie Mellon) Research Hint:
Use Advanced Search and use the keywords biography or autobiography, as part of your search or simply search on only the practioner's name for the widest ranging results.

Worldcat Authoritative library catalog that lists the holdings of libraries across the country and internationally.
For items CMU Libraries don't have you can use Interlibrary Loan which allows you to borrow materials from other libraries. Use similar search strategies in Worldcat as you would in Cameo.

Focused Biographic Reference Works

A few examples of  focused biographical reference works:

American Women Stage Directors of the Twentieth Century (Anne L. Fliotsos)
FA-REF PN2286.8 .F55 2008

Asian American Playwrights: A Bio-bibliographical Critical Sourcebook (Miles Xian Liu)
FA-REF PS338 .A74 A9 2002

A Biographical Dictionary of Scenographers, 500 B.C. to 1900 A.D. (Robin Thrulow Lacy)
FA-REF PN2096 .A1 L33 1990

Contemporary Fashion. 2nd ed. (Taryn Benbow-Pfalzgraf)
FA-REF TT505 .A1 C66 2002

The Encyclopedia of Musical Theatre. 2nd edition. (Kurt Gänzl)
FA-REF ML102 .M88 G3 2001

Encyclopedia of Latin American Theater. (Eladio Cortés)
FA-REF PQ7082 .D7 E63 2003

Enter the Playmakers: Directors and Choreographers on the New York Stage. (Thomas S. Hischak)
FA-REF PN 1998.2 .H596 2006

The Gay and Lesbian Theatrical Legacy: A Biographical Dictionary of Major Figures in American Stage History in the Pre-Stonewall Era. (Billy J. Harbin)
PN2286.5 .G38 2005

Geniuses of the American Musical Theatre: The Composers and Lyricists. (Herbert H. Keyser)
FA-REF ML385 .K485 2009

Notable Women in the American Theatre: A Biographical Dictionary. (A. Robinson, V. Roberts and M. Marranger, eds). New York; Westport CN; London: Greenwood Press, 1989.
HUNT FA-REF-pn2285 .N65, 1989.

Thames and Hudson Dictionary of Fashion and Fashion Designers.
Credo Reference Online. (1986, 1989 and 1998 Thames & Hudson)

Theatrical Designers: An International Biographical Dictionary. (Thomas J. Mikotowicz)
HUNT FA-REF PN2096 .A1 AM54 1992

Women Playwrights of Diversity: A Bio-bibliographical Sourcebook. (Jane T. Peterson)
HUNT FA-REF PS338 .W6 P48 1997

"Quick Biographical Reference"

If you cannot find a full-length biographical or autobiographical work on your practitioner search in scholarly encyclopedias, or biographical dictionaries.  Here are some examples:

American National Biography.  John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes, eds.  New York: Oxford University Press..
HUNT-REF-1 CT213 .A68 1999 9  24 volumes
Each entry is written by a scholar and containing bibliography.

Cambridge History of American Theatre (Don B. Wilmeth and Christopher Bigsby, eds.) New York; Cambridge: Cambridge University, Press, 1998.
HUNT FA-REF-4 PN2221 .c37 1998
Volume 1: Beginnings to 1870
Volume 2: 1870-1945
Volume 3: Post-World War II-1990s
A contextual survey; each section contains extensive timelines juxtaposing theatre events in America with selected historical/cultural American and worldwide events.


Carpenter, Charles A. Modern Drama: Scholarship and Criticism, 1981-1990: An International Bibliography. Toronto, Buffalo and London: Modern Drama and University of Toronto Press, 1997.
FA-REF-4Z5781 .C37 1997
Extensive bibliography by playwright.


The Columbia Encyclopedia of Modern Drama. (Cody, Gabrielle H. and Evert Sprinchorn, ed.). New York: Columbia University Press, 2007.
HUNT FA-REF-4 PN1861 . C65 2007 (2 volumes)
Scholarly critical essays on individuals, plays, and types of drama from 1860 to present; cites first production of plays; emphasis placed on cultural context of dramatic works and their authors; appendices include synoptic outline of contents, directory of contributors. Bibliographies. Extensive index.


Contemporary Dramatists. London: St. James Press.
HUNT FA-REF-4 PR737 .C57, 1993. (earlier editions available)
Bio-bibliographies on writers for the stage, screen, radio and television.


International Dictionary of Theatre. (Hawkins-Dady, Mark, ed., Leanda Shrimpton, picture editor). Chicago and London: St. James Press, 1992.
HUNT FA-REF-4 PN2035 .I49 1992

Plays Volume 1
Detailed information about play publication and production. Includes date of first production, translations and bibliography;critical summary of each play.

Playwrights Volume 2
Detailed information on life and work; critical summary; bibliography

Actors, Directors and Designers Volume 3
Detailed information on life and work, critical summary; bibiliography.

International Encyclopedia of Dance (Selma Jeanne Cohen)
A six-volume reference set in print
HUNT FA-REF-4 GV1585 .I586 1998

Magill, Frank N. Critical Survey of Drama : English Language Series. Englewood Cliffs, N.J. : Salem Press, 1985.
HUNT REF-1 PR623 .C75 1985 6 vols.
Biographical summaries; critical essays examine representative plays and identify themes and characteristics employed by English language dramatists.

Magill, Frank N. Critical Survey of Drama : Foreign Language Series. Englewood Cliffs, N.J. : Salem Press, 1986.
HUNT REF-1 PN1625 .C74 1986, 6 vols. with 1987 supplement
Biographical summaries; critical essays examine representative plays and identify themes and characteristics employed by more than 170 non-English speaking dramatists.


The Oxford Encyclopedia of Theatre & Performance (edited by Dennis Kennedy). Oxford University Press, 2003.
HUNT FA-REF-4 PN2035 .O94 2003 2 volumes.
Online via Oxford Reference Online


Oxford Reference Online
Encyclopedias, dictionaries, quotations, timelines and other reference works across

CMU Libraries Reference Shelf: Biography
More biographical resources online across disciplines.