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Welcome to the subject page for Performing Arts.

This page has been compiled by your subject librarian and will help you to find information for your studies and research. It is not an exhaustive list of everything available, but will point you in the right direction. 

Resources you may find useful include:

  • Academic textbooks
  • Online media archives
  • Video and audio material
  • Scores and libretti
  • Academic journals
  • Professional magazines
  • Industry blogs
  • Online galleries and portfolios

Use OneSearch to find everything that the library has to offer including print books, electronic books, journals and more…

 Take a look at the Using the library pages for more general information about using our services.
  • Journals & Eresources

    This section introduces you to a variety of resources other than books that are available through the library. Here you will find information on key journal titles and how to locate relevant articles, as well as digital resources that may be helpful in your creative practice

    Top Journals

    These are just a select few titles from our journal and magazine collection. Search the Journals A-Z to see if we hold a particular title or check out the journals display at Brampton Road Library.

    Drama and acting

    New Theatre Quarterly

    Performance Research

    Theatre Research International

    TDR: The Drama Review

    Studies in Theatre and Performance

    Technical Theatre

    Theatre and Performance Design

    Costume: Journal of the Costume Society

    Back Stage

    Stage Directions

    Studies in Costume and Perfomance



    Dance Research Journal

    Dance Research: The Journal of the Society for Dance Research

    Dance Chronicle

    Movement, Dance and Drama

    Singing & Musical Theatre

    Studies in Musical Theatre

    Journal of Singing

    Journal of Voice

    The Sondheim Review 

    Musical Quarterly 

    Online Journal Collections

    Eresources are databases enable you to search for journal and magazine articles on a specific topic. While most are covered by a search in OneSearch, sometimes it might be easier to find relevant materials in these subject-specific resources.

    International Bibliography of Theatre and Dance

    Although content from International Bibliography of Theatre and Dance is included in OneSearch, it is sometimes easier to search within the specific collection. You can search for journal articles on a specific topic, production, practitioner or movement. You can also browse the latest issues of key journals in theatre, dance, musical theatre and stagecraft.

    ProQuest Arts Premium

    This is a large database encompassing all aspects of the arts including art, design, architecture, humanities, film/screen studies, music, performing arts, and more. Specifically for Performing Arts, as well as access to academic articles, reviews and interviews, this resource also contains Opera Syponoses and Music Fundamental Terms glossaries. 

    More advanced researchers might want to make use of the International Index to Music Periodicals and International Index to Performing Arts which provide citation information of the contents of all important journals in music and performing arts which can be requested via inter-library loan. 


    JSTOR contains a lot of journals on art, culture and film etc so is useful for research for contextual studies. Full text articles from JSTOR appear in OneSearch results but there are many more articles on JSTOR that are normally not available as full text. Register and Read is a new service that allows you to save up to three articles would normally be abstract only. To use this service, you need to log on to JSTOR and create a personal account by clicking MyJSTOR. Registration is free.

    ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global

    ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global is the world's most comprehensive collection of dissertations and theses from around the world with a very large number available as PDF full-text. The database covers all disciplines including a strong representation from the performing arts.

    Finding a journal article from a reference

    Sometimes your tutor might give you a reference or you may want to chase up an entry in a book's bibliography. If you have the details for a specific journal article, you can use the Journals A-Z to locate it quickly and easily. Search for the journal title and select the appropriate year and volume to find your article.


  • Media Streaming Resources

    The resources below feature high-quality full-length streamed productions, behind-the-scenes insights and essays to support your on-stage practice as well as your written assignments. 

    Digital Theatre Plus 

    Digital Theatre Plus offers streamed films of leading productions from Shakespeare to ballet to Broadway.  Each production is supported by additional content, including interviews with the creative and production teams and written study guides that you can use for essays.

    If you are off-campus, you will need to click the Login button in the top-right, select 'Login via your instiution' and select University of Cumbria. You can then log in using your network username and password. 

    Dance in Video 

    Featuring full performances, interviews, documentaries and tutorials, Dance in Video is the most comprehensive resource available to dance students. You can view work from a huge range of choreographers and dance companies or browse by genre or style. This makes Dance in Video a useful resource for the dance studio and for your assignments.

    BBC Shakespeare Archive Resource 

    This resource comprises an incredible collection of full-length BBC productions of practically all of Shakespeare's plays and associated materials such as interviews and written guides. The archive is fully searchable so you can search for specific titles, actors and directors. 

    To watch a video:

    - Click the play's title link and you will be prompted to log in.

    - Type 'University of Cumbria' into the organisation box and select University of Cumbria from the list, then click proceed.

    - You should then be asked for your university login details 

    Academic Video Online (AVON) 

    This video streaming platform contains videos on a range of topics on Performing Arts and much beyond. Useful for contextual studies as well as research on subjects as creative inspiration.

  • Images and Copyright

    You need to provide references for any images or performance stills you use in your own work.

    Be very careful when using images in assignments and studio practice. Appropriation involves the reuse of images or works without making any changes to the original for creative or artmaking purposes. However, unauthorised or unattributed use of images of art works may mean you are in breach of copyright legislation which can have serious consequences. This video from LinkedIn Learning explains the difference between appropriation and copyright infringement.

    Check out this InfosmART tutorial, produced by Learning Resources at the Glasgow School of Art, to learn how to make sure you are using images responsibly and ethically.

    Photographs in particular can be a minefield in terms of attribution and copyright. The University of Leeds have produced this handy guide that explains some of the rules you need to abide by when using photographs in your work.

    Copyright-cleared Collections

    To avoid any pitfalls with using copyright-cleared images, you can use the collections below available from the Library.


    Bridgeman Education is a copyright-cleared image database that includes images of works from the world’s major museums, galleries and private collections, from ancient history to the most recent exhibitions. A useful resource for visual research and image reference. 

    Visual Arts Data Service

    VADS is a carefully curated online archive of the visual and performing arts. It comprises a wide variety of collections of images and text on all aspects of visual culture including paintings, costume and sculpture. The archive can be searched by keyword or you can browse individual collections that pique your interest!

  • Websites

    A selection of useful, reputable and visually-rich websites have been collected together for you here. This collection will grow over time so check these sections regularly for new additions.


    The Stage

    The website for the biggest magazine in the entertainment industry. Great for information on auditions as well as reviews of performances and other performance-related news.

    Actors and Performers

    A great source for your professional development, Actors and Performers features advice on all aspects of working in the performance industries including auditions, staging a show and developing your skills. Access more content by registering for free.


    Industry news and information for actors with a focus on casting and auditions for useful insider tips.

    Digital Collections in Performing Arts

    Collated by Eric Colleary, theatre historian and curator, this site brings together a broad range of online archives and collections. Particularly useful for researching the history of performance.

    Theatre, drama and acting

    In-yer-face Theatre

    A great resource for confrontational and controversial drama.  The 'new writers A-Z' is a good place to start for research on writers in the genre and the archive contains some original articles from the 1990's.

    Theatre History on the Web

    Theatre History on the Web was developed by an academic at the University of Washington. It is another portal to quality information about the history of performance from Classical to contemporary theatre.

    Applied and Interactive Theatre Guide

    Subject hub for various forms of applied theatre including psychodrama, Theatre in Education and drama therapy. Specific key practitioners such as Augusto Boal are also covered.

    Theatre Archive

    Maintained by the University of Bristol, this site is one of the largest online archives for theatre. You can search the archives for specific plays, playwrights and original material dating back to the 19th Century.

    Dance and Physical Theatre

    Dance DV8 Physical Theatre

    The online resource from the physical theatre company. Spend some time browsing the choreography projects and check out the 'students' tab for interviews with performers, reviews and other helpful resources.

    V&A Museum Dance

    Articles, features, videos and images on a host of dance genres from ballet to East Asian dance. A very sumptuous visual resource.

    Digital Dance Archives

    Access to five separate collections from the National Resource Centre of Dance. Collections include Natural Movement, Laban and Extemporary Dance Theatre.

    Foundation for Community Dance

    Information on professional practice, various publications such as handbooks and toolkits for setting up community dance projects.

    Dance UK

    National body for professional dancers in the UK. Here you will find information on choreography, diet and fitness and professional practice.

    Musical Theatre

    Internet Broadway Database (IBDB)

    IBDB is the work of the Broadway League and is a reliable resource for factual information and statistics on Broadway musicals such as attendance numbers, cast details and theatres.

    Gilbert and Sullivan Archive

    A central space for all things Gilbert and Sullivan. Includes extensive information on individual productions as well as biographical information.

    The Broadway League

    The website for the national trade association for the Broadway industry. As well as information on current shows and events, the Research and Information section contains statistics and reports on sales, audience demographics etc.

    Technical theatre and costume

    Vogue Archive

    Every issue of American Vogue has been digitised and made available through this resource. Very useful visual reference for costume design from 1890 to the present.

    V&A Museum Fashion Drawing & Illustration

    This is a fantastic feature from the legendary museum on fashion illustration throughout the decades of the 20th Century.

    V&A Museum Costume

    Rich in images and interesting articles on costume design for stage, this excellent website is regularly updated and is surprisingly large.

    Stage Lighting for Students

    This site may look basic and have American bias but it does feature useful design ideas and theoretical principles behind stage lighting

    The Stage Management Association

    News, forums and career information on managing stage productions.

    Professional Lighting and Sound Association (PLASA)

    International body representing entertainment technology companies. This website contains resources on all aspects of lighting and sound management.

    Society of British Theatre Designers

    Profiles and galleries of theatre designers as well as information about exhibitions

    On Stage Lighting

    Although this site contains a lot of commercial information, it is also a very useful source of how-to knowledge on aspects of lighting design, rigging and technical theatre equipment

    Theatre Crafts

    Resources on everything to do with theatre technology and backstage functions from animatronics, to make-up to lighting.

    Association of Lighting Designers

    UK-based association with resources, photo gallery and news from the industry.

    BECTU (The Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematograph and Theatre Union)

    The site for the trade union for theatre and entertainment industry staff contains legal advice and other practical resources.