North American Theatre Online | Alexander Street
North American Theatre Online

North American Theatre Online

North American Theatre Online is the largest reference initiative ever undertaken in this subject area, a major reference tool containing tens of thousands of pages of key, in-copyright reference works available electronically for the first time.

The database includes additional reference details that are unique to this resource—hundreds of thousands of bibliographic records with rich information about authors, plays, theatres, productions, production companies, casts, and related information. The database covers the world of theatre from colonial times to the present century. North American Theatre Online also links you to a world of information at hundreds of the best sites on the Web for drama research, editorially selected by our advisors.

And finally, the project is the tool for cross-searching all the Alexander Street Press full-text drama collections, then linking through to the full-text of the plays that your library is licensed to access.


North American Theatre Online uses Alexander Street's Semantic Indexing technology. One search across all of the components within the database will orchestrate the search results into a single, unified results set. Hyperlink easily to and from production information, author information, theatre information, and all the other elements:

Full-text reference works: More than 40,000 pages of important reference sources are here in electronic format for the first time, indexed and searchable along with all the other content. O’Dell’s Annals of the New York Stage, the Oxford University Press Companion series, and Greenwood’s American Theatre Companies series are just a few of the many in-copyright sources.

Bibliographic information: More than 20 fields allow you to search by location, date, format, number of characters, theatre style, production company, and a rich thesaurus of other search terms. In-depth records cover tens of thousands of plays, including many previously unpublished works by major authors—not only major and known plays, but also partial works, works that have never been performed, and works that were believed lost, providing researchers with unique and never-before-seen information.

Related resources: There are tens of thousands of playbills, posters, photographs, and related theatrical ephemera.

Web resources: Editorially selected Web resources take you to the best of the Web in theatre. Unlike a traditional Web search, the Semantic Indexing will integrate results from the various Web sites with details from the other content in the database.

Publication Details

North American Theatre Online is available on the Web and includes:

  • 40,000-plus pages of essential, in-copyright reference texts in this area, licensed from major publishers, electronic, indexed, and cross-searchable for the first time.
  • Related resources, including posters, playbills, photos, architectural images, floor plans, and ephemera.
  • Links to hundreds of editorially selected theatre Web resources.
  • Hundreds of thousands of bibliographic records, unique to this resource, detailing people, plays, theatres, productions, production companies, cast lists, credit lists, and other information.
  • Alexander Street’s Semantic Indexing throughout, for searching in new ways.

Libraries may subscribe annually or make a one-time purchase of perpetual rights to North American Theatre Online as a standalone research tool or to the Alexander Street Drama package.