How To Use

 
You can search the Black Plays Archive in a number of ways:
 
 
Quick Search
The Black Plays Archive does not approximate or correct search items. So if you misspell a word your search will be less successful. The ‘Quick Search’ is accessed via the home page and you can type the title of the production or name of the playwright you are looking for. If you do not know the full name of the play or the author, enter the portion of the name that you do know and the database will return all results containing this text.
 
 
Browse By
The ‘Browse’ feature, accessed via the home page and on the bottom banner of all pages, lets you browse alphabetically by production title, playwright, company and theatre. You can also browse by decade by choosing the ‘browse by period’ option. 
 
 
Explore the Archive
The advanced search options are accessed via the ‘Explore the Archive’ tab which sits on the top banner of every page.  The ‘Explore the Archive’ search option allows you to narrow your search by using the range of fields provided in the form. You can search by production title, playwright name, and under the ‘General keywords’ search you can for individual actors, directors, designers and stage crews who have worked on the productions.
 
In the ‘Cast size’ field you can set limit the cast numbers as appropriate to the plays for which you want to view production pages. If perhaps you are searching for a play but remember only that it was a monologue performed by a woman you could chose to enter ‘monologue’ in the general keywords box, set the maximum cast size option to 1 and the minimum female cast size to 1. Or perhaps your drama group are looking for a large ensemble piece - to return relevant results you might set the minimum cast size to 10.
 
Setting the date range option will return results based on the year of the play. As we know of no qualifying work produced prior to 1900 we have set this as the earliest date.
 
By selecting one of the radio buttons you can choose to narrow your search by its publication status.
 
By ticking the ‘Onsite Media’ checkboxes you can narrow your search to productions on the site which hold those types of media.
 
Completing these fields will narrow your search to return plays produced by specific companies at specific venues.
 
 
Bibliography
On all production and biography pages we list, where available, the title, publisher and publication date information for relevant published playtexts and anthologies, we also indicate if the text is held at the NT Archive. A link is usually provided to Copac (the catalogue for all the UK’s national libraries, University libraries, and specialist research libraries) for further bibliographic detail and locations of copies held in UK libraries.
 
 
Union Catalogue
The Union Catalogue provides descriptions of archival records related to plays included in the project, each entry includes a file title, archive reference code and repository details; where online catalogues or repository websites are available we provide links.