Performing Arts – Actors, Theater, Dance, Cinema, Radio & Television


Hundreds of Free Scanned Books about Movies, Film-Making, TV Shows, Acting, Broadway Musicals, History of Theater, American Theater. Playwrights of the 20th century, interviews with Film Directors. Books at the Internet Archive.

 

Actors & Performers

Theater, Dance & Other Performing Arts

Films, Cinema

Radio

Television

Hint: When a book you want to borrow at Internet Archive is already checked out, go to the Internet Archive’s ‘Search’ box, check “Search Metadata”, and search for the book’s title. Sometimes they have two or more copies.

Century Past Library

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Actors & Performers Free Books

Acting Collection

More than 700 free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “Acting”. Be patient as the page loads.

 

Actors Collection

About 3,100 free online books on the subject of “Actors”. Be patient as the page loads.

 

Free online magazines about Entertainment, Celebrities & Pop Culture

Motion Picture Actresses & Actors Collection

About 1,600 free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “Motion Picture Actresses & Actors”. Be patient as the page loads.

 

Selected Articles about the Cultural History of Literature, Music & Fine Arts

Television Actors and Actresses Collection

About 200 books from the Internet Archive free online on the subject of Television Actors and Actresses.
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To the Actor: On the Technique of Acting

Chekhov, Michael
Barnes & Noble 1985        Dewey Dec.    792

“This new edition contains all of Chekhov’s brilliant insights, techniques, and exercises, as well as a previously unpublished chapter on the ‘psychological Gesture’, a central prcept of his sytem.” Libr J

 


Theater, Dance & Other Performing Arts Free Books

Performing Arts Collection

About 1,300 free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “Performing Arts”.

 

History of Theater Collection

More than 900 free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “History of Theater”. Be patient as the page loads.

 

20th Century American Drama – History & Criticism Collection

About 80 books from the Internet Archive free online on the subject of 20th Century American Drama – History & Criticism.

Musicals Collection

About 300 books from the Internet Archive free online on the subject of Musicals.

 

170+ magazines free online, from the early 1800s to today, at Magazines Online Free in PDF

Operas Collection

More than 300 books from the Internet Archive free online on the subject of Operas.

 

Dance Collection

More than 900 books from the Internet Archive free online on the subject of Dance.

 

Ballet Collection

About 500 books from the Internet Archive free online on the subject of Ballet.
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American Country-Dances (Vol 1); Twenty-eight Contra-dances, Largely from the New England States

Burchenal, Elizabeth, ed.
Schirmer 1918 Dewey Dec. 793

A collection of some of the old country dances which are essentially American, including both music and directions. It is intended as a first book in a new series of dances. The dances included are mainly variations of British originals. – A.L.A. Catalog 1926

 

The Dance, its Place in Art and Life

Kinney, Troy, and Kinney, Margaret West
Stokes 1914 Dewey Dec. 793

One of the most complete books on the subject, covering historical development, folk dancing, and present-day artistic and social dancing. The authors are recognized authorities who know present conditions in New York, London, Paris and Seville.- A.L.A. Catalog 1926

 

The Cambridge Guide to Theatre

Banham, Martin, ed.
Cambridge Univ. 1995 Dewey Dec. 792

“Substantially revised and updated, this is the most comprehensive guide to the history and current practice of worldwide theatre available today. It covers all major playwrights, works, traditions, theories, companies, venues and events; details the origins of popular theatre tradition; discusses the work of actors, directors and designers; and explains theatre architecture and design. The book is written by over 100 expert contributors and is illustrated throughout.”

 

A Pictorial History of the American Theatre 1860-1980

Blum, Daniel C.
Crown 1981 Dewey Dec. 792

6,000 photographs.

 

Books on Journalism, Publishing, Broadcasting, TV, Radio Free Books

The Oxford Companion to American Theatre

Bordman, Gerald M.
Oxford Univ. 1984 Dewey Dec. 792

Includes nearly 3,000 entries.

 

History of the Theatre

Brockett, Oscar G.
Allyn and Bacon 1991 Dewey Dec. 792

Traces the development of the theater from primitive times to the present, with an emphasis on European theatre. 6th edition.

 

Ways of the Circus

Conklin, George
Harper 1921 Dewey Dec. 791

The memories and adventures of George Conklin, tamer of lions, as set down by H. W. Root, Don C. Seitz says in the introduction, “He was a circus man through and through, accomplished not only in his own particular line, but able to turn a facile hand to any part of the game. His story is the epic of the circus; its ways and wanderings, its great leaders, its freaks, its followers, and fakers. I believe it to be the only history of the kind ever written—certainly no other ever told so much or so well.” – A.L.A. Catalog 1926

See also: Ringling, Alfred, Life Story of the Ringling Brothers in Biographies & Memoirs in Wisconsin History

 

Romance of the American Theatre

Crawford, Mary Caroline
Little 1913 Dewey Dec. 792

A series of impressions and records of some of the great personalities of the American stage, compiled by the author or supplied by her own memories, which reproduce the atmosphere of the theater of the older days. Distinguished by enthusiasm and a light charming touch.- A.L.A. Catalog 1926

Also see: Daly, Joseph Francis, Life of Augustin Daly in Century Past Biographies: D, E & F;
Sherman, Robert L, The Chicago Stage; its Records and Achievements in Illinois Cultural History;
Strang, Lewis C., Famous Actresses of the Day in America in Century Past Collective Biography Q – Z;
Strang, Lewis C., Famous Actors of the Day in America in Century Past Collective Biography Q – Z;
Carson, William G. , The Theatre on the Frontier; the Early Years of the St. Louis Stage in Illinois Cultural History

 

Classic Novels, Historical Fiction, Old Bestsellers

American Stage of Today

Eaton, Walter Pilchard
Small 1908 Dewey Dec. 792

“Largely descriptions or criticisms of present-day plays and actors, indicating the trend of the theater and its success in satisfying the American public.” – A.L.A.Catalog 1904 – 1911

 

Broadway Musicals, Show by Show

Green, Stanley
Hal Leonard 1996 Dewey Dec. 792

“A combination history, guide, fact book, and photograph album of the most memorable productions presented both on and off Broadway from “The Black Crook” in 1866 right up to the present. There are over 330 entries…” from the Preface. 5th edition.

 

Problems of the Playwright

Hamilton, Clayton Meeker
Holt 1917 Dewey Dec. 792

A discussion of contemporary drama from the point of view of the critic, the dramatist, the stage director, the scenic artist, the manager, and the theater-going public.- A.L.A. Catalog 1926

 

Broadway: The American Musical

Kantor, Michael and Maslon, Laurence
Bulfinch 2004 Dewey Dec. 792

A real live nephew of my Uncle Sam (1893-1919) — Syncopated city (1920-1929) — I got plenty o’ nuttin’ (1930-1941) — Oh, what a beautiful mornin’ (1942-1960) — Tradition (1960-1980) — Lullaby of Broadway (1980-present)
Companion volume to a 6-part PBS documentary.

 

The Dance, its Place in Art and Life

Kinney, Troy, and Kinney, Margaret West
Stokes 1914 Dewey Dec. 793

One of the most complete books on the subject, covering historical development, folk dancing, and present-day artistic and social dancing. The authors are recognized authorities who know present conditions in New York, London, Paris and Seville.- A.L.A. Catalog 1926

 

Play Production in America

Krows, Arthur Edwin
Holt 1916 Dewey Dec. 792

The history of a play from its acceptance till its performance before the audience is here traced. There are interesting chapters on casting, staging, costumes, scenery, advertising and management. It is particularly full in its explanations of the mechanical stage devices in vogue (about 1916). There is a short classified bibliography.- A.L.A. Catalog 1926

 

Cambridge Guide to American Theatre

Wilmeth, Don B.
Cambridge Univ. 1996 Dewey Dec. 792

 

 

Other Days; Being Chronicles and Memories of the Stage

Winter, William
Moffat 1908 Dewey Dec. 792

“Pleasant, discursive reminiscences by the dean of dramatic critics, covering the history of the stage for two generations.” – A.L.A.Catalog 1904 – 1911

 


Films, Cinema Free Scanned Books

Film and Cinema Collection

Folkscanomy
Internet Archive

Collection of 280+ books related to Film and Cinema, free and online, at the Internet Archive.

 

Films, Cinema Collection

About 150 books from the Internet Archive free online on the subject of Films, Cinema.

 

Film-Making Collection

More than 3,000 free online books on the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for texts on “Film Making”. Be patient while the page loads.

 

Motion Picture Industry Collection

About 600 books from the Internet Archive, free online on the subject of Motion Picture Industry.

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History of Motion Pictures Collection

About 90 books from the Internet Archive free online on the subject of History of Motion Pictures.

Cinematography Collection

About 300 books from the Internet Archive free online on the subject of Cinematography.
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Motion Picture Producers and Directors Collection

About 750 books from the Internet Archive, free online on the subject of Motion Picture Producers and Directors.
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Free online magazines about Entertainment, Celebrities & Pop Culture

Accidental Genius: How John Cassavetes Invented American Independent Film

Fine, Marshall
Miramax/Hyperion 2005        Dewey Dec.    791

Maverick director Cassavetes (1929-1989) was a progenitor of today’s independent film movement, fighting the studio system, financing and ultimately distributing his films himself.

 

 

The Spectator: Talk about Movies and Plays with the People who Make Them

Turkel, Studs
New Press 1999        Dewey Dec.    791

“Telling portraits of a wide range of artists in conversation with a passionately involved, prodigiously well prepared interlocutor.” Booklist.
Overture — Prologue: morning, noon, and night (with Jack Kirkland) — Act One. Beginnings. In the wings (with Francois Truffaut). Buster Keaton. Lillian Gish. King Vidor. Vittorio De Sica — Say it with music. Eubie Blake. Agnes DeMille. Carol Channing (and Talluah Bankhead) — Hard Times. Arthur Miller. Eva LeGallienne. Hiram (Chub) Sherman. E.Y. (Yip) Harburg. Harold Clurman. — Chicago Boom-Boom. James Cagney — War. War movies. On seeing The Deer Hunter. Pauline Kael — O Death. Lila Kedrova. Reflections on The Last Mile and Watch on the Rhine. John Randolph on Alfred Lunt –Kindness of strangers. Tennessee Williams (and Claudia Cassidy). Geraldine Page. Marlon Brando — Act Two. Ways of seeing. Federico Fellini (and Marcello Mastroianni and Alain Cuny). Rene Clair. Satyajit Ray (and Ravi Shankar) — Ways of doing. Francoise Rosay. Ruth Gordon. Simone Signoret — Ways of seeing II. Ian McKellan. Jonathan Miller — A touch of Shaw. Sybil Thorndike. Robert Morley — Bert and Sam: Brecht and Beckett. Kenneth Tynan (and Peter Hall). Lotte Lenya (and Arnold Sundgaard). Joan Littlewood. Alan Schneider. Gilbert Moses (and Joe Lattimore). Rick Cluchey. E.G. Marshall — Act Three. Solo flight. Ruth Draper. Emlyn Williams. Hal Holbrook — Out of the shadows. Moms Mabley. Lorraine Hansberry. James Baldwin. August Wilson (and Clifford Burke) — Success. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Uta Hagen — Winners and losers. William Saroyan (and Bill Veeck). Jose Quintero. Jose Quintero and Jason Robards. E.G. Marshall. Edward Albee — The Clowns. Marcel marceau. Jacques Tati. Zero Mostel (and Eugene Ionesco) — Epilogue. Burr Tillstrom

 

The New Historical Dictionary of the American Film Industry

The New Historical Dictionary of the American Film Industry

Slide, Anthony
Scarecrow 1998        Dewey Dec.    384

This reference “covers studios, companies, clubs and associations, and related concepts. Lots here that is not found elsewhere.” -Booklist

 


Radio Free Books

Radio Collection

About 1,100 books from the Internet Archive free online on the subject of Radio.
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Radio Broadcasters Collection

About 130 books from the Internet Archive free online on the subject of Radio Broadcasters.

 

Radio Amateur’s Hand Book

The Radio Amateur's Handbook

Collins, Frederick
Rowe 1922        Dewey Dec.    384

Subtitle: “A complete, authentic and informative work on wireless telegraphy and telephony”.
Chapter headings are: 1. How to Begin Wireless, 2. Putting up your Aerial, 3. Simple Telegraph and Telephone Receiving Sets, 4. Simple Telegraph Sending Sets, 5. Electricity Simply Explained, 6. How the Transmitting and Receiving Sets Work, 7. Mechanical and Electrical Tuning, 8. A Simple Vacuum Tube Detector Receiving Set, 9. Vacuum Tube Amplifier Receiving Sets, 10. Regenerative Amplification Receiving Sets, 11. Short Wave Regenerative Receiving Sets, 12. Intermediate and Long Wave Regenerative Receiving Sets, 13. Heterodyne or Beat Long Wave Telegraph Receiving Set, 14. Headphones and Loud Speakers, 15. Operation of Vacuum Tube Receptors, 16. Continuous Wave Telegraph Transmitting Sets with Direct Current, 17. Continuous Wave Telegraph Transmitting Sets with Alternating Current, 18. Wireless Telephone Transmitting Sets with Direct and Alternating Currents, 19. The Operation of Vacuum Tube Transmitters, 20. How to Make a Receiving Set for $5.00 or Less, Appendix

 

Outline of Radio

The Outline of Radio

Hogan, John Vincent Lawless
Little, Brown 1923        Dewey Dec.    384

“A reliable, interestingly written introduction to the study of radio, designed for the average reader and intended to answer the questions: What is radio? How did it happen? What makes it work? An excellent book for the beginner.”
– Standard Catalog for Public Libraries: Science and Useful Arts (1931)

 

Death of a Pirate: British Radio and the Making of the Information Age

Death of a Pirate: British Radio and the Making of the Information Age

Johns, Adrian
Norton 2011        Dewey Dec.    384.5

Johns “portrays the British radio pirates not in the warm glow of sentimental memory that the period usually enjoys but in the historian’s cold bright light. ‘Death of a Pirate’ is, in its way, a treasure.” -Wall Street J

 

Radio For Everybody

Radio for Everybody

Lescarboura, Austin C.
Scientific American 1922        Dewey Dec.    384

Subtitle: “Being A Popular Guide To Practical Radio-Phone Reception And Transmission And To The Dot-And-Dash Reception And Transmission Of The Radio Telegraph, For The Layman Who Wants To Apply Radio For His Pleasure And Profit Without Going Into The Special Theories And The Intricacies Of The Art.”
Chapter headings are: 1. The Elements of Radio Reception and Transmission, 2. Radio-Phone Broadcasting — What it is and What it Means, 3. Dot-and-Dash Broadcasting : From Market News to Time Signals, 4. Receiving Equipment and the Interception of Radio Waves, 5. Operating the Radio Receiving Set and Mastering the Telegraph Code, 6. Making Big Sounds Out of Little Ones, or the Gentle Art of Amplifying, 7. Transmitting the Dot and Dashes of the Damped Radio Telegraph, 8. The Radio-Telephone Transmitter and C. W. Telegraph Transmitter, 9. The Unusual Uses of Radio on Land and Sea and in the Air, 10. Radio in Working Clothes or the Application of Radio to Everyday Business, 11. How to Construct Simple Radio Receiving Sets for Radio-Phone Programs, 12. The Radio-Telephone of Today and Tomorrow

 


Television Free Scanned Books

Television Collection

About 4,000 books from the Internet Archive, free online on the subject of Television. Be patient as the page loads.

 

Television Broadcasting Collection

About 700 books from the Internet Archive, free online on the subject of Television Broadcasting.

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Television Broadcasting of News Collection

About 200 books from the Internet Archive free online on the subject of Television Broadcasting of News.

 

Television Programs Collection

About 400 books from the Internet Archive free online on the subject of Television Programs.
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170+ magazines free online, from the early 1800s to today, at Read Magazines Online Free PDF

TV History Collection

About 1,600 free online books on the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for texts on “TV History”. Be patient as the page loads.

 

TV & Children Collection

About 80 books from the Internet Archive free online on the subject of TV & Children.

 

American Television Directory: Official Yearbook of the American Television Society, Inc.

American Television Directory: Official Yearbook of the American Television Society

American Television Society
American Television Society 1946        Dewey Dec.    384

This is the first directory or yearbook by this organization, which had been recently created for this entirely new industry. The publication is made up of approximately 40 contributed articles, and also includes information about the American Television Society. Among the articles are: ‘Is Television Tomorrow’s Radio?’; ‘The Bell System’s Plan for Tele-networks’; ‘Sports for Millions by Television’; ‘The Economics of Television’; ‘Televised News for Theater-goers’; ‘Television and Fashion’; ‘Is Today’s Television Here to Stay?’; ‘Publications Reporting Television’. Bibliography included.

 

Television Broadcasting: An Introduction

Television Broadcasting: an Introduction

Hilliard, Robert L., ed.
Hastings House 1978        Dewey Dec.    384

 

 

One Nation under Television

One Nation Under Television

MacDonald, J. Fred
Pantheon 1990        Dewey Dec.    384

 

 

Understanding Society, Culture, and Television

Understanding Society, Culture, and Television

Monaco, Paul
Praeger 2000        Dewey Dec.    384

 

 

Target: Prime Time: Advocacy Groups and the Struggle Over Entertainment Television

Target Prime Time: advocacy groups and the struggle over entertainment television

Montgomery, Kathryn C.
Oxford University 1989        Dewey Dec.    384

 

 

Television: The Critical View

Television: the Critical View

Newcomb, Horace
Oxford University 1994        Dewey Dec.    384

A collection of essays and articles by various authors.

 

Encyclopedia Of Television Shows 1925 Through 2009

Terrace, Vincent
McFarland 1981

“Coverage begins at a time when only a handful of television receivers existed … Entries are organized alphabetically by program title and cover network, cable, syndicated prime time, late night, daytime and Saturday morning programs. In addition to regular series, aired and unaired pilot films are also included … Entries reflect detailed storyline information and performer and character casts. 9,375 program entries.

 

 

Century Past Library

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