Movies – Film-Making – Broadway Musicals – Theater

Movies, Film Making, Broadway Musicals, History of Theater, American Theater. Playwrights of the 20th century, Life in a Circus, Interviews with Film Directors

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


Performing Arts Collection

Numerous free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “Performing Arts”. Be patient as the page loads.

Acting Collection

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

Film and Cinema Collection

Internet Archive

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

Folkscanomy Books on Film and Cinema Collection

Numerous free online books at the Internet Archive, contributed by ‘Folkscanomy’.

Motion Picture Actresses & Actors Collection

Numerous 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

Film-Making Collection

Hundreds of free online books on the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for texts on “Film Making”.

History of Theater Collection

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

Dance Collection

Numerous free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “Dance”. Be patient as the page loads.

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

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.

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

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

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.

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.

Over 100 magazines free and online, from the early 1800s to today, at Read Old Magazines Online

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

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

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

Century Past Library