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THEA 100 (Matthew Reeder)

Provides help for two assignments requiring some research: the Broadway musical review assignment, and the Design assignment.


Welcome, Theatre 100 students!

Theatre masks -- comedy and dramaStudents in Matthew Reeder's THEA 100 class: You have two assignments which require you to use sources outside of your required readings.  You'll need to do some research for these assignments.  This guide aims to provide suggestions for resources and techniques for doing that research.

The physical library buildings are currently closed on Ball State's campus in Muncie, Indiana.  But, fortunately, there's a wealth of information available online that you're able to get to because you're a Ball State student and therefore have access to databases you wouldn't be able to use otherwise.

This guide will cover:

In addition you'll find:

IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS as you're searching:

  • If you need quick, immediate help: Use the Chat or Call options on the Ask a Librarian page.
  • If you have a little time or a more intricate question: Email me (Susan Taylor at, describing your topic and what you're having trouble with.  I'll write you back as soon as I can.

There are really lots of ways you can get help, even though the physical library building is closed.  Just reach out!

Research Tips

As you search in library databases, here are a few tips which may be useful:

  • Understand the difference between OneSearch and other library databases:
    • OneSearch (linked below) lets you cast a very broad net and find lots to look through, searching through many of our article databases all at the same time as you also search for the physical items we own in our libraries.
    • International Bibliography of Theatre and Dance (linked below) is one of our subject-specific databases.  It has an obvious focus on the theatre, limiting your results to that field.
  • Bear in mind these two spellings: theatre       theater and consider searching using both
  • Put titles, and names, and other phrases in quotation marks.  (ex. "robert redford", "waiting for godot")
  • Consider using the CHOP, DROP, and OR technique for searching when you have more than one idea involved in your search.  It allows you to cast your net wide, so you bring up titles which might be related to your topic -- closely or tangentially -- so that you can consider them.
    • First you CHOP your topic up, identifying the important words.
    • Then you DROP each search word into a separate search box.
    • Finally you consider if there are other synonyms or related terms which might be wise to search on, using OR between them.
  • The "Subjects" field in a record is helpful in finding good terms to use as search terms.

On Broadway Musical Review Assignment: Research Tips

Your assignment: For Part 1, you need to find information about four current shows: two on-Broadway and two off-Broadway.  You'll need to learn about what each show's about, how it's done at the box office, and what theatre critics have said about it.  (See your assignment for all of the requirements.)

Here are some links to consider as you look up the information you need:

Your assignment: For Part 2, you need to answer several questions, reflecting on what you learned about your four shows.  You may find it useful to do more research on the history of Broadway shows.  Consider looking for articles in one of the databases linked here:

As you use either of these databases, if you don't see a direct link to the PDF or HTMl full text of an article you want, use the MultiLink BSU button.  See more information about how MultiLink works..

Design Assignment: Research Tips

Your assignment: "Using A Midsummer Night's Dream, choose a design area that interests you (sets, lights, costumes, sound, props, scenic painting) and create some initial ideas about how you might go about designing for this particular play."

OneSearch allows you to search through all of the titles the library has access to -- both in print, and electronically.  So it includes books, ebooks, and PDFs of journal and magazine articles.

As you look for ideas for your chosen area of design, you may want to consult our online titles.

If you do this search on the Advanced Search page in OneSearch...

Advanced Search in OneSearch with one box: theatre OR theater and the other box: design

...and apply the "Full Text Online" and "Book/eBook" limiters on the left...

OneSearch showing Full Text Online limiter checkedOneSearch showing Book/eBook limiter with check mark get a list of results, all of which are electronic books.  Some cover lighting, some scenic design, and other design areas.  Explore the chapters to get ideas you can apply to your project.

To focus on costumes, you could change that second box to "costume design," as shown here:


And if you limit it to "Full Text Online" and "Book/eBook" (as above) you get these results.

MultiLink BSU: Helping you find the full text of the title you want

When you're using a database, and can't find a link to the full text of an article, look for a MultiLink BSU button.

MultiLink helps you to search the Libraries' other databases to see if the full text is available through another resource.  If it is available, MultiLink provides a link to the text of the article; and if it cannot find the full-text, MultiLink provides a link to Interlibrary Loan so that you can request that we get a copy of the article from another library.

To use MultiLink, click on the blue MultiLink BSU button.  A new OneSearch tab will open.  Look at the message just under the citation at the top of the record.  You may see one or more of these links:

  1. "Available Online."= We have the full article, readable online! Click there and then follow the link provided.
  2. "Available at __ Library."= We have print issues of the journal your article is in!  They're located in the library indicated.  Click there and look at the volumes/years listed to ensure we have the year you need.
  3. "Check for available services." = We don't have the full-text of that article.  Click there, and then choose "Request the item with Interlibrary Loan/ILLiad" to ask for a copy.

If you see "Available Online"  that means you can read the whole article electronically.

Here's what to do next:

  • Click on the "Available Online" link.
  • It will take you down to the "View Online" section of the record. 
  • There you'll see one or more links under "Full text availability."   
  • Click on a link and it should take you right to your article in a new tab.
  • If you don't see your article in the resulting tab, you may be on the more general web page for the journal your article is in.  Simply find the search box and do a search for the title of your article.  It should come right up.


If you see "Available at __ Library"  that means we have print issues of the journal your article is in.

Here's what to do next:

  • Click on the "Available at __ Library" link.
  • It will take you down to the "Get it: LOCATION" section of the record. 
  • There you'll see which library it's in (ex. Bracken), followed by a list of the years/volumes we own.
  • The Bound Periodicals at Bracken Librarian are located on 2 West, shelved alphabetically by the title of the journal.

If you see "Check for available options"  that means we don't have the article, but if you're affiliated with Ball State, you can request it through Interlibrary Loan.

Here's what to do next:

  • Click on the "Check for available options" link.
  • Scroll down to the "Links" section of the record. 
  • Click on the link "Request the item with Interlibrary Loan/ILLiad.
  • You'll be prompted to log in with your Ball State username and password.  Complete and submit the form.  You'll get an email when the article is available.  Consult the Interlibrary Loan FAQ for more information about this service.