A Comprehensive Guide to Online Theater and Performing Arts Resources

A Comprehensive Guide to Online Theater and Performing Arts Resources

The theater and the performing arts have a rich, noble history, and to this day there are millions who keep the traditions alive. Everyone has to start somewhere and if you’re looking to get into the field, we’ve compiled this extensive list of Theater and Performing Arts resources to help you. You’ll find plenty of information on several aspects of the craft.

  1. American Conservatory Theater — The official website for the American Conservatory Theater has not only information on the prestigious theater itself, but plenty more on theater in general.
  2. National Endowment for the Arts — While this site covers several forms of art, it’s a valuable resource for the performing artists with searchable newsletters, podcasts, and more.
  3. Creative Drama and Theatre Education Resource Site — With a name like that, how can you go wrong? Here you’ll find links to classroom ideas, theatre games, and much more helpful information.
  4. Hollywood Film Institute — Not only does the Hollywood Film Institute offer plenty of information on the craft of acting, there are several ways you can go about it with their various lessons.
  5. Carnegie Hall — How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice! The website for the legendary venue has a few pretty cool features, including a timeline talking about the history of performances.
  6. Lazy Bee Scripts — Lazy Bee Scripts, despite its cutesy little name, is a pretty serious resource for the aspiring actor. You’ll find a massive database of various kinds of scripts, perfect for the practicing thespian.
  7. Actors’ Equity — Actors’ Equity is a labor union that represents tens of thousands of actors and the website contains valuable information.
  8. Improve Encyclopedia — The Improv Encyclopedia offers a vast (and I mean vast!) array of resources for those interested in the art of improvisation.
  9. The Living Playbook — An online ebook of improvisation tools including various games and exercises to be carried out as practice.
  10. Learn Improv — A wonderful and all-encompassing site on improv acting. Breaks down the art into easily digestible chunks of information.
  11. Fuzzy’s Games List — Another list of improv games, this one being a very simple, easy-to-read list with well over 100 games on it.
  12. Shakespeare’s Monologues — If you’re going to practice your monologuing, what better way to do it than to recite some works of the Bard himself?
  13. Colin’s Movie Monologue Page — Shakespeare a little too much for you right now? Old English got your tongue? This page contains untold amounts of memorable movie monologues for you to practice.
  14. Acting Depot — A useful list of indexed resources for the aspiring actor, with everything from photo and resume help to instructions on finding an agent.
  15. Acting Workshop Online — Acting Workshop Online is exactly what its name suggests – an acting workshop that you can access online. Includes free lessons for those wishing to check it out.
  16. The Alexander Technique — The Alexander Technique is a way to feel better and more comfortable. It can benefit all sorts of people but is well known and popular amongst actors.
  17. Acting a Better Way with Actors Globally — Not the most organized website and the name is a bit of a mouthful, but ABWAG is still a valuable resource for performers, putting an emphasis on doing rather than watching.
  18. Applied and Interactive Theatre Guide — Another fairly complicated name, this site is great for those interested in “theater techniques,” focusing on that and much more.
  19. Theater History Cybercourse — Anybody interested in theatre should have at least a rough knowledge of its history and this page should get you up to speed and then some.
  20. Actor Source — A wonderful resource for acting related information, crafted with ten years of experience in the field.
  21. Now Casting — A talent database for aspiring actors to post resumes, reels, and all the good stuff that comes in a portfolio.
  22. ASM Performing Arts — For our friends in the Great White North! ASM Performing Arts is Montreal’s “most highly regarded actor training studio.”
  23. The WWW Virtual Library Theatre and Drama — This page offers a pretty extensive selection of links covering a wide range of theatre topics. They all won’t be great, but there are sure to be some gems.
  24. Musicals 101 — Are you interested in musicals? So is John Kenrick, and so he’s created this invaluable resource for anyone interested in the genre.
  25. Playscripts Inc — As if you couldn’t infer from the title, this site is wall-to-wall scripts, original ones too! While you do have to buy complete scripts, you can read up to 90% of any script for free.
  26. A Primer for Actors — A Primer for Actors is full of information for the budding actor. Subjects covered include resumes, headshots, auditions, and much more.
  27. The Internet Broadway Database — As a fan of film, the Internet Movie Database is one of my most frequented sites. For the Play fans out there, here’s the Internet Broadway Database.
  28. Stagehand Primer — While this isn’t exactly for actors (though they could learn something), it’s very relevant to theatre. The Stagehand Primer is full of useful information for those wanting to go into that line of work.
  29. 10 Minute Plays — 10 Minute Plays is a database of, well, 10 minute plays! They’re perfect for putting on a quick show or simply practicing.
  30. USA Plays for Kids — Here’s something fairly unique – a site devoted to plays for children. This is perfect if you’re in a school setting or elsewhere and are trying to organize a play with young ones.
  31. Absolute Shakespeare — If you’re looking to become an actor, you really can’t get enough Shakespeare. And this site’s content claims to be “absolute,” so you should find tons of great stuff.
  32. The Puppetry Home Page — There are a lot more to the performing arts than just acting, and while it may not be as popular, Puppetry is still an art form! A good page with general info.
  33. Musicals.Net — Another great resource for those who love musicals. You’ll find information on all your favorite musical productions, including song lists and lyrics.
  34. Asian American Theatre Revue — A useful little site for Asian American theatre, you’ll find plenty of info on plays that are happening, including a calendar. You can even submit your own production if it fits the criteria.
  35. Bob Hope and American Variety — And now for something a little different – Vaudeville! This site talks about more than just Bob Hope, using his life and performances to discuss Vaudeville in general.
  36. Kabuki for Everyone — I don’t know how many people reading this list will be looking for Kabuki resources, but the form should definitely be represented. As the name suggests, this is a very accessible resource.
  37. Landing Place — For those already giving it a go in their respective field, this site dedicated to the performing arts and the artists behind them could give you the boost you need.
  38. Magic for Socialism — Now this is an interesting little site. Ian Saville uses his skill in magic and ventriloquism to speak out against capitalism. Even if you don’t agree with his political message, his magic is pretty great.
  39. Theatre History — For those very serious about theatre, this wonderful page contains a plethora of information regarding the origins of theatre as well as the various types found around the world.
  40. Theatre on a Shoestring — Another fantastic crash course site, this one aims to help you produce “quality theatre on a tight budget.” Lots of links with plenty of info.
  41. Theatre History in Europe — Another site for serious theatre buffs, Theatron not only tells all about the history of European theatre, but does so with some pretty advanced software.
  42. Vaudeville History Ohio — This list needs more Vaudeville! This page contains plenty of info on Vaudeville shows and performers. It’s limited to the Ohio region, but it’s great information all the same.
  43. Stage Agent — This one is a little different than the rest of the sites on the list. While there are articles to be found here, it’s mostly a discussion forum to meet like-minded artists.
  44. American Association of Community Theatre — Another fantastic theatre site, this time for a well-respected organization. Not only is it chock full of theatre info, but also various tips on things like building an audience and what not.
  45. Border Crossings — For hardcore intellectuals only, you’ll find some great essays focusing on intercultural theory and other things related to multi-media theatre.
  46. Interactive Dramas — Here’s something new and wild. At this website you can participate in “interactive scenes,” which must be a good way to test the waters, so to speak.
  47. Library of Congress — You don’t have to dig through the depths of the internet to find helpful material. The official Library of Congress website has a performing arts encyclopedia that should prove helpful.
  48. Glossary of Theatre Terms — If you’re looking to get into theatre, you really need to speak the lingo. This glossary holds over 1,600 terms and grows regularly.
  49. Method Acting and Stanislavsky — Method acting, the stuff of champions! All the acting greats seem to do it, so you might want to look into it. Great page with some helpful info.
  50. Christian Drama Scripts — A niche topic, though not too small of a niche. Pretty straightforward, the site contains plenty of royalty-free Christian drama sketches, sermon starters, and more.
  51. Acting on the Web — Another great acting resource with a mixture of free and pay content. Plenty of great information from some professional sources.
  52. The World of Mime Theatre — If you’re a fan of dance and looking to make a career out of it, why not go straight to the top. The American Dance Institute is where you’ll want to learn.
  53. High School Theatre — A massive resource on High School Theatre, each state is represented with several school listings for each.
  54. Instrument Encyclopedia — Encyclopedias are helpful things and the Instrument Encyclopedia is no different. If you’re a musician or looking to become one, you’ll find something useful here.
  55. Bandtek Drill Design — With a name that cool, how could you go wrong? Band Tek Drill Design can help whip a band into shape. They have pay services but also a wealth of free content.
  56. American Choral Director’s Association — A fantastic site for singers and musicians, with plenty of material to read and ways to contact and keep in touch with artists like yourself.
  57. Children’s Music Workshop — Here’s another great page dedicated to children. Children’s Music Workshop offers a wide variety of help, including helping you buy the correct instrument.
  58. Kididdles — The name might be a tad goofy, but this is a seriously cool resource. Find the lyrics to all those children’s songs you used to listen to.
  59. American Sheet Music — Another very cool (if extremely niche) resource, this site features a collection of sheet music that was registered for copyright between 1870 and 1885. Get cracking on some real classics.
  60. Sound Bible — Sound Bible offers a whole assortment of free sound effects for use in various projects. It’s much better than scouring Google for every little sound you need.
  61. Essentials of Music — For those interested in classical music, this site should be a great help for getting started. A ton of information with audio samples scattered around the site.
  62. Duke University Music Library — A wonderful collection of sheet music can be found thanks to the official website for Duke University, which offers plenty of links to other sites.
  63. Tips on Dancing with Beginners — While the title of the page suggests this information is good for experienced dancers, beginners can learn just as much.
  64. Swing Dance Styles — Swing Dancing is another classic form of dancing that has to be pulled off right to not look completely goofy. This site will tell you all about the various forms of swing.
  65. American Dance Institute — If you’re a fan of dance and looking to make a career out of it, why not go straight to the top. The American Dance Institute is where you’ll want to learn.
  66. An American Ballroom Companion — Ballroom dancing can be extremely graceful – when performed properly. An American Ballroom Companion will have you dancing like a pro in no time.
  67. Sapphire Swan Dance Directory — There are a lot of different dance styles out there and the Sapphire Swan Dance Directory features links on almost three dozen of them.
  68. The American Mime Theater — The American Mime Theatre has been has been teaching for just shy of sixty years under the direction of Paul Curtis, creator of the medium.
  69. The World of Mime Theatre — Mime is a fascinating performing art with a dedicated fan base. This website will help you connect with Mimes the world over.
  70. Audio Theater — Ever wonder what happened to good ole radio dramas? They’re still alive in some form and this website is fighting the good fight to keep that tradition alive.
  71. the indirect Object — Puppeteers and theatre-makers Beth McMahon and Michael Bevitt design and construct puppets, work with theatre companies to integrate puppetry or object theatre into their projects, and also peform workshops in puppet-making and various puppet manipulation techniques.