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Drama Online

Advanced Search

  • Use the Advanced Search tool to conduct more specific searches by entering one or more search criteria.
  • Boolean AND, OR, and NOT operators are supported on Drama Online (e.g. Shakespeare AND tragedy).
  • Use quotation marks (" ") to find an exact phrase (e.g. "Merchant of Venice").



Play finder and monologue search

  • Use the Play Finder to find a play of a particular length or cast size. Type a keyword into the search bar and use the dropdown menus to select number of scenes, word count, total roles, or number of roles of a specific gender. Use the ‘Add field’ button if you want to add more criteria.
  • Use the Monologue Search to find monologues of a specific word count. Use the dropdown menus to specify the gender of the speaker and enter a word count in the value field.



Play Tools feature

The Play Tools feature includes Character Grids, Words and Speech graphs, and Part Books offering new ways to engage with plays for close study or performance.


  • Choose one or more character names in the Character Grid to see statistics for those characters in the Words and Speeches graph.
  • Clicking the orange buttons along the top of the Character Grid takes you to that part of the play. There may be a horizontal scroll bar at the bottom of the Character Grid for longer plays.
  • Clicking on the black circles in the Character Grid, takes you to the Part Book for that character, which is useful for actors learning parts. The Part Book displays the chosen character’s lines in black, with lines spoken by other characters in grey, so that the chosen character’s cues are retained. In Read Play view you may need to scroll down to see your character’s lines.

NB For a small number of plays there are no character roles assigned: for these plays the Character Grid and Words and Speeches graph do not appear.


  • If you have not selected any characters in the Character Grid, this graph shows you the total number of words in each Act/Scene. Hover over or click on each bar to find out the number of words for that Act/Scene.
  • If you have selected character/s in the Character Grid, the graph will display a bar for each of your selected characters. Hovering over or clicking on each bar now displays the number of words spoken by that character.


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Barbara Maratos
Boston University Libraries