Drama Online - Awards and Reviews

Awards and Reviews


Choice Outstanding Academic Title 2021 Award Seal

Choice Outstanding Academic Title, 2021

Drama Online “is a well-designed and easy-to-use database that succeeds admirably in making the texts of plays available online,” enhanced by the inclusion of video and audio recordings, making it a unique offering among the theatrical databases currently available.

The interface is clean and easy to navigate, with features that can be easily understood by first-time users. On the home page, plays can be found through a quick search box or through Advanced Search, which “allows users to search the entire database in one search by title, author/editor/creator, words in the summary or abstract, category, or identifier, [and then] limit the results by date or by content types” wrote the reviewers.

Choice, September 2021, quoting a longer review in ccAdvisor, also September 2021

Shortlisted for the Ingram Content Group Digital Publishing Award, 2016

Winner Best Interface, Charleston Advisor, 2014

"The well-designed search interface is easy to navigate and a pleasure to use"

Winner of the Stationers Company Innovation Excellence Award, 2014

This award is designed to highlight “the very best of innovation by companies to adapt to the dramatic technological, economic and social changes currently disrupting traditional business models”.


Best Databases 2023:

[On Shakespeare’s Globe to Globe Festival] A must for scholars, performers, and students of Shakespeare and intercultural theater, this rich database features filmed performances of Shakespeare’s plays, presented by companies from all over the world in their native languages and with their own sensibilities and styles. Performances are given in languages that range from Castilian Spanish to Shona, Yoruba, and Turkish. English subtitles and transcripts make for a frictionless viewing experience.

Library Journal, March 2024

[On the Asian Theatre Collection, British, American and Australian Theatre Collection, European Theatre Collection, Playwrights and Practitioners Collection, Shakespeare Video Collection, and Theatre Making and Performance Training Collection] What these collections…offer is a starting point for collection-building or a complement to existing library holdings to support coursework and practicums in the dramatic arts or theatrical production and performance. The Shakespeare Video Collection—probably the strongest of the six newly added ones—augments the impressive array of Shakespeare materials already available on Drama Online.

Library Journal, July 2023

Drama Online migrated to a new platform in July of 2020. The result is a clean and handsome interface that is easy to navigate and whose features can be easily understood by the first-time user; Drama Online displays beautifully on tablets and smartphones and is fully optimized for iPads, iPhones, and Android devices; an uncluttered screen...enables the reader to engage only with the text of the play while still providing quick access to all the supportive information that is available in the printed edition.

ccAdvisor, September 2021

In response to the lockdown, Drama Online made many of its materials widely available without charge throughout the Spring of 2020. While many people still faced inordinate challenges as they tried to continue their academic work, such welcome gestures undoubtedly supported scholars, teachers, and students who were suddenly separated from the resources they normally rely upon.

…gaining access to these performances will facilitate a number of previously impossible classroom engagements and will support numerous scholarly projects.

The breadth of materials is significant and offers many of the resources needed for remote learning and scholarship. There are also helpful technical aspects, such as search facilities that enable users to locate plays according to thematic elements or the number of characters involved.

Early Modern Review, Fall 2021

Must-Have Databases for Academic and Public Libraries 2020:

Drama Online, Bloomsbury’s all-in-one multimedia database covering theater and literature, features 2,600-plus scripts, 400 audio plays, 325 video plays, and 370 scholarly books. Content is both classic and contemporary, and strongest when it comes to William Shakespeare’s oeuvre. Videos include stage adaptations from the BBC, Globe, National Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford Festival, and The Hollow Crown NBC television series, exclusive to Bloomsbury. Books published by Methuen, Arden Shakespeare, and other prestigious presses provide context, critical insights, and practical guidance on stagecraft and performance. The user interface is elegant and makes navigating the resource both simple and fun. Drama Online will appeal to large public libraries and academic and secondary school libraries that support theater programs.

Library Journal, December 2020

...a multimedia feast for students and serious theater fans. With its broad coverage encompassing the classic and the contemporary, this is an excellent choice for any library collection where the play’s the thing.

Booklist, American Library Association, May 2021

Drama Online [is] a gigantic digital storehouse of recordings, play texts and contextual academic information run by Bloomsbury. There are more than 2,000 scripts, ranging from Alan Ayckbourn to Florian Zeller, production stills from the V&A, video gems such as the Donmar [female Shakespeare] Trilogy, indexes according to genres and periods and more. The site has also significantly just taken receipt of a mouth-watering batch of NTLive and National Theatre archive recordings.

[It’s] geared to schools and educational institutions but the ramifications are huge: theatre’s future will be shaped by students who have this as a go-to-resource. Says Edward Kemp, director of Rada: 'Until now, we’ve had maybe a photo or a script to go on. Now students can often read the play and watch a good example of how it has been acted, lit and designed. It gets them up to speed with what’s possible so much faster and allows for compare and contrast. Young actors today want to do Hamlet like Andrew Scott, whereas Laurence Olivier can sound to them like an old ham. With resources like this, they can investigate what was once electric about him.'

The Telegraph, November 2019

This easy, inviting, and intuitive database is a dream to use.

Its strength is its ability to offer students multiple entry points to its rich and diverse content. The selection is vast and teens whose exposure to the theater is limited to scholarly fare will find themselves falling in love with the art form as a result of the exposure to younger, edgier, and more culturally diverse playwrights.

This is an excellent resource that all schools with theater departments and libraries serving artistically minded patrons should seriously consider. Users will easily find plays that speak powerfully to the unique needs of their communities, and the various cultural and thematic entry points may inspire a lasting love in the theater in newcomers.

School Library Journal, September 2015