Beth Gourley is the Director of Libraries at Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan, USA. Interlochen subscribe to eight of Drama Online’s collections. We recently interviewed Beth to find out how the collections are used by teachers and students and the academic benefits they have brought.
Which Drama Online collections are you subscribed to, and why did you choose them?
Drama Online: Aurora Metro Books: We consciously are trying to add as much diversity as possible.
Drama Online: BBC Drama Films and Documentaries
Drama Online: L.A. Theatre Works: This is part of the core collection we subscribed to originally; it also adds an American and audio component to the collection.
Drama Online: National Theatre Collection: Faculty have requested a need for live theatre from National Theatre so this is the next best thing.
Drama Online: Playwrights Canada Press: We had noted several students were requesting some of the Canadian scripts so we added it to our collection.
Drama Online: Shakespeare’s Globe on Screen (2008-2015): This supports the Shakespeare curriculum and programs through Theatre and Literature courses.
Drama Online: The Royal Shakespeare Company Live Collection: Student request and supported by faculty to reinforce the curriculum, programming, and general interest.
How is Drama Online used at your school?
Drama Online has become a necessary addition to our curriculum to support the theatre and humanities departments. We have a strong theatre department that requires students to read full scripts so they can pull monologues for their audition purposes. Senior students produce one-acts, and they are looking at a wide variety of materials. The humanities department uses the films to supplement their Shakespeare and literature courses.
What have been the main benefits to students of using Drama Online?
We have a large collection of printed scripts, but our students are always looking for other resources. The wealth and variety of resources, the options for full-text, videos and audio recording supplement our collection. In addition, students have been appreciative of the monologue feature. Instructors can also assign class readings and viewings.
What have been the main benefits to teachers of using Drama Online?
William Church Director of Theatre Arts
One of the huge advantages of Drama Online for our students is their access to great theatre. Given our remote location, it is extremely difficult for us to take students to see important contemporary productions. So, not only does it help students to visualize the plays and concepts they have been studying, it also provides opportunities that are challenging for us to accommodate.
Karen Leland Libby Instructor of English and Humanities
Shakespeare students (spring senior English elective) make enormous use of it. We watch all of our plays on it, and I use other Shakespeare resources on it. (I recently watched the documentary Shakespeare in Italy.)
Gulshirin Dubash Instructor of Theatre Arts I make my Play Structure class use it and I have sent things to theatre company through the last year and this year with links to things I recommend they watch.
Laura Mittelstaedt Theatre Arts Instructor
I was recently using the Drama Online to watch shows at The National. I was researching different Hamlets, and watched Julius Caesar. I am teaching Shakespeare nest semester and preparing for the class. Drama Online allows students to see Shakespeare performed at a high-quality professional level. They gain an understanding of how to use the language and apply it to their scenes and monologues.
Using Drama online benefits me as a teacher also because online access to movies and plays is more compatible with my laptop which no longer uses DVD players unless I borrow a compatible DVD player for my laptop. Online streaming is the preferred mode for students also, DVDs are a thing of the past!
Andrew McGinn Instructor of Theatre Arts
I cite Drama Online as a resource for hunting for plays and playwrights in directing class, and I refer to it in Shakespeare class as it relates to seeing a stage production.
How does the school ensure it gets the best value out of Drama Online?
We provide tutorial sessions for classes and individual students. We remind faculty of the links. We have included the link to Drama Online on our discovery search (EDS), added a link to our search page under the tab “Sound & Video.” It is included in our Libguide:
Database page, Theatre research guide, and Liberal Arts, English guide.
What would you say to other schools that are thinking about subscribing to Drama Online?
Drama Online is a sure bet for theatre students. The wealth, variety, and quality of resources will meet their needs. A highlight for our students is the monologue finder. In addition, the resource is available 24/7 from wherever the students have internet access. We started with a core collection, but based on student demand we have been adding other collections.