An award-winning digital library combining playtexts, audio plays, filmed live performances and scholarly books


  • Drama Online NT Collection poster, showing the Drama Online library logo and a production still from the

Drama Online is an award-winning digital library divided into 18 individual collections, each available as a stand-alone subscription.

The collections include exclusively available playtext content from over 1200 playwrights, academic publications, filmed live performances, film adaptations, and audio plays.

All collections are presented within the Drama Online user interface which offers specially developed functionality to support teaching and learning.

Specially developed tools…

Students can filter results by content type, genre, period, author, setting and more, and select plays to perform via cast size and gender of roles.

Using the character grid they can see how characters interact and they can develop a “Part Book” to view the lines for single characters, ideal for use in rehearsals and for character analysis.

Videos come with an interactive, searchable transcript player and closed captioning.

An interview with Beth Gourley, Director of Libraries at Interlochen Center for the Arts


“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.”  Beth Gourley, Director of Libraries at Interlochen Center for the Arts. Read full interview

“The stuff from the National Theatre and the RSC is amazing and a real eye opener about the possibilities of theatre for our students.The sheer range of resources is astounding and covers the diverse range of drama and theatre we have in our programs. It has a great balance of practical theatre craft resources and critical, more academic articles…Drama Online is a one stop shop for all things dramatic that I would unhesitatingly recommend to Drama teachers at all levels of expertise for teaching students at all levels of capability.”  Brendan Duhigg, Head of Faculty – Drama, Trinity Grammar School, Australia

“Drama Online is a fantastic resource that is of enormous value to teachers and pupils alike. The collection of over three thousand plays available to read or listen to is simply invaluable, while the set of nearly twenty National Theatre productions available to view online makes available to pupils in the classroom a taste of live theatre that many simply would not otherwise be able to access. At Abingdon, we signed up for this resource to allow our pupils the chance for close analysis of the creative choices made by actors, directors and designers in order to develop their understanding of the richness and complexity of theatrical communication and storytelling. The recordings are an immensely enriching educational tool, and we very much hope the number and range of National Theatre productions available to view on the platform will continue to grow with time – perhaps by drawing on the fantastic set of recordings held at the National Theatre archive in London. All in all, the National Theatre collection is superb, and we very much hope it will continue to be made available to schools.”  Jeremy Taylor, Head of Arts Partnerships & Abingdon Film Unit, Abingdon School, UK

Access options

IP Authentication, Single sign-on, Username and Password

To find out more about how the different access options work please see our General Access Information.

Usage statistics

Usage statistics are available when you log in to your admin account. You will find statistics by clicking on the ‘subscriber services’ on the Drama Online homepage.

Promotional materials and downloads

Find posters, flyers, email templates, web banners, and other promotional and library resources here.

Download specific promotional materials for: Shakespeare’s Globe on Screen collection, Shakespeare’s Globe on Screen 2 (2016-2018) collection, new Shakespeare’s Heroes and Villains (part of the Playtext Collection), and the Royal Shakespeare Company Live collection.


Can I print out and save any content from Drama Online?

You can print out and save content according to the page view you are on. Before doing so however, please be aware that copyright restrictions apply as described by their legal terms and conditions. It is important that you read these terms and conditions before using Drama Online. By using the Website, you indicate that you accept these terms of use and that you agree to abide by them.

Can we download the videos?

No, unfortunately you can not download the videos.

Do the videos have closed captioning?

All videos on Drama Online include closed captioning and a searchable, scrolling transcript player.

Can we use the playtexts for productions?

If you are keen to apply for amateur performance rights to any of the plays you’ll need to approach the performance rights holder. Use the Drama Online Production Enquiry feature on the play Overview page to find the correct contact information for this.

What is the difference between Log In and Sign In?

Log In is for logging into the site via your institution. If your institution has IP recognition you will be logged in automatically.

Sign In is a personal login which allows you to use the bookmarking, note-taking and save search features.

Do the play texts resemble the print version?

Page numbers and lineation echo the print version of the work. To view these you simply need to hold your mouse over the text and they will appear.

What citation tools does Drama Online have?

The site supports the Chicago and MLA format. Click on the Citation icon to download in RIS format.

What content is included in Drama Online and what is in each subscription collection?

Drama Online contains many hundreds of plays from the very earliest Greek works right up to the present day. In addition, there are background and contextual works on playwrights, theatre movements, genres, practitioners and periods, as well as scholarly monographs, major reference works, dictionary content, practical books on acting and stage craft, and over five hundred theatre production stills from the Victoria and Albert Museum Performance collection.

For title lists per collection have a look at the Content List.

What are Play Tools?

Play Tools include a Character Grid to help you view where characters appear and with whom they interact in the play. Selecting a character or multiple characters will highlight their interactions only.

How do I make a Part Book (view the lines for my character only)?

If you select one of the dots in the Character Grid you’ll be taken directly into the Reader to view the lines for that character and scene only.

Words and Speeches

On the same page as the Character Grid you will find a bar chart representing the shape of the play in terms of words and speeches. Selecting a character or specific characters from the Character Grid will change the graph to reflect the words and speeches for those selected. Hover over the bars for the precise word count.