Drama Online: Things you didn’t know you could do with your Wellington City Library Card

“Having fun isn’t hard, when you’ve got a library card”

Arthur Timothy Read

The concept of a “library card” dates back to the 1800s. Picture a monocled individual secretively flashing an identification card while entering an dimly lit study. A symbol of wealth and exclusivity.

These days (thankfully) the reverence around library cards has diminished slightly (I replaced one last week because it had damaged on a Scratchie), and is definitely a symbol no longer , it’s a key. Your Wellington City Library card can be used to access hundreds of different services; from movies and music to newspapers and new skills.

Today we’ll be looking at Bloomsbury Publishing’s Drama Online. Drama Online (available under Bloomsbury Drama Online on our MyGateway page) is pretty much what it says on the tin, an online catalogue of over three thousand theatre productions. There are scripts, recordings of readings, videos of productions from the most prestigious companies, theatres and actors in the world.  It’s a bountiful theatre feast, but with so many great offerings it can be overwhelming.

So… the lights are dimming, the curtain’s opening and it’s time to look at…

Three Amazing Things to check out on Drama Online

1. Hamlet starring Maxine Peake

As you can imagine the works of Shakespeare make up a large quantity of the content on Drama Online and whittling down the bards works to just one to highlight was almost impossible. Ian Holm as King Lear, Samantha Spiro as Lady MacBeth, Sir Patrick Stewart playing both Ghost and Claudius, there was no shortage of exceptionally pedrigreed*  productions. However I’ve chosen to point you in the direction of Maxine Peake’s performance as Hamlet in the Royal Exchange Theatre’s 2014 production. The staging (and filming of it) make excellent use of lighting, turning a minimalist set constantly into striking imagery of darkness and light. Within this framework, Peake turns in a powerful performance as a character struggling between ‘To be or not to be’.

*if Shakespeare can make up words so can I

2. Monologue Database

Whether you’re a performer with a big audition coming up, artist looking for a piece of poetic prose for a wall mural (or tattoo), or just a fan looking for something to read; Drama Online has a search function that makes finding the perfect quote or monologue easy. Monologues can be sorted and searched by setting, gender of character, length, setting and even theme.

3. Context and Criticism

For your inner (or outer) academic, Drama Online has a huge collection of books and papers analyzing the theatrical content the site has to offer. With critical analysis on the works of Tom Stoppard, Tony Kushner, and through a number of lenses like gender and sexuality, Drama Online offers resources to take your theatre experience and mindset to the next level.

So there you have it, a world of dramatic dreams right at your finger tips with Drama Online. Just log in through the MyGateway page on the Wellington City Library website. You’ll need only your library card number and your PIN (*Psssst* your PIN is the last four digits of the phone number we have on file for you, if you have any issues just get in touch with us and we’ll sort you out)



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