You are viewing all posts tagged

How do I cite a scene deleted from a play?

Cite the version of the scene you consulted, whether a typescript from an archive, an online resource, an appendix to a print edition, or a live or recorded production that includes the scene.
If the version you consulted is published separately from the edition of the play you use, create an entry for it as well as the play:

Miller, Arthur. The Crucible. Bookman House, 1998.
———. “Handout: Deleted Act 2, Scene 2.” English 101, La Posada High School, spring 2018.

When you are quoting from or paraphrasing the deleted scene, your in-text citation should direct the reader to the entry for the handout:

Miller, . . .

Published 12 November 2018

How do I cite a director’s unpublished notes about a play?

Cite unpublished director’s notes by following the MLA format template. List the director’s name in the “Author” slot and provide a description in place of a title. Provide the date the notes were written if available. In the optional-element slot at the end of the entry, indicate the format:

Carlsson, Knut. Notes on directing Taming of the Shrew. 1956. Unpublished typescript.

  . . .

Published 11 October 2018

How should I cite an e-book version of Shakespeare’s Hamlet that uses paragraph numbers instead of line numbers?

If your source uses paragraph numbers instead of page numbers or line numbers, your in-text citation should give the relevant number or numbers preceded by par. (for paragraph) or pars. (for paragraphs):

HAMLET. Ay, marry, is ’t,
But, to my mind, though I am native here
And to the manner born, it is a custom
More honored in the breach than the observance. (par. 25)

To allow readers to easily locate the quotation in a more standard edition of the play, you could add the act, scene, and line numbers in square brackets as part of your citation:


Published 3 May 2018

How do I cite the script and performance of a play?

The script of a play and each performance of it are different works and should be cited separately. Apply the MLA format template to the work to create your works-cited-list entry.
Published Script 

 Miller, Arthur. Death of a Salesman. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2015.

Unpublished Script
Although the title of a published play is styled with italics, use quotation marks to indicate that a work is unpublished. You may use the optional-element slot at the end of the entry to provide supplemental information about the work:

Marino, Alex. “Ramona’s Umbrella.” 2015. Theatrical script.

To cite a performance of the same work, . . .

Published 29 December 2017

How do I cite a recorded performance of a play?

To cite a recorded performance of a play, follow the MLA format template. If you watched the recording on a Web site, list the Web site as the container, the name of the site’s publisher–if different from the Web site’s title–and the URL:

Munby, Jonathan, director. The Merchant of Venice. By William Shakespeare. Shakespeare’s Globe, Shakespeare Globe Trust, 2017,

If you watched the recording on a DVD, use the final optional-element slot to indicate this:

Radford, Michael, director. The Merchant of Venice. By William Shakespeare, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, 2005. DVD.

Published 23 February 2018

How do I cite from a play that has both verse and prose sections?

Citing from a play that has both verse and prose sections—whether the play is William Shakespeare’s Macbeth or August Wilson’s Fences—is no different from citing from a play that is all verse or all prose: you provide page numbers or line numbers (line numbers are usually given after act and scene numbers) according to how the text is located in the edition.

Published 27 November 2017

How do I quote stage directions?

There are different traditions for formatting stage directions, even in publications of the same play. When quoting stage directions, your aim should be consistency.

It is most common to find stage directions in italics, and you should replicate them:

After Levan states that Homais “faints,” the stage directions detail what happens next: “She sinks down in a Chair, he falls at her feet” (22).

If it’s not clear from context that you are quoting stage directions, indicate this in your in-text citation:

Manly’s scene concludes on a passionate image: “She sinks down in a Chair, . . .

Published 7 August 2017

If I’m citing an entire play reprinted in an anthology, does it appear in italics?

Yes. As the MLA Handbook explains, the title of an independent work (that is, a work that usually stands alone, such as a play, novel, or artwork) is styled in italics, even when the work is contained in another independent work (27):
Shakespeare, William. Macbeth. The Riverside Shakespeare, edited by G. Blakemore Evans et al., vol. 2, Houghton Mifflin, 1974, pp. 1307-42.
The following example shows an entry for a work of art contained in a Web site:
Bearden, Romare. The Train. 1975. MOMA,

Published 3 May 2017

How do I cite the program of a theater performance?

To cite the program of a theater performance, follow the MLA format template. Begin with a description of the program as the title and include any important identifying information in the description, such as the name of the theater where the performance took place and its location. Then provide the name of the program’s publisher and the publication date.
Program for Arthur Miller’s The Crucible at the Walter Kerr Theatre, New York. Playbill, 2016.
Cite a contribution to a program, like an essay, as follows:
Simonson, Robert. “Marquee Player.” Program for Arthur Miller’s The Crucible at the Walter Kerr Theatre, . . .

Published 20 April 2017

Get MLA Style News from The Source

Be the first to read new posts and updates about MLA style.

The Source Sign-up - Style Center Footer