Submission Guidelines for Articles

Theatre Journal is a quarterly, peer-reviewed journal featuring contemporary and historical studies and theoretical inquiries that analyze theatre and performance. The journal publishes two general issues and two special issues per year. Please refer to the “Call for Papers” section of our website for upcoming special issue themes and deadlines. Theatre Journal tends not to publish essays that focus solely on a single play or production. Submissions for the general issues are always welcome.

General Guidelines

To submit an article for consideration in Theatre Journal’s print edition, please provide a MS Word file that adheres to the following guidelines:

  • Articles should be 6,000 to 9,000 words in length (including endnotes), double-spaced. (Even though the articles are published with footnotes, endnotes are preferable for the review process.)
  • Provide a separate file containing a cover letter with author’s name, snail-mail and email addresses, telephone number, and professional affiliation.
  • Manuscripts must be in American English, spelling, and punctuation.
  • The article title only should appear at the head of the article file. The author’s name and/or institution should not appear in the article file itself. If necessary, redact all pertinent information from the text and endnotes.
  • Illustrations, when available, are encouraged, but it is the author’s responsibility to secure the images and the permissions to use them and, if relevant, to cover the cost of using the images. No more than four images will be considered for an article.
  • Specific formatting guidelines for endnotes are provided below, but for further stylistic information, follow The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition.
  • Submissions that fall short of or exceed the stated word limit and/or do not strictly adhere to the journal’s style and format will not be considered for review.
  • Simultaneous submissions are not accepted. No new submissions will be considered from an author within one year of their previous submission having been rejected by the editors. Resubmissions will not be considered unless an author has been expressly requested by the editors to revise and resubmit.

Submissions should be emailed to the Managing Editor, Bob Kowkabany, at bobkowkabany@me.com. The journal acknowledges receipt of submissions within two weeks.

Inquiries concerning performance reviews should be addressed to the Performance Review Editor: Isaiah Wooden, Performance Review Editor, Theatre Journal, email: isaiah.wooden@gmail.com.

Inquiries concerning book reviews should be addressed to the Book Review Editor: Brad Rogers, Book Review Editor, Theatre Journal, email: b.rogers@duke.edu.

Formatting of Submissions:

  • Use 12 pt. Times New Roman font.
  • Use double quotation marks, except where “a quotation is ‘within’ a quotation.” Punctuation should be placed inside of the quotation marks. Quotations of forty words or more should be indented without quotation marks as an extract.
  • Double-space all paragraphs (including offset quotes), but do not add an extra line between paragraphs. Use hard returns only at the ends of paragraphs, headings, list entries, and so on.
  • Type one space only after periods, questions marks, or other terminal punctuation marks.
  • Number all pages sequentially.
  • Use ragged right margins; do not use Word’s justification or kerning features.
  • Do not use automatic hyphenation nor manually hyphenate words at the ends of lines. Place hyphens in the text only where you intend them to be retained, such as in compound adjectives (for example, ten-mile hike).
  • Use a regular hyphens where required; two consecutive hyphens for en dashes; and three for em dashes.
  • Use of boldface type and italics is acceptable, but not any other styles.
  • Theatre Journal does not list multiple places of publication; use the city given on the book’s copyright page. For example, a book published by Oxford University Press in New York should be: New York: Oxford University Press (not Oxford and New York).
  • Do not include access dates for websites.
  • Do not use titles before names (for example, Prof., Dr., Ms., Mr., and so on). Use the full name the first time it is cited in the text; all subsequent mentions are surname only.

Miscellaneous Style Rules and Oddities

The primary style, formatting, spelling, and punctuation guides for Theatre Journal are The Chicago Manual of Style (16th ed.) and Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (11th ed.).

Acronyms: All capitals, no periods: for example, UN, US, UK, WHO.

Adjectives:

  • Use hyphens in compound adjectives: for example, self-reliant; twenty-first-century; but African American (both as adjective and noun).
  • Adverbs ending in “ly” are not followed by hyphens.
  • Most commonly used prefixes form closed compounds: for example, antebellum; antihero; coauthor; coeditor; reexamine; preexisting. Exceptions include homographs (re-create) and potentially difficult forms: anti-utopian, post-show.

Adverbial transitions: Always precede any of the following words with a semicolon and follow with a comma when the word is used transitionally between clauses of a compound sentence: then; however; thus; hence; indeed; accordingly; besides; and therefore.

Ampersands: Not used, unless in a referenced title.

Commas: Use serial commas: for example, apples, oranges, and pears.

Dates:

  • Use month-date-year style: November 1, 1954.
  • Spell out months in full.
  • Spell out centuries in full: for example, twentieth, not 20th.
  • “The 1993–94 season”; but “from 1993 to 1994”; or “between 1993 and 1994”; not “from 1993–95.”

Ellipses:

  • Do not start or end a quotation with an ellipsis.
  • Even if you omit the last part of one quoted sentence before beginning another, insert a period or other punctuation mark at the end, followed by three ellipsis points: for example, “at the end. . . . There was a new beginning.”
  • If in quoted material you change from upper- to lowercase or vice versa, place the changed letter within square brackets: for example, [t]herefore.
  • Ellipsis points are separated from each other and from preceding and following text by a full space. Do not use Word’s ellipsis tool.
  • Ellipses do not substitute for punctuation in the citation that precedes or follows: for example, “one, two, . . . and the rest”; “Let me say . . .: I like it.”

Italics:

  • Use for: titles of books, periodicals, and plays; foreign words and phrases; [sic] (note that sic is not followed by a period).
  • Do not use for scholarly abbreviations, foreign-derived words that are in common usage, or phrases entered without italics in the dictionary: for example, et al., cliché, mise en scène, vis-à-vis, de facto, deus ex machina.

Numbers and number ranges: 

  • In general, spell out numbers one to ninety-nine; use numerals for 100 and above. (But note: 4 million, 7 billion, and so on.)
  • Use Arabic numerals for verse plays (for example, 1.1.111–12), otherwise use lowercase and Arabic numerals (for example, act 3; scene 3; scene 3.3; page 3; chapter 3; part 3).
  • Give page or line ranges as follows: for example, 23–24; 123–24; 1123–24.
  • Also, note the special form for numbers ending (or beginning with) in “0”: 100–108, 101–8.
  • Ages of people are given in Arabic numerals (for example, age 24; 46 years old)

Possessives: Use apostrophe “s” after proper names ending in “s” (for example, Williams’s), except for Greek names ending with a “z” sound (for example, Sophocles’).

Punctuation: Place commas and periods inside quotation marks and parentheses, colons and semicolons outside. Colons or semicolons that end quoted passages should be dropped.

Spellings and Usage:

  • Always use “theatre,” except in proper nouns that use “Theater”; for example, New York City’s Public Theater.
  • Use American spelling and usage: for example, analyze; center; color; gray; labor; while (not whilst); amid.
  • Use “toward,” not “towards.”
  • Theatre Journal uses the following particular spellings: acknowledgment; agit-prop; avant-garde; co-opt; debut, debuted; judgment; naive, naiveté; offstage, onstage; postmodern; premiere (as of a play); repartee; stageworthy.

Reference Examples

Books:

Marlis Schweitzer, Transatlantic Broadway: The Infrastructural Politics of Global Performance (Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015).

Book Chapter:

Henry Bial and Scott Magelssen, eds., “Introduction,” in Theater Historiography: Critical Interventions, ed. Henry Bial and Scott Magelssen (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2010), 1–9, quote on 2.

Dwight Conquergood, “Rethinking Ethnography: Towards a Critical Cultural Politics,” in The Sage Handbook of Performance Studies, ed. D. Soyini Madison and Judith Hamera (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2006), 351–65.

Journal Article:

Debra Caplan, “Notes from the Frontier: Digital Scholarship and the Future of Theatre Studies,” Theatre Journal 67, no. 2 (2015): 347–59, quote on 357.

Subsequent endnotes:

If the same source is quoted immediately after, use Ibid., 350 (if the page number is the same, just use “Ibid.”). Otherwise, use Caplan, "Notes from the Frontier," 350.

Newspaper Article:

Walter Kerr, “Is ‘Sweeney’ on Target?” New York Times, March 11, 1979, available at https://www.nytimes.com/books/98/07/19/specials/sondheim-sweeney.html.

Website:

Eleanor Appelby, “In the Future Museums Will Be,” MuseumNext, March 14, 2016, available at http://www.museumnext.com/conference/in-the-future-museums-will-be/.

Unpublished Dissertation:

Miguel Escobar, “Wayang Kontemporer: Innovations in Javanese Wayang Kulit” (PhD diss., National University of Singapore, 2015).

For Performance Reviews and Book Review Guidelines, click here.