Whakaari - Theatre

How to use Te Waharoa

Come up with specific keywords before you start searching.

Te Waharoa vs Google

Google is much smarter than Te Waharoa. Google can understand "natural language" or how humans speak. Te Waharoa will treat every search term with equal importance. Learning how to search by keywords, use the search operators, and filters will help you find relevant material easily and quickly.

Te Waharoa is good at searching for:

  • Titles, authors, theories, theorists
  • Keywords

Search techniques

These techniques will help you to use Te Waharoa and other academic databases

Phrase searching

Use "quotation marks" around titles or phrases to search the exact phrase. For example a search for stage manager (without quote marks) will find 68,183 results in Te Waharoa. Adding quote marks to "stage manager" will find 9,882 results because it is is looking for the exact phrase.

Search operators

Te Waharoa (and other academic databases) use "boolean operators" to order search strings. 

Operator Example Explanation
AND comedy AND tragedy    Both terms must be present in results. Will narrow your results.
OR comedy OR tragedy Either (or both) terms must be present in results. Connect two (or more) similar subjects. Will expand your results. 

Search order

Te Waharoa orders searches left to right and most databases typically recognise AND as the primary operator. Enclose the word you are using OR with in parentheses (...) this will ensure the search engine orders your search correctly.

Shakespeare AND (comedy OR tragedy OR tragicomedy OR romance)


Because Te Waharoa searches so widely, narrowing your results is important. Te Waharoa lets you filter by:

  • Resource type (articles, book chapters, books, thesis)
  • Subject (e.g. theatre, acting, directing, performing arts)
  • Library (to find print books)
  • Publication date

Finding print books

Print (or physical) books are ordered by subject matter. This means if you find a book on the shelf, there will be other books near it, that share a similar subject matter.

In Te Waharoa you can use the filter for Library > Kelburn to find books that are available at Kelburn library.

You will find most books for theatre under PN (Literature General) and PR (Literature English)

Book title Callmark
The Cambridge Companion to Theatre History


Shakespeare, Modern Essays in Criticism 


Citation chaining

Academic literature is in conversation with each other. It is possible to take one book/article and look at what they have cited (check the bibliography) and also find out what works cite the book/article you are reading, via GoogleScholar.

Finding one good book or article will lead you to other resources. Dissertations and theses are also useful for finding more resources as they often include a literature review.