How to cite a play in MLA

MLA play citation

To cite a play in a reference entry in MLA style 8th edition include the following elements:

  1. Author(s): Give the last name and name as presented in the source (e. g. Watson, John). For two authors, reverse only the first name, followed by ‘and’ and the second name in normal order (e. g. Watson, John, and John Watson). For three or more authors, list the first name followed by et al. (e. g. Watson, John, et al.)
  2. Play Title: Titles are italicized when independent. If part of a larger source add quotation marks and do not italize.
  3. Publisher: If the name of an academic press contains the words University and Press, use UP e.g. Oxford UP instead of Oxford University Press. If the word "University" doesn't appear, spell out the Press e.g. MIT Press.
  4. Year of publication: Give the year of publication as presented in the source.

Here is the basic format for a reference list entry of a play in MLA style 8th edition:

Author(s). Play Title. Publisher, Year of publication.

Take a look at our works cited examples that demonstrate the MLA style guidelines in action:


Play with one author.

Williams, Tennessee. The Glass Menagerie. New Directions, 1999.

Play with two authors.

Crouse, Lindsay and Peter Straub. Life with Father. Dramatists Play Service, 1990.

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