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) surname, first name: 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: Always use the abbreviated version, e.g: MIT P for MIT Press or Oxford UP for Oxford University 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) surname, first name. 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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