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Summary: Amorous sparks fly alongside barbed repartee in this hip adaptation of Shakespeare's classic romantic comedy. A modern television news studio provides the setting, transforming Beatrice and Benedick-played by Sarah Parish and Damian Lewis-into bickering co-anchors. Meanwhile, Don, a jealous studio tech, tries to sabotage the budding love affair between Claude the sports guy and Hero the weather...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2009

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Summary: Renowned restaurateur Duncan Docherty has built a gastronomic empire, but his sous-chef and maitre d' are cooking up treachery. In this modern retelling of Shakespeare's tragedy, screenwriter Peter Moffat sets the action in a 3-star London restaurant with a kitchen full of flashing blades and bloody business. James McAvoy plays Joe Macbeth, revered by his staff and relied on by Duncan-even to...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2009

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Summary: Theo and Polly host a party in Dream Park to celebrate their daughter Hermia's engagement to James, but when Xander, Hermia's true love, shows up to dispute the betrothal, it takes magical intervention to set things right. Peter Bowker adapts Shakespeare's unusual romantic comedy where the problems of mortal love are mirrored in interlocking plots between Fairyland and the modern world. Bill...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2009

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Summary: Meet Katherine Minola, Member of Parliament and aspiring Prime Minister. When her advisers suggest that she marry, she reacts with the same fury she brings to everything-and everyone. But one man is going to change her outlook: enter Petruchio. Screenwriter Sally Wainwright updates Shakespeare's romantic farce, with Shirley Henderson as the irascible Katherine; Jaime Murray as her supermodel...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2009

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Summary: For biographer Michael Holroyd, playwright George Bernard Shaw is practically an alter ego. Using archival footage and Holroyd's painstaking detective work, this intriguing program questions the extent to which Shaw's life and art fed upon each other, addressing issues including the effects of the triangle between his father, his mother, and Vandeleur Lee on his plays, as seen in Misalliance...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2005

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Summary: In 1925 Luigi Pirandello brought his troupe to England as part of a worldwide tour. This program re-creates one day in London as "The Einstein of the Theater" watches his plays and, away from the footlights, confronts the paradoxical nature of his life. Portions of Six Characters in Search of an Author; Henry IV; Right You Are, If You Think You Are; and The Rules of the Game are meticulously...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2009

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Summary: Until recently, the serious works of Russian avant-garde writer Daniil Kharms-his absurdist pieces, the ones laced with irony and steeped in trenchant wit-were known only to the Soviet Union's literary underground. This production, reset in modern-day America, is the first film adaptation of Kharms' novella The Old Woman, a dark comedy about a man trying to get rid of a dead body.

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2006

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Summary: Read by noted actors Michael Gough, Edward Fox, and Eileen Atkins, T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land powerfully expresses the disillusionment and disgust of the post-World War I era in Europe. In this program, Professor Frank Kermode, of Cambridge University; Eliot biographer Peter Ackroyd; and poets Sir Stephen Spender and Craig Raine examine the complex nature of Eliot's influential poem, analyze...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2005

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Summary: Ridiculed by some, admired by others, and ignored by no one, Yukio Mishima has remained a paradox in both life and death. This program combines extensive archival footage of Mishima; interviews with colleagues, including his biographer, Henry Scott Stokes, and two of his translators; and readings by actor John Hurt to portray Japan's immensely popular novelist, playwright, actor, and patriot of...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2005

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Summary: Hosted by Eli Wallach, this program dissects Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun through the sharp insights of Joe Morton (Walter Lee Younger); Kim Yancey (Beneatha Younger); Phylicia Rashad (Lena Younger); Ruby Dee, Audra McDonald, Starletta DuPois, and Ernestine Jackson (Ruth Younger); Ralph Carter (Travis Younger); John Fiedler (Carl Lindner); directors Lloyd Richards and Jack Hofsiss;...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2008

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Summary: Tennessee Williams' masterpiece The Glass Menagerie is a prime example of the memory play in modern literature. In this program hosted by Eli Wallach, former cast members and directors of Menagerie discuss plot and thematic elements, the characterization of some of theater's most memorable and enduring dramatic figures, and the era in which the play was written. Commentary is provided by Ruby...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2007

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Summary: In this exclusive interview, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Arthur Miller speaks about his life and career. Beginning in New York, Miller traces his early years through the Great Depression, offering insights into how this lean time influenced his work. A portion of the program is devoted to a discussion of the 1950s McCarthy hearings and their impact on the development of Miller's...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2005

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Summary: Filmed on the set of Two Trains Running, one of America's leading playwrights traces his work back to a troubled childhood in a Pittsburgh ghetto. His ongoing project to write a play on African American life set in each decade of the 20th century is one of the most ambitious endeavors in American theatrical history. In this program, he describes his award-winning plays Joe Turner's Come and...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2005

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Summary: In this incisive program, two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright August Wilson returns home to the Hill District of Pittsburgh in 1990 to review his life and career. Archival footage and interviews with Wilson, former New York Times theater critic Frank Rich, fellow writers, and others provide insights into the African-American experience, from the Great Black Migration to more recent...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2005

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Summary: In Grover's Corners, New Hampshire, the time is 1901 and the place is America's collective memory. But Thornton Wilder's Our Town is not the sentimental nostalgia piece most people perceive. This program hosted by Eli Wallach offers wide-ranging and extraordinarily deep insights into the play from those who arguably know it best: Our Town alumni who over the years have brought the play to life...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2007

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Summary: In this program, Ellen Adler, owner of The Stella Adler Conservatory, and author William Simon appraise the impact of the drama groups that flourished during the Depression-both those that were privately operated and those that were federally funded-and their lasting contributions to theater. Among the topics discussed are the American Method style of acting, as pioneered at the Group Theatre;...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2005

View online at AVOD

Summary: In the 1950s, Senator Joseph McCarthy set up the Un-American Activities Committee to combat the growing "threat" of communism in the U.S. Playwright Arthur Miller was one of many writers summoned to testify at this political witch-hunt. Miller, who was nearly ruined, said that until that time he had not understood the "inexplicable darkness" that prevented people from seeing evil and denouncing...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2005

View online at AVOD

Summary: This outstanding program traces the life of Tennessee Williams, revisiting the locations in the southern states that were his inspiration. Scenes from Williams' most memorable works, including The Glass Menagerie and A Streetcar Named Desire, evoke the atmosphere, characters, and conflicts of the Deep South, while footage of a rare television interview and a dramatic reenactment of the life of...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2006

View online at AVOD

Summary: One of America's leading dramatists, Horton Foote has accumulated a wealth of professional honors over his 60-plus-year career-the National Medal of Arts, two Oscars, a Pulitzer Prize, and election to the Theatre Hall of Fame, to name only a few. In this program, Bill Moyers talks with Foote about his new play The Carpetbagger's Children and three concepts that had a distinct influence on it:...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2005

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Summary: Beginning with the release of The Jazz Singer in 1927, this program provides a detailed look inside that most distinctly American of film traditions, the musical comedy. Interviews with dancer Cyd Charisse, famous for her starring roles in MGM musicals, and Hermes Pan, renowned choreographer and collaborator with Fred Astaire, help to illuminate the advent and evolution of the genre. Excerpts...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2009

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Summary: David Henry Hwang has experienced stereotyping firsthand. Today, he dedicates his work as a successful dramatist to dispelling those hackneyed portrayals of Asian-Americans that he encountered in his youth. In this program, ABC News correspondent John Yang interviews the Tony Award-winning playwright who brought M. Butterfly to Broadway and whose latest effort, a contemporary version of Rodgers...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2006

View online at AVOD

Summary: In this program, Brooks McNamara, expert on 19th-century theater at New York University, and theater historian and author Mary Henderson plot out three crucial transitions in American culture between 1875 and 1914: for budding actors, a shift from apprenticeship to academy-oriented training at centers such as The American Academy of Dramatic Arts; for playwrights, a progression from surface...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2006

View online at AVOD

Summary: This program focuses on the Booth family to evaluate their tremendous impact on American theater and, in a broader sense, to create an image of Victorian American culture. Brooks McNamara, expert on 19th-century theater at New York University, and theater historian and author Mary Henderson delve into the careers of the acclaimed tragic actor Junius Brutus Booth, Sr.; the notorious assassin...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2006

View online at AVOD

Summary: This program analyzes the cultural changes that occurred during the early 20th century, the golden age of American mainstream theater. Ellen Adler, owner of The Stella Adler Conservatory; playwright Michael Dinwiddie; Brooks McNamara, director of the Shubert Archive; and theater historian and author Mary Henderson address topics such as the impact of immigrants on the emerging voices in drama;...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2006

View online at AVOD