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Summary: Men playing the stage roles of women is as old as the history of theater; in the tradition of Kabuki, the portrayal of female characters has become a tradition of its own. This program looks at the history of Kabuki and the role of women, and looks particularly at the dynastic development of the onnagata-the female impersonator-and the intricate techniques and details by which a thoroughly...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2005

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Summary: Philip Cumbus is the King of Navarre and Michelle Terry is the Princess of France in this performance of Love's Labour's Lost at Shakespeare's Globe, London's faithful reconstruction of the open-air playhouse designed in 1599. True to the play's original Renaissance staging and costume, this production is a festive parade of every weapon in the youthful Shakespeare's comic arsenal-excruciating...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2010

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Summary: During the English Civil War, London's theaters were closed by Parliament, and many were destroyed by Cromwell. During the Restoration, new playhouses, built to stage the probing social comedies of the era, were shaped by changes in English drama, politics, and society. We learn how the Parisian tennis court theaters, attended by the court in exile of Charles II, influenced the new London...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2005

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Summary: Over the course of a single year at the RSC, 150 actors play 500 different roles, each requiring authentic period costuming and makeup. In this remarkable program, master costumers and makeup artists demonstrate their crafts as expressed in productions of The Tempest, Measure for Measure, and Thomas Kyd's The Spanish Tragedy. How does cleverly designed clothing help make Pompey more arrogant...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2007

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Summary: It can take more than 100 specialists working 8,000 hours to create the set for a single stage production. How is it done? In this extraordinary program, the dynamic process of set design for RSC productions of Much Ado About Nothing, The Tempest, and Measure for Measure is described by the people who make it all happen. From creating a full-size tree for Benedick to climb that can be removed...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2006

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Summary: But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks? It is the east, and Juliet is the sun. Performed at Shakespeare's Globe, London's faithful reconstruction of the open-air playhouse designed in 1599, Romeo and Juliet is arguably the best-loved of all love stories in Western literature. The play's masterful combination of lyricism, suspense, and dramatic changes of mood is dramatized by an...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2010

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Summary: As You Like It runs the glorious gamut of pastoral romance: disguises and love notes, poetry and brilliant conversation, gentle satire and full-on slapstick, and running throughout it all, passion! This staging-performed at Shakespeare's Globe, London's faithful reconstruction of the open-air playhouse designed in 1599-spotlights Naomi Frederick, Jack Laskey, Laura Rogers, Jamie Parker, and...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2010

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Summary: A fifth of London's population in the year 1600 were regular playgoers. Examination of the Globe Theatre shows where they stood, how the stage was constructed, and how the special effects so beloved by the audience were achieved, from thunder and lightning to fairies flying through the air and ghosts emerging from the earth. Rehearsals were minimal and there was no producer or director-just the...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2005

View online at AVOD

Summary: Women appeared on London's stages for the first time in 1660; before that, female roles were played by boys. When the first woman stepped onto the public stage, she was assumed to be a whore; men had free access to their dressing rooms and at least two, Moll Davis and Nell Gwynn, were mistresses to King Charles II. This program looks at the background and training of these first actresses, at...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2005

View online at AVOD

Summary: The intermediate step between the modern theatre and its classical antecedents was the Renaissance stage-an obvious, if by no means simple, step, for while texts of classical plays were more or less readily available, there was no knowledge of what Roman theatre had looked like and how plays had been performed. This program traces the earliest Renaissance attempts to stage classical drama...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2005

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Summary: An intimate look inside a living time capsule, this program explores the planning and reconstruction of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, presenting a day in the working life of the unique artistic institution. The video guides viewers through the facility, painstakingly designed and built to resemble the original Elizabethan playhouse, and offers commentary from the actors, artisans, and educators...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2006

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Summary: From the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, this production of Shakespeare's rollicking classic battle of the sexes stars Len Cariou as Petruchio, the strutting male chauvinist suitor who sets out to undermine the spirit of young Katharina. Taped before a live audience, this production is treated in a solidly traditional fashion by British stage director Peter Dews, retaining the integrity of...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 1982

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Summary: Compelling dramatizations of key scenes from Shakespeare's tragedy are analyzed by two noted Shakespearean experts-Stanley Wells and Russell Jackson of the Shakespeare Institute, Stratford-upon-Avon. Themes and topics include the motives of Lago, and whether his evil is as complete as most commentators suggest; Victorian objections to the interracial relationship between Othello and Desdemona;...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2006

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Summary: In this program Trevor Nunn probes the underlying dynamics of the play. He examines the psychological dynamics of Hamlet, the oedipal conflict and Hamlet's madness, feigned or real. Nunn also explores the political questions that are raised in the play. The viewer learns that Hamlet is the most coveted of all performances in the classical repertoire, because, as Nunn says, "To act Hamlet...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2010

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Summary: Shakespeare's troubled character comes to life in this program in the capable hands of leading scholars, as they discuss the major themes of the play, its plot, and the actions of its main characters. Analyzing key scenes, scholars Russell Jackson and Stanley Wells of Stratford-upon-Avon offer insights into the underlying meaning of Hamlet's eloquent soliloquies, as well as the play's eight...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2005

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Summary: Called "the greatest Hamlet of his generation" by Guardian reviewer Robert McCrum, Scottish actor David Tennant headlines this edgy film version of the acclaimed 2008 Royal Shakespeare Company stage production. Tennant is supported by a host of gifted players-including the impeccable Patrick Stewart as Claudius and Oliver Ford Davies in an astonishing performance as a doddering yet strangely...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2010

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Summary: An aromatic stew of biography and local color, this program will give viewers a sense of the London and Stratford of Shakespeare's time. The section on London visits 18 major sites associated with the Bard and his plays, including the Tower of London, St. Paul's Cathedral, the Middle Temple for law students, George Tavern, Southwark Cathedral, and the Globe Theatre site. The section on...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2010

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Summary: In this program, the major themes of Shakespeare's most popular tragedy are investigated by noted experts. Analyzing key scenes from an award-winning film production, Professor Robert Smallwood of the Shakespeare Centre and Professor Stanley Wells of the Shakespeare Institute examine how the relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth changes during the course of the play; how Banquo's...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2005

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Summary: Without doubt the Lear of the century, this performance surpasses the skill of the critics to praise it; its all-star cast and crew have won every award that exists for performance and production. More important, the production makes a taut, compressed, and difficult play into a work that reaches out to modern audiences in its grip on the elemental human emotions-emotions common to ancient...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2009

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Summary: John Kani's Othello is a fine and masterful performance that should make every white actor think twice before blacking up for the Moor, wrote The Guardian of this raw and powerful interpretation of the play. The production marked the first time an African actor had been cast in the title role opposite a white Desdemona before a multiracial audience in Johannesburg, South Africa. With Tony Award...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2007

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Summary: A hilarious and insightful introduction to Shakespeare’s Scottish play, This Is Macbeth offers a decidedly different approach to exploring and appreciating the renowned tragedy. The program consists of amusing talk show-style interviews with the main characters interspersed with scenes from the play itself, performed in deadly earnestness by professional Shakespearean actors in a black box...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2009

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Summary: Half a tragedy centered on the mad jealousy of King Leontes and half a romance of young love triumphant and old love restored, The Winter's Tale is arguably one of Shakespeare's most captivating dramas. This highly acclaimed production by The Royal Shakespeare Company was performed at the Barbican Theatre in London. Interviews with key members of both the cast and the RSC production team offer...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2005

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Summary: In the first program, each actor comments on the major scenes of the play, and, through excerpts from productions that range from the silent film era to the modern stage, we see various interpretations of those scenes. Trevor Nunn then interviews each actor about the source of his interpretation. The program includes both traditional and avant-garde productions.

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 1900

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Summary: This work-the only Shakespeare tragedy considered to have its roots in the classics-is a study in contradiction. Though it is about the character of Brutus, it has Caesar as its dominant figure. This and other complexities and themes of the drama are investigated through the performance of key scenes by noted Shakespearean experts from the Shakespeare Centre and the Shakespeare Institute,...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2005

View online at AVOD

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