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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: 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

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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

View online at AVOD

Summary: The German poet, playwright, and theatrical reformer who developed the drama as a social and ideological forum is the subject of this program, in which those who knew him discuss his life and many works. Excerpts from plays such as Mother Courage and Her Children, The Life of Galileo, The Good Woman of Setzuan, and Antigone highlight the development of Brecht's austere form of irregular verse....

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2005

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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: Everyone has to find his own song, says Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright August Wilson, and he found his in the blues. From music and literature he has shaped a philosophy of life and some of the country's most compelling dramas, including Ma Rainey's Black Bottom and Fences. In this program, Wilson talks about finding an African American cultural identity and what he sees as the false...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2005

View online at AVOD

Summary: A superb Russian film documentary of the life and loves, the thoughts and works, the great themes and the little individual lights and shadows that made Chekhov the man and the artist. Set in Moscow in 1914-ten years after Chekhov's death, long enough to provide some perspective on his greatness, close enough for memories to have remained fresh-the program gives us Chekhov through the eyes of...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2007

View online at AVOD

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: 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

View online at AVOD

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

View online at AVOD

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

View online at AVOD

Summary: Sitting across a kitchen table yet worlds apart, Beth and Duff engage in a disturbing but seductive counterpoint of dual monologues, two series of impressionistic images from the wreckage of their relationship that wash up on the waves of consciousness. Thanks to the consummate performances of the late Dame Peggy Ashcroft and David Waller, this outstanding production by the Royal Shakespeare...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2007

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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: 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

View online at AVOD

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

View online at AVOD

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

View online at AVOD

Summary: Viewed by many as the preeminent dramatist of our time, Nobel laureate Harold Pinter was also an accomplished actor, steeped in the relationship between text and performance. In this program, produced two years prior to his death, he advises a group of actors as they conduct staged readings of scenes from his plays. In addition, Pinter grants a candid and detailed interview, accompanied by his...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2009

View online at AVOD

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

View online at AVOD

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

View online at AVOD

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

View online at AVOD

Summary: This program considers the unique synergy between method acting and poetic realism, as Ellen Adler and Tom Oppenheim, of The Stella Adler Conservatory, and author William Simon track the changes in American theater from pre- to post-World War II society. America's newfound place on the world stage is spotlighted, along with the careers of Paul Robeson, Canada Lee, and Marlon Brando; milestone...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2005

View online at AVOD

Summary: In this program, Brooks McNamara, expert on 19th-century theater at New York University; theater historian and author Mary Henderson; playwright Michael Dinwiddie; and New York City historian George Thompson examine the efforts at theater-making in America from the 1750s to the eve of the Civil War. Among the topics discussed are actor training; the stage careers of Ira Aldridge, Edwin Forrest,...

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

View online at AVOD