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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 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: The American Repertory Theater is one the most respected and innovative dramatic institutions in the United States. Through the prism of the A.R.T., this program explores the organizational and creative challenges facing today's theater community and describes the flexibility and resilience arts groups must have to survive in today's cultural climate. F. Murray Abraham, Debra Winger, and...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2006

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Summary: They gave their names to some of the most memorable plays in Western history, and, thousands of years later, they are still very much a presence in contemporary culture. Who were the women of classical Greek drama? In this program, the presentation of powerful women in Medea, Antigone, and Lysistrata is contrasted with the circumscribed role of women in Athenian society by Princeton...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2005

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

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

Summary: As irreverent and bawdy as Aristophanes, but with more accessible humor, this pseudo-biography juxtaposes elements of Aristophanic plays with the activities of contemporaneous people to show how Aristophanes became the father of political satire and why his theatrical innovations are still staples of the contemporary theater. Aristophanes is shown as an artist living on the edge, who uses...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2005

View online at AVOD

Summary: Why do plays well over two millennia old still speak to audiences today? This program traces Greek theater from ancient harvest rites to the golden age of Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, and Aristophanes. Key scenes from Antigone, Oedipus Tyrannus, Medea, and Lysistrata show how these works remain relevant by exploring the timeless themes of honor, class, gender, sexuality, and politics....

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2005

View online at AVOD

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: The historical Dr. Faust, and the legends that have arisen around him thanks to the writings of Marlowe, Lessing, and Goethe, are the subject of this fascinating program. The real Faust-excommunicated as a heretic-is presented as a victim of the political and religious tensions of his day. In a medieval world that believed in the corporeal presence of the Devil, the accusation that Faust was in...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2009

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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: West Side Story not only brought unconventional subject matter to the musical stage, it ushered in a new breed of director-choreographer and a need for performers who could sing, dance, and act. But by the time Jerome Robbins’ last original musical, Fiddler on the Roof, closed in 1972, the world of Broadway had changed even more radically. Rock ’n’ roll, civil rights, and the Vietnam War took...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2004

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Summary: Taking viewers back to the Roaring Twenties, this program examines the Broadway of the Jazz Age-the era of Runnin' Wild, George White Scandals, and Shuffle Along, which helped reopen Broadway's doors to African-American artists. The film also features unique talents like the Marx Brothers, Al Jolson, the Gershwin brothers, and the songwriting team of Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart. But the...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2004

View online at AVOD

Summary: Producer David Merrick conquered Broadway in 1981 with an adaptation of the movie musical 42nd Street. But soon the biggest hits were arriving from an unexpected source-London. This program illustrates the reshaping of the Broadway musical as the curtain fell on the 20th century and reopened on the 21st. From Stephen Sondheim’s contemplative Sunday in the Park with George to blockbusters like...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2004

View online at AVOD

Summary: In 1893, the intersection of Broadway and 42nd was nobody's idea of "the crossroads of the world." But by 1913, Flo Ziegfeld had transformed the area into an entertainment mecca. This program tells Ziegfeld's story, introduces many of the era's key figures-such as Irving Berlin, Fanny Brice, Bert Williams, and George M. Cohan-and culminates with a look at Ziegfeld's 1927 production of Jerome...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2004

View online at AVOD

Summary: In this program, Channel 4 commissioning editor John Richmond, producer Rachel Gesua, director Tim Supple, screenwriter Andrew Bannerman, and members of the cast and crew talk about the business of making a modest TV adaptation of Twelfth Night. Step by step, they walk viewers through scripting; budgeting for talent, crew, cameras, sound, sets, blue screen, lighting, and costuming; casting...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2006

View online at AVOD

Summary: When Tim Supple directed the filming of Twelfth Night, he was a stickler for sticking to the words as the Bard penned them. Everything else, though, was up for grabs as he and screenwriter Andrew Bannerman shifted and intercut scenes and in general translated the play into the all-encompassing language of film. In this program, members of the cast and crew use snippets of the screenplay to...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2006

View online at AVOD

Summary: This program studies the art that underlies the craft of filmmaking-a painstaking process that culminates in the take, that shared moment of concentration when everything comes together. Twelfth Night director Tim Supple and his first assistant director, production designer, director of photography, costume designer, stunt coordinator, and others offer their insights into set design, the...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2006

View online at AVOD

Summary: Computers are changing everything, including filmmaking. This program illustrates the digital postproduction process through numerous editing examples taken from Twelfth Night. Key crew members-a film editor, sound designer, sound recording engineer, digital effects artist, and others-share their expertise with setting the film's pace and rhythm, constructing sequences with different types of...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2006

View online at AVOD