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Theatre in Video

Theatre in Video contains more than 250 of the world’s most important plays, together with more than 100 video documentaries, online in streaming video—more than 500 hours and still growing.  While the texts of plays can serve as lasting documents, the productions are ephemeral; a live performance is gone when the curtain falls. And yet the collaborative elements of theatre in performance – the work of the actors, directors, and designers – have tremendous scholarly and educational value long after a production closes.  Now, with Theatre in Video, students and researchers will be able to revisit great performances, bookmark specific scenes, monologues, and staging examples and then include those online links in their papers and course reserves. 

Here are just a few of the tools available in the collection:

  • Multiple productions of several of Shakespeare’s plays will allow for comparative analysis, showing various interpretations of the text and technical and cultural differences among the presentations.
  • The stage work of legendary directors and actors are together for the first time, cross searchable and available for side-by-side comparison.
  • Interviews with directors, designers, writers, and actors, along with excerpts of live performances, illustrate the development of the texts and the productions. For example, users can watch and hear Arthur Miller discussing The Ride Down Mount Morgan and directing a rehearsal.
  • Documentary histories examine such varied subjects as The Globe Theatre; Edward Albee; The Royal Shakespeare Company; The Federal Theatre Project; Luis Valdez and El Teatro Campesino;The New Drama As Viewed by William Saroyan (examining the avant garde, with excerpts from The Killer, by Eugene Ionesco, The Sand Box, by Edward Albee, and Krapp's Last Tape, by Samuel Beckett, with Myron McCormick); Adolphe Appia’s Design Innovations; The Role of Theatre in Ancient Greece; and other topics.

The collection aims to begin in the 1930s and will progress through the 20th century.  The writers and actors will also span a wide range of periods and nationalities.   Specially developed controlled vocabularies, used with multiple and combinable search fields, enable users to browse by genre, artist, time period, place, and other fields. The search can be simple – show every production directed by Joseph Papp – or complex. For example, find all examples of political satire after 1965, or, find all instances of women performing traditional male roles. Once the user identifies a video, a click delivers the relevant section over the Internet. The user can also choose to watch the entire video.

(Source: Provider Web Site)

Alexander Street Press
Short Description: 
Theatre performance and theory