Drama DVDs

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Item Code: FI-D020

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 #6641 The Paper Bag Players: On Top of Spaghetti
 #963 Bertolt Brecht(+$20)
 #1150 One Third of a Nation(+$20)
 #1891 Stage for a Nation(+$20)
 #3381 Peter Shaffer(+$20)
 #4970 Derek Walcott(+$20)
 #5002 Exploring the Avant-Garde: Peter Sellars(+$20)
 #6018 William Gillette: A Connecticut Yankee and the American Stage(+$20)
 #31139 David Henry Hwang(+$20)
 #32558 NOW with Bill Moyers: Horton Foote on Contemporary Drama(+$20)
 #32650 Macbeth: Shakespeare for the Modern Age(+$20)
 #2182 Places, Please!(+$20)
 #37358 Acting Through Life: Insights from Working Actors(+$20)
 #9163 Prelude and First Curtains(+$30)
 #9164 The Tragedian, the Rebel, and the Prince(+$30)
 #9165 From Apprenticeship to the Academy(+$30)
 #9166 Village Radicals, New Americans, Boom, and Crash(+$30)
 #9167 The Federal Theater, Project 891, and the Mercury Theater(+$30)
 #9168 Into the Post-War Era(+$30)
 #35752 Harold Clurman: A Life of Theater(+$60)
 #11316 Lights Up! Getting Started as a Playwright(+$60)
 #11317 Work in Progress: The Nuts and Bolts of Writing Plays(+$60)
 #11318 Significant Others: The Rest of the Theatrical Team(+$60)
 #11319 Get It On! Working Your Way to Opening Night(+$60)
 #896 Samuel Beckett: Silence to Silence(+$80)
 #2332 The Renaissance Stage(+$80)
 #3366 The Design of Modern Theatre: Adolphe Appia's Innovations(+$80)
 #4802 'Tis Pity She's a Whore: The First Women on the London Stage(+$80)
 #6546 The Restoration Theater: From Tennis Court to Playhouse(+$80)
 #10103 Harold Pinter: Landscape(+$80)
 #10342 Michael Holroyd on George Bernard Shaw(+$80)
 #10819 Medieval Drama: From Sanctuary to Stage(+$80)
 #33355 She Stoops to Conquer(+$80)
 #37235 Our Town: Character Studies Conversations(+$80)
 #29946 Towards the Limelight: Mastering Skills and Techniques(+$80)
 #29947 Second Year: Putting the Pieces Together(+$80)
 #29948 Actors in Earnest: Graduation and Beyond(+$80)
 #35429 Talk Fast: Pitching a Screenplay in Two Minutes(+$80)
 #35550 Onstage(+$80)
 #35551 Backstage(+$80)
 #35650 Chaos and Order: Making American Theater(+$80)
 #3367 Orpheus and Eurydice: The Appia Staging(+$90)
 #30423 The Vagina Monologues(+$90)
 #37626 Commedia dell' Arte: The Story, the Style(+$90)
 #4048 The Stanislavsky Century(+$100)
 #38704 Class Act: Jay W. Jensen and the Future of Arts Education in America-Educator's Edition(+$130)
 #34694 Stages of Theatre: From the Greeks to Shakespeare(+$189.95)
 #35549 Stagecraft(+$229.95)
 #29945 Stagestruck: Crossing the Greenroom(+$379.9)
 #11315 Playwrights' Workshop: Writing for the Stage(+$449.85)
 #9162 A Search for an American Voice in Theater(+$529.75)

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Product Description:
#6641 K-8 Drama - The Paper Bag Players: On Top of Spaghetti (Run time 57 min.) DVD $69.95

This is the first time an entire show of this award-winning children's theater group has been available on video. The Paper Bag Players, founded in 1958 by Judith Martin, are a company of adults who create and perform original theater for children based on a child's everyday experiences. Their shows are a collage of short plays that include rousing songs, freewheeling dances, audience participation, mime, and painting and drawing on stage to create a very funny, slightly absurd musical theater. Their sets, props, and costumes are created from common household objects, cardboard boxes, brown kraft paper, colored markers, and poster paint. The Paper Bag Players are equally well-known for their music, a delightful ragtime beat on the electric piano, composed by Donald Ashwander. "On Top of Spaghetti" includes five short plays that can be watched individually or all together at one time. (57 minutes)

#963 Drama - Bertolt Brecht (Run time min.) DVD $89.95

A documentary portrait of this bold theatrical innovator and his work. The program shows his roots and the theatrical and social background of his formative years, and analyzes the development of his vision of the theatre-episode in place of Aristotelian plot, the use of nonliterary devices, new techniques in character portrayal, and new aims for the very concept of theatre. (55 minutes)

#1150 Drama - One Third of a Nation (Run time 55 min.) DVD $89.95

An example of theater designed to provoke social change, this play was produced by the Federal Theatre Project's "Living Newspaper" to dramatize the problem of housing during the Depression. (55 minutes)

#1891 Drama - Stage for a Nation (Run time 52 min.) DVD $89.95

The National Theatre has entertained Washington since the time of Andrew Jackson, bringing the best of Broadway to Washington (and sometimes sending a play or musical to Broadway), providing a stage for theatrical legends from Edwin Booth to Helen Hayes, casting an influence on the American theater simply because it was the National Theatre and on the nation because theater-even when it appears all froth or fancy-remains a powerful medium that alters in some way all those who watch it.This spectacular program celebrates both the history and the present of the National: its memorabilia survey the history of American taste; institutions of the theater, like Helen Hayes, Pearl Bailey, and Carol Channing, describe the added dimensions of playing to an audience of power brokers and presidents; and scenes from some of the nation's (and the National's) biggest hits-including South Pacific, Hello Dolly, West Side Story, and A Chorus Line-are performed by star-studded casts that constitute a virtual Who's Who of the American theater. (52 minutes)

#3381 Drama - Peter Shaffer (Run time 58 min.) DVD $89.95

The conflict between genius and mediocrity is one of his favorite themes. Amadeus, Equus, The Royal Hunt of the Sun, Black Comedy-Peter Shaffer is one of the most successful dramatists of our time. In this program, Shaffer, an Englishman who lives in New York, discusses his views on literature, movies, theater, and music. Part actor, part pianist, he demonstrates his skill at both. (58 minutes)

#4970 Drama - Derek Walcott (Run time 30 min.) DVD $89.95

Derek Walcott was born a British subject on the Caribbean island of St. Lucia and studied English in school almost as a second language. In the language of great poets and literature, this winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature also discovered the tongue of political mastery: a culture imposed by white foreigners. This contradiction he confronts in both his poetry and his life, spending half the year in what he calls the prehistoric Eden of his childhood, and the other half teaching in the world's newest empire, the U.S. In this program with Bill Moyers, Walcott discusses the power of his words and the recurring themes of the black struggle in his work. (30 minutes)

#5002 Drama - Exploring the Avant-Garde: Peter Sellars (Run time 52 min.) DVD $89.95

Director Peter Sellars says it's fine with him if people hate his controversial theatrical work, and many have taken him up on the offer. Sellars has been director of the Boston Shakespeare Company and the American National Theatre at the Kennedy Center. He's been called bullheaded, sophomoric, and weird; he's also been called a genius, brilliant, exciting, and innovative. He set a Mozart opera in New York's Trump Tower and Shakespeare in a swimming pool, and he even conceived an opera about Richard Nixon's trip to China. But there's a method in all this madness. Theater should be hard, he says. It should shake you up and speak truth to power. Love it or hate it, says Sellars, at least it means you're thinking. In this program with Bill Moyers, Sellars discusses his controversial career and views on the role of theater in society. (52 minutes)

#6018 Drama - William Gillette: A Connecticut Yankee and the American Stage (Run time 30 min.) DVD $89.95

This program documents the life and career of William Gillette. Gillette had an enormous impact on the American theater of his day and is credited with the invention of "underacting." His innovations in terms of lighting and sound effects were so basic in the development of stagecraft that they are taken for granted today. Gillette was also a pioneer in making American drama "American," rejecting what had been up until that time a pervasive European influence on American theater. Gillette was a father figure to many actors and actresses, including Orson Welles and John Houseman. The program features warm remembrances by Helen Hayes of working with Gillette. The program also includes rare archival footage of Gillette, as well as re-enactments from his plays, photographs, playbills, and other theatrical memorabilia from the turn of the century. (30 minutes)

#31139 Drama - David Henry Hwang (Run time 22 min.) DVD $89.95

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 and Hammerstein's Flower Drum Song, renovates and reshapes the roles of the characters in the musical. (21 minutes)

#32558 Drama - NOW with Bill Moyers: Horton Foote on Contemporary Drama (Run time 43 min.) DVD $89.95

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: family, memory, and home. In the process, they open a window on what it is like to be a writer for stage and screen as they discuss topics ranging from the art of storytelling to the dynamics of the creative process. Biographical background on how Foote got his start as an actor and a dramatist is also included. (43 minutes)

#32650 Drama - Macbeth: Shakespeare for the Modern Age (Run time 37 min.) DVD $89.95

This condensed adaptation of Macbeth, performed by experienced Shakespearean actors of the innovative Big Adventures Theatre Company, uses the Bard's own immortal words to tell the story of Duncan King, head of King Enterprises, and his scheming employee, Macbeth, recently awarded the coveted Cawdor contract. After Macbeth's fateful meeting with three saucy witches-not on the heath, but at the Heath Nightclub-the tragedy unfolds, leading to the inevitable showdown in which Macduff shoots Macbeth. E-mail, cell phones, and stretch limos all have their place in this intriguing film. Guaranteed to catch the interest of teenage and adult viewers alike. (37 minutes)

#2182 Theater Craft - Places, Please! (Run time 58 min.) DVD $89.95

This program looks at educational theater through the theater program at Hamden (CT) High School, interspersing production segments in rehearsal and performance with teacher, student, and audience interviews. Recommended by the NEA, the program demonstrates the value of educational theater and how this value can be maximized. (58 minutes)

#37358 Theater Craft - Acting Through Life: Insights from Working Actors (Run time 34 min.) DVD $89.95

Although most actors dream of celebrity, many find satisfaction in modest film and television roles, commercials, and regional theater. This program shows students that side of the profession, interviewing several accomplished performers who-although they are far from being household names-have found steady work on the stage and in Hollywood. Kevin Conway (Invincible, Gettysburg), Melissa Leo (21 Grams), Peter Maloney (Summer of Sam), Jacqueline Knapp (Dominick and Eugene), Jim DeMarse (The Sopranos), Kristin Griffith (Interiors), William Wise (In the Bedroom), and others share their practical yet inspiring views on auditioning, insecurity, disillusionment, aging, and the viability of acting as a career option today. (34 minutes)

#9163 Drama - Prelude and First Curtains (Run time 50 min.) DVD $99.95

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, and William Macready; the African Theater Company; the Astor Place Opera House riots; and issues such as immigration and segregation. The program also sets the stage for the entire series by asking questions that are explored over the course of the six episodes. (52 minutes)

#9164 Drama - The Tragedian, the Rebel, and the Prince (Run time 30 min.) DVD $99.95

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 John Wilkes Booth; and Edwin Booth, America's first great Hamlet and the most important American actor of the 19th century. (30 minutes)

#9165 Drama - From Apprenticeship to the Academy (Run time 30 min.) DVD $99.95

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 realism to the earliest form of American naturalism; and for America, a change in sensibilities that paved the way for the global, technocentric society of the 20th century. The program also outlines the contributions of impresario David Belasco and the phenomenon of Sarah Bernhardt in the U.S. (30 minutes)

#9166 Drama - Village Radicals, New Americans, Boom, and Crash (Run time 30 min.) DVD $99.95

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; the blossoming of ethnic theater; the role of the American Laboratory Theater; the influence of the Greenwich Village Theatre and the Provincetown Players; and the works of Eugene O'Neill, including Beyond the Horizon, Long Day's Journey into Night, and The Iceman Cometh. (30 minutes)

#9167 Drama - The Federal Theater, Project 891, and the Mercury Theater (Run time 30 min.) DVD $99.95

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; the Federal Theater, the Classical Theatre (Project 891), and the Mercury Theater, incubators for some of the most innovative and controversial works ever seen on the American stage; and the theatrical careers of Orson Welles and John Houseman. (30 minutes)

#9168 Drama - Into the Post-War Era (Run time 30 min.) DVD $99.95

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 plays such as A Streetcar Named Desire, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Bus Stop, and The Crucible; and the iconic stature of Times Square, the heart of New York's mainstream theater. The program also sums up more than 200 years of American life as reflected by the theater that has shaped the nation's cultural history. (30 minutes)

#35752 Drama - Harold Clurman: A Life of Theater (Run time 57 min.) DVD $129.95

As a founding member and the driving force behind the Group Theater, Harold Clurman helped heighten the emotional sensitivity and social awareness of American drama. This classic program, narrated by Meryl Streep, recounts Clurman's artistic journey using rarely seen archival films and conversations with the director's inner circle-luminaries of the mid-20th-century American stage including Arthur Miller, Lee Strasberg, Roy Scheider, Karl Malden, Phoebe Brand, and others. Full of provocative and entertaining Clurman appearances, the program features extensive excerpts from his lectures, personal interviews, and the only Clurman acting workshop ever recorded. (57 minutes)

#11316 Theater Craft - Lights Up! Getting Started as a Playwright (Run time 27 min.) DVD $129.95

In this program, Andrea Lemon, Timothy Daly, Katherine Thomson, David Williamson, and other theater professionals describe what it was that prompted them to set pen to paper and write their first plays. They also explain how writing for the stage differs from other types of writing, give their opinions on the qualities needed to succeed as a dramatist, and offer advice on how to begin the writing process. "Practice the art of enticing the imagination of the public," says Daly. "It often starts with a title." (27 minutes)

#11317 Theater Craft - Work in Progress: The Nuts and Bolts of Writing Plays (Run time 27 min.) DVD $129.95

"There are certain basic principles of dramatic writing that work," says Will Dunne. "I think it's important for writers to know what those basic principles are, that's where we get into the craft of writing." In this program, Dunne, Nick Enright, David Williamson, Katherine Thomson, and other theater professionals suggest approaches to doing research, creating dynamic characters, and composing believable dialogue. The process of writing that all-important first draft is also discussed, as well as the playwright's relationship to the audience. (27 minutes)

#11318 Theater Craft - Significant Others: The Rest of the Theatrical Team (Run time 27 min.) DVD $129.95

By its very definition, a play is a group project. This program, which features Nick Enright, Ros Horin, Timothy Daly, David Williamson, and other theater professionals, introduces some of the "significant others" of the drama profession: the actors, directors, dramaturges, composers, and designers who work with playwrights to polish their scripts and bring their stories to life. "Part of the learning process of collaboration," says Enright, "is learning to edit, learning to sift those responses, and...having the humility to listen in the first place." (27 minutes)

#11319 Theater Craft - Get It On! Working Your Way to Opening Night (Run time 27 min.) DVD $129.95

Rewrites and rehearsals are the final steps of crafting a play. But how does a playwright interest a theater company in the first place? In this program, Richard Wherret, Alana Valentine, Will Dunne, Ros Horin, and other theater professionals examine the process of rewriting and the role of the playwright in rehearsals-as well as how to sell a play in the drama marketplace. Common pitfalls of writing for the stage are also addressed, along with the benefits and drawbacks of writing for other mediums, such as film and TV. The key to success as a playwright? "Write from the heart," says Wherret. (27 minutes)

#896 Drama - Samuel Beckett: Silence to Silence (Run time min.) DVD $149.95

The elusive author of Waiting for Godot cooperated in the production of this portrait, which traces Beckett's artistic life through his prose, plays, and poetry. Billie Whitelaw, Jack McGowran, and Patrick Magee-Beckett's great dramatic interpreters-appear in selected extracts from the plays; Beckett specialist David Warrilow narrates a variety of texts. (80 minutes)

#2332 Drama - The Renaissance Stage (Run time 30 min.) DVD $149.95

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 through the application of medieval concepts of production; follows the deductions made from Vitruvius' De Architectura and the impetus provided by the appearance of dramas in Italian; the building of the Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza and the theatres in Ferrara and Parma; shows the varying uses of perspective in scene painting and the development of moveable scenery; and explains how, when the facade was eliminated and the door opened to reveal the scenery behind, the proscenium arch and the picture frame theatre were born. (30 minutes)

#3366 Drama - The Design of Modern Theatre: Adolphe Appia's Innovations (Run time 50 min.) DVD $149.95

This program explores Appia's innovations: replacing the flat painted scenery and declamatory style of the 19th century with plastic environments for three-dimensional actors and actresses, using mobile lighting, and counterpointing visuals with music. His designs for Ibsen and Shaw productions link 20th-century theater to the freedoms of ancient Greek drama and mark Appia as the father of modern theatrical design. (50 minutes)

#4802 Drama - 'Tis Pity She's a Whore: The First Women on the London Stage (Run time 26 min.) DVD $149.95

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 their influence on plays written at the time, at their lives and the roles they played, and at how their sexuality and availability became the central feature of their professional identity. (26 minutes)

#6546 Drama - The Restoration Theater: From Tennis Court to Playhouse (Run time 45 min.) DVD $149.95

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 theaters, particularly Christopher Wren's Theatre Royal. Other Restoration design solutions, some baroque and some neoclassical, were responses to changes in British drama and society. Advanced computer graphics illustrate important theater features throughout the documentary. The program shows how Wren's work influenced Georgian playhouses and is once again inspiring modern theater design. (45 minutes)

#10103 Drama - Harold Pinter: Landscape (Run time 36 min.) DVD $149.95

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 Company-directed for stage and screen by Sir Peter Hall-is quintessential Pinter, laden with irony and stressing two of the playwright's recurring themes: communication and memory. Some language may be objectionable. (36 minutes)

#10342 Drama - Michael Holroyd on George Bernard Shaw (Run time 53 min.) DVD $149.95

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 and Pygmalion. A second theme deals with the reciprocal relationship between biographer and subject. To what extent has Holroyd's point of view shaped audience perception? And how much has the study of Shaw affected Holroyd? (53 minutes)

#10819 Drama - Medieval Drama: From Sanctuary to Stage (Run time 48 min.) DVD $149.95

This definitive program traces the development of medieval drama, from Hildegard von Bingen's musical morality play Ordo Virtutum (The Ritual of the Virtues) to the seminal Everyman. Featuring extended excerpts from these influential works, as well as from The Second Shepherd's Play and the 1998 staging of the Mystery Cycle in York, England, the video also establishes the genre's socioreligious context. Expert commentary from a variety of scholars, including Meg Twycross of Lancaster University and Alexandra Johnston of the University of Toronto, as well as interviews with theater staff help to capture the vitality of an art form that bridges dramatic history from the Classical Age to Shakespeare. A Films for the Humanities & Sciences Production. (48 minutes)

#33355 Drama - She Stoops to Conquer (Run time 136 min.) DVD $149.95

An ambitious stepmother, a pragmatic father, impassioned sweethearts, and starry-eyed suitors are all sent spinning in Oliver Goldsmith's classic comedy of manners-and errors. Directed by Max Stafford-Clark and recorded at The Theatre Royal in Bath, this production of She Stoops to Conquer played to rave reviews. Staged with authentic costumes and sets, the commonly anthologized play makes an excellent introduction to 18th-century theater. (2 parts, 74 minutes and 65 minutes)

#37235 Drama - Our Town: Character Studies Conversations (Run time 68 min.) DVD $149.95

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 on stage and screen. Interviews with Paul Newman (Stage Manager); Cynthia Nixon and Maggie Lacey (Emily Webb); Paul Newman, Ben Fox, Harvey Evans, and Eric Stoltz (George Gibbs); James Rebhorn (Doc Gibbs); Frances Conroy (Mrs. Gibbs); Jeff DeMunn (Editor Webb); and Stephen Spinella (Simon Stimson) are featured. Our Town director James Naughton and Tom Jones, writer of the musical adaptation Grover's Corners, also contribute. A viewable/printable instructor's guide is available online. A Films for the Humanities & Sciences Production. (68 minutes)

#29946 Theater Craft - Towards the Limelight: Mastering Skills and Techniques (Run time 40 min.) DVD $149.95

This documentary, filmed in a cinema verite style at the National Theatre Conservatory, follows eight student-actors through their first year of the master's degree program, an intensive daily regimen of voice, dance, elocution, and acting instruction. Initially uncomfortable with the strangeness of acting together and with some of the classes, such as trapeze work, the students begin to gel as a group and demonstrate why they were selected out of hundreds for this prestigious program. (40 minutes)

#29947 Theater Craft - Second Year: Putting the Pieces Together (Run time 55 min.) DVD $149.95

Perhaps the toughest part of the course, the second year at the National Theatre Conservatory forces actors to cope with the demands of working on multiple projects. In this program, the eight students, now closer and more at ease with each other, must stage a production of The Merchant of Venice in addition to crafting solo Shakespeare performances. John Barton, founding member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, guides their efforts. The hard-working thespians learn the value of dramaturgical analysis of lines. To supplement their curriculum, they do television analysis and begin to field understudy positions and their first company castings. (55 minutes)

#29948 Theater Craft - Actors in Earnest: Graduation and Beyond (Run time 49 min.) DVD $149.95

While the pace of the third and final year of the master's program does not let up, the real-world necessities of an acting career begin to loom large. In this documentary, the eight students who comprise the class of 2000 culminate their training and prepare for the harsh realities of trying to make a living as actors. A key event is the showcase presentation each student performs before an audience of agents. The finishing exercise for the class is the staging of a double-bill: The Importance of Being Earnest and Bus Stop. The program then moves to a year after their graduation to show how the eight fledgling actors are faring in the world of theater, film, and television. (49 minutes)

#35429 Theater Craft - Talk Fast: Pitching a Screenplay in Two Minutes (Run time 53 min.) DVD $149.95

What if an aspiring screenwriter could get just two minutes of face time with a major Hollywood exec to make a pitch? Welcome to Pitchmart. In this reality-based program, five people with five big ideas express their passions and frustrations as they spend a week with Ken Rotcop to polish their presentations-and then two precious minutes with the decision-makers who could transform their scripts into box office bonanzas. Rotcop, Pitchmart's founder, is an award-winning screenwriter and author of the best-selling The Perfect Pitch. An honest and insightful scrutiny of parlaying a script into a movie deal. (53 minutes)

#35550 Theater Craft - Onstage (Run time 120 min.) DVD $149.95

Although staging a play requires extensive preparation, its ultimate success depends upon the energy of the performers and their ability to engage a live audience. This program focuses on what makes that interaction successful, featuring segments on character interpretation, timing, underplaying, movement, positioning, dialects and accents, portraying pain and drunkenness, and other principles and elements of acting. Sections covering mime performance-one of the oldest forms of acting-and stage management are also included. The result is one of the most thorough and user-friendly guides to stage acting and directing now available to students. (1 hour 55 minutes)

#35551 Theater Craft - Backstage (Run time 125 min.) DVD $149.95

The "magic" of theater is the result of rigorous planning, hard work, and the finely honed skills of artisans and designers. This program takes viewers inside the technical process of mounting a stage play. Focusing on a theater company's major production departments-set, prop, costume, makeup, lighting, and sound-the video shows how the knowledge and labor of theater technicians comes to life. Information about model fabrication, painting techniques, flats and bracing, scene changes, hand props, furniture, statues and masks, period suits and dresses, light rigging, and mic placement makes this the ultimate hands-on authority for theater courses and workshops. (2 hours 4 minutes)

#35650 Theater Craft - Chaos and Order: Making American Theater (Run time 68 min.) DVD $149.95

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 numerous other renowned performers-along with groundbreaking directors Andrei Serban, Peter Sellars, and Robert Woodruff-join A.R.T. technicians and artisans in illuminating the precarious condition of American theater. Tony Award-winning actress Cherry Jones narrates. (68 minutes)

#3367 Drama - Orpheus and Eurydice: The Appia Staging (Run time 91 min.) DVD $159.95

In the Greek myth, Orpheus suffered the consequences of looking back to see if his beloved was following; Appia had no such temptation-he deliberately turned his back on the stiff, boring, dated way in which Gluck's opera was being staged. Here is Richard Beacham's imaginative re-creation of the Orpheus as staged by Appia and Jacques Dalcroze in 1912-a fusion of acting, music, and sets that ushered in a new form of theatrical art. With the University of Warwick Chamber Orchestra and Chorus. (91 minutes)

#30423 Drama - The Vagina Monologues (Run time 77 min.) DVD $159.95

"I realized there was no context in which women ever talk about their vaginas." From this starting point, playwright Eve Ensler began what has become an ongoing odyssey into traditionally forbidden territory. This program captures all the intimacy, emotion, and laughter of Ensler's performance of her award-winning, one-woman play. Between monologues, documentary-style footage is used to explore the creative impetus behind the play as Ensler conducts interviews with a widely divergent cross-section of women. These frank and often liberating discussions about a once-taboo topic complement the individual monologues. Contains explicit language. An HBO Production. (77 minutes)

#37626 Drama - Commedia dell' Arte: The Story, the Style (Run time 75 min.) DVD $159.95

Journeying back to the dawn of Italian theater, this program unmasks the intriguing and often underappreciated tradition known as commedia dell' arte. Viewers will discover the history of Italian masked theater, the origins of commedia dell' arte and its various iterations, and the nature of its performers' improvised style. The program explains how the tradition's inspired characters-Pantalone, Colombina, Pulchinella, and many others-evolved and rose to prominence in the hearts and minds of 16th, 17th, and 18th-century audiences. It also illustrates how Italian masked troupes influenced countless other cultures as they performed across Europe, thus shaping the theatrical sensibility of western society as a whole. (75 minutes)

#4048 Drama - The Stanislavsky Century (Run time 180 min.) DVD $169.95

Here is the definitive study of Stanislavsky on film: a retracing of his life and work against the tumultuous backdrop of a Russia which variously censored, spied on, adulated, and co-opted him, using hitherto unknown footage. The program shows how one great creative artist interacted with other giants of his era, from Lenin to Stalin, Meyerhold to Mayakovsky, Isadora Duncan to Stella Adler, and includes, in addition to the Chekhov plays, scenes from his productions of Ibsen, Gogol, Hamlet with Gordon Craig as co-director, and Moliere's Le Malade Imaginaire with Stanislavsky as Argan, among many others. (3 hours, b&w/color)

#38704 Drama - Class Act: Jay W. Jensen and the Future of Arts Education in America-Educator's Edition (Run time 88 min.) DVD $199.95

From the executive producers of Super Size Me and Director Sara Sackner, this program examines the deplorable atrophy of arts education in America's classrooms by contrasting the crisis with the story of one very dedicated, inspiring high school drama teacher: Jay W. Jensen, who over a 50-year career touched the lives of many with the transformational power of the arts. Renowned pupils-actor Andy Garcia, film director Brett Ratner, songwriter Desmond Child, and sportscaster Roy Firestone, to name only four-speak out alongside Alfie Kohn, author of The Schools Our Children Deserve; Dana Gioia, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts; Robert Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts; Richard Deasy, director of the Arts Education Partnership; educators, administrators, and school board members; and students. A lucid argument for the vital importance of arts education in the American public school system. A viewable/printable instructor's guide is available online. Bonus material consists of celebrity interviews, a featurette, educational teaching segments, and extended educational interviews (DVD only). (88 minutes + 2 hours 32 minutes of bonus material)

#34694 Drama - Stages of Theatre: From the Greeks to Shakespeare (Run time min.) DVD $259.9

Resurrecting long-vanished places of performance, this two-part series uses state-of-the-art graphics to conduct vivid interactive tours-from the earliest sacred spaces to the proscenium arch theater most audiences recognize today. Hosted by Professor Richard Beacham of King's College London, the world's leading scholar in ancient theater design, the series explores numerous exemplary sites through stunning 3-D computer reconstructions-forming an ideal introduction to the history of drama and theater construction. 2-part series, 21-23 minutes each.

#35549 Theater Craft - Stagecraft (Run time min.) DVD $299.9

A complete theater workshop on video, this two-part series covers all aspects of the art of stage performance and production. Each program is divided into easy-to-access segments that explore the details of staging a play or theatrical event-from preliminary acting roundtables and rehearsals to set construction, lighting, costumes, makeup, and props. Providing nearly 4 hours of instruction, this series is an invaluable resource for both newcomers to the stage and anyone wishing to learn more about producing live theater. 2-part series, 115-124 minutes each.

#29945 Theater Craft - Stagestruck: Crossing the Greenroom (Run time min.) DVD $449.85

Hundreds of aspiring actors from across the country audition annually for entry into the master's degree program at the National Theatre Conservatory-only eight are chosen. For the next three years they refine their talents and techniques alongside the professionals of the Tony Award-winning Denver Center Theatre Company. This series follows a new class over its three-year odyssey of challenges in stage, film, and television instruction and then catches up with them a year out as they try to put their talents to work. 3-part series, 40-55 minutes each.

#11315 Theater Craft - Playwrights' Workshop: Writing for the Stage (Run time min.) DVD $519.8

From ancient epics to contemporary productions that obliterate the boundaries of convention, dramatists continue to spotlight the highs and lows of human existence. In this engaging four-part series, Nick Enright (Lorenzo's Oil) and other playwrights, directors, and actors talk about the creative process involved in writing for the stage. 4-part series, 27 minutes each.

#9162 Drama - A Search for an American Voice in Theater (Run time min.) DVD $599.7

This extraordinary six-part series traces the history of stage drama and the American imagination, from pre-Revolutionary days to the late 20th century, through expert interviews and a rich trove of archival images. Using theater as a mirror, each program reveals the ongoing evolution of American culture and a society's artistic aspirations. 6-part series.

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