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Theater Media/Video Guide
Table of Contents:

About the Theater Media/DVD Guide
This guide uses recurring themes and topics in the theater curriculum to show strategies for searching videos/media in the Libraries' collection. Results include analog and digital material.

Media Catalog and Services Databases and Online Resources
Performances that have been streamed and indexed will appear in the library catalog as "Online resource" and will link directly. However, browsing and searching in the databases and on the websites may yield different results with the same search terms. It is advisable to search both MNCAT and the databases!
  • BBC Shakespeare plays (Ambrose Digital Portal) Authentication Required
    Television adaptations of all 37 plays by William Shakespeare, produced by the BBC between 1978 and 1985. All productions are traditional interpretations of the plays set in either Shakespeare's own time (1564 to 1616) or in the historical period of the events depicted (such as ancient Rome for Julius Caesar, or c1400 for Richard II etc). Casts include notable classic actors such as John Gielgud, Patrick Stewart, Anthony Hopkins, Bob Hoskins, Jane Lapotaire.
  • PBS Great Performances
    Classical music, opera, popular song, musical theater, dance, drama, and performance documentaries.
  • Theatre in Video (Alexander Street Press) Authentication Required
    Contains more than 250 definitive performances of the world's leading plays, together with more than 100 film documentaries, online in streaming video - more than 500 hours in all. This release contains over 180 titles, representing hundreds of leading playwrights, actors and directors. Included are landmark performances such as The Iceman Cometh, Awake and Sing, Dom Juan, Long Day's Journey Into Night, and Playboy of the Western World. Notable actors include Claire Bloom, Laurence Olivier, Colleen Dewhurst, Richard Dreyfuss, Walter Matthau, Meryl Streep, Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren and more. For the first time, students, instructors and researchers can bookmark specific scenes, monologues and staging, and these landmark performances can become a permanent part of the curriculum.
Genres and Topics
Examples of searches and results for topics including: "Theater, Gender, Sexuality"; "Theater of the Other"; "THeater in History/History of Theater"; "Community Theater and Social Change"; "Ensemble Theater"
  • Theater, Gender and Sexuality
    Includes research on issues of gender and sexuality as they are reflected in performance and in a broader social context.
    • Search Strategies for Gender and Sexuality in Performance
      Combine search terms: "Gender, Drama". Narrow by using terms such as "man-woman relationships", "sex", or "gender" or "gay" "lesbian" And/or narrow the search by a period or time range.
      • Examples of Search Results:
        The following examples are just a few of the videos that can be found using the search strategy described above.
        • As You Like It
          (Online Resource) Women have the upper hand in this pastoral romance in which two ladies of the court resist the advances of an aged and portly knight who wishes to advance his station in life by marrying one of them. Explores the roles in society as some characters discard their roles while others adopt new ones.
        • Glory Box
          Tim Miller. Dramatic monologue around a politically charged exploration of gay marriage and the struggle for immigration rights for lesbian and gay bi-national couples.
        • Surveying the First Decade Video Art and Alternative Media in the U.S.
          Program 4: Gendered confrontations (116 min.): Art herstory [Excerpt] (15 min., col., 1974) / Hermine Freed -- Female sensibility (13 min., col., 1973) / Lynda Benglis -- Ama l'uomo tuo (Always love your man) (19 min., b&w, 1975) / Cara DeVito -- The Mom tapes [Excerpt] (4 min., b&w and col., 1974-78) / Ilene Segalove -- Primal scenes (10 min., b&w, 1980) / Linda Montano -- Nun and deviant [Excerpt] (14 min., b&w, 1976) / Nancy Angelo and Candance Compton -- Vital statistics of a citizen, simply obtained (39 min., col., 1977) / Martha Rosler.
  • Theater of the Other
    This theme includes research on theater outside of the white, western cannon, eg. theater from around the world and theater made by or addressing issues of special concern to minority groups.
    • Search Strategies:
      Begin with a general search term such as "Performing Arts" or "theater" or "drama" and combine with a geographic location or culture.
      • India - Theater
        Walter Smart Learning Commons (PN2884.5.K83 K8 2003) Performance of Kutiyattam, the Sanskrit theater form of Kerala in south India. One of the oldest theater forms in the world, Kutiyattam dates back some 2,000 years.
      • Japan - Theater
        Traditional forms of theater and more contemporary theater and avant-garde performing arts in Japan.
  • Theater in History / History of Theater
    • Search Strategies for Theater and History
      Begin with general subject searches for "History" and "Theater", "Drama" and "Theater", or "Theater and Society." Your search can be narrowed by geographic location or date.
      • Examples of Search Results:
        The following examples are just a few of the videos that can be found using the search strategy described above.
        • The Federal Theater, File 891, and the Mercury Theater
          (Online Resource) This film appraises the impact of the drama groups that flourished during the Depression and their lasting contributions to theater. Among the topics discussed are the American method stye 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. Plays discussed: Macbeth; It Can't Happen Here; Tragicall History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus; Julius Caesar; The Cradle Will Rock & Injunction Granted.
        • Broadway, the Golden Age by the legends who were there
          Music Library Closed Stacks (Visual Materials) (DVD-1207 ) Rick McKay filmed over one hundred of Broadway and Hollywood's greatest stars and theatrical creators. In their own words they tell how they came to New York and created this legendary century in American theatre, thereby preserving the memories of historic Broadway performances.
        • Burlesque
          (Online Access) Comedian Joey Faye and his wife Judi Faye perform some of the old time burlesque skits and discuss the rise and fall of this once popular theater form. Also on hand are theater owner Morton Minsky, the last of the famous family that presented burlesque in New York City for two generations, and Bill Green, historian and professor at Queens College, NYC.
  • Theater, Social Change, Community
    • Search Strategies for Theater, Social Change, Community
      Begin with general subject searches such as "community theater" or" Theater–Political aspects" or "Society and Theater" or "Street Theater." Your search can be narrowed by geographic location or date.
    • Examples of Search Results:
      • Brother Bread, Sister Puppet
        Walter Smart Learning Commons (PN2297.B7 B76 2007) Interviews with members of the Bread and Puppet Theater. Documentary on the Bread and Puppet Theater company, highlighting its production of "Our Domestic Resurrection Circus," an annual festival held at its home in northern Vermont. In addition to excerpts from the day's performances, the program includes glimpses behind the scenes: bread-baking; making puppets, flags, and costumes; rehearsals; and other preparations. The documentary also discusses the origins and early years of the company, which was founded by Peter Schumann in New York City in the early 1960s; its growing political activism and community involvement; and its character as a non-traditional theater company offering a blend of entertainment and political commentary.
      • Paradise now
        Walter Smart Learning Commons (PN2193.E86 P37x 1993 ) This videotape was shot during the last presentations of Paradise Now in Brussels and before 7,000 spectators in the Berlin Sportspalast. Expressionistic coloring has been injected by electronic means. During the four hours of performance, a baccanal of forms and confrontations goes on in every part of the theater. Paradise Now is mind blowing and innovative blurring of the line between political action, psychotherapy, tribal ritual and experimental theatre.
      • My life in the concrete jungle
        Walter Smart Learning Commons (PS3610.O6277 M9 2007) A large ensemble cast, including female inmates from San Francisco County Jail #8 and performers from San Francisco's multi-cultural community. A dramatic presentation of the play My life in the concrete jungle, as assembled by Rhodessa Jones and performed by members of The Medea Project.
      • German theater of protest 1918-1938, the art of expressionism
        (Online Resource) German theater of the years between the two world wars, often considered part of the European "Expressionist" movement, was, in its most inventive aspects, a theater of opposition. It was a theater of protest against the values of the society that had prosecuted World War One, against bourgeois smugness, and then against the Germans' acceptance of the authoritatianism of National Socialism. The plays from which scenes are presented here are "Gas" by Georg Kaiser, "Hoopla! Such is Life!" by Ernst Toller, and "The Private Life of the Master Race" by Bertolt Brecht.
  • Ensemble Theater
    • Search Strategies for Ensemble Theater:
      Begin with general subject searches such as "ensemble theater." Your search can be narrowed by geographic location, date or theater group.
    • Theatre Laboratoire Vicinal
      (Online Resource) The experimental Belgian theater group Theatre Laboratoire Vicinal presents two of their creations: 'Real-reel' and 'Tramp'. These performances are accompanied by commentary by theater writer Margaret Croyden. ... Underlying the experimental nature of this theater is an attempt to present meaning without plot, and to provide a language with little verbal communication. ... It is a theater of inventions and movements.
    • The great deviser's great deviser
      Walter Smart Learning Commons (PN2053 .G74 2006) explores the process of creating an original piece of drama, examining the methodologies used by such international theater companies as Goat Island, Forced Entertainment, and Sankai Juku. It covers preliminary issues, including research and sourcing; focusing objectives; techniques that generate ideas; organizing and refining materials, including editing, scoring, and recording; overcoming creative blocks; maintaining a schedule; devising for a space; producing a final script or score; and outcomes and polish.


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