Sam Shepard

Ed Madden, Theatre Director and Creative Associate at Gate Theatre, details the life and work of American playwright, screenwriter and actor Sam Shepard (1943-2017). Madden considers how the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer subverted the conventions of American domestic naturalism and explores his use of familial relationships as a means to examine national themes in plays such as True West and Buried Child.
Digital Theatre
(2018)
Concise Introduction

Samuel Beckett

Professor of Drama at the University of Chester David Pattie outlines the history and practice of one of the 20th century’s most influential playwrights, Samuel Beckett. Pattie explores how Beckett's radical and minimalist approach to dramatic narrative and stagecraft has been instrumental in the development of contemporary theatre and performance.
Digital Theatre
(2017)
Concise Introduction

See Rock City

This informative study guide written by Katharine Farmer, director of the Nibroc Trilogy at the Rubicon Theatre Company in California, provides invaluable insight into the history, context and staging of Arlene Hutton’s See Rock City.
Katharine Farmer
(2016)
Study Guide

Stages and Screens: Katie Mitchell’s Theatre Aesthetics | Janis Jefferies in conversation with Leo Warner

Janis Jefferies and designer Leo Warner explore Katie Mitchell’s experiments with ‘live cinema’ and work with non-linear narratives. Warner gives detailed insight into his work with Mitchell on Waves, including how the company moved from rehearsal room to stage and used cameras to bridge the divide between text and dramatic experience.
Digital Theatre
(2017)
Interview

Suzan-Lori Parks

Marvin Carlson, the Sidney E. Cohn Distinguished Professor of Theatre and Comparative Literature at CUNY, presents the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, novelist, screenwriter and musician, Suzan-Lori Parks. Carlson outlines Parks’ innovative work on dramatic structure, character and language, and how her plays address some of the most complex issues in modern American society. Contains strong language.
Digital Theatre
(2017)
Concise Introduction

Shakespeare in your Space: Macbeth

This Digital Theatre+ guide, co-created with the Shakespeare Schools Festival, aims to introduce students to Shakespeare’s Macbeth using practical, drama-based exercises.
Digital Theatre
(2012)
Practical Guide

Shakespeare in your Space: Romeo and Juliet

This Digital Theatre+ guide aims to introduce students to Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet using practical, drama-based exercises.
Digital Theatre
(2016)
Practical Guide

Samuel Beckett: As the Story was Told

This intimate portrait of Irish novelist, poet and playwright, Samuel Beckett, draws on manuscripts of his most famous works, a series of previously unpublished letters and remarkable collection of photographs.

The documentary follows Beckett's life from his Dublin childhood, to his days in Paris, associating with Picasso and Chagall, through to old age.

BBC Studios
(1996)
Documentary

Scenography

Contemporary scenography is a crafting of material and technological stagecrafts that orientates performers and spectators within a staged atmosphere. The term scenography derives from the Ancient Greek for skene (‘hut or tent’) and the action of graphos (‘etching or scribing’). ‘Scenography’ in English only becomes directly associated with theatre making in the 1960s. The contemporary English usage, and a number of continental variants, now exceed a purely physical construction of scenery, to account for how the material and immaterial qualities of a stage atmosphere are composed and experienced.
Digital Theatre
(2017)
Concise Introduction

Shakespeare and Us: This England

Simon Schama explores the life and times of William Shakespeare to shed a new and fascinating light on some of the greatest plays ever written. In film one, Schama discovers how in his history plays Shakespeare created a rich vision of the nation which still influences and inspires today, presenting not only preening kings and queens for his audience's pleasure but country squires, cutpurses, common prostitutes and of course, his iconic and irreverent embodiment of England, Sir John Falstaff.

BBC Studios
(2012)
Documentary

Shakespeare in Italy: Land of Fortune

Shakespeare was in love with Italy. A third of his plays are set in the country. Francesco da Mosto visits the spectacular locations, traces the Italian myths and reveals how a long dead, foreign playwright's imagination continues to influence and shape real Italian cities, even now.

BBC Studios
(2012)
Documentary

Shakespeare in Italy: Land of Love

Francesco da Mosto takes to the Italian road again in search of Shakespeare in Italy. From Romeo and Juliet to the jealousy of Othello, Shakespeare used the land of love to tell his most passionate stories about falling in love. Needless to say, along the way Francesco adds some insights of his own and revels in claims that not only did Shakespeare visit Italy, but also was born in Sicily. It's a whole new take on the Bard!

BBC Studios
(2012)
Documentary

Shakespeare Uncovered: Christopher Plummer on King Lear

King Lear is universally acknowledged as one of Shakespeare’s greatest tragic roles. Christopher Plummer has played the role under the direction of Sir Jonathan Miller (who, has directed it six times). Lear was, in fact, a real English king, who lived 800 years before Christ.

The historic story has a happy ending, but Shakespeare gave his theatrical interpretation a dreadful dénouement that has been shocking audiences for 400 years.

BBC Studios
(2013)
Documentary

Shakespeare Uncovered: David Harewood on Othello

Astonishingly, David Harewood was the first black actor to play the great Moorish Venetian general Othello at London’s National Theatre, triumphantly taking on the role - but not until 1997. Now he returns to the play to discover how the centuries have changed our views of it.

BBC Studios
(2013)
Documentary

Shakespeare Uncovered: David Tennant on Hamlet

In Hamlet, David Tennant, whose own RSC performance was a huge hit, meets other actors who have played the role - from the legendary David Warner in the 1960s to the recent Jude Law.
BBC Studios
(2012)
Documentary

Shakespeare Uncovered: Derek Jacobi on Richard II

Derek Jacobi looks at Richard II and returns to a role he played 30 years ago. He helps actors at the Globe with aspects of the play, reveals why it might have cost Shakespeare his life, and shares some of the extraordinary political parallels within the play that still resonate today.

BBC Studios
(2012)
Documentary

Shakespeare Uncovered: Ethan Hawke on Macbeth

Ethan Hawke sets out to prepare himself for the possibility of playing the role of Macbeth by uncovering the true story behind the play, seeing some of the greatest productions and discovering the extraordinary insights into the criminal mind that Shakespeare reveals.

BBC Studios
(2012)
Documentary

Shakespeare Uncovered: Hugh Bonneville on A Midsummer Night's Dream

Hugh Bonneville started his career at the Open Air Theatre in Regent’s Park, understudying Ralph Fiennes as Lysander, one of the four lovers in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

He and Fiennes meet up again to try to untangle the extraordinary plot of one of Shakespeare’s most enduringly popular plays, a great comedy of love and enchantment.

BBC Studios
(2013)
Documentary

Shakespeare Uncovered: Jeremy Irons on The Henrys

In Henry IV and Henry V, Jeremy Irons (who is playing Henry IV in the new BBC films) uncovers the extraordinary appeal of Shakespeare's History Plays. He unravels the differences between the real history and the drama that Shakespeare creates. He discovers what William's sources were - and how he distorts them!

BBC Studios
(2012)
Documentary

Shakespeare Uncovered: Joely Richardson on Shakespeare's Women

Shakespeare Uncovered: In Twelfth Night and As You Like It, Joely Richardson investigates (with a major contribution from her mother Vanessa Redgrave) the legacy of the two great comedies and the great comic heroines created by Shakespeare in those hugely popular plays.

BBC Studios
(2012)
Documentary

Shakespeare Uncovered: Joseph Fiennes on Romeo and Juliet

Joseph Fiennes has a unique perspective on Romeo and Juliet. He played Shakespeare – both writing and performing as Romeo – in the film Shakespeare in Love. Now he wants to examine why it remains themost-performed of all Shakespeare plays.

BBC Studios
(2013)
Documentary

Shakespeare Uncovered: Kim Cattrall on Antony and Cleopatra

Kim Cattrall explores the real character of the great Queen of Egypt, and travels to Rome, ironically Marc Antony’s city, in her quest to find out more about the historical Cleopatra.  She also meets with her director, Dame Janet Suzman, who herself made an iconic Cleopatra at the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1973. Together they begin to uncover the truth behind this astonishing middle aged love story.

BBC Studios
(2013)
Documentary

Shakespeare Uncovered: Morgan Freeman on The Taming of the Shrew

Freeman first discovered Shakespeare in school in Mississippi.  He went on to play the hero of this play - Petruchio - in The Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park production in New York, set in the Wild West. 

Freeman notes this play has set the template for all of the battle of the sexes comedies that have followed; many a romantic comedy has The Taming of the Shrew running through its veins.

BBC Studios
(2013)
Documentary

Shakespeare Uncovered: Trevor Nunn on The Tempest

Director Trevor Nunn looks at the magical and mysterious world created in Shakespeare's last complete play, The Tempest. Trevor finds out where Shakespeare got his material from and the strange personal insights hidden within it. It is a truly experimental work but sadly perhaps also Shakespeare's farewell to the theatre. 

BBC Studios
(2012)
Documentary

Stanislavsky Through Practice

Practical and clear introductions to key historical theatre practitioners, these texts demystify ideas and test theories through practical exercises. This guide: identifies the practitioner’s core aims; itemises the recognisable features of their style; applies the theories to texts; comprises a full term’s work.
DramaWorks
(2016)
Practical Guide