Drama

Watch full episodes of great theater works, including Barrymore, in which Christopher Plummer recreates his Tony Award-winning role as actor John Barrymore; Let Me Down Easy, Anna Deveare Smith’s look at the body’s frailty, healthcare and mortality; Macbeth starring Patrick Stewart, and more.

National Theatre: 50 Years on Stage

Directed by the National Theatre’s Artistic Director Nicholas Hytner, the star-studded evening of live performance also features rare glimpses from the archive spotlighting many of the most celebrated actors who have performed on the National’s London stages over the past five decades.

Premiered February 14, 2014
Full episode not available at this time

Barrymore, Starring Christopher Plummer

Academy Award winner Christopher Plummer recreates his Tony Award-winning performance as the legendary actor John Barrymore. Set in 1942, Barrymore shines a dramatic spotlight on the acclaimed—and notorious— John Barrymore, capturing the famously combative star in the final months of his life as he struggles to prepare for a backer’s audition to stage a revival of his 1920 Broadway triumph in Richard III.

Premiered January 31, 2014 | Video expires January 31, 2017

The Hollow Crown: Shakespeare’s History Plays

The Hollow Crown is a lavish new series of filmed adaptations of four of Shakespeare’s most gripping history plays: Richard II, Henry IV, Part 1, Henry IV, Part 2 and Henry V.

The films – chronicling a bloody tale of family, politics and power — tell the rise and fall of three Kings and how their destiny shaped English history.

Premiered September 20, 2013
Full episode not available at this time

Twilight: Los Angeles

When Anna Deavere Smith’s drama Twilight: Los Angeles premiered in Los Angeles at the Mark Taper Forum, it made national news for its unique and unflinching look at the fallout from the 1992 Los Angeles riots. Not only did Smith capture the tumultuous aftermath of the Rodney King trial verdict, she created a searing, innovative and truly American piece of theater.

Premiered June 29, 2012
Full episode not available at this time

Let Me Down Easy

Conceived, written, and performed by Smith in her signature one-person performance style, the play examines the miracle of human resilience through the lens of our current national debate on health care. To create Let Me Down Easy Smith interviewed an eclectic group of people (300 on three continents) and performs several in an evening that is funny, moving and engaging.

Premiered January 12, 2012

Hamlet

Shakespeare’s immortal “To be, or not to be” takes on a whole new meaning (and medium) as classical stage and screen actors David Tennant and Sir Patrick Stewart reprise their roles for a modern-dress, film-for-television adaptation of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s (RSC) 2008 stage production of Hamlet.

Premiered April 28, 2010 | Video expires January 24, 2016

King Lear, Starring Ian McKellen

Ian McKellen recreates his recent stage performance of the tragic monarch in a special television adaptation. Directed by Trevor Nunn, the telecast includes nearly all the original cast members of the sold-out Royal Shakespeare Company production that premiered in Stratford-Upon-Avon in April 2007.

Premiered March 27, 2009 | Video expires January 24, 2016

Peter & the Wolf

Conceived and directed by award-winning animator Suzie Templeton, this modern-day “Peter & the Wolf” uses stop-frame model animation, puppets, and digital photography to retell the classic story, and features the Philharmonia Orchestra performing Prokofiev’s beloved score.

Full episode not available at this time