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1.

Antony and Cleopatra [electronic resource]: Young Actors in Training

Perhaps the most sweepingly romantic of Shakespeare's tragedies, Antony and Cleopatra portrays two leaders of the ancient world at the mercy of their very human desires. Filmed at the Globe Theatre, this program spotlights young actors from first-rate London drama schools as they workshop Act II, Scene 3, from the play. Shakespeare's rendition of Cleopatra's legendary allure-and its impact not only on Antony but on the male psyche in general-comes to life through professionally directed rehearsals, a filmed performance, and a spirited discussion among the actors afterwards.
Online
2008
2.

Hamlet [electronic resource]: Young Actors in Training

It's easy to assume that Hamlet has always enjoyed global popularity, but only within the last century and a half has Shakespeare's great tragedy achieved iconic status. Why does it resonate so deeply with modern audiences? This video helps viewers contemplate that subject, recording students from top London drama schools as they work on Hamlet's most famous passage-Act III, Scene 1, in which the Danish prince must decide whether to be or not to be. Rehearsals and a finalized performance are followed by intense discussion among the young actors.
Online
2008
3.

Henry VIII [electronic resource]: Young Actors in Training

Can a king who killed most of his wives be rendered, in dramatic terms, as a human being? What kind of historical context should we apply to such a story? A group of gifted young British actors takes on those questions in this thrilling on-and-off-stage exploration of Act II, Scene 4, from Shakespeare's Henry VIII. Queen Catherine's desperate plea for reason and compassion from her recalcitrant husband and the cunning Wolsey takes shape through expertly guided rehearsals and a polished performance, followed by a heady conversation among the actors.
Online
2008
4.

Henry V [electronic resource]: Young Actors in Training

Its kingly speeches are as stirring as any battle cry-offering inspiration not only to budding actors but to anyone who wants to move a crowd, Shakespeare-style. This program focuses on Act II, Scene 2, from Henry V, following young British performers who have been invited to the Globe Theatre to perform the suspenseful passage. The youthful monarch's masterful confrontation and seizure of a group of traitors comes to life through rigorous rehearsals that culminate in a refined performance. An impassioned roundtable among the players makes up the final portion of the video.
Online
2008
5.

King John [electronic resource]: Young Actors in Training

A youth named Arthur emerges as a claimant to the English throne, challenging an already dubious royal establishment. Is this the story of Excalibur and the Round Table? No, it's Shakespeare's King John, a power-struggle narrative set centuries later than the Arthurian legends. But its action is every bit as stirring and its themes are equally resonant, as several young acting students discover while rehearsing and performing Scene 2 from Act V. Shakespeare may not have meant it as a commentary on the futility of warfare, but a post-performance discussion does touch on that possibility.
Online
2008
6.

King Lear [electronic resource]: Young Actors in Training

Let's face it - there aren't many happy moments in King Lear. In fact, it may be the most bleak of all Shakespeare's plays, exemplifying both current and classical notions of tragedy. This program presents an enactment of Act IV, Scene 7, among the play's more lyrical and less ominous passages. A group of young British actors rehearses and performs a splendid rendition of the king's reunion with his daughter Cordelia. As a brief discussion afterwards suggests, the scene is imbued with modern ambiguities even as it reminds viewers of the fateful impact of Lear's earlier decisions.
Online
2008
7.

Macbeth [electronic resource]: Young Actors in Training

The climate of evil in Macbeth is as potent as any 21st-century psychological thriller-perhaps even more so. Can an ensemble of youthful actors even come close to tackling Shakespeare's exploration of a murderous lust for power? This program follows British drama students as they take on the project, rehearsing and performing Act II, Scene 2, from the play. Mentored by professionals, the players are able to fine-tune the rising sense of panic that eventually overcomes the protagonist and his manipulative wife. Their discussion afterwards further illuminates the marital dynamic that drives the story.
Online
2008
8.

The Merchant of Venice [electronic resource]: Young Actors in Training

Scholars and stage directors the world over have searched for clues to Shakespeare's true feelings toward Shylock. Was The Merchant of Venice intended to comment on mistreatment of the Jewish people? Was the Bard simply pandering to the anti-Semitism of the day? Or is there a more nuanced answer, found not through textual analysis but by giving the play breath and movement and therefore the most honest reading of its soul one can hope for? This program presents just such an effort, featuring drama students working on Scene 1 from Act IV under professional guidance at the Globe Theatre.
Online
2008
9.

A Midsummer Night's Dream [electronic resource]: Young Actors in Training

Shakespeare's comedic tale of mischief and enchantment is, in a sense, the prototype of today's giddy big-screen romances. At any rate, that is one comparison to emerge from a handful of young actors invited to the Globe Theatre to rehearse and perform Midsummer's Act III, Scene 2. This program documents their work and the discussion that follows, giving viewers a front-row seat at their physical, emotional, and intellectual processes. There are few better ways to study Shakespeare's magical tale, especially this portion of it, in which Helena and Hermia squabble over a boy.
Online
2008
10.

Othello [electronic resource]: Young Actors in Training

It might be seen as racist, antifeminist, perhaps even militaristic, depending on one's ideology. For Shakespeare, there were likely no such scruples. He borrowed the plot from a 16th-century Italian poet, along with, possibly, a geographical history of Africa and a translation of the Roman historian Pliny. But out of those scholastic ingredients he fashioned one of the most entrancing, agonizing studies of jealousy in the whole of English literature. This program accompanies young drama students as they rehearse, perform, and discuss Act IV, Scene 3 - a foreboding segment near the end of the play.
Online
2008
11.

Pericles [electronic resource]: Young Actors in Training

I am great with woe, and shall deliver weeping, says the Prince of Tyre, hero of Shakespeare's wide-ranging, episodic drama. Act V, Scene 1, in which Pericles realizes that he stands face-to-face with his daughter, Marina, is the poignant heart of this roll-up-your-sleeves acting lesson. Students from leading London drama schools rehearse and perform the scene with the help of professional mentors, then examine its essence in a vigorous group conversation. Acknowledging issues of authorship and character development, the video holds up Pericles' basic humanity and determination as the principal strengths of the play.
Online
2008
12.

Richard II [electronic resource]: Young Actors in Training

Chronologically speaking, Richard II is the play that kick-starts Shakespeare's cycle of royal histories. It is also notable for its powerful, introspective speeches, which resonate almost like arias, melancholy and autumnal. This program highlights the dissection, rehearsal, and performance of just such a passage-Act IV, Scene 1, in which the protagonist unwillingly but inevitably hands the crown to the newly ascended Henry IV. British students enact the scene under the auspices of theatrical professionals, then take part in a roundtable on a range of issues. Among these are intriguing notions about Richard's feminine side.
Online
2008
13.

Richard III [electronic resource]: Young Actors in Training

Recounting the brief rule of England's last Plantagenet monarch, Shakespeare created a deformed and despicable antihero - but one with remarkable appeal as well. This program follows an exploration of Act IV, Scene 2, in which the would-be king plots the murder of his nephews in the Tower, then severs ties with his oldest friend, the Duke of Buckingham. As they rehearse, perform, and discuss the scene, several British drama students arrive at realizations concerning Richard's magnetism as well as his malice. After all, who doesn't love a brilliantly played bad guy? Part of the series Training for Shakespeare: Young Actors' Workshops at the Globe Theatre.
Online
2008
14.

Romeo and Juliet [electronic resource]: Young Actors in Training

It is perhaps the most famous love story in history, so famous that it needs no introduction. Even so, its tragic aspects are worth discussing. Although it shares many of the qualities of tragedy in the classical sense, it concerns a love that is doomed not for any fault in the hero or heroine but because their love is too good for their world. This play follows young drama students who prepare, perform, and share their thoughts on Act II, Scene 2, from Romeo and Juliet-the legendary balcony scene. Is there a better way to explore the most romantic passage in English literature than through the youthful discovery of its power on the stage? Part of the series Training for Shakespeare: Young Actors' Workshops at the Globe Theatre.
Online
2008
15.

The Taming of the Shrew [electronic resource]: Young Actors in Training

Staging any Shakespeare play requires specific choices about how to handle 400-year-old material. However, The Taming of the Shrew, like a handful of others in the Bard's body of work, carries extra baggage. It is especially fascinating to watch high school and college-age performers work on the play - to see how they tackle issues of male dominance and female independence, if at all. This program records just such a process, highlighting the rehearsal and performance of Act IV, Scene 3, at London's Globe Theatre. Afterwards, the players discuss the scene and their attitudes toward it.
Online
2008
16.

Julius Caesar [electronic resource]: Young Actors in Training

Loyalty and betrayal-Shakespeare's massive body of work is shot through with both subjects, and Julius Caesar stands as a prime example. This program puts young British actors in the spotlight as they analyze and perform Act IV, Scene 3, from the play at London's Globe Theatre. Through their work, the Bard's description of the breakup of an alliance-namely, the murderous and doomed friendship between Brutus and Cassius-achieves a riveting, contemporary life of its own. Subsequently, the actors sit in a group and hash over the dramatic and very human implications of the scene.
Online
2008