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While critics often draw attention to the resemblances between the cinema and the novel, “filmed theater” still frequently passes for heresy…. It took a run of recent successes, from The Little Foxes to Macbeth by way of Henry V, Hamlet, and Les Parents terribles, to show that the cinema is a valid medium for a wide variety of dramatic works….The film, while it cannot pretend to be a complete substitute for the stage performance, is at least capable of assuring the theater a valid artistic existence and can offer us a comparable pleasure.
“Theater and Cinema,” Esprit, June 1951
I like filmed theatre; I think there is a charge and a glamour about filmed plays and revues and vaudeville and music hall that one rarely gets from adaptations of novels or from those few screen “originals.” Filmed plays are often denigrated, somewhat dishonestly, by people who learn a little cant about what is said to be proper to the film medium and forget about the pleasure they’ve been getting from filmed plays all their lives. Some of them don’t realize (though early movie audiences did) that, for example, the Marx Brothers comedies came direct from the stage, and that W. C. Fields was doing his stage routines on the screen, just as Chaplin and others before him had done. Reviewers sometimes complain about filmed plays’ not being movies – as if they’d got on the screen illegally – but most people, I think…enjoy theatre on film.
“The Seagull,” The New Yorker, 11 January 1969
All the screen’s a stage -- and an elastic and accommodating one at that. This summer, for five weeks only, you can enjoy one of the greatest theater festivals ever assembled, starring Orson Welles, Bette Davis, Jeanne Moreau, Irene Papas, Anna Magnani, Zero Mostel, Jack Lemmon, and Kevin Kline, to name just a few, performing works by Shakespeare, Moliere, Wilde, Chekhov, Shaw, Pirandello, Porter, Williams, Albee, Stoppard and Mamet among others. By mixing and matching surprises with better-known works, our cinematically-enabled theater festival is a gateway to some of the most spellbinding plays ever written and acted. For back stories, side stories and expert commentary, you’ll sample criticism and theatrical journalism by Wilde, Shaw, Beerbohm, Kenneth Tynan, John Lahr and others, plus interviews with a select company of playwrights and players.
This 5-week program of learning by doing is open to students from the Houston metropolitan area who will be entering the 10th, 11th, 12th grades or college. To apply, complete the student section of the PDF form and give it to a teacher who knows you well or a counselor to fill out the recommendation section. Your teacher/counselor should mail the completed form along with an official transcript directly to:
Play By Play
PO Box 667550
Houston, TX 77266-7550
To ensure full consideration, applications must
be received by 3 May; early applications are encouraged. All applicants will be notified by 28 May; early applicants will be notified sooner.
If you have any questions or need additional information, call 713.301.4882 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This program is made possible in part by a grant from Houston Endowment Inc.