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Theatrical Plays on DVD at the Leavey Library: Titles S

Titles S

The Seagull
"The Seagull
  is the first of what are generally considered to be the four major plays by the Russian dramatist Anton Chekhov. The Seagull was written in 1895 and first produced in 1896. It dramatises the romantic and artistic conflicts between four characters: the ingenue Nina, the fading actress Irina Arkadina, her son the symbolist playwright Konstantin Treplyov, and the famous middlebrow story writer Trigorin. As with the rest of Chekhov's full-length plays, The Seagull relies upon an ensemble cast of diverse, fully-developed characters. In contrast to the melodrama of the mainstream theatre of the 19th century, lurid actions (such as Konstantin's suicide attempts) are not shown onstage. Characters tend to speak in ways that skirt around issues rather than addressing them directly, a dramatic practice known as subtext."

Secret Service
"The Phoenix Theatre production of William Gillette's 1895 spy thriller, set in Richmond, Virginia in 1864. Tells the tale of a Union spy working to seize control of the Richmond telegraph office. Posing as a wounded Confederate captain named Thorne, the spy's false orders to a Confederate Army commander raise the suspicions of a southern agent, who uses a local girl in love with Thorne as his reluctant accomplice to set a trap."

Shadow of a Gunman
"Sean O'Casey's two-act play about a slovenly peddler and a self-engrossed poet who live in a tenement room in Dublin in 1920 during a time of guerrilla warfare and martial law."

She Stoops to Conquer
"An ambitious stepmother, a pragmatic father, impassioned sweethearts, and starry-eyed suitors are all sent spinning in Oliver Goldsmith's classic comedy of manners-and errors."

Skin of Our Teeth
"Thornton Wilder's Pulitzer Prize-winning play brings to life the fate and foibles of the celebrated Antrobus family-- a bold and brassy embodiment of Wilder's vision of the American people. This eloquent comedy serves up an allegorical tale of one American family whose members must come to grips with their destinies. Having survived fire, flood, pestilence, seven-year locusts, the Ice Age and a dozen wars, the Antrobuses are as durable as radiators, and remain as optimistic as a spring day."

The Star Wagon
"A production of the Maxwell Anderson play about an inventor, and his latest gadget, a 'star-wagon' which will return its driver to any desired point in time."

Steambath
"Controversial comedy about 12 characters in a steambath which turns out to be a waiting room between this world and the next."

Story Theatre
"Fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm come to vivid theatrical life in Paul Sills' innovative Yale Repertory Theatre production. Taking simple narrative stories, Sills eliminated the customary use of sets and costumes and relied instead on the transforming talents of his gifted actors."

Suddenly Last Summer
"Suddenly, Last Summer is a one-act play by Tennessee Williams. The play, basically consisting of two long monologues, is considered one of Williams' starkest and most poetic works. The play features Catharine Holly, a young woman who seems to go insane after her cousin Sebastian dies on a trip to Europe under mysterious circumstances. Sebastian's mother, Violet Venable, trying to cloud the truth about her son's homosexuality and death, threatens to lobotomize Catharine for her incoherent utterances relating to Sebastian's demise. Finally, under the influence of a truth serum, Catharine tells the gruesome story of Sebastian's death by cannibalism at the hand of local boys whose sexual favors he sought, using Catharine as a device to attract the young men (as he had earlier used his mother.)"

Suite in Two Keys
"These two one-act plays, set in the same hotel suite in Switzerland, were written by Noel Coward towards the end of his career. Both plays have a main cast of two women and one man. Shadows exposes the emotions of a dying man, his wife and his mistress and could be imagined as Coward's swan-song. Maud points fun at the 'ugly American' in Europe with a twist at the end with the hen-pecked husband gaining his revenge after 25 years of being wife-ridden."