Audio Drama: The L.A. Theatre Works Collection, Volume I
The collection presents classics of the Western canon, modern works by American luminaries, originally commissioned plays, and high profile docudramas—by both renowned and emerging playwrights, such as:
- Julius Caesar, William Shakespeare’s classic tale of duplicity, betrayal and murder, performed by Stacy Keach, Jobeth Williams, and Kelsey Grammer
- Arthur Miller’s The Crucible performed by Richard Dreyfuss, Michael York and Ed Begley, Jr., which mirrors the anti-Communist hysteria of the 1950s through the lens of the seventeenth-century Salem, Massachusetts witch trials
- Reginald Rose’s classic study of persuasion and power, Twelve Angry Men, starring Hector Elizondo, Richard Kind and Dan Castellaneta
- The Cherry Orchard , Anton Chekhov’s timeless story of an aristocratic Russian family’s fading fortunes and struggle to maintain their status in a changing world, starring Marsha Mason, Charles Durning and Jennifer Tilly
- Top Girls by Olivier Award-winning playwright Caryl Churchill, a modern comedy exploring the personal expense of one woman’s rise to the top of her field during the go-getting ‘80s, starring Amy Brennenman, Carolyn Seymour and Megan Austin Oberle
- The Great Tennessee Monkey Trial, an L.A. Theatre Works originally commissioned docudrama about the seminal 1925 Scopes trial, starring Ed Asner, Mike Farrell and Sharon Gless
Audio Drama: The L.A. Theatre Works Collection, Volume II
This collection provides additional audio performances of award winners, classics and contemporary titles chosen for their scholastic merit. Performances include:
- 8 by Dustin Lance Black - Directed by Rob Reiner, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, and Martin Sheen lead an all-star cast in this powerful portrait of an American civil rights struggle. In 2008, California's Proposition 8 stripped the freedom to marry away from gay and lesbian couples. Now, two of the nation's most renowned attorneys have joined forces to challenge Proposition 8 under the United States Constitution.
- The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - Winner of the 2015 Audie Award® for Audio Drama! The redoubtable Sherlock Holmes and his sidekick Dr. Watson face danger in an old mansion and on the moors in this rollicking stage adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic adventure.
- August: Osage County by Tracy Letts - Winner of the 2008 Tony Award® for Best Play, Tracy Letts' darkly comic epic offers a painfully funny look at a family struggling in the desolate heart of America. An L.A. Theatre Works full cast recording, the production features members of the original Steppenwolf Theatre and Broadway productions.
- The Mountaintop by Katori Hall - On April 4th, 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated outside of his room at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis. In this play, hours after King’s final speech, punctuated by his immortal line, “I’ve been to the mountaintop,” the celebrated Reverend forms an unlikely friendship with a motel maid as they talk into the early hours of what will be his final day.
How Will You Use It?
The plays can be used for research and instruction well beyond theatre studies and literature, as the works are chosen not only for their literary significance, but also for their ability to challenge presumptions and examine complicated moral and ethical questions. Critical essays written by known figures in medicine, academia, politics, and other fields draw connections from the plays to issues and hot topics in the humanities, social sciences, theatre, hard sciences, law, medicine, and virtually every other field of study. Audio Drama’s teaching tools—including course folders, playlists, permanent URLs for electronic course reserves, and other features—let the database serve as a rich and expansive resource for the classroom.
Alexander Street's Semantic Indexing
Alexander Street’s Semantic Indexing brings further interdisciplinary utility to the database. Cross search all plays for specific themes and subjects, and then link to the relevant audio tracks for online listening. The database uses a unique controlled vocabulary developed for this project and is indexed by scholars and other experts within the field of dramatic literature. For example:
- A search for plays about race relations or black history links to Roy Milner and Steve Albrezzi’s Ruby McCollum, based on the book by William Bradford Hule, about a true case in South Florida in 1952 in which journalists Zora Neale Hurston and William Bradford Hule investigate the murder of a white doctor by an affluent African-American woman.
- Research into American politics at home during the Vietnam War leads to Geoffrey Cowan and Leroy Aaron’s award-winning docudrama, Top Secret: the Battle for the Pentagon Papers, depicting The Washington Post’s decision to publish the documents and the ensuing trial, starring Richard Dysart, Robert Foxworth, Marsha Mason, Howard Hesseman and Harry Shearer.
- Studies in medical ethics are supported by Secret Order, by Bob Clyman and starring Ed Asner, part medical drama and part suspense-filled thriller, which examines bioethics, money, and power
Audio Drama: The L.A. Theatre Works Collection, Volumes I & II are key components of the Theatre Performance and Design Collection, which includes: