Digital Theatre Plus is a useful resource for teachers and students of Performing Arts or English Literature. It can also be enjoyed by anyone who enjoys dramatic or musical performance. It is mostly a video-based teaching resource for schools and higher education where live theatre and music performances have been digitally captured for users to download or stream from electronic devices.
There are television dramas, for example the BBC’s A Poet in New York (2014), dramatising the last few days of the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas. Live theatre productions include Iphegenia in Splott by Gary Owen: a one-woman, modern-day tragedy which won the UK Theatre Award for the best new play of 2015 and became the first Welsh play to transfer directly to the National Theatre. If you are a fan of David Tennant you can watch his Hamlet (2009) and Much Ado about Nothing (2011). There are also several Arthur Miller productions including Death of a Salesman, The Crucible and All My Sons. There is musical theatre which includes a Regents Park Open Air Theatre production of Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods along with supporting study resources.
There are a growing number of interviews with, for example, actors, writers and academics discussing critical analysis and interpretation. Interviews with actors who have played Romeo or Juliet can be seen along with an in-depth analysis by a professor from the University of Warwick talking about key access points to the play’s main themes. There are also a number of study guides on theory and criticism discussing plays such as King Lear (Shakespeare), A Doll’s House (Ibsen) and A Day in the Life of Jo Egg (Peter Nichols). Digital Theatre’s collection also includes biographies and audio productions.
Digital Theatre Plus collaborates with over fifty leading theatre companies, educational organisations and arts collectives around the world. For more information about their partners and links to productions click here. Although still quite new the resource is steadily growing in content. This week some international productions were added as a result of a new partnership with CinePlay; India’s innovative cinema platform for theatre. This is an area that will grow due to requests for more global resources.
For those of you who have already used this database there is a new interface to help you find topics and genres more easily. If you just want to browse the full collection remember to click the tab at the bottom of the page to ‘Load More’ as their content is bigger than at first seems. Remember that these resources can only be used for education and teaching so cannot be used for commercial purposes due to copyright restrictions. If you want to watch a play from the comfort of your own sofa you will need this link for an off-campus password. So grab some earphones, find a comfy spot and immerse yourself in some quality theatre this weekend.