Initially published in 1914, Papa was the first major dramatic work by playwright and poet Zoë Akins (1886-1958). A subtle but quietly savage comedy of manners, the play was not a commercial success but has since come to be regarded as a masterpiece. As a skillfully drawn portrait of genteel corruption, it ranks with the works of masters of dramatic satire like Moliere and Oscar Wilde.
Christopher Marlowe's play about a man who sells his soul to the devil is not only one of the first of many works to explore this theme but also one of the most startling. Eschewing the usual division of the drama into acts, it presents the story of Faustus' fall in a series of apparently disconnected scenes. However, the integrity of the drama is maintained by the remorseless unraveling of Faustus' fortunes as he approaches his inevitable damnation.
Join "The Knave" and Sir Walter on a wild tale of mistaken identity, kidnapping, bowling, and a rug that, in faith, really tied the room together - in a sidesplitting Shakespearean comedy of errors and ninepins, told in five glorious acts of iambic pentameter and impeccable period prose.
The earls of Essex and Southampton are tried together for high treason before a jury of the noblest peers. Pleading not guilty, they strive in angry and arrant disputation with Attorney General Edward Coke and Francis Bacon. This drama is the third part of an Aeschylean trilogy and maintains the classical form of tragedy in English, with seven scenes of dialogue and seven choral performances.
The most iconic love story of all time, Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is an epic-scale tragedy of desire and revenge. Despite the bitter rivalry that exists between their families, Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet have fallen madly in love. But when the long-running rivalry boils over into murder, the young couple must embark on a dangerous and deadly mission to preserve their love at any cost. An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring Calista Flockhart as Juliet.
"Listening to Shakespeare is easier than reading"
Infamously known as the cursed Scottish play, Macbeth is perhaps Shakespeare’s darkest tragedy. When General Macbeth is foretold by three witches that he will one day be King of Scotland, Lady Macbeth convinces him to get rid of anyone who could stand in his way – including committing regicide. As Macbeth ascends to the throne through bloody murder, he becomes a tyrant consumed by fear and paranoia.
"Enjoyable all-cast performance"
A new recording of Henrik Ibsen's masterpiece, starring Calista Flockhart. Nora Helmer has everything a young housewife could want: beautiful children, an adoring husband, and a bright future. But when a carelessly buried secret rises from the past, Nora's well-calibrated domestic ideal starts to crumble. Ibsen's play is as fresh today as it was when it first stormed the stages of 19th-century Europe.
Four classic comedies from one of the wittiest playwrights in Western literature: Lady Windermere's Fan, A Woman of No Importance, An Ideal Husband, and The Importance of Being Earnest, all featuring star-studded casts with the likes of Jacqueline Bisset, Miriam Margolyes, James Marsters, Alfred Molina, Roger Rees, Yeardley Smith, Eric Stoltz, and many more. This audio also includes a chilling dramatization of Wilde's sole novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray.
Julius Caesar is one of Shakespeare’s most compelling Roman plays. The plot against Caesar and the infamous assassination scene make for unforgettable listening. Brutus, the true protagonist of the play, is mesmerizing in his psychological state of anguish, forced to choose between the bonds of friendship and his desire for patriotic justice.
"The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars"
This final play from the pen of Oscar Wilde is a stylish send-up of Victorian courtship and manners, complete with assumed names, mistaken lovers, and a lost handbag. Jack and Algernon are best friends, both wooing ladies who think their names are Ernest, "that name which inspires absolute confidence". Wilde's effervescent wit, scathing social satire, and high farce make this one of the most cherished plays in the English language.
The Folger Shakespeare Library, home to the world's largest Shakespeare collection, brings Julius Caesar to life with this new full-length, full-cast dramatic recording of its definitive Folger Edition.
In Sophocles' tragedy, Oedipus discovers that he has been caught in his terrible destiny, unknowingly murdering his father and marrying his mother.
How did Shakespeare go from being a talented poet and playwright to becoming one of the greatest writers who ever lived? In this one exhilarating year we follow what he reads and writes, what he sees, and who he works with as he invests in the new Globe Theatre and creates four of his most famous plays: Henry V, Julius Caesar, As You Like It, and, most remarkably, Hamlet.
"If you love Shakespeare"
BBC Radio has a unique heritage when it comes to Shakespeare. Since 1923, when the newly formed company broadcast its first full-length play, generations of actors and producers have honed and perfected the craft of making Shakespeare to be heard.
"Come...bid me do anything for thee."
Shakespeare's Othello is one of his finest and most famous tragedies. This highly acclaimed performance, which ran between November 2007 and February 2008 at the Donmar Warehouse in London, features Chiwetel Ejiofor as the Moor Othello, Ewan McGregor as the scheming Iago, and Kelly Reilly as the gentle Desdemona. This recording features music written specifically for the stage production which enjoyed huge success - each performance was a sell-out.
"Goats and Monkeys!"
Star of stage, film, and television Alan Cumming delivers a virtuoso performance playing every role in the National Theatre of Scotland's bold presentation of Shakespeare's chilling tale of desire, ambition, and the supernatural. This radical reimagining of one of Shakespeare's most deeply psychological plays is set in a psychiatric unit in which Cumming is the lone patient. Channeling the story of Macbeth, he is inhabited in turn by each of the characters of the drama, including some of Shakespeare's most complex and troubled creations.
"Second best to seeing this performance"
Shakespeare combined his love of theater with Greek mythology and the supernatural to create what is arguably his most playfully imaginative work. From love potions to bizarre transformations to the unforgettable play-within-a-play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a non-stop delight, and remains one of the milestones of the Bard’s canon. An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance.
Ever since the first night at the St James' Theatre on 14 February 1895, The Importance of Being Earnest has been recognised as one of the world's finest comic dramas. Now Judi Dench as Lady Bracknell leads an outstanding cast in this superb new production of Wilde's masterpiece, mounted to celebrate the centenary of the first performance.
"Wonderfully entertaining ear-candy"
Initially banned in France by King Louis, Molière's celebrated social satire Tartuffe exposes false piety and hypocrisy in the Catholic Church. When a pious fraud worms his way into a wealthy family and manipulates the patriarch into giving up his fortune, it’s up to his family to expose the truth before they end up in the poorhouse!
"Such a fun and pleasant read!!"
The skies over ancient Rome blaze with terrifying portents, and soothsayers warn Julius Caesar of approaching doom. As conspiracy swirls through the city, Shakespeare explores the deep repercussions of political murder on the human heart. A classic tale of duplicity, betrayal and murder, masterfully performed by an all-star, all-American cast in this BBC co-production.
A solo recording of Hamlet in an American dialect.
The body of Polynices, Antigone's brother, has been ordered to remain unburied by Creon, the new king of Thebes. Antigone defies the law, sealing her fate. Originally produced in Paris during the Nazi occupation, Anouilh's Antigone was seen by the French as theatre resistance and by Germans as an affirmation of authority.
"A classic is given a fabulous update!"
In the hands of Sophocles, the master dramatist, the anguished tale of a man fated to kill his father and marry his mother retains its power to shock and move beyond any Freudian reference.
"Crackles with Fire"