18th Feb 2013
We are delighted to announce that Drama Online's digital library will include over 500 images from the Victoria and Albert Museum's vast theatre and performance archives. The archives contain more than a million photographs ranging from the 1840s right up to the present.
Shedding light on changes in scenography, costume design and performance styles, the images in Drama Online offer users the opportunity to see the same work in numerous productions, to trace the working lives of actors through their roles and to appreciate the ways in which theatre photography has evolved. The long exposure times and stiff postures of the 19th century are replaced by beautifully composed studio shots by Houston Rogers in the 1930s. These are replaced in turn by Douglas H. Jeffery's reportage style from the late 1950s onward when new, lighter cameras and films with faster exposure times allowed photographers to snatch grainy close-ups, capturing movement and emotion rather than poise and control.
Jeffery was a prolific and dedicated photographer attending multiple calls in the space of a day, so his archive presents an extraordinarily rich overview of post-war theatre. He was one of the first photographers to persuade theatres to allow him access to rehearsals and his archive shows that he was present at many landmark productions of the twentieth century: Edward Bond's Saved at the Royal Court; Howard Brenton's The Romans in Britain at the National Theatre, Harrison Birtwhistle's Mask of Orpheus at the London Coliseum, the experimental work at Riverside Studios, and the work of the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-on-Avon and in London.
Drama Online will also feature the work of Graham Brandon who attends photocalls on behalf of the museum. Brandon's beautifully composed pictures shot on digital cameras capture the physicality and grace of modern performers in the moment. They bring a sense of vitality back to photocalls which are now rigorously choreographed and becoming increasingly rare as directors and companies choose to invite one photographer to capture their work rather than the travelling, quarrelling packs of photographers moving from call to call that began in the 1960s.
10 July 2012We are delighted to announce that Drama Online's digital library will include the work of perhaps the greatest playwright of the twentieth century, Bertolt Brecht. This is the first time that Brecht's plays will be available online.
In the same way that Drama Online will hold multiple translations of works by authors such as Chekhov and Ibsen, classics texts by Brecht can be browsed and studied in more than one translation. For example Mother Courage and Her Children will be available in translations by John Willett and Michael Hoffman, and versions of The Caucasian Chalk Circle will be available by Alistair Beaton and a translation by James Stern, Tania Stern and W. H. Auden.
Alongside Brecht's most-studied and performed works, such as Life of Galileo, The Threepenny Opera and The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, lesser-known plays from all eight Brecht World Classics play collection volumes will be available, including the Lehrstücke (learning plays).
Additionally, Drama Online will bring together many of the crucial essays that illustrate the development of his aesthetic and the breadth of his interests. Brecht on Theatre, Brecht on Film and Radio, Brecht on Art and Politics, and the Journals will together provide an unrivaled corpus of Brecht's writings on theatre, culture and theory. This fully searchable collection offers the work of one of the twentieth century's leading cultural theorists within the click of a mouse.
'This is a hugely welcome addition to the available digital resources on drama and theatre theory. To be able to search and compare major translations of one of the greatest of all dramatists will open up whole new paths of enquiry for scholars, students and theatre practitioners.' Tom Kuhn, Oxford University
'Access to Drama Online makes available Brecht's works in English translation on a completely new and welcome platform. Students and researchers now can search for words, concepts, and phrases across the texts and annotations, while theatre people can compare translations of the major plays with a digital click.' Marc Silberman, University of Wisconsin
Methuen Drama, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, and Faber and Faber Limited are pleased to announce a new partnership to develop a digital content platform for libraries, educators, students and researchers to be sold via subscription and perpetual access to academic institutions.
Drama Online is the ultimate online resource for plays, critical analysis and performance. Featuring the pre-eminent drama and reference titles from the Methuen Drama, The Arden Shakespeare and Faber lists, Drama Online will offer unique functionality for studying theatre and access to a complete digital library of the most studied, performed and critically acclaimed plays from the last two and a half thousand years.
Nigel Newton, Chairman and Chief Executive of Bloomsbury Publishing described the resource as 'A very exciting and truly unique way of providing access to the finest drama literature. Many iconic works in this collection have never been made available digitally before and we are delighted to be working in partnership with Faber.'
Stephen Page, Chief Executive and Publisher of Faber and Faber noted: 'This partnership between two independent publishers will make available a unique and extraordinary resource for the study of drama and we are delighted to be working closely with Bloomsbury to develop it over the coming years.'