Post-WWII: 1945-1980

Plays

audio Bus Stop

LA Theatre Works
Type: Audio

Upon hitting Broadway in 1955 Bus Stop was an immediate commercial & critical success. During a winter storm a busload of weary travelers are forced to shack up at a roadside diner until morning. Inge was renowned for his in-depth character studies, Bus Stop is no exception and offers a warm play about the intersecting lives of eight ordinary people.

An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring Megan Anderson, Terrence Currier, Rachel Miner, Anson Mount, Kyle Prue, Lynnie Raybuck, Jefferson A. Russell and Gary Sloan.

Featuring: Megan Anderson, Terrence Currier, Rachel Miner, Anson Mount, Kyle Prue, Lynnie Raybuck, Jefferson A. Russell, Gary Sloan

Butley

Faber and Faber
Type: Text

Butley

'What is so wondrous about a play so basically defeatist and hurtful is its ability to be funny. The stark, unsentimental approach to the homosexual relationship, the cynical send-up of academic life, the skeptical view of the teacher-pupil associations are all stunningly illuminated by continuous explosions of sardonic, needling, feline, vituperative and civilised lines.' Evening Standard

audio The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial

LA Theatre Works
Type: Audio

This acclaimed WWII psychological courtroom drama was the sensation of 1954. The play portrays a mutiny of naval officers aboard the U.S.S. Caine. Their suspicions concerning their captain’s sanity lead to their rebellion and a subsequent court - martial.

An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring James Avery, Chuma Hunter-Gault, Ian Lithgow, Scott Lowell, Frank Muller, Michael Rivkin, David Selby and Grant Shaud.

Featuring: James Avery, Chuma Hunter-Gault, Ian Lithgow, Scott Lowell, Frank Muller, Michael Rivkin, David Selby, Grant Shaud

audio California Suite

LA Theatre Works
Type: Audio

A four part comedy confection as only Neil Simon can write it! Four couples arrive, in turn, from London, Philadelphia, Chicago and New York and separately inhabit a Beverly Hills hotel suite, bringing along their problems, anxieties, and comical marital dilemmas. Beverly Hills will never be the same.

An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring: Dennis Boutsikaris, Bruce Davison, Marsha Mason and Amy Pietz. “Visitor From New York” Marsha Mason as Hannah Warren Bruce Davison as William Warren “Visitor From Philadelphia” Dennis Boutsikaris as Marvin Michaels Amy Pietz as Millie Michaels “Visitors From London” Marsha Mason as Sidney Nichols Bruce Davison as Diana Nichols “Visitors From Chicago” Dennis Boutsikaris as Mort Hollender Amy Pietz as Beth Hollender Bruce Davison as Stu Franklyn Marsha Mason as Gert Franklyn Directed by Gwenn Victor. Recorded before a live audience at the Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles.

Featuring: Dennis Boutsikaris, Bruce Davison, Marsha Mason, Amy Pietz

The Catch

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

As a young university student in Munich, Bertolt Brecht was only a few years away from early success as a playwright when he wrote five one-acts. Of these plays, only one was performed in his lifetime, and none were published until after his death. They provide a retrospective look at Brecht before his evolution into the founder of epic theatre, demonstrating some of the tendencies that would mark his later work.

When a fisherman’s wife is woken up by her drunk husband and his friends, anger and resentments explode. The Catch was neither produced nor published during the author’s lifetime.

The Caucasian Chalk Circle (trans. J. Stern, T. Stern, Auden)

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

Written in exile in the United States during the Second World War The Caucasian Chalk Circle is a politically charged, much-revived and complex example of Brecht’s epic theatre.

In a prologue set in Soviet Georgia, a narrator-figure called The Singer introduces the story of choice and sacrifice. The servant girl Grusha sacrifices everything she has to look after an abandoned child, even marrying a dying peasant in order to provide for him. But when the boy’s biological mother attempts to reclaim him, the unruly judge Azdak, one of Brecht’s most vivid creations, calls on the ancient tradition of the chalk circle to resolve the dispute. Brecht subverts an ancient Chinese story (echoed in the Judgement of Solomon) into a parable advocating that resources should go to those best able to make use of them.

The Caucasian Chalk Circle was first performed in 1948 by students at Northfield, Minnesota in Eric and Maja Bentley’s translation, and has since become one of his most popular works. A morality masterpiece, the play powerfully demonstrates Brecht's pioneering theatrical techniques.

This version is translated by James and Tania Stern with W. H. Auden.

The Cellar and the Almond Tree

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

The Cellar and the Almond Tree is the second part of a trilogy, sometimes called the Kelvin trilogy, with On the Eve of Publication and Emma’s Time. The play is similarly composed of juxtaposed cuts between past and present, fantasy and flashbacks, this time belonging to the Countess Isabel von Reger, and Volubin (who was known to Robert Kelvin in the first play as Sladek).

Beneath the web of conversation and memory are the harsh and troubling realities of conflict and upheaval in central Europe, as the cellar and the almond tree come to represent the constraints of totalitarian regimes and a disappearing aristocratic way of life. Exploring form with the same fluidity as On the Eve of Publication before it, The Cellar and the Almond Tree is a powerful exploration of socialism and memory.

The Cellar and the Almond Tree was first broadcast in 1970 by BBC Television.

audio Ceremonies in Dark Old Men

LA Theatre Works
Type: Audio

This classic play by Academy Award nominee Lonne Elder III gives us the portrait of a Harlem family that dreams of a better life, but pursues it in tragic ways. First produced by the Negro Ensemble Company in 1969, the critically acclaimed Ceremonies in Dark Old Men opened the door for a new generation of African American playwrights, including August Wilson and Lynn Nottage.

An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring Rocky Carroll, Brandon Dirden, Jason Dirden, Julia Pace Mitchell, Charlie Robinson, Glynn Turman and Michole Briana White.

Directed by Judyann Elder. Recorded before a live audience at the Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles.

Featuring: Rocky Carroll, John Cothran Jr.(Sunday only), Brandon Dirden, Jason Dirden, Julia Pace Mitchell, Charlie Robinson, Glynn Turman, Michole Briana White

The Chalk Garden

Aurora Metro Books
Type: Text

Revived to acclaim on London’s West End in 2008, this psychological chamber piece explores the secret world of childhood through the prism of a dyed-in-the-wool British dowager Mrs St Maugham and her precocious and equally eccentric granddaughter Laurel. When enigmatic Miss Madrigal is hired as household companion and manager, the two finally meet their match. 'A tantalizing, fascinating and stimulating piece of theatre.' New York Daily News; 'A very fresh and personal kind of play with wit, literacy, and an almost unearthly integrity.' New York Herald Tribune.

The Changing Room

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

On a cold morning in Northern England, a large group of men gather in the changing rooms of their local rugby club, preparing for the match. Through David Storey’s three-act play we see the players, and the men who own, run and work for the club, before the match, at half-time and after the game has finished. What emerges from this tripartite structure is a touching picture of camaraderie, community and commitment to their team.

Describing being inspired by the rituals of the footballer, Storey writes ‘he came into a room, changed from a private individual (conspicuously) into a public performer (he wore a uniform), went out, performed, returned, reverted to his previous persona – and departed: simultaneously the room itself underwent a not dissimilar transformation: empty to begin with, gradually filling, emptying again, the room, in short, both object and subject, active and passive: it changed those within it and, in turn, was changed itself.’

Described by The Times as ‘An excellent example of Storey’s ability to evoke lives from snippets and a society from those lives’, The Changing Room was first performed at the Royal Court Theatre, London, on 9 November 1971.