NEWS RELEASE • FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 6, 2016
Contacts: Gerald T. Burke, Subject Librarian for Art, English, Music, Philosophy, & Theatre, email@example.com, (518) 442-3592; Rebecca Mugridge, Interim Dean of Libraries, firstname.lastname@example.org, (518) 442-3568.
University Libraries - University At Albany
L. A. Theatre Works Collection: Streaming Audio from the Nation's Premiere Radio Theatre Company
Albany, N.Y. (June 6, 2016)—The University at Albany Libraries are pleased to announce a new online resource for students, faculty, and staff: L.A. Theatre Works Collection, a database of streaming audio recordings of more than 300 important plays and dramatic works produced by L.A. Theatre Works, the nation's premiere radio theater company. The L.A. Theatre Works Collection may be accessed directly by clicking: http://search.alexanderstreet.com/radr.
Performed by an international array of leading actors—including UAlbany alumni, Harold Gould in Julius Caesar and playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis performing in his Jesus Hopped the "A" Train—the collection presents classics of the Western canon as well as modern works by American luminaries, originally commissioned plays, and high profile docudramas by both renowned and emerging playwrights. Scholarly commentary from experts adds background and contextual information for the plays.
Following a month-long trial period earlier this year, Andi Lyons, Director of the Theatre Program, Professor of Theatrical Design and Technology, and Resident Lighting Designer at the University at Albany commented, "Now that the trial period is over, I just wanted to say that this collection from LA Theatre Works generated more discussion about, and general interest in, the library's holdings for theatre than any single thing in memory."
The Collection's appeal reaches beyond the theatre arts, however. "Although a drama collection, students of literature, women's studies, English, and history will also find the collection to be of tremendous scholarly value," says Jerry Burke, Subject Librarian for Art, English, Music, Philosophy, & Theatre.
Funded by the Mellon Foundation, plays are chosen that specifically address important issues in the humanities, arts, social sciences, medicine, hard sciences, law, and other fields. Specialized indexing at the track level for over half of the recordings allows one to search for and find segments of plays that dramatically address these subjects and issues.
Examples of plays in the collection are:
- Julius Caesar, William Shakespeare's classic tale of duplicity, betrayal and murder, performed by UAlbany alumnus Harold Gould, Stacy Keach, JoBeth Williams, and Kelsey Grammer;
- Our Lady of 121st Street, written and performed by UAlbany alumnus Stephen Adly Guirgis, Laurence Fishburne, and Orlando Jones, who portray a group of childhood friends brought together years later by a funeral.
- 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;
- The Great Tennessee Monkey Trial, a docudrama originally commissioned by L.A. Theatre Works about the seminal 1925 Scopes trial, starring Ed Asner, Mike Farrell and Sharon Gless.
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