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Bloomsbury Drama Online

Drama Online - a unique way to study drama

Drama Online: 1000+ plays and 100+ scholarly works accompanied by play tools, character grids, production stills and more

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Drama Online Plays by Collection


Playtexts and scholarly works from Faber and Faber and modern playsstudent editions and other texts from Bloomsbury's Methuen Drama and Arden Shakespeare imprints.
Video: filmed theatre productions from Stage on ScreenHamlet the Film, starring Maxine Peake and Shakespeare in the Present - an acting masterclass with Patsy Rodenburg.

In numbers:

  • Collection 1 –1,300 playtexts, Context and Criticism, Theatre Craft features.
  • LA Theatre Works – 300 plays performed for audio by renowned Hollywood actors.
  • Nick Hern Books – 350 modern plays one of the best-known UK play publishers.
  • Shakespeare’s Globe - a unique international resource dedicated to the exploration of Shakespeare's work and the playhouse for which he wrote, through performance and education.Launching with 20 plays plus Dr Faustus, it includes performances by Stephen Fry, Mark Rylance and others.
  • Stage on Screen – professionally staged classic plays that all appear in UK & International syllabi – Volpone School for Scandal, Dr Faustus and The Duchess of Malfi.
  • Maxine Peake’s Hamlet - the film version of the ground-breaking and critically acclaimed production of Hamlet at the Royal Exchange, Manchester.
  • Patsy Rodenburg’s Acting Masterclass – a six-hour Shakespeare Masterclass by leading acting coach, Patsy Rodenburg.?

The award-winning Drama Online introduces new writers alongside the most iconic names in playwriting history, providing contextual and critical background through scholarly works and practical guides.

Our constantly growing collection meets the full range of teaching needs for theatre studies, literature courses and drama schools. From the epic to the monologue; ensemble to one-person plays; comedy to tragedy; the historical to the contemporary; and from the highly political to the profoundly personal, there is plenty to discover.

Our unique Play Tools with Character Grids, Words and Speech graphs and Part Books offer a new way to engage with plays for close study or for performance.

Enjoy access to the finest drama texts:

  • From Aeschylus to the present day.
  • Student editions, scholarly works and first night programme texts.
  • The internationally renowned Arden Shakespeare Series.           
  • Realist works from Ibsen and Chekhov.
  • Major foreign works in translation: Bertolt BrechtLuigi PirandelloEduardo De FilippoFrank Wedekind and more.
  • Comic masterpieces from Oscar Wilde and Noël Coward.
  • Modern classics from Tom StoppardDavid Mamet, Alan BennettCaryl ChurchillSimon StephensMark RavenhillEdward Bond, Alan AyckbournHarold PinterChristopher HamptonBrian Friel, Willy RussellJohn Osborne, David Greig, David Harrower, April De Angelis, David Hare, Anthony Neilson, Shelagh Stephenson, David Eldridge and many more.
  • A continually growing collection of the very latest contemporary writers including Polly Stenham, Katori Hall, D.C. Moore, James Graham, Rebecca Lenkiewicz and Lucy Prebble.
  • Now includes streaming media: filmed live performances from Shakespeare's Globe and professional audio recordings from L.A Theatre Works.

New collections 

The Hollow Crown Series 1 & 2

The Hollow Crown brings together Shakespeare’s history plays featuring a star-studded cast including Benedict CumberbatchDavid TennantBen WhishawJeremy IronsJudi DenchHugh Bonneville and Tom Hiddleston. These films are woven with the finest of Shakespeare's poetry and are filmed in the architecture and landscape of the period.

The Hollow Crown Series 1 brings together four filmed adaptations of Shakespeare's History Plays - Richard II, Henry IV parts 1 and 2, and Henry V. Starting in the year 1399, this continuous story of monarchy follows events during sixteen years of dynastic and political power play. Kings, with their families and followers, are threatened by rebellion and conflict. The story takes us from the Royal Court at Westminster to battlefields in England and France..

The Hollow Crown Series 2: The Wars of the Roses, featuring Henry VI in two parts and Richard III, tells the story of an exceptionally turbulent period in British history that acutely resonates with the political events of today. These exhilarating and emotionally charged films feature some of Shakespeare’s most eloquent and powerful language. 

BBC Drama Films

This collection features stunning film adaptations of classic and contemporary plays from Sophocles and Shakespeare, to Oscar Wilde, Henrik Ibsen, August Strindberg, Bernard Shaw and contemporary writers, Michael Frayn and Joe Penhall.

Content highlights include:

  • William Shakespeare’s, King Lear.  Ian Holm stars in the title role of this award-winning film version of Richard Eyre’s National Theatre production.
  • Henrik Ibsen’s, A Doll’s House, starring Juliet Stevenson, Trevor Eve, Geraldine James, Patrick Malahide and David Calder. “This new, pointedly ideological translation by Joan Tinsdale is both sharp and felicitous…Ibsen is served brilliantly” - New York Times
  • Michael Frayn’s, Copenhagen. A stylish screen adaptation of the award-winning play starring Stephen Rea, Daniel Craig and Francesca Annis.
  • Sophocles’ Antigone, translated by Don Taylor – this story of one sister’s loyalty to both her brothers is one of the most consistently popular plays in the history of drama.
  • Joe Penhall’s, Blue/Orange. An incendiary tale of race, madness and struggle for power. This adaptation of Joe Penhall’s award-winning play retains the music, lighting and sound team from the original stage production, which premiered in 2000

Audio Plays from L.A. Theatre Works

Who are L.A. Theatre works? 
L.A. Theatre Works (LATW) are one of the most important audio theatre companies in America today. LATW carefully records stage productions for listeners producing thought-provoking and compelling audio versions of the highest quality, with leading actors such as Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Martin Sheen, Jamie Lee Curtis, Helen Hunt, John Goodman, Hilary Swank and hundreds of others.

What’s in the collection?
Over 350 audio recordings of thought provoking drama from literary classics such as Twelve Angry Men, iconic modern works from the oeuvre of leading American playwrights: Arthur MillerDavid Mamet and Eugene O’Neill, Pullitzer Prize-winning titles such as Neil Simon’s Lost in Yonkers and contemporary works such as Lucy Prebble’s Enron. The collection also includes original LATW docudramas such as Top Secret: The Battle for the Pentagon Papers.

How will it benefit students? 
Audio plays have their own particular quality, allowing the listener to experience the emotional power of the play, deepen their understanding of themes and characters and involve their own imagination while the sound brings the text to life. Instructors can provide examples to students from a vast library and users can move between text and audio versions in one integrated drama platform. Study guides, images and background materials will also be provided.

"Consistently superb work" Los Angeles Times

"..L.A. Theatre Works has proven to be original, exciting and...highly theatrical" American Theatre Magazine

"L.A. Theatre Works is a National Treasure" The Philadelphia Enquirer

"The kids were mesmerized. They didn't want to hear anyone make a sound" High School teacher

Request a title list from your sales team member.

The Nick Hern Books Collection

Another groundbreaking collection of almost 400 titles from specialist theatre publisher, Nick Hern Books will be available through Drama Online later on this year. The collection will feature important works from Jez ButterworthCaryl ChurchillDavid EdgarHelen Edmundson, Liz Lochhead, Conor McPherson, Rona Munro, Enda Walsh and Nicholas Wright. More recent additions to the list include plays by Mike Bartlett, Alecky Blythe, Alexi Kaye Campbell, Vivienne Franzmann, debbie tucker green, Ella Hickson, Lucy Kirkwood, Bruce Norris, Nina Raine, Jack Thorne and Tom Wells.

New Video Collections: 

Shakespeare’s Globe on Screen film Collection. 

A collection of twenty one stunning Shakespeare’s Globe stage productions representing over 55 hours of content. Recorded live on the Globe stage in high definition and surround sound, the films feature critically acclaimed performances from leading actors including Mark Rylance, Stephen Fry, and Roger Allam’s Olivier award-winning role as Falstaff in Henry IV. The collection will be updated with future productions. View title list.

Shakespeare and Early Modern Video Collection including:

Stage on Screen’s filmed theatre productions of key set drama literature texts. Includes four critically acclaimed and visually stunning stage productions by Stage on Screen: The Duchess of Malfi by John Webster, Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe, School for Scandal by Richard Brinsley Sheridan and Volpone by Ben Jonson. Each film is accompanied by filmed interviews with cast and crew, comprising around 15 hours of content in total. In addition there are costume designs, productions stills, and study guides, as well as background on the play and production. View title list. 

Hamlet the Film. Hamlet is Shakespeare’s most iconic work and is the ultimate story of loyalty, love, betrayal, murder and madness. Hamlet, consumed by despair, struggles to exact revenge for his father’s murder, with devastating consequences. This stripped-back, fast-paced version with moments of humour is a captivating production that re-balances gender casting. BAFTA-nominated actor 
Maxine Peake’s Hamlet is a female character who takes on a male mantle, a fierce and textured Hamlet who imbues the role with anger, indignation and purpose. There is further gender-blind casting with a female Polonius (Polonia), Rosencrantz and female gravediggers. 

Shakespeare in the Present. Filmed on the stages of Michael Howard Studios in New York and The Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, this video brings you Patsy' Rodenburg’s unique approach to voice and acting through the work of history's greatest playwright. The 6 hours masterclass allows users to explore Patsy's highly sought-after techniques and exercises in Movement, Speech, Body and Vocal Warmup. In addition, Patsy works one-on-one with actors performing speeches from Hamlet, Romeo & Juliet, Macbeth, King Lear, and many more. Watch Patsy's techniques come to life through renowned actors Joseph Fiennes (Shakespeare in Love, Elizabeth), Lynn Cohen (Munich, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire), Jay O. Sanders (Revolutionary Road, Green Lantern), and others

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