One of the main reasons that theatre's so thrilling and vital is that, unlike movies or TV shows, it involves a live performance that happens right before our eyes. However, that same quality also makes it almost impossible to recapture that live experience, and it can make studying the history of the theatre difficult.
This podcast will try to help listeners understand and learn more about theatre history across a myriad of time periods and cultures. It features interviews with academics, artists, and others who are working to rediscover forgotten stories from the theatrical past and to create new art and scholarship from them.
Our first guest is Max Shulman, assistant professor of Theatre in the Department of Visual and Performing Arts at the University of Colorado – Colorado Springs. We discuss his research on drugs on the American stage at the turn of the twentieth century, especially the hit melodrama Madame X, which was a sensational success for actresses Dorothy Donnelly and Sarah Bernhardt.
- An English translation of the play, via the New York Public Library’s Billy Rose Theatre Collection.
- Pressbook for the 1920 film adaptation of Madame X, starring Pauline Frederick.