Jack Hitt tells the story of a small town production of Peter Pan in which the flying apparatus smacks the actors into the furniture, and Captain Hook's hook flies off his arm and hits an oldwoman in the stomach. By the end of the evening, firemen have arrived and all the normal boundaries between audience and actors have completely dissolved.
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Jack Hitt's Peter Pan story continues. Jack is the author of several books, including Bunch of Amateurs.
When Eric Hayot was 23, he went on an exchange program to China one summer. He took an opera class on a lark, and before he knew it, he was on stage, singing the part of a famous judge.
Yet another testimony to the power chickens have over our hearts and minds. Contributing editor Jack Hitt reports on an opera about Chicken Little.
It was two months into the tour. Katie Else and the rest of the Riverdance cast had been performing eight shows a week. They decided to pool their money for the Mega-Millions lottery.
Nauru is a tiny island, population 12,000, a third of the size of Manhattan and far from anywhere: Yet at the center of several of the decade's biggest global events. Contributing editor Jack Hitt tells the untold story of this dot in the middle of the Pacific and its involvement in the bankrupting of the Russian economy, global terrorism, North Korean defectors, the end of the world, and the late 1980s theatrical flop of a London musical based on the life of Leonardo da Vinci called Leonardo, A Portrait of Love.
Yet another testimony to the power chickens have over our hearts and minds. Jack Hitt reports on an opera about Chicken Little.
The story of a preventive act of war committed 3200 years ago, in the land that's now Turkey, not too far from Iraq. Seneca's The Trojan Woman takes place at the end of the Trojan war.
Host Ira Glass surveys various productions of Hamlet being staged around the country: At community colleges in Brooklyn and Honolulu, on a professional stage in Boston, and at a Shakespeare camp for kids in San Francisco—where all the scenes are death scenes.
Jack Hitt begins his story about a group of prisoners at the Missouri Eastern Correctional Center who are rehearsing and staging a production of Hamlet. The man who plays Hamlet gets in character by recalling times he's wanted to hurt people, like the crime that sent him to prison, in which he shot two people and left them for dead.
Jack Hitt's story about a prison production of Hamlet continues. He discovers that almost all the actors draw on their pasts in one way or another to get into character.
Sure, those who can't do, teach. But what about those who can do? Marlon Brando has created a set of instructional videos about acting, called Lying for a Living. Reporter Jod Kaftan got a sneak preview.
A story of wartime, of altruism and self-interest, of believing one's own publicity, and of a 50-year campaign for hearts and minds that was better known as the Bob Hope USO tour. Reporter Margy Rochlin saw one of the tours with her own eyes, in Tahiti in the 1980s, and has audio tapes to prove it.
When Starlee Kine was a kid, she wanted to be a child star so badly that she signed up for an acting class with a famous acting teacher named Kevin McDermott. One of the class's exercises was to develop a character with a troubled past, and a real psychologist would come in for a session of character group therapy.
On a commemorative day, it can be hard to feel a real sense of the past and of how time has moved forward. Russell Banks has a story demonstrating what it might take to do just that.
Ira talks with producer Blue Chevigny about how a prank caller taught her that when it comes to pursuing happiness, Carole King, the world of independent cinema and the New York City Police Department have a lot more in common than she ever imagined. He also talks with MIT Professor Pauline Maier, author of the book American Scripture: Making the Declaration of Independence.
A story about the Broadway show Rent, the thrill of sitting close to the stage...and the evil it can lead to.
The story of a typical American family—imaginary poultry—and a handpuppet.
The true story of how a multinational chicken company turned a white man into a black man. The man they did it to? An old time Kentucky Colonel who liked to dress up as a Southern plantation owner in string tie and goatee, who happened to be their own spokesman.
When Alexa was seven, she started going through her grandfather's books. Her grandfather was a playwright and teacher, and through the books—and especially through his notes in the margins—she entered the world of 1930's American theater.
More of Alexa Junge and how Moss Hart's autobiography changed her life. She followed his path, learned specific lessons, and had a vision of him that was absolutely clear—until she met his widow.
Writer Meghan Daum goes to DeSmet, South Dakota, where Laura Ingalls Wilder lived and where many of the books she wrote in the Little House on the Prairie series are set. It turns out to be remarkably similar to what Meghan had pictured before she went: The people seem like they are genuinely trying to hold on to the values Laura Ingalls Wilder writes about in her books.
The story of The Arabian Nights is actually 350 or 400 stories, depending on how you count them. Many of the stories are stories of impossible love, including the very last story in the whole epic tale—the story of Jasmine and Almond.
Viola disguises herself as a man, takes a job working for this guy with whom she promptly falls in love. He believes the pretense: He thinks Viola is a man, so he never gives her a second look.