Now being a professional playwright, William Gibson talked about being able to write one of his plays in 8 days. A lot of the discussion is about his play, "The Miracle Worker". After reading one of Annie Sullivan's letters, and learning about a battle royale that Sullivan had with Helen Keller, Gibson envisioned what that battle royale would look like. It became a now famous part of the play.
Studs Terkel interviews Valentin Pluchek and Stanislaw Pchenikov on Russia theater, focusing mainly on the city of Moscow.
Playwright Tennessee Williams discusses his play "The Night of the Iguana," which was currently playing at the Blackstone Theatre in Chicago. The conversation takes place in Mr. Williams' room at the Blackstone Hotel.
Tennessee Williams said he'll stop writing when he can no longer produce good work. He spoke of being puzzled as to why so little of his work gets produced in New York. Williams also talked about taking offense when the first sequences of the TV show "Dallas" aired. He explained that the owner of the great estate in "Dallas" was a copy of his Big Daddy character, who was a wealthy plantation owner.
Vlado Habunek, the Director of The Croatian National Theater, also a teacher at the University of Zagreb and board member for the Debrovnik Summer Festival discusses how all arts are seeking new revelations with Studs Terkel. Terkel asks Habunek to compare American Actors with Croatian actors because they are subsidized by the state. He sees Croatian actors as too secure and admires the ambition of American actors. The fact that theater reflects life and life is difficult begins a discussion on the status of theater today.
Studs Terkel discusses Russian theater with Stanislaw Pchenikov and Theater director Valentin Nikolaevich Pluchek.
In the play, "The Value of Names," Shelley Berman plays Benny Silverman, a role which he says is him, an actor from the Hollywood black list. Berman said being in Chicago, acting the role and working with the cast has been THE best experience of his life and when the show closes, it will be the saddest day of his life. The director of the play, Sandy Shinner, said she knew of the Hollywood black list but didn't know about all the personal stories. There is an excerpt of Vic Navasky.
Rick Cluchey's love for the theatre began in the Theatre Group of the San Quentin Prison. After his time there, Cluchey spent three months in Berlin working with Samuel Beckett. It was there that Cluchey learned how Beckett seemed to choreograph his works onto the stage. An excerpt of an interview with Alan Schneider is also included.
Studs speaks to actress Peggy Nelson, playwright Arnaud d'Usseau, and student Olivier Bernier while he is in France. [Part 2 includes Yves Montand.]
American-British actress Margaret Webster, talks about the unsophisticated audience members that go to see plays by Shakespeare. Upon seeing a play, they're afraid to go at first but once they are there, they realize how much they are truly enjoying themselves.
Susan Nussbaum, founder of Access Living and Michael Pachovas founder of Disabled Prisoners Program discuss the upcoming Disabled Americans Freedom Rally in the backdrop of the International Year of the Disabled Persons and President Reagan's budget cuts. Society needs to understand that expenditures are required to secure the rights of disabled people to live active, productive lives. They need to be able to get out of their apartment buildings or homes, travel on sidewalks and ride buses. That may require access ramps, working elevators, cut curbs, and hydraulic buses to lower steps.
Interviewing British dramatist-novelist Michael Frayn.
Discussing the one man show as Charles Dickens at North Light Repertory Theatre with the actor Emlyn Williams.
Through an interpreter, Madame Ida Kaminska discusses her role in the film "The Shop on Main Street." Both her mother and father were actors, too. Madame Kaminska explains she comes from a family of actors from 100 years ago.
Terkel interviews Welsh actor/writer/dramatist Emlyn Williams.