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Stars Shine in Wirtz Center Stage on Screen Series 2015-16

National Theatre Live broadcasts feature Helen Mirren, Benedict Cumberbatch and more

  • Helen Mirren stars in two encore presentations of “The Audience,” Oct. 19 and Oct. 20
  • NT Live “Hamlet” broadcast stars Benedict Cumberbatch in title role, Nov. 23-24, Dec. 1
  • Bristol Old Vic’s acclaimed re-imagining of Brontë's masterpiece “Jane Eyre” airs Feb. 2

EVANSTON, Ill. --- The School of Communication’s Virginia Wadsworth Wirtz Center for the Performing Arts’ popular National Theatre Live broadcasts, featuring popular stars of stage and screen, return to Northwestern University for the fifth consecutive year in mid-October.

The Wirtz Center’s 2015-16 Stage on Screen events include National Theatre Live (NT Live) broadcasts of two encore screenings of “The Audience” on Oct. 19 (tickets available) and Oct. 20 (sold out) starring Tony Award-winning actress Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth; Shakespeare’s “Hamlet on Nov. 23, Nov. 24 and Dec. 1 with Benedict Cumberbatch in the title role; an encore showing of “Coriolanus” on Dec. 8 starring Tom Hiddleston; Charlotte Bronte’s classic “Jane Eyre” on Feb. 2; Donmar Warehouse’s highly-anticipated new production of “Les Liaisons Dangereuses” with a cast that includes Michelle Dockery (“Downton Abbey”), Janet McTeer (“The White Queen”) and Dominic West (“The Wire”); and Rosalie Craig in “As You Like It” on March 29, directed by Polly Findlay.

Tickets prices to each screening are $20 general public, $16 Northwestern faculty and staff (in-person or phone orders only) or $10 full-time students (under age 30 with current WildCARD ID).

Single tickets are available by calling the Wirtz Center Box Office at 847-491-7282 or online at

The following events will be held in venues on the University’s Evanston campus, including the Josephine Louis Theater, 20 Arts Circle Drive, and Ethel M. Barber Theater, 30 Arts Circle Drive, as noted. For more information, visit


National Theatre Live (NT Live) is sponsored by Aviva and supported with public funding by Arts Council England. The Wirtz Center’s NT Live broadcasts are sponsored by a generous grant from The Alumnae of Northwestern University. Single tickets are $10 to $20. Discounts are available for groups of eight or more.

  • NT Live: “The Audience,” (Encore) 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 19 (tickets available) and 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 20 (sold out), at the Ethel M. Barber Theater. Back again by popular demand, Helen Mirren reprises her Academy Award-winning role as Queen Elizabeth II in encore screenings of the original West End production of “The Audience,” captured live in London in 2013, and featuring an exclusive new Q&A with key members of the cast and creative team. For 60 years, Queen Elizabeth II has met with each of her 12 prime ministers in a private weekly meeting. This meeting is known as The Audience. No one knows what they discuss, not even their spouses. From the old warrior Winston Churchill to the Iron Lady Margaret Thatcher and from Tony Blair right up to today’s meetings with the current incumbent David Cameron, the Queen advises her prime ministers on all matters both public and personal. Through these private audiences, we see glimpses of the woman behind the crown and witness the moments that shaped a monarch.
  • NT Live:Hamlet,” 7 p.m. Monday, Nov, 23; Tuesday, Nov, 24; and Tuesday, Dec. 1, at the Ethel M. Barber Theater. Academy Award nominee Benedict Cumberbatch (BBC’s “Sherlock,” “The Imitation Game,” “Frankenstein” at the National Theatre) takes on the title role of Shakespeare’s great tragedy. Directed by Lyndsey Turner (“Posh,” “Chimerica”) and produced by Sonia Friedman Productions, National Theatre Live will broadcast this eagerly awaited production live to cinemas. As a country arms itself for war, a family tears itself apart. Forced to avenge his father’s death, but paralyzed by the task ahead, Hamlet rages against the impossibility of his predicament, threatening both his sanity and the security of the state.
  • NT Live: “Coriolanus” (Encore), 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 8, at the Ethel M. Barber Theater. National Theatre Live’s 2013 broadcast of the Donmar Warehouse’s production of “Coriolanus” returns to cinemas by popular demand. Shakespeare’s searing tragedy of political manipulation and revenge, Coriolanus features an Evening Standard Award-winning performance from Tom Hiddleston (“The Avengers,” the film “War Horse,” BBC's “The Hollow Crown”) in the title role, directed by the Josie Rourke, Donmar's artistic director. When an old adversary threatens Rome, the city calls once more on her hero and defender: Coriolanus. But he has enemies at home, too. Famine threatens the city, the citizens’ hunger swells to an appetite for change, and on returning from the field, Coriolanus must confront the march of realpolitik and the voice of an angry people.
  • NT Live:Jane Eyre,” 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 2, at the Josephine Louis Theater. Almost 170 years on, Charlotte Brontë’s story of the trailblazing Jane is as inspiring as ever. This bold and dynamic production uncovers one woman’s fight for freedom and fulfillment on her own terms. From her beginnings as a destitute orphan, Jane Eyre’s spirited heroine faces life’s obstacles head-on, surviving poverty, injustice and the discovery of bitter betrayal before taking the ultimate decision to follow her heart. This acclaimed re-imagining of Brontë's masterpiece was first staged by Bristol Old Vic last year, when the story was performed over two evenings. Director Sally Cookson now brings her celebrated production to the National Theatre, presented as a single, exhilarating performance.
  • NT Live: “Les Liaison Dangereuses, 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 1, at the Josephine Louis Theater. National Theatre Live brings the Donmar Warehouse’s highly anticipated new production of “Les Liaisons Dangereuses” to cinemas -- broadcast live from the Donmar’s London home. Directed by Josie Rourke (“Coriolanus”), the cast includes Michelle Dockery (“Downton Abbey”), Janet McTeer (“The White Queen”) and Dominic West (“The Wire”). In 1782, Choderlos de Laclos’ novel of sex, intrigue and betrayal in pre-revolutionary France scandalized the world. Two hundred years later, Christopher Hampton's irresistible adaptation swept the board, winning the Olivier and Evening Standard awards for Best Play. Josie Rourke’s revival now marks the play’s 30-year anniversary. “Les Liaisons Dangereuses” tells the story of former lovers, the Marquise de Merteuil and Vicomte de Valmont who now compete in games of seduction and revenge. Merteuil incites Valmont to corrupt the innocent Cecile de Volanges before her wedding night, but Valmont has targeted the peerlessly virtuous and beautiful Madame de Tourvel. While these merciless aristocrats toy with others’ hearts and reputations, their own may prove more fragile than they supposed.
  • As You Like It,” 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 29, at the Josephine Louis Theater. Shakespeare’s comedy of love and change comes to the National Theatre for the first time in over 30 years, with Rosalie Craig (“London Road,” “Macbeth” at the Manchester International Festival) as Rosalind. With her father the Duke banished and in exile, Rosalind and her cousin Celia leave their lives in the court behind them and journey into the Forest of Arden. There, released from convention, Rosalind experiences the liberating rush of transformation. Disguising herself as a boy, she embraces a different way of living and falls spectacularly in love.
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