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Wirtz Center brings Russian, British theatre to the big screen

Popular Stage on Screen series continues this fall

  • National Theatre Live returns for sixth season with encores and new productions
  • Inaugural Stage Russia HD series debuts with Russian classics
  • Stars of Hollywood and Broadway are among production leads

EVANSTON - New this fall, the Stage on Screen series at Northwestern University will feature two classics direct from Russia’s finest stages in the inaugural Stage Russia HD series.

The plays that the Virginia Wadsworth Wirtz Center for the Performing Arts  will stream include “Eugene Onegin” from the Vakhtangov Theater and “The Cherry Orchard” from the Moscow Arts Theater.

Stage on Screen is sponsored by The School of Communication and the Wirtz Center at Northwestern.

National Theatre Live (NT Live) also brings live theatre to individuals around the world, through broadcasting award-winning dramas on film. The fall line-up for NT Live shows at the Wirtz Center includes encores of “A View from the Bridge,” “Frankenstein” and “War Horse,” as well as new productions of “The Deep Blue Sea” and “The Threepenny Opera.”

Tickets to all screenings are $20 for general public and $10 for full-time students, 30 years or younger, with valid IDs (at the door).

Full Stage on Screen fall line-up:

  • National Theatre Live’s “A View from the Bridge”
    Wednesday, Sept. 21, 7 p.m.
    Ethel M. Barber Theater, 30 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston
    By Arthur Miller, directed by Ivo van Hove, starring Mark Strong
    Watch video trailer

    First in the season is National Theatre Live’s encore of “A View from the Bridge,” a production that won the 2016 Tony Award for “Best Revival of a Play” when the production transferred to Broadway last season.

    The great Arthur Miller confronts the American dream in this dark and passionate tale. In Brooklyn, longshoreman Eddie Carbone welcomes his Sicilian cousins to the land of freedom, but when one of them falls for his beautiful niece, they discover that freedom comes at a price. Eddie’s jealous mistrust exposes a deep, unspeakable secret -- one that drives him to commit the ultimate betrayal. The visionary Ivo van Hove directs this stunning production of Miller’s tragic masterpiece, broadcast from London’s West End by National Theatre Live. This stunning Young Vic production of Miller’s tragic masterpiece won a trio of 2014 Olivier Awards including “Best Revival,” “Best Actor” for Mark Strong and “Best Director” for Ivo van Hove. 

  • Stage Russia HD’s “Eugene Onegin”
    Thursday, Sept. 22, 7 p.m.
    Ethel M. Barber Theater, 30 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston
    By Alexander Pushkin, directed by Rimas Tuminas and starring Sergey Makovetskiy
    The program will be presented in Russian with English subtitles
    Watch video trailer 

    “Eugene Onegin” has often been referred to as an encyclopedia of 19th century Russian life. Rimas Tuminas’ reimagining unfolds in the memory and imagination of Pushkin’s characters. The images are split between past and present, between reality and imagination. The scale of the production constantly shifts from noisy celebrations to secluded contemplation, from crowd scenes to lonely recollections, all of which are drawn together from the past like the fragments of Tatyana’s love letter, framed and hung on the wall, looming next to and above Onegin’s arm-chair. The Vakhtangov Theatre’s “Eugene Onegin,” starring the incomparable Sergey Makovetskiy in the title role, is a sumptuous work that will leave you with enough beautiful memories and images to last a lifetime.

  • National Theatre Live’s “Frankenstein”
    Wednesday, Oct. 26, 7 p.m.
    Josephine Louis Theater, 20 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston
    By Nick Dear, based on the novel by Mary Shelley, directed by Danny Boyle and starring Benedict Cumberbatch as The Creature and Jonny Lee Miller as Dr. Frankenstein
    Watch video trailer

    Childlike in his innocence but grotesque in form, Frankenstein’s bewildered Creature is cast out into a hostile universe by his horror-struck maker. Meeting with cruelty wherever he goes, the friendless Creature, increasingly desperate and vengeful, determines to track down his creator and strike a terrifying deal. Urgent concerns of scientific responsibility, parental neglect, cognitive development and the nature of good and evil are embedded within this thrilling and deeply disturbing classic gothic tale. The production was a sell-out hit at the National Theatre in 2011, and the broadcast has since become an international sensation, experienced by more than half a million people in cinemas around the world.

  • National Theatre Live’s “The Deep Blue Sea”
    Wednesday, Nov. 9, 7p.m.
    Josephine Louis Theater, 20 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston
    By Terence Rattigan, directed by Carrie Cracknell and starring Helen McCrory and Tom Burke
    Watch video trailer

    A flat in Ladbroke Grove, West London. 1952. When Hester Collyer is found by her neighbors in the aftermath of a failed suicide attempt, the story of her tempestuous affair with a former Royal Air Force pilot and the breakdown of her marriage to a High Court judge begins to emerge. With it comes a portrait of need, loneliness and long-repressed passion. Behind the fragile veneer of post-war civility burns a brutal sense of loss and longing. Helen McCrory (“Medea” and “The Last of the Haussmans” at the National Theatre) returns to the National Theatre in Terence Rattigan’s devastating masterpiece, playing one of the greatest female roles in contemporary drama. Tom Burke (“War and Peace” and “The Musketeers”) is also featured in Carrie Cracknell’s critically acclaimed new production.

  • Stage Russia HD’s “The Cherry Orchard”
    Wednesday, Nov. 16, 7 p.m.
    Josephine Louis Theater, 20 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston
    By Anton Chekhov, directed by Adolf Shapiro and starring Renata Litvinova
    The program will be presented in Russian with English subtitles

    First produced in 1904 at The Moscow Art Theatre under the direction of Konstantin Stanislavsky, this production of Anton Chekhov’s classic tale of cultural futility, starring Russian stage and screen legend Renata Litvinova, is more relevant today than it was over one hundred years ago. Adolf Shapiro’s interpretation asks the question, where would the characters of this play live today, years after their cherry orchard has been cut down? The answer, which lies in the material world created by set designer David Borovsky, is, of course, on the stage. A century later, this production brings “The Cherry Orchard” full circle, with its wandering band of characters never at peace but finally back home.

  • National Theatre Live’s “The Threepenny Opera”
    Thursday, Nov. 17, 7 p.m.
    Josephine Louis Theater, 20 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston
    By Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill, in collaboration with Elisabeth Hauptmann in a new adaptation by Simon Stephens, directed by Rufus Norris and starring Rory Kinnear, Rosalie Craig and Haydn Gwynn
    Watch video trailer

    Mack the Knife is back in town in a darkly comic new take on Brecht and Weill’s raucous musical broadcast live from the stage of the National Theatre. London scrubs up for the coronation. The thieves are on the make, the whores on the pull, and the police are cutting deals to keep it all out of sight. Mr. and Mrs. Peachum are looking forward to a bumper day in the beggary business, but their daughter didn’t come home last night, and it’s all about to kick off. With Olivier Award-winner Rory Kinnear (“Hamlet” and “Othello”) as Macheath, alongside Rosalie Craig (“As You Like It”) as Polly Peachum and Haydn Gwynne (“The Windsors”) as Mrs. Peachum.  This bold, anarchic production is brought to you by a creative powerhouse, adapted by Simon Stephens (“The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time”) and directed by Rufus Norris (“Everyman”).

  • National Theatre Live’s encore of “War Horse”
    Wednesday, Dec. 7, 7 p.m.
    Ethel M. Barber Theater, 30 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston
    By Nick Stafford, based on the novel by Michael Morpurgo
    Watch video trailer

    Since its first performance at the National Theatre in 2007, “War Horse” has become an international smash hit, capturing the imagination of millions of people around the world. Based on Michael Morpurgo’s novel and adapted for the stage by Nick Stafford, “War Horse” takes audiences on an extraordinary journey from the fields of rural Devon to the trenches of First World War France. Filled with stirring music and songs, this powerfully moving and imaginative drama is a show of phenomenal inventiveness. At its heart are astonishing life-size puppets by South Africa’s Handspring Puppet Company, who bring breathing, galloping, charging horses to thrilling life on stage.

For more information, call 847-491-4819, visit the Wirtz Center website or email

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