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William Gillette: A Connecticut Yankee and the American Stage

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William Gillette: A Connecticut Yankee and the American Stage


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This program documents the life and career of William Gillette. Gillette had an enormous impact on the American theater of his day and is credited with the invention of "underacting." His innovations in terms of lighting and sound effects were so basic in the development of stagecraft that they are taken for granted today. Gillette was also a pioneer in making American drama "American," rejecting what had been up until that time a pervasive European influence on American theater. Gillette was a father figure to many actors and actresses, including Orson Welles and John Houseman.

The program features warm remembrances by Helen Hayes of working with Gillette. The program also includes rare archival footage of Gillette, as well as re-enactments from his plays, photographs, playbills, and other theatrical memorabilia from the turn of the century. Colour.

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