Stage on Screen

The Best of International Theatre Captured Live for the Big Screen!

Now in its sixth year, the Wirtz Center proudly presents National Theatre Live, the best in British Theater captured live for the big screen. New this year, from the stages of Russia’s greatest theater companies, the Stage Russia HD series brings the mastery of Russian theater to Western cinema audiences.

Tickets: $20 general public, $16 NU Employee or $10 full-time student (Under 30 with current ID).



National Theatre Live Encore: Frankenstein
Wednesday, October 26 at 7:00PM
Josephine Louis Theater
20 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston

By Nick Dear
Based on the novel by Mary Shelley
Directed by Danny Boyle
Starring Benedict Cumberbatch as the Creature and Jonny Lee Miller as Dr. Frankenstein

Directed by Academy Award®-winner Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, Slumdog Millionaire, Steve Jobs), this thrilling production features Benedict Cumberbatch (BBC’s Sherlock, The Imitation Game) and Jonny Lee Miller (CBS’s Elementary, Trainspotting).The production was a sell-out hit at the National Theatre in 2011, and the broadcast has since become an international sensation, experienced by over half a million people in cinemas around the world.

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.

Video Trailer

Running Time: 2 hours and 15 minutes, no intermission



RussiaHD: Eugene Onegin
November 5 at 2:00PM
Josephine Louis Theater
20 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston

By Alexander Pushkin
Directed by Rimas Tuminas
Starring Sergey Makovetskiy

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 just like the fragments of Tatyana’s love letter, framed and hung on the wall, looming next to and above Onegin’s arm-chair.

A production referred to as "exuberant, indelible and arrestingly beautiful" by the New York Times, 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.

Video Trailer

Excerpt from the Production

Presented in Russian with English subtitles.
Running Time: 3 hours and 30 minutes.



National Theatre Live: The Deep Blue Sea
November 9 at 7:00PM
Josephine Louis Theater
20 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston

By Terence Rattigan
Directed by Carrie Cracknell
Starring Helen McCrory and Tom Burke

Helen McCrory (Medea and The Last of the Haussmans at the National Theatre, Penny Dreadful, Peaky Blinders) 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, The Musketeers) also features in Carrie Cracknell’s critically acclaimed new production.

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.

Video Trailer



RussiaHD: The Cherry Orchard
November, 16 at 7:00PM
Josephine Louis Theater
20 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston

By Anton Chekhov
Directed by Adolph Shapiro
Starring Renata Litvinova

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 a 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.

Presented in Russian with English subtitles.
Running Time: 3 hours



National Theatre Live: The Threepenny Opera
November 17 at 7:00PM
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
Starring Rory Kinnear, Rosalie Craig, Haydn Gwynn

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, the police 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, Othello, James Bond) as Macheath, alongside Rosalie Craig (As You Like It) as Polly Peachum and Haydn Gwynne (The Windsors, Drop the Dead Donkey) 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, London Road).

Rating: Appropriate for audiences 15 years old and up.
Contains scenes of a sexual nature, violence and strong language.

Video Trailer



National Theatre Live Encore: War Horse
Wednesday, Dec 7 at 7:00PM
Ethel M. Barber Theater
30 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston

By Nick Stafford
Based on the novel by Michael Morpurgo

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.

Video Trailer

Running Time: 2 hours and 45 minutes, including one 20 minute intermission



National Theatre Live: No Man's Land
Tuesday, February 28 at 7:00PM
Josephine Louis Theater
20 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston

By Harold Pinter
Directed by Sean Mathias
Starring Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart

Following their hit run on Broadway, Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart return to the West End stage in Harold Pinter’s No Man's Land, broadcast live to cinemas from Wyndham’s Theatre, London. Also starring Owen Teale and Damien Molony, don’t miss this glorious revival of Pinter’s comic classic. The broadcast will be followed by an exclusive Q&A with the cast and director Sean Mathias.

One summer's evening, two ageing writers, Hirst and Spooner, meet in a Hampstead pub and continue their drinking into the night at Hirst's stately house nearby.  As the pair become increasingly inebriated, and their stories increasingly unbelievable, the lively conversation soon turns into a revealing power game, further complicated by the return home of two sinister younger men.

Running time: approx. 150 minutes including a post-performance Q&A
Rating: 15. Appropriate for audiences 15 years old and up



National Theatre Live: Saint Joan
Wednesday, March 29 at 7:00
Josephine Louis Theater
20 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston

By Bernard Shaw
Directed by Josie Rourke
Starring Emma Arterton

Bernard Shaw’s classic play follows the life and trial of a young country girl who declares a bloody mission to drive the English from France. As one of the first Protestants and nationalists, she threatens the very fabric of the feudal society and the Catholic Church across Europe.

Josie Rourke (Coriolanus, Les Liaisons Dangereuses) directs Gemma Arterton (Gemma Bovery, Nell Gwynn, Made in Dagenham) as Joan of Arc in this electrifying production, broadcast live from the Donmar Warehouse.

Running time: approx. 240 minutes
Rating: 12A. Appropriate for audiences 12 years old and up



National Theatre Live: Hedda Gabler
Thursday, March 30 at 7:00PM
Josephine Louis Theater
20 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston

By Henrik Isben
Directed by Ivo van Hove
Starring Ruth Wilson

“I’ve no talent for life.”
Just married. Bored already. Hedda longs to be free.  Hedda and Tesman have just returned from their honeymoon and the relationship is already in trouble. Trapped but determined, Hedda tries to control those around her, only to see her own world unravel.

Tony Award-winning director Ivo van Hove (A View from the Bridge at the Young Vic Theatre) returns to National Theatre Live screens with a modern production of Ibsen’s masterpiece. Ruth Wilson (Luther, The Affair, Jane Eyre) plays the title role in a new version by Patrick Marber (Notes on a Scandal, Closer).

Running time: TBC 210 mins
Rating: 12A. Appropriate for audiences 12 years old and up



National Theatre Live: Amadeus
Tuesday, May 16 at 7:00PM
Josephine Louis Theater
20 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston

By Peter Shaffer
Directed by Michael Longhurst
Starring Lucian Msamati

Music. Power. Jealousy.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, a rowdy young prodigy, arrives in Vienna, the music capital of the world - and he’s determined to make a splash. Awestruck by his genius, court composer Antonio Salieri has the power to promote his talent or destroy his name. Seized by obsessive jealousy he begins a war with Mozart, with music, and ultimately, with God.

Lucian Msamati (Luther, Game of Thrones, NT Live: The Comedy of Errors) plays Salieri in Peter Shaffer’s iconic play, broadcast live from the National Theatre, and with live orchestral accompaniment by Southbank Sinfonia. After winning multiple Olivier and Tony Awards when it had its premiere at the National Theatre in 1979, Amadeus was adapted into an Academy Award-winning film.

Running time: approx. 210 minutes
Rating: 12A. Appropriate for audiences 12 years old and up

National Theatre Live is supported using public funding by Arts Council England and is proudly supported by AVIVA. The Wirtz Center's Stage on Screen broadcasts are sponsored by a generous grant from The Alumnae of Northwestern University.