The State Theatre is offering a chance to see a live British performance, sans a plane ticket.
National Theatre Live is in its third season of broadcasting live, recorded, high-definition performances to cinemas worldwide. “The Magistrate,” a Victorian farce, will be shown downtown this week.
This performance of “The Magistrate” features the American actor, John Lithgow, known for the show “Third Rock from the Sun” and the recent film “This is 40.”
“The Magistrate” is a show that isn’t done often, said Dan Carter, director of the School of Theatre. It is not a well-known play, he added.
The plot deals with an officer character who gets thrown into events that are potentially embarrassing and tarnishing to his reputation. From there, chaos unravels.
“From my understanding, [the show] is very funny,” Carter said. “It will [still] have resonance today, as the best comedies do.”
The play is filmed with a live audience, making it more like watching a live performance, said Richard Biever, executive director at The State Theatre.
“You’re watching the show as the audience is experiencing it in the theater,” he said.
National Live Theatre does about one play per academic month, typically totaling six or seven shows each year, he said
“[The] product is always interesting and well done and really cool to watch,” Biever said.
Though the show is previously recorded, the experience of watching it is as close as one can get to British theater –– “short of flying to London,” Carter said. The viewing does not feel like video recorded performance and has a live feeling to it, he said.
“[It’s] the next best thing to being there. You get a sense of a [live] theatrical event,” Carter said.
The ability to come see a live, British show is a great experience, Biever said. The show will be a “high quality” and “world class” production, he said. The opportunity should not be missed, and everyone should see something like the show “at least once,” he said.
Gillie Strauss, member of the Penn State Thespians, also said she thinks it’s a great chance to be exposed to quality theater performances.
“For anyone, it’s a different way to get into theatre and see a show. [It’s] a really awesome thing that is happening” Strauss (junior-communication arts and sciences) said.
She said this is a chance to see such a talented performance and at such a close location it is especially great for those who don’t typically have easy access to theater.
“The Magistrate” is being shown at 7 p.m. today at The State Theatre. Tickets are $15, $12 for seniors and $10 for students.