The SBTA offers its repertory of radio productions for free download.
Not “old-time radio,” these are broadcast presentations of some of the world’s most gifted classic and contemporary playwrights: Anton Chekhov, George Bernard Shaw, Luigi Pirandello, Susan Glaspell, George Kelly, Noel Coward, Harold Pinter, Vaclav Havel, Eric Bentley, A rthur Miller, Tennessee Williams, Frank Gilroy, Jason Miller, Benjamin Bettenbender, Laura Cahill, Murray Schisgal and many others.
Each week a different radio comedy/drama will be podcast here.
Tune in! You may discover gems you never knew existed!
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The Man With the Flower in His Mouth, by Luigi Pirandello (Drama)
Starring William Smithers and Pope Freeman
[Playing Time: 20:30]
(A casual conversation between strangers turns into something else.)
Luigi Pirandello (1867-1936) was born on the island of Sicily. He entered the University of Rome in 1887, later transferring to Bonn University where he completed a doctoral thesis on his native Sicilian dialect. Up until World War I, he published several novels and numerous short stories. At 27, in line with current custom, he entered an arranged marriage with a woman he had never met. After the loss of their fortunes and the birth of their third child, Antonietta became deranged, but Pirandello cared for her at home until his later success enabled him to instutionalize her. The extended distress of those years led their daughter to attempt suicide. Living in this atmosphere may have provided many of his works with their themes of madness, isolation and an ambiguous relationship between reality and illusion. In 1916 he began to focus on the theater, writing nine plays in one year, including Better Think Twice About It!, Liola, and Right You Are If You Think You Are! His two masterpieces, Six Characters in Search of an Author and Henry IV, appeared in 1921. In 1924 he received the Legion of Honor in Paris, and in 1925 opened his own Art Theatre in Rome, supported by the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, whose leadership and Fascist Party Pirandello supported. In 1934 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, but contributed the medal to be melted down for armaments to be used in Italy’s invasion of Abyssinia. His personal life took a turn for the better when he met the actress Marta Abba, for whom he wrote most of his later plays. Pirandello continued to write until the time of his death, which, despite his explicit instructions for cremation and a spare burial, resulted in a state funeral, his church and his country ignoring both his wishes. His influence has extended to writers such as Samuel Beckett and Eugene Ionesco.