National Theatre Live gets up-close and personal

JACKSON, Wyo. — The accessibility of cinema theater meets the intimacy and imperfections of live theater.

National Theatre Live is the best of both worlds. It’s like going to a movie and seeing a play — or going to a play and seeing a movie. National Theater Live brings world-renowned theater performances to a big screen at Center for the Arts.

National Theatre Live performances are filmed live, on stage, and distributed to theaters around the world to play back to local audiences. The cameras capture every moment, so audiences don’t miss any of the details that make live performances so breathtaking. Each facial expression, reaction, and idiosyncrasy is captured and portrayed on the big screen. Forget the opera glasses. These shows are up-close and personal no matter where you sit.

A National Theatre Live screening of “Fleabag,” the one-woman act after which the increasingly-popular BBC show is based, for example, allows the audience to closely examine every twitch, every snarl, every subtle expression in Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s face. Viewers can see the exact moment a joke darkens, can trace the protagonist’s unraveling in real-time based solely on her expressions. They can also laugh with Waller-Bridge when comedic relief is genuinely just funny.

But filming techniques are tailored to each play, so audiences don’t miss the artistry of the sets on the stage, either.

National Theatre Live has brought the best of British theater to stages around the world for 10 years. Since its first broadcast in 2009, National Theatre Live has filmed and released over 80 titles across all genres and eras of theater.

There are two National Theatre Live screenings left at The Center this year.

First, Andrea Levy’s Orange Prize-winning novel “Small Island” comes to life in a new theatre adaptation. It tells three intricately connected stories of escape, hope, and tragedy, and the complicated history of Jamaica and the United Kingdom. See it on The Center stage March 9.

Then, Academy Award-winner Sally Field and Bill Pullman bring Arthur Miller’s classic drama “All My Sons” to life on screen. Set in post-WWII America, “All My Sons” is the story of Joe and Kate Keller, a successful American couple living successful American lives — until everything falls apart and they are forced to confront the truth of their picture-perfect world. See it at The Center April 13.

Academy Award-winner Sally Fields stars in Arthur Miller’s classic “All My Sons.” Photo: Johan Persson

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