While there are a lot of rules in royalty contracts about recording performances of plays and musicals, there are several resources online where you can watch entire plays (and sometimes musicals).
Places to look for shows:
- Your local library. Depending on where you live, you might even have a performing arts library, but sometimes you can stumble on some jewels in the video section of your public library. You’re most likely to find some older movies or plays. These are especially good for finding greek plays. And educational versions.
- Your University Library. Sometimes this get s little frustrating if you don;t actually attend the University. So this is more for the College students looking for monologues or taking a class. Personally, I know my school has a collection of plays and videos of plays accessible online with your student ID and password.
- Digital Theatre. This website makes the West End in London available online for those who cannot actually see the live shows. You can rent or buy digital recordings of these shows similar to how you would movies or DVD. Prices vary. You’ll be paying about $5-6 to rent a perfromance for 48 hours of just under $20 for a purchase. Not the best deal, but they are professional performances and very reliable and never a waste of money. (I highly recommend Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing starring Doctor Who costars David Tennant and Catherine Tate.) You won’t be disappointed.
- BroadwayHD. This is a relatively new website that is basically Netflix for Broadway. You subscribe on a monthly basis for $14.99 per month or purchase a whole year of unlimited streaming for $169.99. Pricey, but if you go to their website. You can browse their titles and decide for yourself.
- PBS. Great for Shakespeare, not so great for anything else. But you can watch full, profession versions of Shakespeare plays for free.