Classic Theatre (1975)

We can hardly mention classic drama on WGBH (and PBS) without thinking of the one person perhaps most responsible for the many memorable series seen across America. Joan Wilson Sullivan brought us Masterpiece Theatre, Classic Theatre and Mystery!

At WGBH Radio, Joan co-produced and directed the WGBH Radio Development Project. We have Joan to thank for bringing us, among other treasures, “Upstairs, Downstairs, and “Pennies from Heaven.” These gems alone would have earned her that special place in the Pantheon of broadcast drama. For those fortunate enough to have shared her dream, Joan was our leader, our muse, and our friend.

Frontspiece Classic Theatre Program Guide

Classic Theatre (1975)


From David Atwood

Here’s a great shot taken in the Temple Church Courtyard in London, 1975. The shoot was for Classic Theatre and the actor we were going to interview was Ian McKellan.

Characters in the shot left to right, John MacKnight (lighting), Karl Lorencic (video), Nat Johnson (audio), Greg Macdonald (camera), and John McKnight (tape). Joan Wilson was producing. I was directing. The camera being gently dollyed was the dreaded PCP-90, Phillps’ full broadcast color camera with a full set of headaches to match.