Sounds like a hardware problem with your graphics driver or audio driver. Ask on the PSE forum and provide detailed system info. And of course before you do, simply update al lthe drivers.
Moving this discussion to the Premiere Elements forum.
I updated the drivers and now the program seems to operate correctly. Thanks very much. I purchased this in a set along with Photoshop Elements more than a year ago, and I could never get Premiere to work. i wish I would have known about this forum back then!