Theater is continuing through the pandemic — just not live

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Stage shows are going on – maybe not live, but via live streaming. Since a pandemic is gripping the world, theater lovers are not able to experience the vitality and immediacy that comes with truly live theater. However, that doesn’t mean theater can’t be a part of your life under quarantine.

With that said, here are some ways to indulge your hunger for live theater without leaving your home.

  • Miami New Drama, based in Miami Beach, is offering free master classes in various theatrical disciplines. To view classes, and register for them, visit https://www.colonymb.org/master-mind.
  • Get an up-close look at British politics during the 1970s when you watch James Graham’s play, This House. The play is now available to stream through 2 p.m. Thursday, June 4. The production was filmed on stage the National Theatre in 2013. It enjoyed two sold-out national Theatre runs, a West End transfer, and national tour. In the play, it’s 1974. Britian has a hung Parliament. The corridors of Westminster reverberate with the sound of infighting and backstabbing as the political parties vie to change the nation’s future. The play is available for streaming at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vsSHyjEMrg. Those wishing to donate to the National Theatre can do so at https://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk. This streaming opportunity is part of the National Theatre at Home series. Further titles will be announced.
  • While the Tony Awards is postponed this year, Broadway On Demand, the American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League are hosting a “special, never-before-seen event, bringing together the entire theatre community in celebration of what is still Broadway’s biggest night,” according to publicity material. The event is slated for 6 p.m ET June 7. To watch, download the Broadway On Demand APP or watch on your computer or Smartphone. Sign up for a free Broadway on Demand account at broadwayondemand.com/signup.

  • Tony Award winner Ben Platt’s live performance from Radio City Music Hall is streaming directly to your homes on Netflix. The concert, which took place on Sept. 29, featured songs from his debut solo recording, “Sing to Me Instead,” his most recent single, “Rain” and several covers.
  • The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington D.C. is among the many theaters offering online performances due to the pandemic. From an acclaimed production of Macbeth to full-cast audio recordings of seven Shakespeare plays to a program for children, the Folger might help you get your fix of The Bard. For more information, visit www.folger.edu.
  • Slow Burn Theatre Company’s artistic director, Patrick Fitzwater, is hosting “In the Green Room LIVE!,” a series of conversations and performances with past Slow Burn stars. Musical director Manny Schvartzman, who most recently toured with “Hamilton,” speaks with Fitzwater on May 31. In addition, “Shrek” stars Wesley Slade and Reynel Reynaldo visit with Fitzwater on June 7. And “Priscilla Queen of the Desert” stars Michael Ursua, Kyle Laing and George Pellegrino are the guests on June 14. Catch the talk and music at 6 p.m. Sundays at Facebook.com/Slowburntheatre.
  • Although the 2020 Tony Awards have been postponed, stars will still salute Broadway. Offstage: Opening Night  is set for 7 p.m. EST June 11. This live event will celebrate the 2019-2020 Broadway season. Stars will  perform and discuss songs, scenes, and stories that defined the season. The evening will mark the debut of Offstage, a new digital series that will explore how theater artists are keeping creative and developing their work during quarantine. Viewers can RSVP for Offstage: Opening Night at timesevents.nytimes.com.
  • An astronaut goes to space. He can’t sleep. He can’t tell anyone. He can’t go home. He’s lonely. He doesn’t want to leave. He’s in trouble. Nightnight, by Lucas Hnath, takes audiences into mission control and into space to overhear ordinary workplace conflict in an extraordinary environment. Listen to the play at https://www.playwrightshorizons.org/watch-listen/soundstage/soundstage-episodes/episode-5-nightnight.
  • Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre in Coral Gables is featuring performances from a number of its past stars on its YouTube channel. The “At Home With Actors’ Playhouse” series highlights songs from Gwen Hollander, Tally Sessions, David Michael Felty, Reggie Whitehead, Jodie Langel, Sean Patrick Doyle, Sarah Amengual, Scott Moreau, Erica Lustig, Samuel Druhora and others. Watch at youtube.com/user/ActorsPlayhouseCG.
  • The Wick Costume Museum is opening back up — not virtually, but for people to step in. Beginning on May 28, docent-led tours of the Roaring 20s Exhibit will resume at 11 a.m. The tour includes a view backstage, followed by a luncheon. “Don’t miss this celebration of liberation, glitz, and glamour in our immersive and lavish exhibit that pays homage to a truly golden era,” reads a Wick promotion. Each tour is limited to 20 guests. “We know we can have a good time and still exhibit social distancing,” Kimberly Wick says on her video announcement at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m5JCBDkG3B4&feature=youtu.be. The museum is  “the only museum of its kind in the world,” according to its website at https://thewick.org/museum. Moreover, it houses “an astounding exhibit of the finest costumes ever brought to the Broadway stage! This incredible space hosts a breathtaking new exhibit each year, featuring a collection of dazzling costumes from Broadway and Hollywood in addition to fascinating historical garments and artifacts.
    “The museum’s full archive collection has been featured on The Today Show, in People magazine and a historic multi-page feature in Vogue Magazine.” A standard tour and luncheon costs $53 per person, while a tour, luncheon and cabaret is $63 per person. There’s an additional charge if a Cabaret is included. All prices include a $5 gratuity. Call (561) 995-2333 for reservations and information. The museum, call Costume World, is located at 2313 N.W. 30th Place in Pompano Beach.
  • Manhattan Class Company is hosting a series of one act play readings at 5:30 p.m. Wednesdays from June 3-24. Participating playwrights include Aziza Barnes, Matthew Lopez, and Talene Monahon. The readings will be live on Wednesday evenings and available to stream for 3 days until 11:59 p.m. on Saturday. Stay tuned for more information at www.mcctheater.org.
  • “Behind every great Broadaway show is an even better Broadway story,” say staff at Broadway Across America. Every week, staff members want to share with theater fans their favorite books about theater. Their next pick is Free for All: Joe Papp, The Public, and the Greatest Theater Story Ever Told by Joseph Papp and Kenneth Turan. Under founder Joseph Papp’s leadership, the Public Theater and the New York Shakespeare Festival brought revolutionary performances to the public for decades, including A Chorus Line and Hair. The book features a behind-the-scenes look at one of America’s most important cultural institutions and features interviews with more than 160 luminaries. They include George C. Scott, Meryl Streep, Mike Nichols, Kevin Kline, James Earl Jones, David Rabe, and Jerry Stiller. You can order the book on amazon.com.
  • If you’re a fan of the hit TV show Smash, you have a lot to celebrate. First, Smash: A New Musical will play on Broadway. In addition, The Actors Fund released a full-length video of their one-night-only benefit concert of Bombshell. That is the fictional Marilyn Monroe musical that serves as the center-point of Smash. To watch the concert, visit https://www.broadway.com/buzz/199334/watch-bombshell-in-concert-right-here-on-broadwaycom/?utm_campaign=BAA%20NAT%20Intermission%20Newsletter-%20052320&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Eloqua&elqTrackId=38AB146E1F481CAB54E0FAA8BECB0A42&elq=d1466315956549cdbe5c1efd276728e0&elqaid=13961&elqat=1&elqCampaignId=12396.
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJEpYaD3yTw.
  • Feinstein’s/54 Below, dubbed “Broadway’s Supper Club, might be closed due to the pandemic. Even so, performers are ready to entertain you virtually. To view an upcoming schedule, visit https://54below.com/54belowathome./
  • Starting Friday, May 15, Go “Behind the Red Curtain” with child actor, singer, and dancer Patrick Scott McDermott. Joining him will be “some amazingly awesome talent,” as he puts it on instagram. Specifically, Patrick will interview stars and they will perform. The content will be available on the youngster’s instagram page at https://www.instagram.com/p/CAJgCMhBNh5/ and on his website at patrickscottmcdermott.com.
  • The Early Night Show with Joshua Turchin features “the hottest stars from Broadway, TV, and film to help support The Actors Fund,” which supports entertainment industry professionals who’ve suddenly found themselves unemployed due to the pandemic. If you glanced over the host’s name, reading his biography might cause your jaw to drop and your eyes to widen considerably. At 13 years old, Joshua has written the book, lyrics, and music for an original musical, The Perfect Fit. This prodigy is also a pianist extraordinaire (he also plays several other instruments) and has performed in several shows, including a version of Forbidden Broadway and two national Broadway tours of A Christmas Story: The Musical. He was the youngest member cast in Forbidden Broadway’s 38 year history. Also, Joshua founded Broadway Kids Jam, and serves as musical director, accompanist and host of the (YOUNG) Broadway Series at The Green Room 42, and Switched at 54 Below. Now, with the pandemic shutting down live entertainment, Joshua has modified The Early Night Show, now calling it The Early Night Show with Joshua Turchin-Virtual Edition. He also refers to the show as “Carona Cabaret.”  Catch episodes on @broadwaypodcastnetwork, on the youngster’s YouTube channel and by logging onto www.theearlynightshow.com. There are new episodes every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
  • Florida Shakespeare Theater is bringing the Bard to audiences through “Go Big or Go Home.” This is a series of free live streamed readings directed by artistic director Colleen Stovall.  The Merchant of Venice is scheduled for 8 p.m. June 6. Meanwhile, A Midsummer Night’s Dream is slated for 2 p.m. June 20, “The Tempest” at 8 p.m. July 11, and “Hamlet” at 2 p.m. July 25. Watch on the company’s Facebook page, Facebook.com/floridashakes.
  • Do you want to learn more about your favorite Broadway shows? Better yet, do you wish to teach a child about these shows? If so, Broadway Across America might have the answer for you. The organization has compiled a list of digital toolkits designed to integrate the theater arts, creativity, history and much more into a standards-based curriculum. Shows include Fiddler on the RoofLes MisérablesDear Evan HansenTo Kill a Mockingbird and Wicked. Find all the toolkits by visiting https://www.broadwayacrossamerica.com/broadway-resources.
  • While the Tony Awards ceremony is postponed, broadwaydirect.com wants to help you relieve the celebrations of Tony Award-winning musicals from the era starting with the year 2010. On broadwaydirect.com, you can listen to a performance of at least one song from those musicals during Tony Awards ceremonies from each year spanning 2010-2020. Below each video is a description of each Tony-winning musical’s journey to the Tony statue.
  • If you’re feeling competitive, you can test your knowledge by taking the first National Theatre at Home Quiz. It began streaming on  April 27 and is available indefinitely. The running time is about 15 minutes and the quiz is subtitled. Scorecards are available at https://twitter.com/NationalTheatre/status/1254828909234917383?s=20. Each question is worth one point, except for a question in Round Two – Sport, which will pointed out to you. Each of the answers in Ian McKellen’s Bonus Round are worth one point each. Let the National Theatre know your scores out of 19 in the comments at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJQ160k_VN4.
  • Red Bull Theater Live, the company’s series of informal free events, will continue with Shakespeare’s Coriolanus on May 17, followed by The Revenger’s Tragedy on June 1. Following that, the company will stream Jeffrey Hatcher’s adaptation of The Government Inspector, the most acclaimed comedy of the 2016-17 season, on June 15.  Red Bull Theater, based in New York City, brings rarely seen classic plays to new life for contemporary audiences. The theater is named for the rowdy Jacobean playhouse that illegally performed plays in England during years of Puritan Rule. It was the first London theater to re-open after the Restoration. For more information, log onto redbulltheater.com.
  • The six wives of Henry VIII are alive and exuberant. In a video uploaded to broadwaydirect.com, they perform music from the new, highly-acclaimed British musical Six. The show is playing on Broadway, but, like almost all others, has been postponed due to the pandemic. The performers “take to the mic to remix five hundred years of historical heartbreak into an exuberant celebration of 21st century girl power!,” reads a description on the website, below the video.
  • Join Goodspeed Musicals for their Goodspeed Musicals From Home series. At 7 p.m. each Tuesday, “Greatspeed” relives some of Goodspeed’s greatest moments with special guests. this coming Tuesday, revisit their 2006 production of Pirates of Penzance on your computer or mobile device through Zoom. You can join by visting https://www.goodspeed.org/greatspeed and clicking on the RSVP link. Also, if you’re a fan of new musicals, sneak a peek inside the company’s developmental process with Goodspeed ‘s producer, Donna Lynn Hilton, as she checks in with writers to provide support and advice, while learning what’s next for them. Join Goodspeed to hear from a different writing team each week at 7 p.m. Thursdays on Zoom.  Click on the RSVP to hear from a different writing team each week. And every other Wednesday, ‘In The Spotlight” explores and examines your favorite musicals, from contemporary hits to classical Broadway. Learn tidbits about each musical’s creation and history. Then, analyze a song or scene to illustrate how the dramaturgy of the show works. The last musical the series featured was Into The Woods on April 29. So, stay tuned to find out which show is up next on May 13. If you miss a live streamed episode, you can listen to it at afterwards by clicking on the link to that show.  At 5 p.m. Mondays, grab a cocktail and tune in for the week’s witty conversation and musical musings. Watch on Instagram @goodspeedmusicals.
  • Broadway and Disney fans can enjoy at least 25 songs from Disney classics that have played on the Great White Way by logging onto https://broadwaydirect.com/broadway-songs-from-disney-shows/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=marketingcloud&utm_campaign=BD377&mcid=dk1aOFpyaVFZUUkxYVkrYnhnT2lFTlBBeEFhUFhRSDI= From Frozen to Tarzan and Peter Pan, you might just find some of your favorite Broadway songs from Disney shows.
  • Attention high school- and college-age musical theater fans: If you’ve always wanted to sing your favorite musical theater songs in a competitive environment, BroadwayWorld  is giving you that chance. Broadway’s Next On Stage is a new, online competition for student performers sponsored by Broadway Records. BroadwayWorld is inviting high school and college aged students to submit videos of themselves performing a song from the musical theater canon. Entries for college students age 18 to 22 (including recent graduates) are open.  Submit them at broadwayworld.com/nextonstage. Submissions are open through midnight on May 8. Entries for high school students aged 14-17 will open next. Those moving on to the next round each week will have Friday through Monday to record and submit a new song for the next round of the competition. As the competition reaches the top 10, BroadwayWorld will feature weekly live shows on Facebook. Broadway judges will provide feedback and have the chance to move one of the contestants on to the next round by unanimous decision. The College and high school winner will receive a Broadway prizepack with merchandise from the BroadwayWorld Theatre Shop, CDs from Broadway Records, and $1,000 to a charity of their choice. Also, both first-place winners will be able to record a single. Broadway Records will release it, and profits from the recording will go to The Actors Fund. Submit entries at https://www.broadwayworld.com/nextonstage/index.cfm.
  • The Stratford Festival in Canada may have had to suspend its season, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get your fill of Shakespeare from that renowned company. It has captured past productions as part of its “On Film” series. Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino has organized the roll out of the films around four themes carrying relevance today: “Social Order and Leadership,” “Isolation,” “Minds Pushed to the Edge,”  and “Relationships.” For instance, Cimolino has grouped King Lear, Coriolanus, and Macbeth under the theme of “Social Order and Leadership.” Each film is captured live with a full audience at the Stratford Festival during a single performance.

The following is the order in which the festival will release the films:

Social Order and Leadership

King Lear: April 23 to May 14

Coriolanus: April 30 to May 21

Macbeth: May 7 to 28

 

Isolation

The Tempest: May 14 to June 4

Timon of Athens: May 21 to June 11

Love’s Labour’s Lost: May 28 to June 18

 

Minds Pushed to the Edge

Hamlet: June 4 to 25

King John: June 11 to July 2

Pericles: June 18 to July 9

 

Relationships

Antony and Cleopatra: June 25 to July 16

Romeo and Juliet: July 2 to 23

The Taming of the Shrew: July 9 to 30

  • Palm Beach Dramaworks’ weekly readings of new plays will continue via Zoom at 7 p.m. Mondays now through June 22. An audience Q&A with the host and actors will follow each reading. The program, Drama (in the) works, presents weekly readings of evolving plays under consideration for Palm Beach Dramaworks’ annual New Year/New Plays Festival. While tickets for readings are free, reservations are required. Up next is The Surest Poison at 7 p.m. Monday, April 27. The play, by Kristin Idaszak, is set during the era of Prohibition. In the piece, chemist Alexander Gettler, whose research helped create the field of forensic toxicology, must try to catch a murderer and convince the federal government to stop poisoning alcohol. The play’s inspiration is the real-life work of Gettler and journalist Lois Long. To reserve tickets, log onto https://tickets.palmbeachdramaworks.org/TheatreManager/1/online?event=337. Once you reserve, you will receive a confirmation. Then, on the day of the reading, Palm Beach Dramaworks will send you instructions and a unique link for the reading. Click on the link and you will be prompted to join and wait for the host to start the event. For more information, visit boxoffice@palmbeachdramaworks.org or leave a voice mail at (561) 514-4042 ext. 101.
  • Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is presenting online trivia at 5 p.m. Tuesdays to raise money for theater artists to receive medical and financial help. Log onto the Broadway Cares YouTube or Facebook channels for three rounds of musical theater trivia. Throughout the hour, Broadway star Caitlin Kinnunen will join participants. While you don’t have to pay-to-play, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS encourages $10 donations to the organization’s COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund at broadwaycares.org/help2020. After the third round of questions, send an e-mail with your answers to trivia@broadwaycares.org. The email or emails with the most correct answers will be eligible for a prize through a drawing. Participants  can play on a team, just as long as only one e-mail is submitted per team. While this is a fun event, Broadway Cares officials stressed the importance of donations. “Tonight, you can help those onstage, backstage, and behind the scenes get urgent health care and emergency financial assistance during this pandemic,” officials wrote on their YouTube channel, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9kriuuI798. “And right now, your donation will be doubled by a group of Broadway producers who have pledged an additional million dollar match. Every dollar you donate will be doubled.”
  • Usually, nothing is free, but these are not usual times. Therefore, Theatrical Rights  is offering, at no cost, its entire digital script perusal library. “Every title, every show is now available to you free of charge,” according to the company’s website. The company maintains a 100+ title script library, which is now available to directors, actors, musicians, stage managers, designers, selection committee members, as well as the general public.  To get started, log onto https://tinyurl.com/ybx8alwb.  “Throughout this time and always, TRW is committed to serving our our worldwide theater community in the best interest of authors, producers, and performers,” said Steve Spiegel, Theatrical Rights Worldwide’s owner, president and CEO. Meanwhile, Folger’s website is www.folger.edu.
  • Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre in Coral Gables is giving people a chance to get creative by sharing their experiences during the pandemic. If you wish to participate in “Stories That Connect Us All,” compose and submit an 8-minute or less piece of writing in monologue form. Participants can write in first person or storytelling fashion. Once Actors’ Playhouse is able to re-open, its staff will select several submissions and invite the writers to perform their pieces in the playhouse’s 300-seat Balcony Theatre for the public. Send all entries to company@actorsplayhouse.org in PDF form by June 1. Actors’ Playhouse will not accept mail submissions. “Stories That Connect Us All” is limited to playwrights/creative writing aficionados living in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Monroe Counties. All entires must be less than eight minutes long and be focused around the themes of the pandemic. Musicals will not be accepted. All entries should be original, unpublished works that nobody has produced. You must include an entry form and adhere to a one entry limit per form. Include your name and contact information on the entry form. By submitting a piece for consideration, you agree to Actors’ Playhouse’s right, upon determination, to further develop the work in a staged reading and production. Participants must perform their own works, or find a replacement person to perform it.
  • Actors’ Playhouse is also giving Miami-Dade County youth ages 8-17 the chance to submit preliminary round audition videos that showcase their talent. Prizes range from performing arts scholarships, cash awards, and performance opportunities, as well as tickets to local cultural attractions and theaters. The grand prize winner will receive a free trip — airfare, hotel, and passes for two — to attend the live Teen Choice Awards, courtesy of WSVN 7News, along with $500 in cash. If the Teen Choice Awards is cancelled, WSVN 7News will provide an alternate prize of equal value.

The individual categories are: Vocal (pop/rock/rap), vocal (musical theater/jazz standards/classical), dance, musical instrument, original spoken word, and original composition (vocal and/or instrumental). Meanwhile, the group categories, which must comprise six or few members, are dance, musical instrumental/band and vocal group.  For more information, log onto https://www.stayhome.miami/young-talent-big-dreams-goes-virtual.

Meanwhile, Theatre Lab’s “Parts of a Story” and “Elements of a Monologue” workshop from the inaugural monologue festival remain on the company’s Facebook page. You can watch it at any time. Also, Theatre Lab will provide a brief “Scene Writing” workshop live on Facebook at 12:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. Thursday, April 16. Anyone interested in the process can tune in live for some tips on how to create compelling scenes and dialogue, which they can use to try their hand at a two-person, three-page play. Theatre Lab will accept submissions through 10 a.m. on Monday, April 20. E-mail submissions to Jill Carr, Director of Education and Community Outreach for Theatre Lab. Her e-mail address is carrj@fau.edu. A selection committee will choose the pieces that best fit the “Heroes” theme and distribute them to actors and directors to rehearse and prepare for performance.

  • Let West Palm Beach-based MNM Theatre Company serenade you with songs from musicals that the company has performed. MNM alumni have created videos of their favorites. MNM uploads new videos as they arrive. To watch, visit https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrTMxuarDRpYVE7LRcyu-9A.
  • While Palm Beach Dramaworks has had to postpone its production of The Light in the Piazza due to the pandemic, the company is trying to engage with patrons in a creative manner. Specifically, PBD is inviting its regular patrons and others to share their thoughts about the pandemic in 17 syllables – in the form of a haiku. This structure consists of five syllables in three unrhymed lines: five in the first line, seven in the second, and five in the third. Folks are invited to submit as many as three haikus by May 1. The company announced on its website that it will upload some of its favorite submissions. To submit one or more, log onto http://survey.constantcontact.com/survey/a07eh03w1l0k8ekljts/a012dk928ayt2/questions.
  • The National Theatre in London, UK is streaming one of their productions per week on YouTube. Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, a tale of mutiny, money, and murder, will begin streaming at 2 p.m. April 16 and be available through April 23. National Theatre Live, the broadcast arm of the National Theatre, filmed Treasure Island and other plays. To watch, visit https://www.youtube.com/user/ntdiscovertheatre.
  • Every Friday, renowned composer Andrew Lloyd Webber will stream one of his iconic musicals on his YouTube channel titled “The Shows Must Go On.” Each show will be available for just 48 hours. While you must subscribe to his channel to watch, viewing is free. You can find his channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdmPjhKMaXNNeCr1FjuMvag.
  • Actor John Krasinski highlights positive news at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdmPjhKMaXNNeCr1FjuMvag.
  • The website broadwayhd.com allows people to stream their favorite Broadway hits “anytime, anywhere!” The monthly cost is $8.99 per month following a seven-day free trial and $99.99 a year following the free trial.
  • Ft. Lauderdale-based New City Players is going live on Instagram with a different South Florida theater artist at 9 p.m. each night until the pandemic is over and theater companies have safely re-opened their doors. The goal is not just to entertain, but to call attention to the South Florida League Relief Fund and raise money for artists in need. To watch the Late Show Live with NCP, visit https://www.instagram.com/newcityplayers/.
  • “The Show Must Go On…Show” features topics such as art, medicine, and science at 7 p.m. every Tuesday. It is literally a variety show. Episodes could feature cooking with a gourmet chef, pet stories, a Broadway performer serenading you, and a marine biologist exploring the ocean’s beauty and fragility.  To watch live streamed episodes and previous ones, log onto www.showmustgoonshow.com.
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