April 30, 2020
One of the first regional theatres to bring a new show online, Dallas Theater Center filmed a dress rehearsal of American Mariachi at the Wyly Theatre before they were forced to close the venue and cancel live performances of the show. They explain that in these challenging times “we’re reminded that the heartbeat of our community is shared moments of creating or experiencing theater together,” and they’re living up to that philosophy. So, rather than postponing the show until after the theatre could reopen, DTC offered pay-what-you-can tickets to the public to watch the show from the comfort of their own couch. While the online show has now closed, they’ve recently been offering online pay-what-you-can classes for actors and writers, and are about to launch a series of production classes with fixed pricing.
With the remaining performances of its 2019-20 season at the Walt Disney Concert Hall cancelled, the LA Phil decided to create LA Phil at Home—with professional musicians recording and sharing private concerts. LA Phil at Home also gives listeners access to a robust collection of behind-the-scenes videos, curated music playlists, podcasts, interviews, articles, recordings, and radio broadcasts. And over on Facebook, they’ve been hosting watch parties to gather audiences together in real-time, too!
The Alliance Theatre has created a wide range of virtual resources, including full productions, important conversations about plays and playmaking, virtual coaching and classes, virtual summer camps, opportunities for professional development, and even resources for teachers. Their current show In My Granny’s Garden, is an immersive online production with a downloadable at-home activity guide, which invites young audiences to explore the glory of growing your own food (a great idea for parents looking for some home entertainment for young children!) Most importantly, they’ve provided information on the Atlanta Artist Relief Fund, which is delivering free home-cooked, nutritious meals to the doorsteps of artists who are unable to leave their home or out of work.
Goodman Theatre is streaming their production of School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play through May 31 and their stage adaptation of Roberto Bolaño’s internationally acclaimed novel, 2666, is also now available online for free, unlimited streaming. If you’re looking for more regular updates on what’s happening at the Goodman, they’re also publishing a new digital series every week called Intermission: Staying connected between acts, which includes videos, art, and articles to keep us united through a shared love of theatre.
Watch School Girls: Or, the African Mean Girls Play
New World Symphony has opened up their archives to allow audiences to enjoy orchestral performances, originally recorded at New World Center, from the comfort of their own home. Their new web-based series NWS Archive+, moderated by NWS’s co-founder and artistic director Michael Tilson Thomas, shares discussions with NWS Fellows, alumni, guest artists, and visiting faculty about the recorded performances, offering unique insights into the streamed concerts. Their musician-curated Live from our Living Room series offers weekly live chamber concerts via Facebook, Fridays at 7pm, and they also host NWS Talk Tuesdays with The Curious Musician (aka Mark Grisez, a trumpet alumnus of NWS) on Instagram every Tuesday at 3pm. Mark your calendars and tune in!
South Coast Repertory recorded its performance of Outside Mullingar on the Julianne Argyros Stage and brought it online—sadly the online performance just closed! But they’ve also created a weekly online show, via their YouTube channel, called At Home with Ivers, where artistic director David Ivers connects personally with SCR audiences, checking in with them and keeping them up-to-date on the company. He and other team members cover a wide range of topics—including canceling current shows, upcoming shows, furloughs, gratitude, and the theatre after COVID-19.
At Home with Ivers playlist
Alliance Theatre image credit: Leonid Furmansky