Theater News

What's Streaming? Anna Deavere Smith's Twilight: Los Angeles Streams on PBS

Also, National Theatre at Home is streaming Nottingham Playhouse’s ”The Madness of George III” through next Thursday.

With theaters closed around the country, some companies are making their productions available online. Below, you'll find our weekly update of productions, videos, and other theater-related streaming content from across the US and elsewhere. Some streams are free, while others may charge a fee or request a donation. Either way, you're sure to find something to scratch your theater itch. Theaters may be dark, but the shows go on.

This Weekend

Multi-hyphenate performer and creator Dyllón Burnside will celebrate Pride month by hosting a virtual conversation series that will feature Dyllón's friends and influential community leaders such as Billy Porter, Alphonso David, Janet Mock, and Mayor Steven Reed beginning on Thursday, June 11 at 6pm ET on Instagram LIVE at @dyllonburnside.

* PBS will offer a stream of Anna Deavere Smith's drama Twilight: Los Angeles through August 7. Filmed by Marc Levin in 2001, Smith stars in a solo show that explores the aftermath of the 1992 Rodney King riots in Los Angeles. To watch, click here.

Anna Deavere Smith
Anna Deavere Smith
(courtesy of PBS)

* The New York Times will present Offstage: Opening Night, an event celebrating the Broadway season that was (and wasn't), Thursday, June 11, at 7pm ET. Across the expansive live program, the stage's biggest stars gather virtually to perform and discuss songs, scenes, and stories that defined a year like no other. For more information, click here.

* National Theatre at Home is streaming the Nottingham Playhouse's The Madness of George III, starring Mark Gatiss in the title role, beginning Thursday, June 11 at 2pm ET. The production, which you can watch below, will stream for free for a week. Donations are encouraged. Watch below:

* NBC's 2015 television broadcast of The Wiz Live! will stream for free this weekend on the Shows Must Go On Youtube page. Shanice Williams leads the company as Dorothy, alongside Queen Latifah (The Wiz), Mary J. Blige (Evillene), David Alan Grier (Cowardly Lion), Ne-Yo (Tin-Man), Elijah Kelley (Scarecrow), Uzo Aduba (Glinda the Good), Amber Riley (Addaperle), Common (Bouncer), and Stephanie Mills (Auntie Em). The stream will kick off on Friday, June 12, at 2pm ET and will be available for 48 hours here.

David Alan Grier, Shanice Williams, Ne-Yo, and Elijah Kelley star in NBC's The Wiz Live!
David Alan Grier, Shanice Williams, Ne-Yo, and Elijah Kelley star in NBC's The Wiz Live!

* Jimmy Award finalist J.R. Heckman is producing a virtual benefit concert for Josh Groban's Find Your Light Foundation, which supports underserved music and arts education programs across the country. The concert will stream on Friday, June 12 at 7pm ET and will feature Cleveland theatrical talent and Broadway professionals such as Michael McElroy, Telly Leung, and Crystal Monee Hall. To watch, click here.

* Broadway's Julie Halston host a new cocktail hour livestream Virtual Halston, taking place on Fridays at 5pm ET. Upcoming guests include Linda Lavin (June 12), Santino Fontana (June 19), and Judy Gold (June 26), with more to be announced. Donations are encouraged, with proceeds going to the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation'''. To watch, click here.

* On Friday, June 12 at 3pm, the Sheen Center will host "Poetry in America – Live featuring 'Finishing The Hat' by Stephen Sondheim," a live steamed discussion with musical performances from Sunday in the Park With George, with Melissa Errico, Tedd Firth, and Adam Gopnik, hosted PBS's "Poetry in America" host Elisa New. To watch, click here.

* Texas-based ZACH Theatre will present a free stream of Anna Deavere Smith's Notes From the Field, filmed live at the venue in 2019. The play stars Michelle Alexander, Zell Miller III, Carla Nickerson, and Kriston Woodreaux, and explores racial injustice in America through the lens of the school-to-prison pipeline. The stream is free through Sunday, June 14, at midnight.

* Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS will present a virtual 5K event during the weekend of June 13-14. Participants can "run, walk, hike, bike, leap or jeté to reach 5K, as long as they move to make a difference. There is no fee to register, and each participant has a suggested minimum fundraising goal of $250." Anyone venturing outside is encouraged to follow local health and safety directives. Register here.

* The Cherry Orchard Festival presents Boston's Arlekin Players Theatre with State vs. Natasha Banina, a newly conceived live Zoom interactive theater art experiment. Performances will take place on Sunday evenings: June 14, 21, and 28 at 8pm live on Zoom. For information or to reserve a Zoom spot, visit All performances are free and Zoom registration is required. Suggested donations will support COVID-19 emergency relief effort for the Actors Fund.


* On June 15 at 6pm Jelani Alladin hosts the High School Theatre Festival, which showcases the ongoing excellent theater work currently taking place in NYC public high schools, as well as highlights the positive effects of theater study on skills for the stage and in life: collaboration, artistry, discipline, focus, literacy, student voice, self-awareness, presence, active listening, and empathy. Watch the event here:

* In honor of Bloomsday, June 16, Austin Pendleton will perform a virtual staged reading of Joseph Beck's James Joyce: A Short Night's Odyssey From No to Yes. Bloomsday commemorates James Joyce's novel Ulysses, which takes place on June 16, 1904. The day is celebrated around the world by fans of the novel. Tickets for the reading range from free to $25. For more information, click here.

* Usdan, Summer Camp for the Arts will host a virtual fundraiser on Wednesday, June 17 at 6pm ET, honoring alum Seth Rudetsky and Long Island theater Ruthie Pincus of Stage the Change. The event is free, but donations are encouraged, with proceeds used to repair the camp's Lemberg Theater building. To reserve a spot, click here.

Broadway Black, the multimedia organization highlighting the achievements of Black theater artists, will announce the winners of the inaugural Antonyo Awards, celebrating the best of the Black Broadway and off-Broadway theater season. The streamed ceremony will begin at 6pm ET on Juneteenth (June 19), the holiday commemorating the end of slavery in America. The event will include a virtual red carpet, musical numbers, and live award presentations. Click here to see a full list of nominees and to cast your vote (through June 12).

The Antonyo Awards will begin at 6pm on June 19.
The Antonyo Awards will begin at 6pm on June 19.

* MCC Theater will present a virtual edition of its beloved Miscast event on Saturday, June 20 at 8pm ET. During the show, Broadway's hottest stars will take the online stage and perform songs from roles in which they would not traditionally be cast. Participants are still to be announced.

* Bedlam will present a live virtual play reading series to raise funds and awareness for the #BlackLivesMatter movement and associated organizations working toward eliminating race-based discrimination. Upcoming readings include The Long Christmas Ride Home by Paula Vogel on Tuesday, June 23; Coriolanus by William Shakespeare on Tuesday, July 21; Man and Superman by George Bernard Shaw on Tuesday, August 4, and Othello by William Shakespeare on Tuesday, October 13. All proceeds from these readings will go directly to organizations fighting for equity and justice. For a complete list of readings, and for more information on how to donate, click here.

* NY Classical Theatre will present a free virtual zoom reading of William Shakespeare's King Lear on Thursday, June 25 at 8pm, as a fundraiser for an intended full production later this year. For details or to register for the event, click here.

Raúl Esparza and Samira Wiley will star in a live-streamed production of Molière's Tartuffe, directed by Lucie Tiberghein. The broadcast will take place live on Saturday, June 27 at 2pm EST and 7pm EST. It will be available through Wednesday, July 1 at 2pm EST on MIP's YouTube channel. Viewing is free. Reserve a spot here.

Raúl Esparza and Samira Wiley
Raúl Esparza and Samira Wiley
(© David Gordon)

* Payson Lewis and Jonah Platt will star in an online reading of the new musical Walt and Roy. The virtual performance will be on July 9 at 8pm ET, with all money received from ticket sales being donated to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and Broadway for Racial Justice. Tickets go on sale Friday, June 12, and will be available for purchase here.

Payson Lewis and Jonah Platt
Payson Lewis and Jonah Platt
(images provided by Stacy Morgan PR)

Streaming Channels

* Spike Lee directs a filmed version Antoinette Nwandu's provocative play Pass Over, which tells the story of two young black men (Jon Michael Hill and Julian Parker) dreaming of escape from a racist world. A startling and disturbing riff on Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot, Pass Over now streams on Prime Video. Read our critic's review here.

Antoinette Nwandu's Pass Over streams on Prime Video.
(© Amazon Studios)

* In Dominique Morisseau's play Pipeline, a public school teacher (Karen Pittman) must face the trauma of her son (Namir Smallwood) as a young black man when an incident threatens to get him expelled from a prep school. Pipeline streams on BroadwayHD. Read our critic's review here.

* Tony and Pulitzer Prize nominee Anna Deavere Smith wrote and stars in Notes From the Field, her solo play in which she probes the lives of students, parents, and teachers caught in the school-to-prison pipeline. The show streams on HBO.

* Kerry Washington, Steven Pasquale, Jeremy Jordan, and Eugene Lee reprise their Broadway roles in American Son, the story of an interracial couple anxiously awaiting word of their son's whereabouts while dealing with a racist cop in a police station. Tony winner Kenny Leon directs. American Son streams on Netflix.

Available for a Limited Time

* Philadelphia's Wilma Theatre has released an archival recording of James Ijames's Kill Move Paradise as a fundraiser for Black Lives Matter Philly. The 2018 production will be available until Sunday, June 21, with a donation of any size allowing you access to the streaming link. The play is inspired by the ever-growing list of slain unarmed Black people, telling the stories of four Black men who are stuck in a cosmic waiting room in the afterlife. Avery Hannon, Anthony Martinez-Briggs, Brandon J. Pierce, and Lindsay Smiling star in Blanka Zizka's production.

* Tickets for a streaming version of the musical comedy Menopause The Musical are available through June 21. To join the virtual sisterhood, click here.

Menopause The Musical is streaming through May 17.
Menopause The Musical is streaming through May 24.
(courtesy of Menopause The Musical)

* Geffen Playhouse has extended The Present, its world-premiere live, virtual, and interactive theatrical experience written and performed by master illusionist, storyteller, and Geffen alum Helder Guimarães. The show will now run May 7-October 10. A mystery package will be sent to you inside a USPS Priority Mail box before the show, so you must purchase tickets at least seven days in advance. To purchase tickets, click here.

* The world premiere of The Gifts You Gave to the Dark, written by Darren Murphy specifically for digital media in reaction to the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis, premiered on Wednesday, May 27 at 6pm ET and will remain online through October 2020. For more information, click here.

* The Actors Fund and People magazine is streaming the 2015 benefit concert of Bombshell, the musical within the short-lived television drama Smash. Watch it here:

* Tony-winning dancer Scott Wise has launched the new Wise Conversations talk show series, benefiting Fineline Theatre Arts, in New Milford, Connecticut. Future conversations will take place on Saturdays at 4pm and Wednesdays at 7pm. Recommended donation is $10 for students and $20 for adults. For more information, visit Fineline's Facebook page.

Always Available

Alex Newell and the Sounds of Zamar came together for a moving rendition of "I Know Where I've Been," from Hairspray. AIDS Walk New York posted the video on its YouTube channel after postponing its "Live at Home" event "in response to the murder of George Floyd, the systemic racism it reflects, the ongoing police abuses, and in solidarity with Black Lives Matter." Hairspray co-writer Marc Shaiman lent his keyboard to the rousing tribute. Watch Newell and the Sounds of Zamar here:

* Geraldine Inoa's Scraps chronicles how the family and friends of a black teenager shot by a white police officer struggle to cope in the aftermath. The Matrix Theatre Company has made its production available here.

* The global family of Rent paid tribute to the frontline heroes of New York City. Watch their rendition of "No Day But Today" here:

* Theater producer and playwright David Lan has a conversation with longtime artistic collaborator Stephen Daldry celebrating Lan's new memoir, As If By Chance: Journeys, Theatres, Lives. The conversation, a part of BAM's ongoing series of digital programs Love from BAM, can be seen here.

* More than 70 cast members from various international productions of Maury Yeston and Peter Stone's musical Titanic have gathered to record a socially distant version of the ballad "We'll Meet Tomorrow." Watch it below:

* Idina Menzel and Ben Platt perform "A Whole New World" from Disney's Aladdin as part of "The Disney Family Singalong: Volume II." Watch the video below:

* In celebration of our nation's healthcare workers and 2020 Year of the Nurse, the Resilient Project released their "Resilient" video.

* Wicked celebrates first responders on the front lines of the public health crisis with a video featuring stars Lindsay Pearce (Elphaba) and Ginna Claire Mason (Glinda) singing the anthem "For Good."

* Brandon Victor Dixon performed a powerful ballad inspired by the Netherlands Carillon, the bell tower at Arlington Cemetery, on May 23 for '''Fleet Week Follies''. Will Swenson and Audra McDonald introduced him. Watch his performance here:

* Composer Charles Strouse, the last surviving writer of the musical Annie, has tried to help bolster optimism by recording a video of himself performing the show's beloved anthem, "Tomorrow."

* From their homes in Ireland, the UK, the United States, Canada, Spain, Australia, Moldova, Ukraine, and Russia, as well as those dancers who have swapped their dancing shoes for scrubs, the Riverdance cast have come together while being apart to say thank you to all frontline and essential workers, as well as the people at home who continue to do their part in the fight against COVID-19.

* Six fans from across the globe joined the cast for a special performance in isolation.

* Abrons Arts Center has made all of its performance documentation public on its Vimeo page, alongside contact and donation information for the artists whose work you are viewing.

* TriviaMania co-host and Broadway star Ellyn Marie Marsh has teamed up with Patrick Hinds for a brand-new true-crime podcast Obsessed With: Disappeared, which will recap episodes of Investigation Discovery Channel's hit series "Disappeared" in a comedic and witty tone, with perpetrators always the butt of the joke. It will be available May 27.


* The New 42 Virtual Gala 2020 was scheduled to be broadcast on June 1 at 5:30pm ET to raise critical funds for the performing arts engagement and education programs of New 42 and its signature projects, New 42 Studios and New Victory Theater, which recently launched New Victory Arts Breaks, a series of digital performing arts curriculum for families and teachers to adapt to kids learning spaces at home. Tony winners Laura Benanti and Celia Keenan-Bolger were set host.

* The Public Theater's stream of We Are One Public was scheduled to be broadcast on June 1. The evening was to be hosted by Jesse Tyler Ferguson and directed by Tony winner Kenny Leon, with appearances and performances by Antonio Banderas, Anne Hathaway, Sting, Claire Danes, Glenn Close, Oscar Isaac, Sandra Oh, Audra McDonald, Danielle Brooks, Elvis Costello, Danai Gurira, and more.