Theater News

What's Streaming? Karen Ziemba, Patrick Page in Shakespeare in Vegas; Irish Rep's The Weir

Plus, Viola Davis will moderate a virtual Town Hall with Leader Stacey Abrams on Friday for Black Theatre United.

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

* July 20-24 at 7pm the New Group Off Stage and NRDC will stream Facing the Rising Tide, a free digital festival of play readings and conversations about environmental racism, the climate crisis, and hope featuring five plays, each followed by a discussion. The week will also feature an hour-long New Group Now panel entitled Climate Arts Activision, an inspiring conversation on how art and storytelling can help save the world. The series is free and will be streamed on YouTube Live here. Free registration and additional information including climate action resources are available here.

* Irish Repertory Company will stream Conor McPherson's The Weir in a haunting new production filmed remotely from quarantine and designed for a digital experience July 21-25. Reservations are required, and donations are encouraged. For more information, click here.

* TheatreWorks Silicon Valley will present a free digital reading of Shakespeare in Vegas beginning at 6pm ET July 23-27. Tony winner Karen Ziemba and Tony Award nominee Patrick Page star as a serious New York actor and Vegas impresario who aim to bring the Bard of Avon to the Las Vegas strip. What happens in Vegas? Find out by streaming this witty comedy here.

* On Friday, July 24 at 7pm ET, Black Theatre United (BTU) member, actor, and activist Viola Davis moderated a virtual Town Hall with Leader Stacey Abrams, Founder of Fair Fight and Fair Count and Dr. Jeanine Abrams McLean, Vice President of Fair Count, in a conversation titled "Our Voices. Our Votes. Our Time. Watch the video on YouTube here.

* Source Material will present the world premiere of In These Uncertain Times, a digital performance piece devised by the company and directed by artistic director Samantha Shay. It is a new dramaturgy defined by dystopia, and it is a love letter to the art of theater. Performances will take place on Saturday, July 25 at 7pm ET, Sunday, July 26 at 2pm ET, Saturday, August 1 at 7pm ET, and Sunday, August 2 at 2pm ET. For more information about tickets, donations, and the show, click here.

* The Persians by Aeschylus, the oldest Greek drama that has survived in full to the present day, will be broadcast for free on Saturday, July 25. The stream begins at 1pm ET, with the performance starting at 2pm ET. The National Theatre of Greece, with support from the Greek Ministry of Culture and Sports, presents the stream as part of this year's the Athens and Epidaurus Festival to commemorate the 25th centennial of the Battle of Salamis. To watch, click here.


* 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 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.

* Fleabag's Andrew Scott will star in the world premiere of Three Kings, a new play written for him by Stephen Beresford and created especially for the Old Vic: In Camera series. Directed by Matthew Warchus, Three Kings will be streamed live nightly from the Old Vic stage with the empty auditorium as a backdrop. The five-performance run will take place July 29-August 1. For tickets, click here.

* TheaterMania will stream the 2020 virtual edition of the popular Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS benefit Broadway Bares on Saturday, August 1, at 9:30pm ET. The stream is free, but donations are welcome. Every dollar donated will help those across the country affected by HIV/AIDS, COVID-19, and other critical illnesses receive healthy meals, lifesaving medication, emergency financial assistance, housing, counseling and more. The donations also support and champion organizations focused on social justice and anti-racism. TheaterMania will provide more information about how to watch the stream on our site in the coming weeks.

A scene from a past edition of Broadway Bares.
A scene from a past edition of Broadway Bares.
(© Tristan Fuge)

* There will be an online reading of Paul Osborn's On Borrowed Time, directed by Academy and Tony Award winner Joel Grey, as part of the Two River Theater's Two River Rising series. Benefiting the Actors Fund, this special reading features a cast that includes Blair Brown, Michael Cumpsty, Oakes Fegley, Bill Irwin, Bebe Neuwirth, Phillipa Soo, Steven Skybell, and Sam Waterston. Act One of the live reading will take place on Wednesday, August 5 at 7pm ET and Act Two on Thursday, August 6 at 7pm ET.

Streaming Channels

* The We Are Freestyle Love Supreme documentary, originally set to premiere on Hulu on June 5, will arrive on the streaming platform on July 17. To subscribe to Hulu and Disney Plus, click here.

* TheatreWorks Silicon Valley's production of Paul Gordon's Pride and Prejudice: A New Musical is now streaming on Amazon. Filmed and presented by Streaming Musicals, Pride and Prejudice is free to watch for Amazon Prime members. For digital access and more information about streaming Pride and Prejudice, click here.

* Lin-Manuel Miranda's blockbuster musical Hamilton streams on Disney Plus. Winner of 11 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, as well as a Pulitzer Prize for Drama and a Grammy Award, Hamilton explores the life of Alexander Hamilton, creator of the United States' financial system and the first Secretary of the Treasury. This filmed version features the original Broadway cast, including Miranda as Hamilton, Leslie Odom Jr. as Aaron Burr, Daveed Diggs as Marquis de Lafayette/Thomas Jefferson, Renée Elise Goldsberry as Angelica Schuyler, Christopher Jackson as George Washington, Jonathan Groff as King George, Phillipa Soo as Eliza Hamilton, Jasmine Cephas Jones as Peggy Schuyler/Maria Reynolds, Okieriete Onaodowan as Hercules Mulligan/James Madison, and Anthony Ramos as John Laurens/Philip Hamilton. To find out how to watch, click here.

* PBS has announced the lineup for its new summer Great Performances series, Broadway at Home. She Loves Me, starring Laura Benanti, Zachary Levi, Jane Krakowski, and Gavin Creel on July 24; Moritz von Stuelpnagel's 2017 revival of Noël Coward's Present Laughter, starring Kevin Kline, Kate Burton, Kristine Nielsen, and Cobie Smulders on July 31; the documentary In the Heights: Chasing Broadway Dreams on August 7; Kenny Leon's Shakespeare in the Park production of Much Ado About Nothing, starring Danielle Brooks and Grantham Coleman, airing on August 14; and Bartlett Sher's West End revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein's The King and I, starring Kelli O'Hara, Ken Watanabe, and Ruthie Ann Miles. Check local listings for times.

* 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

* Bette Davis Ain't for Sissies will stream July 15-September 24. Written and performed by Jessica Sherr, this new 80-minute live streaming version is directed for the small screen by Karen Carpenter. Tickets are $19.50 each and are available here.

* Transport Group's filmed performance of its world premiere musical Broadbend, Arkansas will be available for video streaming beginning Monday, July 20 for four weeks. An original cast recording will be released by Broadway Records in July. Audiences can view the stream, hosted by Tony Award winner Chuck Cooper, free of charge here. In lieu of a ticket fee, the company encourages contributions be made to the Black Theatre Network.

* 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)

* 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.

* 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.

* Actor and playwright Eric Ulloa has announced his new podcast, Do You Hear the People Sing?, a theater person's guide to saving democracy. Each episode in this 10-episode limited series will be hosted by Ulloa and released every other week through Election Day. To learn more, click here.

Always Available

* New Victory is proud to announce a content partnership with the WNET Group's Camp TV, a new one-hour public television series that brings the day camp experience to children nationwide. Featuring videos from New Victory Arts Break, the theater's highly successful online series of performing arts curriculum, Camp TV provides ideas for fun activities for kids who can't go to camp this summer. The series will air weekdays beginning July 13 on public television (check local listings). In the New York metro area, Camp TV premieres July 13 at 10am on WLIW21, 11 am on THIRTEEN, and at noon on NJTV. Episodes will also be available to stream here.

* Girl From the North Country has released two new videos featuring the company of the Broadway musical. Filmed during quarantine, "Pressing On" features the entire company of the musical, and "Make You Feel My Love" features stars Jeannette Bayardelle and Austin Scott in a reimagined duet that does not appear in the show.

Watch the videos below:

* La MaMa E.T.C., in partnership with CultureHub, has announced the public launch of LiveLab, a free, open-source performance and video collaboration software built by artists for artists. LiveLab is a new tool that empowers artists and arts presenters to meet, create, rehearse, and ultimately produce multi-location performances from virtually anywhere in the world. For more information, click here.

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:

* 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."

* 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.