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"Destiny of Desire" by Karen Zacarías, at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. (Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography)

Onscreen This Month: Quarantine Edition #2

A number of canceled shows from San Diego to Phoenix were recorded before the pandemic shutdown, and now you can watch them at home.

I keep reading about the importance of keeping routines in quarantine, and there’s one I’ve grasped to tightly as the week days and weekends and months all blur together: going to the theatre. Okay, well watching theatre in my living room. Putting virtual shows in my calendar has helped me to maintain a semblance of normalcy while sheltering in place. Among other things, these at-home viewing plans also help me to keep track of what day it is.

A growing number of productions that were cut short because of COVID-19 are now available to stream online for a limited time. So buy a ticket and put it on your wide-open calendar. This is likely to be a limited phenomenon for the time being—no new plays are being fully staged, and hence none being recorded. But for now here are some of the theatre companies around the country currently offering tickets to video streams of performances that were cut short in mid-March. 

“The Legend of Georgia McBride” by Matthew Lopez, co-produced by Arizona Theatre Company and Milwaukee Repertory Theater.

Florida Repertory Theatre
Every Brilliant Thing by Duncan Macmillan and Jonny Donahoe about a child who creates a list of all the things that make life worth living for his mother, suffering from chronic depression. The play is available to stream for $39 through April 12.

Florida Rep also offers viewers A Doll’s House, Part 2, Lucas Hnath’s sequel to Ibsen’s classic, which picks up 15 years after Nora’s departure. The play is available to stream for $39 through April 22.

Arizona Theatre Company
Matthew Lopez’s The Legend of Georgia McBride is a comedy about an out-of-work Elvis Presley impersonator who takes up a job as a drag queen to support his family. This production, co-produced with Milwaukee Repertory Theater,  is available to stream through April 15 for $25. Meredith McDonough directs.

City Lights Theatre 
This company in San Jose, Calif., had to close its world premiere production of Coded before it opened. Kirsten Brandt’s new play is about women video game designers who set out to defeat internet trolls and revolutionize virtual-reality gaming. The play is free to watch and will be available online indefinitely. Please consider making a donation to the theatre. Brandt directs.

San Diego Repertory Theatre
Madhuri Shekar’s House of Joy is about a squad of female guards who protect the emperor’s imperial harem in 17th-century India. Tickets are available on a sliding scale for $10-100, and the link will be available through April 12. Arpita Mukherjee and Rep artistic chief Sam Woodhouse co-direct.

Goodman Theatre
School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play by Jocelyn Bioh is a comedy about how a new student disrupts the social hierarchy at an exclusive boarding school in Ghana. Pay-what-you-can tickets for the Chicago production are priced from $15-100, and the link expires on April 26. Lili-Anne Brown directs.

“School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play” by Jocelyn Bioh at Goodman Theatre in Chicago.

Actors Theatre of Louisville
Were you planning to attend the 2020 Humana Festival of New Plays? Pour some bourbon and view the two shows back-to-back for an authentic Humana experience. Pay-per-view tickets, on a sliding scale of $15-100, are available for Jeff Augustin’s Where the Mountain Meets the Sea, about a Haitian immigrant’s road trip out West, and his son’s same cross-country journey decades later. The play, directed by Joshua Kahan Brody, features folk music by the Bengsons, and is all about connecting with loved ones—even after they’re gone. 

Many of you are probably pros at Zoom by now, and can organize a group FaceTime call with your eyes closed. The Actors Theatre’s 2019-20 Professional Training Program perform Are You There?, a collection of short plays that explore the high-tech evolution of our social interactions, from online chat rooms to telephone party lines. Robert Barry Fleming directs this prescient show, featuring plays by Vivian Barnes, Jonathan Norton, and Gab Reisman. 

American Shakespeare Center
If you’d like to brush up on your Shakespeare during quarantine, American Shakespeare Center in Staunton, Va., has the goods. The repertory company’s streaming platform, called BlkFrs TV! brings its complete 2020 Actors’ Renaissance and Tour Homecoming shows to the screen. Pay-what-you-can tickets to Shakespeare’s Much Ado; Henry IV, Part 1; Henry IV, Part 2; and A King and No King, a comedy by Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher, are available here. Ticket purchases will benefit ASC’s Employee Relief Fund to support staff and artists currently on furlough.

Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park
Destiny of Desire by Karen Zacarías is a comedy about twins switched at birth who  reunite at the age of 18 after experiencing two very different upbringings. The play, which pays homage to Latin American soap operas, is available to rent for $35 through April 11. José Luis Valenzuela directs.

“Love” by Kate Cortesi, at Marin Theatre Company in
Mill Valley, Calif. Pictured: Clea Alsip and Bobak Cyrus Bakhtiari.

Marin Theatre Company
In Kate Cortesi’s Love, a woman takes a look into her past when her former lover and boss—and current friend—is accused of sexual misconduct. Directed by Mike Donahue, the play will be available to stream for $35 through April 12.

Alley Theatre
Some people find solace in dystopian worlds during times of trouble. If that’s you, you might enjoy Michael Gene Sullivan’s stage adaptation of George Orwell’s classic novel 1984. Tickets are available for this production, directed by Rob Melrose, for $20. The viewing closes on April 12.

The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
There’s nothing better than baking (and eating) a cake while cooped up at home. Or maybe there is—you can eat cake while streaming Bekah Brunstetter‘s The Cake, a play about a baker wrestling with the decision whether to make a cake for a same-sex wedding. Tickets for the show are available for $35 through April 12.

Geva Theatre Center
Parents currently in the throes of homeschooling might commiserate with Molly Smith Metzler’s Cry It Out, about the struggles of being home with a baby and the effect class has on parenthood in the U.S. This production, presented by Kitchen Theatre Company, is directed by M. Bevin O’Gara.

Those whose dating apps are on pause right now might find romantic hope in the musical Once, with book by Enda Walsh and music and lyrics by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová. Based on the film by John Carney, the story follows an Irish street musician who falls for an immigrant who inspires him to pursue his dreams.  Mark Cuddy directs. The rental fee for each Geva show is $35, and the streams are available now through April 14. As a bonus, ticket buyers will also receive 50 percent off an annual subscription to the streaming service BroadwayHD.

“Eclipsed” by Danai Gurira, at Milwaukee Repertory Theater. Pictured: Matty Sangare, Sola Thompson, and Jacqueline Nwabueze. (Photo by Michael Brosilow)

Milwaukee Repertory Theater
Danai Gurira’s Eclipsed is about a group of resilient women who form an unlikely sisterhood during the Liberian Civil War. The play, directed by May Adrales, follows the women as they imagine a world beyond the war, after the fog of the ongoing battle lifts. Patrons can purchase tickets for $15, and the streaming is available through April 12. 

Theater Wit
Mike Lew’s Teenage Dick, based on Shakespeare’s Richard II, brings the Bard’s most famous disabled character to high school. Brian Balcom directs this production at Chicago’s Theater Wit. Tickets are $28, and streaming is available through April 19.

Kansas City Repertory Theatre
The OriginKC News Festival was cancelled, but two of its offerings are now available to stream online. Frankenstein: A Ghost Story by Kyle Hatley, unravels Mary Shelley’s science fiction tale and hones in on the novels theme that we’re not alone in our misery. Joanie Schutlz directs. And Stacey Rose’s Legacy Land, directed by Logan Vaughn, is a dark comedy about a legacy of sexual abuse that imprints upon the lives of two sisters. Both plays are available to rent for $20 each, from April 1-15.

Williamston Theatre 
Pay-per-view tickets are now available for Eric Coble’s These Mortal Hosts  through April 26 on a sliding scale of $20-35. The play follows two strangers who come together to try to decipher the strange Mysteries overtaking their small Colorado town after a tragedy strikes. Paige Conway directs.

TheatreWorks Silicon Valley
Streaming of Pride and Prejudice at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley in Redwood Shores, Calif., will kick off with a virtual opening night party on April 10, featuring Beth Leavel and Julie James as hosts. The musical, with book, music, and lyrics by  Paul Gordon, is adapted from Jane Austen‘s iconic novel about the unlikely romance between Elizabeth Bennet and the dashing Mr. Darcy. The show, directed by Robert Kelley, had its world premiere run Dec. 4-Jan. 4, 2020. Viewers can rent the musical through Streaming Musicals for $4.99, or purchase for $19.99.

Baltimore Center Stage
Where We Stand, written and performed by Donnetta Lavinia Grays, is a new fable about a kind stranger who offers a town running low on compassion a stroke of luck. But what is the price? Tickets are available on a sliding scale of $5-100, through April 26. Tamilla Woodard directs this show, which is a co-production with New York City’s WP Theater.

People’s Light
The Malvern, Pa. theatre is streaming Jeanne Sakata’s Hold These Truths , about the true story of Gordon Hirabayashi and his efforts to fight against the U.S. government’s 1942 orders to forcibly remove and intern more than 120,000 Japanese Americans from the West Coast. Desdemona Chiang directs the show, which is available to rent for $35 through May 3.

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