After last week’s epic listing, there was nowhere to go but down—not in quality, mind you, but in sheer quantity of online theatre offerings. This week there are fewer choices to sample, but they are no less rich in their variety and range. Over in our news division, we have a report on the new agreement reached between the feuding actors’ unions. But on this week’s screens, the theatrical conflicts are not jurisdictional but interpersonal and internal.
Without further ado…
Two New York City companies, Ma-Yi Theater Company and WP Theater, have teamed to present a live reading of Stefani Kuo’s timely new play, Final Boarding Call, which tells the stories of the current Hong Kong protests (Kuo is a native of Hong Kong and Taiwan). Directed by Mei Ann Teo, it will take place on Fri., Nov. 20 at 7 p.m. ET (and will be available on demand until midnight on Tues., Nov. 24). Reservations are required and donations are encouraged for this free event.
South Florida-based Actors’ Rep is offering virtual performances of Sheepskin by Victor L. Cahn, directed by Bob Cater, in which gender stereotypes, power plays, and academia rise to a crescendo in a darkly comic portrait of vanity and manipulation. Performances stream Fri.-Sat., Nov. 20-21 at 8 p.m. ET. Tickets are $10.
Pasadena, Calif.’s A Noise Within is offering a virtual reading of Arthur Miller’s The Price, directed by Julia Rodriguez-Elliott, about two estranged brothers who reunite to settle their father’s estate and are left to negotiate both a wily furniture dealer and a psychological battlefield of fractured memories and old-fashioned sibling rivalry. It livestreams Fri., Nov. 20 at 5 p.m. PT, followed by a talkback with the artists; it will also be available on demand Sat., Nov. 21-Fri., Nov. 27. Tickets are free but there’s a suggested donation of $15 for an individual or $40 for a family. While tickets are available for free, there is a suggested donation of .
This weekend L.A.’s Center Theatre Group is offering two out of three of Luis Alfaro’s Greek trilogy, in which he adapted a series of ancient classics to contemporary settings among Mexican Americans, staged in multicamera, virtually produced readings. First is Mojada, a free adaptation of Euripides’s Medea set among immigrants, directed by Juliette Carrillo. It premieres Fri., Nov. 20 at 5 p.m. PT. Next is Electricidad, directed by Laurie Woolery, which transposes Sophocles’ Electra onto an East L.A. gang vendetta. That bows on Mon., Nov. 22 at 5 p.m. PT. Both pieces will also be available to stream on demand through Jan. 20, 2021; there free and can be found here.
CTG is also hosting a screening of Circus Kid, a documentary directed by Lorenzo Pisoni, which expands on his autobiographical play Humor Abuse, a hit at the Mark Taper Forum in 2013. Featuring footage captured at the Taper, Circus Kid tells of Pisoni’s childhood growing up in the legendary Pickle Family Circus. It will stream on Sat., Nov. 21, 2020, at 7 p.m. PT, followed by a special conversation between Pisoni and Tony-winning actor, clown, and Pickle Family Circus alum Bill Irwin. It’s free but donations are encouraged.
New Repertory Theatre in Watertown, Mass., is offering two world premieres for the price of one with its new Showstopper Virtual Play Series. A Very Herrera Holiday by Alexis Scheer, directed by Sarah Shin, is a dark comedy about a lifestyle blogger live on Zoom talking about her favorite seasonal drinks and crafts and venting about relationship frustrations. The second world premiere, [keyp-ing], by Miranda Austen ADEkoje, directed by Dawn M. Simmons, examines the effects of white supremacy as a freelance commercial producer takes to Instagram live in frustration as she waits for her Black male film crew to return from COVID rapid testing in the suburbs. The two plays, performed live in one program via Zoom, are offered Sat., Nov. 21 through Sun., Dec. 13, mostly at 7 p.m. ET. Live talkbacks will be offered at various performances. Tickets are $20; more info can be found here.
Pasadena’s CaltechLive! is offering Diana Wyenn’s solo show Blood/Sugar, focusing on her life as a diabetic, weaving multimedia effects, original movement, sobering statistics, historical perspective, and Shakespearean texts into a personal narrative about living with a chronic illness and creating a vivid account of the life-sustaining self-care that diabetes currently demands from one out of every 10 American adults. It will be live-streamed Sat., Nov, 21 at 7 p.m. PT, followed by a Zoom discussion about diabetes; general admission is $20 per household.
New York City’s the Ultra Corporation debuts the comedy/gaming hybrid Guy Choiceman Decides To Save America! The Chooseical: Where You Do The Chooses, a riff on interactive narratives where the audience guides the plot “through the power of C.H.O.O.S.E.S.” Written and directed by Matt Cox (Puffs, Kapow-i GoGo) and featuring the original Off-Broadway cast of the long running wizard comedy Puffs, Or: Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic, performances are running on various days between Sun., Nov. 22 and Sun., Dec. 13, with most showtimes at 7 p.m. ET. $5 tickets are here.
Actor/writer/pianist Hershey Felder is back with another live performance, this time with Hershey Felder as Claude Debussy in A Paris Love Story, an intimate portrayal of the life and music of the visionary French composer. Performed live from a rich, filmic location, this show will livestream Sun., Nov. 22 at 5 p.m. PST (with on-demand streaming available Nov. 23-29). Tickets are $55 per household.
Tilted Frame, an improv troupe that has been producing digital comedy shows since 2002, will present its new multi-media show @Home on Tuesday evenings Nov. 24- Dec. 29 at 6 p.m. PST. Several of the original group members—including Jonathan Baumgaertner, Diana Brown, Misa Doi, and Jaimie Paulson—will assemble to virtually perform together from their respective cities across the country. Matthew Quinn will host, David Svengalis will serve as design manager, and Miles Berman will be the stream manager. Tickets are $8.
Milwaukee’s First Stage is staging the pandemic-adapted Qui Nguyen hit She Kills Monsters: Virtual Realms, with advanced acting students from its theatre academy. This comedic romp into the world of fantasy role-playing games, replete with homicidal fairies, nasty ogres, and ’90s pop culture references, is streaming now through Sun., Nov. 22. Tickets are $15, $25 and $40.
As part of its lineup of digital performances, Arizona Theatre Company will present Idris Goodwin’s breakbeat play The Realness, which follows T.O. from the suburbs to the big city where he immerses himself in authentic hip-hop culture and goes on a journey for his heart and true identity. Directed by Megan Sandberg-Zakian, it is currently accessible on ATC’s website (as well as on Facebook, YouTube, and Vimeo) through Sun., Nov. 22 at 5 p.m. MST. It’s free but donations are heartiliy encouraged.
Missouri’s Repertory Theatre of St. Louis presents Love and Kindness in the Time of Quarantine, the first project from its Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Playwright-in-Residence Regina Taylor, who directed and curated this heartfelt new work about the search for light in this seemingly dark moment. It premieres Fri., Nov. 20 at 7 p.m. CST and streams through Thurs., Dec. 31 on the Rep’s YouTube channel. A blend of songs and monologues examining different perspectives on the COVID-19 pandemic features nationally renowned writers Dustin Chinn, Connie Congdon, Isaac Gomez, and Octavio Solis, as well as St. Louis favorites Tre’von Griffith, Carter W. Lewis, Mariah Richardson, and Tonina, and acclaimed stage and screen actors Kathleen Chalfant, Brian D. Coats, Peter Gerety, Cedric Lamar, and Karen Rodriguez.The production is free but donations to the Urban League of St. Louis are encouraged. Taylor and others will hold a live talkback immediately following the Nov. 20 premiere. More information here.
Fountain Stream, a new digital platform from L.A.’s Fountain Theatre, has partnered with writer/creators Larry Powell and Angelica Robinson of Tell Me a Story Productions to stream The Gaze…No Homo, an episodic tragicomedy and the first in Powell’s The Gaze cycle of plays, which aim to examine the process of building culturally specific and queer works of color in certain historically white spaces. Between BLM protests and existential quarantine queries, Powell adapted his play, a 2020/2021 Eugene O’Neill NPC finalist, into a 12-part, multi-platform online experience. The first three short-form episodes will begin streaming on Fri., Nov. 20, with episodes four, five, and six going online Fri., Nov. 27; episodes seven, eight and nine on Fri., Dec. 4; and the final three episodes becoming available on Fri., Dec. 11. Free tickets are here.
Aurora Theatre in Lawrenceville, Ga., is streaming Mami Confessions as part of their Our Stage Onscreen performance initiative. Written and performed by Lorraine Rodríguez-Reyes, the performance examines the emotional rollercoaster of motherhood through real-life stories from 10 women of all ages and circumstances. The one-woman show is available for viewing Fri., Nov. 20-Sun., Dec. 6. Tickets start at $25 per device.
In anticipation of our first pandemic Turkey Day, the national theatre podcast Playing on Air offers a new comedy written by and starring Hamish Linklater, Thanksgiving for One, with a starry that includes Jean Smart and direction by Tony winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson. Eating turkey alone at the Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, Marjorie Mumms can’t get a decent G&T, her daughter is in another state, and her crazed waiter has cast her in an audio play. It’s available for free via your favorite podcast service and the company’s website beginning the morning of Sun., Nov. 22.
L.A. Theatre Works, one of the nation’s major players in audio drama, has launched a 2020-21 digital season of nine plays, each recorded in studio and including bonus features, such as interviews with the playwrights, actors, and experts in the field. Subscriptions and individual titles can be purchased now: This week’s first release was The Thanksgiving Play by Larissa FastHorse, directed by Rosalind Ayres. Future releases include Life on Paper by Kenneth Lin, directed by Rosalind Ayres (available beginning Dec. 16): Hannie Rayson’s Extinction, directed by Martin Jarvis (starting Jan. 27, 2021) Chiara Atik’s Bump, directed by Rosalind Ayres (March 10, 2021); Herbert Sigüenza’s A Weekend with Pablo Picasso (April 26); the LATW-commissioned For Us All by Jeanne Sakata and No-No Boy by Ken Narasaki, both sponsored by the California Civil Liberties Public Education Program about the experience of Japanese Americans incarcerated by the U.S. during WWII (May 5, 2021); Stephen Tobolowsky’s A Good Day at Auschwitz, starring Alan Mandell and the playwright (June 2, 2021); and The Murder on the Links, adapted from the Agatha Christie novel by Kate McAll (June 30, 2021). More info here.
A just and thriving theatre ecology begins with information for all. If you are able, please join us in this mission by making a donation. As we reckon with the impact of COVID-19, the theatre field needs committed and nuanced journalism. Free and unlimited access to AmericanTheatre.org is one way that we and our publisher, Theatre Communications Group, are eliminating barriers to crucial resources during this crisis. When you support American Theatre and TCG, you support these emergency resources and our long legacy of quality nonprofit arts journalism. Click here to make your fully tax-deductible donation today!