There’s nothing better than a night out at the theatre. You get all dressed up, go for a nice dinner, and then sit among strangers and wait for the curtain to rise. While that may all seem like a distant memory in this time of social-distancing, companies and artists across the United States are working to make their art accessible for audiences through the magic of streaming.
From a boarding school in Ghana to the stage of the Metropolitan Opera House, these works give you an opportunity to explore the world from the comfort of your own couch. Two of these, School Girls: Or, the African American Mean Girls Play and Teenage Dick, come from resident Chicago theatre companies whose artists will be supported by your ticket purchases and donations during their closures.
The seven opportunities that follow are merely a drop in the bucket of the work that is becoming available to watch from artists across the world. If you know of any theaters, playwrights, or actors sharing their work online let us know in the comments!
By Matt Masino
School Girls: Or, the African Mean Girls Play
by Jocelyn Bioh
Goodman Theatre (Chicago, IL)
As the reigning queen bee at Ghana’s most exclusive boarding school sets her sights on the Miss Universe pageant, a new student unexpectedly changes the game. Don’t miss this “nasty-teen comedy, wonderfully refreshed and deepened” (The New York Times) that spotlights the universal similarities—and glaring differences—of teenage girls around the globe. Recommended for ages 12 and up.
Price: $15, plus optional additional donation
Dates: Video expires Sunday, April 26 at 11:59 pm Central
Link: Stream School Girls
by Mike Lew
Theater Wit (Chicago, IL)
Theater’s most famous disabled character comes to Theater Wit like you’ve never seen him before—in the vicious, no-holds barred brutal politics of high school. Richard, picked on because of his cerebral palsy (and his semi-creepy tendency to monologue), is determined to become class president. But the road to power is never smooth, and Richard must decide: is it better to be loved or feared? Following each performance, you are invited to join the cast and your fellow audience members for a live post-show discussion over video conference in our virtual lobby.
Dates: April 16, 17, and 18 at 8:00 pm Central; April 19 at 2:30 pm Central
Link: Stream Teenage Dick
Casper the Friendly Musical
Book & lyrics by Stephen Cole
Music by Matthew Ward
Based on the character by Seymour Reit and Joe Oriolo
The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati (Cincinnati, OH)
Everyone’s favorite friendly ghost and his three uncles live a rather uneventful existence in the family mansion. Fifty years after their lives were cut short in a lightning storm, Magdalena, their former maid, re-enters their (after)lives! Now a celebrity TV Host, she is looking for the deed to the mansion… not because she wants the house, but because she believes there’s a message on the back that will lead her to a “great treasure.” As competition reality TV is all the rage, she hosts a live treasure hunt in the mansion on Halloween. One lucky young contestant could win $1 million if they find the deed! It is up to young Casper and his new friends, the contestants, to save the mansion from Magdalena, and discover the greatest treasure of all.
Link: Stream Casper the Friendly Musical
by Young Jean Lee
On the Board (Seattle, WA)
Playwright and director Young Jean Lee and a cast of 5 African-American performers create an unsettling terrain of well-trodden stereotypes that dare audiences to laugh as they consider their own preconceptions about race and culture.
Price: Free, use the code ARTATHOME20
Link: Stream The Shipment
21 Chump Street
by Lin Manuel-Miranda
Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Opera House (Brooklyn, NY)
21 Chump Street is a cautionary tale of a high school honors student who falls for a cute transfer girl. He goes to great lengths to oblige her request for marijuana in the hopes of winning her affection — only to find out his crush is actually an undercover cop planted in the school to find drug dealers.
Link: Stream 21 Chump Street
by Dave Malloy
McKittrick Hotel (New York, NY)
A song cycle about love, death, and whiskey. A camera breaks and four friends drink in an interwoven tale spanning seven centuries, with a murderous sister, a treehouse astronomer, a bear, a subway, and the ghost of Thelonious Monk.
Link: Stream Ghost Quartet
Opera at the Met
The Metropolitan Opera (New York, NY)
From their website: “During this extraordinary and difficult time, the Met hopes to brighten the lives of our audience members even while our stage is dark. Each day, a different encore presentation from the company’s Live in HD series is being made available for free streaming on the Met website, with each performance available for a period of 23 hours, from 7:30 p.m. EDT until 6:30 p.m. the following day. The schedule will include outstanding complete performances from the past 14 years of cinema transmissions, starring all of opera’s greatest singers.”
Dates: Every Night
Link: Stream Opera at the Met
Written by Matt Masino
Matt joined the team at the AWM in December 2019. He graduated from Columbia College Chicago with a BFA in Theatre Directing in May of 2019. While not working at the museum, Matt is a theatre director and creator. He has worked with the International Voices Project, the Chicago Fringe Festival, and BYOT Productions on various projects. He is excited to share his love for the written word with all that visit the museum.