Even though we are all confined at home there is no need to be starved for some exciting theatre experiences and already I am discovering companies adapting to the crisis in various ways. Here are a few exciting programs that you can experience through your computer, your I-phone, or other online scenarios you are familiar with.
THE WINDSOR FOLLIES. With all the news about the Royal Family and an American divorcée, it seems appropriate for me to share a video of this musical based on the 1930’s Romance of the Century when a King gave up his throne for the woman he loved. The show ran Off Broadway and was invited to give a special command performance in the Royal Suite at the Waldorf Towers. Notable British actor Keith Benedict portrayed King Edward VIII, as well as The Archbishop of Canterbury, in the show.
Someone secretly taped the performance and when Keith returned to England he put it onto You Tube. The music and lyrics are by Ralph Martell, while the script and direction are by Yours Truly! To see this historic live performance at The Waldorf click on: http://youtu.be/WIHdzGISakc
IN THESE UNCERTAIN TIMES. Source Material, a nomadic theatre company, has devised a digital performance piece created specifically for these uncertain times and presented weekends on Zoom. Director Samantha Shay started this project as a way for the company to feel connected. “As it evolved, I started to realize our performance vacillates between humor, sorrow, and open love-letters to the art of theater. This has kept my mental health steadier, and has helped me touch the deep magma core of why I love theater, why I miss theater, and I think the jury is out on what theater is, was, and shall be in the coming days, months and years.” Their work is anchored in reverence for the classics, often adapting literature into performances with highly original staging. This show is a tragicomic, Chekhovian happening, from drinking competitions, sad monologues and corona-virus meme collages. For information: www.sourcematerialcollective.com
SKYLIGHT LIVE. Los Feliz’ Skylight Theatre Company are already presenting a number of new plays inspired by the COVID-19 crisis, all performing live on Facebook and/or YouTube. Skylight has brought together a number of Los Angeles writers, directors and actors for weekly presentations of uplifting stories created specifically for the online medium. The series includes an interactive conversation with audiences after each performance. On Thursdays at 3 pm. For info:
ART GOES ON. Los Angeles’ Center Theatre Group just announced a new project “Theatre Skills @ Home” – a series where directors, designers, actors and artisans give tips on how to inject stage magic into your home. Videos feature costume designer Ann Closs-Farley (Zoot Suit) creating a fairy costume out of odds-and-ends in your home; while fight-director Edgar Landa (Homebody/Kabul) teaches the art of onstage Physical Combat!!! Lindsay Allbaugh, CTG Associate AD, says her friends are giving themselves haircuts, baking bread and making soup, while parents are looking for fun projects to do with their homeschooled children. So, who better to turn to than theatre-mavens who have made a career of transforming bare stages into Brave New Worlds. ART GOES ON projects also include “Artists Create”- videos produced by CTG’s family of artists; “LA Theatre Speaks” - where they share ideas, strategize and support each other, and, “Scenes from the Vault” - a series of favorite moments from CTG’s history. All of these can be viewed online at CTGLA.org/ArtGoesOn; Or at youtube.com/CTGLA; Or the hashtags #ArtGoesOn and #ScenesFromTheVault.