How to Watch Theater Around the World from Your Home
Even though theaters around the world are closed, the show must go on…online that is. Arts companies are streaming productions, so you can experience everything from a lavish opera at the Met to a high school production of an award-winning play.
While sometimes coming together means spending some time (physically) apart, the arts is the ultimate connector, and these livestreamed productions, concerts, and more are making our world feel a little bit smaller right now.
We will be updating this list as new streams and productions are announced.
Story Pirates Sleep Squad
Add a sprinkle of theatre magic to your kids’ bedtime ritual, thanks to the Story Pirates Sleep Squad. Turn the bed into a rocket ship, with the Dream Queen (played by Lilli Cooper) guiding passengers around the world. Visit desert islands, fishies in the sea and even dinosaurs in this imaginative production, with a “Dreamtime Travel Kit” available for all ticket buyers.
Close Encounters: The Moth
A cemetery may not be a typical performing arts venue, but the haunting and historic stories in The Moth’s newest piece work reverberate around Green-Wood Cemetery really is a thing of beauty. Join Tara Clancy and five Moth storytellers as they share stories of chance meetings and narrow escapes which have gone on to change the course of history.
The 24 Hour Plays Broadway Gala
Could you create a play in 24 hours? Maybe. Could you write, cast, rehearse and stage six in that time? That’s what brave television and theatre actors are doing, including Gillian Jacobs and Noah Galvin. For the first time ever, the chaotic production is being livestreamed to your home, so you can watch these talents at work.
Ella: Forever The First Lady of Song
Songs by Ella Fitzgerald really stand the test of time. Relive the 2017 Lincoln Center concert via livestream, with performances from Audra McDonald and Renée Fleming. It really is a night of top-talent vocal performances.
Sydney Opera House
Sydney Opera House launched “From our House to yours,” a new digital program released each Wednesday-Sunday at 6PM AEDT. The virtual offerings will include archival footage, live broadcasts, and premieres from the iconic cultural institution. Check it out here.
Brace yourself for an exciting evening of live theater, as the Public Theater alumni come together. Throughout the live stream, witness visual installations, new songs and performances from the likes of Alicia Keys, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Audra McDonald.
The Last Five Years
After performances at Southwark Playhouse in London, Broadway On Demand will be streaming the two-person musical this Thanksgiving. Oli Higginson and Molly Lynch star in the show, which earned a flurry of five-star reviews. You’ll have to be quick, as it’s only available to watch for four nights.
Over the years, streaming service BroadwayHD has added some fantastic titles to its list including smash-hit musicals such as “Falsettos” (2016 Broadway Revival), “42nd Street” (2017 West End Revival), “Kinky Boots“(West End) and “Oklahoma!” (1999 National Theatre production). Subscribe now and get a free 7 day trial!
The Metropolitan Opera
Want to go to the opera in your PJs? Or spend a night on the town in your living room? The Metropolitan Opera will be streaming different operas from its Live in HD series each night at 7:30PM EST. The operas will be live on the Met Opera homepage for 20 hours (through 3:30PM EST).
A Halloween-inspired festival will be streamed worldwide, filmed in a candle-lit Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. As part of the festival, you can enjoy spooky ghost stories, a staged reading of “that Scottish play” and the consequences of fear in our lives. Shakespeare and Fear is streaming at Shakespeare’s Globe from October 31 – November 9.
Anton Cross plays ‘Boy’ in an abridged version of the Olivier Award-nominated actor and playwright Arinzé Kene’s work. Narrating the past from the present he finds himself in, a young man views his multicultural community and what drives people to take control of their lives.
The 2020 season at the iconic Canadian theater might be postponed, but you can stream several classics including “The Tempest,” “Macbeth” and more on the Stratford Festival website.
Theatre Without Theater
As soon as the shutdown was announced, a group of theatermakers got together to launch the Instagram handle @theatrewithouttheater. The account is posting everything from songs from productions that were cancelled too soon to full productions. Our current faves on the channel? Broadway’s Margo Seibert performing the heartbreaking “I Give Away Children” from “Unknown Soldier,” which ended its run early at Playwrights Horizons. You can also watch part one of Jocelyn Bioh’s searing social commentary “School Girls; or, The African Mean Girls Play.” New content is posted every day!
The Fisher Center
The Fisher Center has launched UPSTREAMING, a new series which will release new content, including digital commissions and beloved performances from their archives. These programs reflect the Fisher Center’s mission to engage artists and audiences in the development and examination of artistic ideas, offering perspectives from the past and present, as well as visions of the future. Check out their programming here.
With the Broadway shutdown, Off and Off-Off Broadway are following suite. But famed downtown haven LaMaMa is finding ways to stream productions by partnering with CultureHub and HowlRound Theatre Commons. Visit their website to find out when shows will be streaming.
The 24 Hour Plays: Viral Monologues
Creatives have a lot more time on their hands these days so actors and playwrights are joining together for an experiment. Just like the 24 Hour Plays, where playwrights write and actors perform a play in the span of 24 hours, the Viral Monologues will have celebrities like Hugh Dancy, Patrick Wilson, and Rachel Dratch performing monologues written in that time frame by playwrights like David Lindsay-Abaire and Stephen Adly-Guirgis. The monologues will premiere every 15 minutes on @24hourplays IGTV channel beginning at 6PM EST on Tuesday, March 17.
Welcome to “Dream Boston,” a future vision of our city that is somewhere between dream and reality.
Through 5-minute audio plays, Dream Boston asks local playwrights to imagine their favorite locations, landmarks, and friends in a future Boston, when we can once again meet and thrive in our city. These micro-plays take place at locations such as the MIT Great Dome on the 4th of July while the sounds of the “1812 Overture” float in the background, at the Boston Public Library where a librarian and library patron debate the ethics of reserving a book, and a not-so-perfect first date on the edge of the Boston Common.
Stay tuned for upcoming audio plays from playwrights Kirsten Greenidge and Brenda Withers. A new play will be released each Thursday.
The Wind in the Willows
Recorded live at the London Palladium in 2017, this new musical is brought to life by creator of Downton Abbey Julian Fellowes, with music and lyrics by George Stiles and Anthony Drew (Mary Poppins). A hit show for all ages! More details here.
The Space Between
Written, performed and edited during lockdown earlier this year, enjoy this 15-minute musical short. David Hunter and Caroline Kay star in their own musical creation, following a couple who communicate entirely through virtual means. Who knew spending time on Whatsapp and Zoom could be so productive?
The global pandemic may have changed our lives this year, but did you know that dramatists had “predicted” it decades ago? Okay, maybe predicting is a stretch… but join the Actors Theatre of Louisville as they adapt some of the finest monologues to bring the past and present together.
What A Carve Up!
Don’t miss the star-studded world premiere of What A Carve Up!, created as a co-production between the Barn Theatre in Cirencester, the Lawrence Batley Theatre in Huddersfield and the New Wolsey Theatre in Ipswich. Some of Britain’s finest actors including Stephen Fry and Sir Derek Jacobi will perform in this streamed production, available from October 31.