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.
A live, unscripted murder mystery with some of Broadway’s biggest names. What could go wrong? The audience become the detective in this livestreamed immersive event, visiting different rooms to discover the clues. Will you be able to work out who the murderer is?
The Doo Wop Project
Over 1 million people have ventured on a doo wop journey with the Broadway stars of Jersey Boys, Motown and A Bronx Tale. Now it’s your turn. Mashing up the hits of early doo wop groups with covers of modern tracks, they guarantee you’ll be on your feet dancing in no time. They’ve even sung with global stars like Katy Perry and Bon Jovi. So, tune into some doo wop from the comfort of your living room.
Whatever language you speak, a smile is the same. It offers hope, comfort and kindness. But, when it feels as if the world is falling apart, how can we find a spark? Watch and discover two electric performers and ignite the joy in your mind and soul.
Royal Shakespeare Company
To coincide with Black History Month in the United Kingdom, the Royal Shakespeare Company will release an audio recording of The Whip. Juliet GIlkes Romero’s drama explores the economic and social impacts of the slavery compensation bill on slaveowners. The Whip is available from October 29.
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.
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.
Don’t miss the filmed version of critically-acclaimed Broadway show, David Byrne’s American Utopia. Recorded at the Hudson Theatre, Spike Lee directs this musical magic, available to watch from October 17.
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!
Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
Instead of flying to be Australia (which, let’s be honest, is not advised right now), travel to Melbourne from your computer with livestreamed performances of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. Its first streamed event was Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Scheherazade,” and look out for more streams on its YouTube channel in the coming weeks.
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?
Dracula: A Radio Play
Get into the spook-tacular season with this scary story, brought to life by Actors Theatre of Louisville. This listening experience will see you hunt for Dracula, but will you be able to find the vampire?
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.