This month: How local arts leaders are adapting to the age of COVID. WETA Around Town's Robert Aubry Davis hosts. Guests: Molly Smith; Lauren Campbell; Nicholas Rodriguez; Julie Dzikiewicz.Learn more →
Share Stories: Quarantine has been a strange experience for many, and that’s why Olney Theatre is inviting everyone to share their story: You can submit your own 3-minute story about life under quarantine, or listen to other contributor’s submissions on their blog.
Online Classes: Olney Theatre Center (OTC) is offering a wide variety of online classes for all ages over Zoom! Topics include theatre games, crafting, Shakespeare, audition tips, and more. Classes are free—all you need to do is pre-register on OTC’s website.
Video Performances: If you’re missing the Olney Theatre’s stage, head over to their Facebook page to find a selection of musical numbers from past Olney productions like Once, Singing in the Rain, and Cabaret!
Live Panels: To keep the conversation around theatre alive, Olney is creating Streaming Saturdays, a series of online panels featuring actors, directors, playwrights, and artistic directors. The discussions are posted every Saturday at 5 PM EDT on Olney’s YouTube and Facebook pages.
Artwork Meditation: If you’re looking for a brief moment of relaxation in these stressful times, check out the Phillips Collection’s Contemplation Audio Guide. These short, 10-minute audio guides led by meditation instructor Elizabeth Cantor will allow you to take time for yourself and connect with some of the collection’s most celebrated artwork. For more art-based contemplation, follow the hashtag #MuseumMomentofZen on Instagram and Twitter!
Online Exhibits: Just because the Phillips Collection is temporarily closed, it doesn’t mean you can’t still experience their impressive collection of art. The Phillips Collection’s YouTube channel features in-depth explorations of previous and current exhibits, such as Riffs and Relations: African Artists and the European Modernist Tradition and Moira Dyer: Back in Business. You can also check out these exhibits and others on their Google Arts & Culture page.
Stay Connected: For more information on the Phillips Collection, head over to their Stay Connected webpage, where you can find inks to social media, art challenges, blog posts, and more!
Theatre Conversations: On Fridays, don’t miss Mosaic Theater’s creative conversations! In Watch Party Happy Hour, a virtual panel discussing themes from Mosaic Theater’s Season 6 on Facebook is followed up by a group discussion held via Zoom (RSVP required). In Live Stream Round Table, local artists discuss their work and artistic process on Facebook live and take questions from the audience.
Reading Discussions: Check out Peace Cafes for in-depth discussions analyzing play excerpts and how real-life conflicts shape theater. You can also sign up for Mosaic Theater’s Book Club, where you can read and engage with a first-person perspective novel related to Mosaic Theater’s Season 6. Don’t forget to RSVP for both of these events!
Virtual Series: To register for these events and more, head over to the Mosaic Alive’s website, dedicated to featuring all of Mosaic Theater’s virtual opportunities. You can also head over to their Facebook page to check out more of their content, including their incredible Encountering Emmett series.
Streaming Music: You can listen to more of Elena’s music from her band, Elena & Los Fulanos, through Spotify. And keep up with announcements of future projects—as well as ways to show support for the band—by checking out their website.
Distance Learning: Learn about Lincoln’s assassination, the Ford’s Theatre’s history, and more through Ford’s expanded Digital Learning programs! Not only can you explore articles and exhibits through the website, but you can now register for one of the many weekly open workshops offered.
Virtual Tours: You can now tour the Ford’s Theatre from your own home! Check out their collaboration with Google Arts and Culture to have a virtual tour of the Ford’s Theatre, the Petersen House, and the museum exhibits. The Petersen House tour includes a virtual reality experience, where you can listen to first-person accounts from the witnesses of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination.
Oratory Project: Ford’s Theatre keeps Lincoln’s words alive through their oratory project, where students learn more, analyze, and perform some of Lincoln’s speeches. If you’re interested in participating, keep an eye out for future registration opportunities on their website! In the meantime, check some empowering showcases from previous projects on Ford’s YouTube channel.
Virtual Classes: ATMTC Academy’s Elementary Programs are now offering classes online! For kids Grades K-2, check out PLAYlabs, where kids can explore stories two times a week. For Grades 3-5, check out Acting Up, where kids can experiment with creative drama techniques with a professional teaching artist. You can find more information on how to register for classes on the Adventure Theatre’s website, as well as more details on how to audition for the Academy.
Phantom Gala: This year, Adventure Theatre’s annual fundraiser happened online, which means that you can still find outstanding performances from that night! Head over to the Phantom Gala page to check out student stories, concerts, and interviews with members from the Adventure Theatre community!
Performances and Talks: Head over to Adventure Theatre’s Facebook for incredible online performances like On the Wings of a Mariposa, as well as weekly live panels with some of the DMV’s artistic directors. You can also find outstanding submissions from the #WashYourHandsMusical, where performers wash their hands for 20 seconds while singing.
Youth Programs: Round House Theatre is keeping its mission alive of teaching theatre through acting, movement, design, and playmaking—now in the digital world! Every week, short Theatre Education Challenges are available: Mondays for kids K-Grade 3, Wednesdays for kids Grade 4-6, and Fridays for Teens.
Artist Discussions: Round House Literary Manager Gabrielle Hoyt will be hosting Playwrights on Plays, a live online discussion with a Round House-affiliated artist. Posted on a weekly basis, the interview will also feature opportunities for interactions and questions.
Cocktail recipes: If you’re in the need of a new recipe, check out Weekly Quarantini! Hudson Tang, Round House’s food and beverage manager, will be teaching new cocktail recipes using local products every Friday through Round House’s Facebook page.
Dance Classes: On weekdays and Saturdays, tune in to one of Dance Place’s virtual dance classes, hosted through their Facebook Live. Dance Place’s Studio Manager, Kevin White, will also be on the live stream to answer any questions as well as provide support for participating dancers.
Virtual Programming: Keeping the dance community alive, Dance Place is hosting free live Zoom presentations for artists whose performances have been delayed due to COVID-19. The series will feature excerpts from the artists’ works, as well as live conversations and Q & A sessions. Check out their website for the full programming schedule.
For the Family: Dance Place’s Education team will be posting two videos teaching different dance styles for kids on a weekly basis—check it out on their website! For fun for the whole family, join them also in their virtual youth classes on Fridays at 11 AM EDT in their Facebook Live.
Gifts of Art: Artists create art no matter what, and Arena Stage is sharing some of their content through their social media pages! Check out actor Nicholas Rodriguez’s singing “Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’” from Oklahoma!, playwright Craig Lucas reading an excerpt from his play Change Agent, designer Ken MacDonald shares animated set designs from Newsies, and more!
Online Classes: As part of the Gifts of Art, members of the Arena Stage team have started teaching short classes online. Don’t miss music director Laura Bergquist teaching how to sing “To Life” from Fiddler on the Roof. And you can also learn the choreography to dance along to it with choreographer Parker Esse!
Community Engagement: Arena Stage’s Costume Shop is also giving back to the community by making masks for Children’s Hospital—they have donated more than 600 masks already! If you are a fan of Arena Stage and would like to contribute back, make sure to check out their Roaring Back fund, where you can donate and find more art resources as well.
Concert Opportunities: Check out Strathmore’s Facebook page for some incredible weekly performances! On Wednesdays at 7:30 PM, tune in to “Live from the Living Room” for an exclusive concert from one of the center’s Artists in Residence. On Saturdays, don’t miss “Family Jam,” a weekly show for all ages bringing in amazing artists like hip-hop artist Christylez Bacon.
Visual Art Galleries: Just because you can’t come to Strathmore doesn’t mean you can’t visit their visual arts exhibits. Virtual tours for both adults and kids are available on a weekly basis—all you need is a free RSVP!
Stay Engaged: If you’re looking for something to do, why not try performing Shakespeare monologues? Check out the #ShakespeareChallenge for some incredible performances! If you’re looking for summer classes, check course offerings and registration dates on their website.
Tune In: Want to explore the Shakespeare universe? Listen to the Shakespeare Hour, a live conversation with Artistic Director Simon Godwin and Resident Dramaturg Drew Lichtenberg featuring two Shakespeare plays, renowned guests, and more. The talks are hosted in Zoom, and you can find more information on tickets and dates on the STC website.
Stay Connected: You can find more information on news and online events from the STC on their webpage, Shakespeare Everywhere.
Ken Burns Documentaries: Ken Burns’ 1994 Emmy-winning documentary series Baseball tells the story of how the sport became an iconic part of America’s popular culture and history. Now, all nine episodes of this epic saga are available for free on PBS.org.
Now On-Demand: You don’t need to leave your house to watch some of this year’s biggest releases! A number of movies are skipping the theaters and premiering online for your quarantine viewing pleasure. Films like The High Note, The King of Staten Island, Irresistible, Never Rarely Sometimes Always, and more are available to rent on YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, and Google Play. For movie lovers everywhere, films like The Invisible Man, The Hunt, Emma, Bloodshot, Trolls World Tour, The Way Back, and Never Rarely Sometimes Always are now available online. Rent these movies and more on YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, and Google Play for $19.99 each. You can also stream movies like Onward on Disney+ and Selah and the Spades on Amazon Prime. On Netflix, don’t forget to check out Extraction, All Day and a Night, and Becoming.
National Theatre at Home: The National Theatre has launched “NATIONAL THEATRE AT HOME,” making one of their professionally-recorded shows available to the public on their YouTube page. A new show live streamed and made available for on-demand for 7 days every Thursday.
Virtual Museums: Virtual tours through museum websites have made it possible for you to explore both the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in D.C. and the Louvre in France on the same day! You can also tour the world of art through the many museum galleries in Google Arts & Culture, such as the Museo Frida Kahlo in Mexico, the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam, the National Gallery in London, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City, the Museu de Arte de São Paulo (MASP) in Brazil, the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Korea, and more. Alternatively, turn your living room into a famous gallery with the Art Projector from the Google Arts and Culture App! By simply pointing your smartphone camera at a blank wall, the app will digitally impose your choice of famous artwork in its true-to-life dimensions.
Online Galleries: Many galleries are making their artwork available for you to access at home. Check out SLAYSIAN, a free digital exhibit showcasing Asian American artists from Chicago and the Midwest. Also head to the NYC’s El Museo del Barrio’s website for EL MUSEO EN TU CASA, a project highlighting past artist interviews and permanent collections. If you’re looking for a more immersive experience, , don’t miss mesmerizing virtual reality exhibits like Artland and the Kremer Museum!
Street Art: Being indoors doesn’t mean you can’t access the wonders of street art. Google Art Project’s Street Art connects you with street art from all corners of the world and the stories behind them. If you’re in search of some of Banksy’s murals, check out this list of how to find some of them through Google Street View. And if you’re looking for some DC street art, check out Murals DC, a project featuring over 80 artworks located around the city.
Art Activities: Mo Willems, the Kennedy Center’s Education Artist-in-Residence, has created LUNCH DOODLES, a series of short videos in which he teaches viewers how to draw, offers creative at-home activities, and gives everyone a glimpse of his colorful art studio. All fifteen episodes and their free downloadable activities are now available on the Kennedy Center website. If you’re still looking for inspiration, try downloading an Artist Activity Pack from Firstsite’s “Art is where the home is” initiative, featuring contributions from prominent UK artists. These packs require no special materials, and are free to download. The National Museum of Women in the Arts is hosting its first all-virtual Art + Feminism Edit-a-thon, focusing on improving Wikipedia entries related to notable women artist and art world figures. Register online to help enrich the representation of women artists across the internet!
Creative Challenges: Recreate a famous artwork in an unusual way with the Getty Museum’s latest challenge. The museum is asking people from around the world to use three items in their house to recreate their favorite work of art. If you’re looking for some inspiration, just check out their Twitter!
Coloring Sheets: If you’re looking for a new hobby, why not try coloring? Local DC artist Carlos Carmonamedina has released a series of free coloring pages for the DC Is My City project, featuring scenes from Columbia Heights, Takoma Park, Washington Circle, and more. If you happen to run out of those, however, don’t worry: check out the Quarantine Coloring Book for a new free coloring activity almost every day.
Artist Performances: Even without packed stadiums, major artists are finding creative ways to perform for their fans during quarantine. Check out Global Citizen’s One World: Together at Home, a massive virtual concert organized by Lady Gaga and featuring the likes of Paul McCartney, Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish and more! All of the performances from the concert, which streamed live in April, are now available on Global Citizen’s YouTube page. For even more virtual performances, check out Rolling Stone’s In My Room series, NPR’s Tiny Desk, the Kennedy Center’s Couch Concerts, or 92nd Street Y’s online concerts. And if you’re still searching for your favorite artists’ live performances, check out Billboard’s website for an ongoing, daily-updated list of artists performing on their own social media accounts.
Local Performances: To celebrate the 40th anniversary of DC’s own 9:30 Club, NPR has put together a comprehensive list of past live-streamed concerts dating back to 2005. These audio—and in later years, video— recordings include performances by Bright Eyes, Wilco, Bon Iver, The National, and more! Laurie Nelson, local voice coach and owner of the performing arts company NM Productions, created the Quarantine Serenades project as a way for her students to have a creative outlet during the lockdown. Check out her YouTube playlist to watch dozens of high school and college students from the DMV area performing songs that have inspired them during quarantine, from Broadway classics to Disney anthems.
Open Mic Nights: Busboys and Poets is carrying on with their open mic nights through their Instagram page! Tune to Busboys on Live! (or sign up yourself!) for poetry slams, music performances, and much more every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday around 8 PM EDT.
DJs House Parties: DJs are using social media to take house parties to the virtual realm. On Facebook Live, check out local artist DJ Curley Sue’s Sunday Brunch around 1PM EDT on Sundays. Over on Instagram, follow DJ D-Nice and tune into his live “Club Quarantine” dance parties, which have drawn in guests like former First Lady Michelle Obama, Ellen DeGeneres, and Rhianna.
Opera Concerts: Have a few hours to spare? Opera fans can now watch dozens of full-length performances with OperaVision. The platform offers a diverse array of productions from 17 different countries, all free for streaming. The Metropolitan Opera is launching “Nightly Met Opera Streams,” making one of their best performances of the past fourteen years available for streaming on a daily basis. And don’t miss the Royal Opera House’s #OurHouseToYourHouse series, posting many of their dances from past years on their YouTube channel. For more performances, check out Teatro Reggio in Turin and Vienna State Opera!
Online Orchestras: Responding to cellist Yo-Yo Ma’s “Songs of Comfort” challenge, the National Philharmonic is performing at-home concerts featuring their musicians through a series titled: “Musical Notes from Us to You.” The New York Philharmonic created a musical tribute to healthcare workers with a full orchestral performance of Ravel’s “Boléro” in which each musician performs their part in isolation, and all the sounds are brought together digitally. Check it out here, or watch a similar collaborative performance by the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra here. For more online orchestras, check out past performances from the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and the Berlin Philharmonic!
Musical Conversations: Looking for a talk paired up with a performance? Check out the University of Chicago Presents series, now available online. The first episode of their new live stream show featured Chilean saxophonist Melissa Aldana with bandmates Joel Ross, Sam Harris, and Kush Abadey in a presentation of their latest suite, Visions of Frida Kahlo. Renowned opera singer and arts & health advocate Renée Fleming is hosting a series of webinars entitled Music and Mind Live with Renée Fleming, in which she discusses how to use the power of music for health and wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Stream all episodes through the Kennedy Center website—new episodes stream live on Tuesdays at 5 PM EDT!
Broadway: Broadway fans can now watch exclusive performances and interviews from their favorite actors from the comfort of their own couch! Broadway World’s Living Room Concerts is featuring the stars of Hadestown, Dear Evan Hansen, Jagged Little Pill, Beetlejuice, and more performing from their own homes. For interviews, Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley are hosting Stars in the House every day around 2 PM EDT and 8 PM EDT. If you’re missing the Broadway stage, however, don’t panic—BroadwayHD offers a 7-day free trial for you to stream all of their professionally-recorded shows from your laptop.
Streaming Shows: If you’re a fan of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s iconic musicals like Cats and The Phantom of the Opera, check out also The Shows Must Go On, an online YouTube series streaming full performances from Webber’s best musicals. If you prefer the work of Stephen Sondheim, you can watch a recording of Sondheim’s 90th Birthday Celebration Livestream on YouTube, which features a slew of famous names singing a selection of the composer’s most popular songs.
Script Readings: Local theaters are finding new ways to bring their stories to your home. 4615 Theatre Company, from Bethesda, MD, produced This Vessel is a Fragile Thing—a play by D.C.-based writer Britt A. Willis about a non-binary person’s struggles with their internal and external conflicts—as an online live reading now available through their Facebook page. The DC-based Quarantined Theatre Company is hosting live readings of new plays written by playwrights from across the county. Check out their Facebook page to get updates on their upcoming performances. The new live-streaming theatre platform Play-Per-View is offering a series of script readings over Zoom, all performed by notable names of the stage and screen. Virtual tickets start at $5, and all proceeds will go towards supporting arts organizations affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The historical Ford’s Theatre is also hosting virtual play readings while their live performances are on hold. The next reading will be of Richard Hellesen’s Necessary Sacrifices on August 20 at 4:00 p.m. If you can’t watch it live on Ford’s Facebook or YouTube, the performance will be archived to watch at your convenience.
Live Monologues: If you’re in the mood for some never-before-seen content, The 24 Hour Plays’ Viral Monologues series may be your cup of tea: twenty different writers pair up with twenty different actors to write, rehearse, and perform a dramatic monologue, all within 24 hours. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, critically acclaimed actor Sir Patrick Stewart has been performing #ASonnetADay for your quarantine viewing pleasure! Head over to his Twitter and watch the Star Trek and X-Menactor’s daily renditions of Shakespeare’s striking 14-line poems.
Ballet Classes: If you’re looking for ways to stay active, The Washington Ballet now has live and on-demand classes for adult dancers of all skill levels, and Philadelphia’s contemporary ballet group DanceX is offering for fitness and ballet classes for all ages on Instagram Live. Also on Instagram Live, check out #TurnItOutWithTiller, New York City Ballet Principle Dancer Tiler Peck’s daily ballet lessons, featuring conversations with other professional dancers!
Theater Challenge: Manhattan Theatre Club is inviting teen theatre enthusiasts to write and perform a one-minute monologue responding to the prompt “There is something I need to say to you.” Select entries are posted on MTC’s Facebook and YouTube pages every Thursday at noon.
Theater Education: DC’s own Woolly Mammoth Theater is offering a slate of virtual classes and discussions with their Woolly for the Mind, Body, and Spirit series! Learn more about the fight for racial and social justice with the Liberation Library Book Club, stay active with their musical theater choreography classes, and get inspired with their Woolly’s Wonderlist discussion series! Find more information on schedules and registration here.
Art: Artists everywhere have taken this indoor time to share their secrets and help you create art of your own. Comic book artist Will Sliney started the series #wewilldraw, teaching kids how to draw popular characters from Pokémon, Animal Crossing, and The Simpsons through live streams announced on his Twitter. If you miss it though, don’t panic—just head over to his YouTube channel. Artist Trisha Zemp is teaching kids the basics of stop motion animation with her Stop Motion Kids Camp! Just enroll online and get access to a series of fun instructional videos, all free of cost. Check out illustrator Wendy MacNaughton’s #drawtogether, 20-minute art classes for kids every weekday around 10 AM EDT available on her Instagram. And don’t miss D.C. cartoonist Josh Kramer’s #drawwithme classes every Tuesday and Thursday at 11 AM EDT on his Facebook.
Music: Pennsylvania-based husband and wife duo Two of a Kind are bringing their music-and-movement concerts for kids straight to your home with their weekly live streams, available on Facebook Live. For professional performances and diverse musical perspectives, check out Lincoln Center’s #ConcertsForKids series! In addition to the large collection already available on their website, new concerts are released every Wednesday at 4:00 pm EDT and Sunday at 11:00 am EDT. For more musical fun, check out the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Lyric Kids Corner for educational activities and games, and Chrome Music Lab for interactive musical experiments with rhythm, soundwaves, and more!
Theater: Produce a play in your living room with the Play at Home project! The Kennedy Center has commissioned ten playwrights from across the country to write a short, kid-friendly play or musical for families to download and perform at home. Broadway Babysitters Playhouse is hosting virtual creativity courses for any Broadway star-in-training to enjoy at home. Tune in to a Broadway Dance Party or a Broadway Story Time with the very stars that bring the shows to life! For more theater classes for kids, head over to Lincoln Center’s Pop-Up Classroom series. Classes are all led by top creatives in the world of theater and dance, and topics include everything from shadow puppet tutorials to line dancing. Watch new classes live on Facebook, or watch any past episode on-demand.
And More: After the Chicago Public Library was forced to close all of its branches, they enlisted the help of select librarians and notable Chicagoans to host virtual readings for young children and their families. Past guests include former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama! Check out their Facebook for new episodes weekdays at 10 am EDT. If you really want to take bedtime stories out of this world, make sure to check out NASA’s Story Time from Space series, where you can listen to real astronauts read fun and educational children’s books from the International Space Station. For as long as schools are closed, kids everywhere can listen to free audiobooks from Audible’s vast collection. Whether you’re a Harry Potter fan, seeking a new hobby, or want to dive into a classic, Audible has the audiobook for you! Every other Thursday, Ford’s Theatre is hosting Cabinet Conversations—a series of live streamed interviews with historians, artists and leaders. Throughout the month of August, the guests will reflect on the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, as well as on the representation of Black voices from the Civil War era to today. Watch them live on Ford’s Facebook or YouTube!