Theatre in Covid Times

Written on January 19th, 2021

Coming Events
We are missing our live theatre performances.  Creative teams, crews and casts are missing their theatres, too.  They are also missing being able to earn a living. So many theatres are now planning online activities, Zoom workshops, or streamed performances.  We will use this space to keep you informed about upcoming “Theatre in Covid Times”.  We try to update information here regularly.

Please note that some of these events were not recorded prior to newer lock-downs regulations prohibiting them, and therefore may be cancelled.

January 28 – April 15 on Thursdays, Stratford Festival, Stratford
Host Rebecca Northan will introduce you to a new couple whose love story will be shared and celebrated in sonnets spontaneously created by a talented team of Sonneteers, Raoul Bhaneja, Ashley Botting, Ijeoma Emesowum, Bruce Horak, Kevin Kruchkywich, Ellis Lalonde and Lee Smart. 
Also, enjoy some of the Festival’s greatest musical theatre performers, Robert Ball, Dan Chameroy, Cynthia Dale, Alexis Gordon, Chilina Kennedy, Robert Markus, Marcus Nance, Vanessa Sears and Kimberly-Ann Truong. Directed by Richard Ouzounian with musical director Franklin Brasz and associate director Thom Allison.  Enjoy fabulous content on your own schedule with Stratfest@Home, the Festival’s subscription service, available for just $10 a month.  https://www.stratfordfestival.ca/AtHome

March 30 to May 18 — Victoria Playhouse, Petrolia
Kindness Matters interview series, released every Tuesday at 9 am, starting March 30, hosted by David Hogan. See VPP website.
2021 Reopening plans for the VPP will be announced soon.

April 7 to 11, Talk is Free Theatre, Barrie
Dinner à la Art is a brand-new community partnership project, that will bring a curated selection of exclusive, online readings with iconic Canadian and international artists to homes around the world from April 7 to 11, 2021. Star-studded casts present readings of Heartbreak House, Riot, She Stoops to Conquer, and The Great Gatsby. Stars include Ed Asner, Len Cariou, Cynthia Dale, Eric McCormack, Chilina Kennedy, Colin Mochrie, Gavin Crawford & many more. Support Barrie’s businesses and restaurants to get the free pass code for these online presentations. Read more here.

Sunday, April 11 at 7:00 p.m. ESTDrayton Entertainment
Vocal powerhouse Kelly Holiff sings songs by Broadway and popular composers who shaped her life including Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You”, Céline Dion’s “It’s All Coming Back To Me Now” and “Defying Gravity” from the hit musical Wicked. Kelly is accompanied by Music Director Jeannie Wyse on piano, Mike Allen on guitar, Pol Coussée on reeds, Jamie Drake on drums and Ross MacIntyre on bass.
Read More

April 14-15 — Drayton Entertainment Broadway Bootcamp Online
For theatre fans ages 9 to 19 — Drayton Entertainment’s online Broadway Bootcamp for youth is so popular that the first spring break session sold out in 48 hours. Due to high demand, the not-for-profit charitable arts organization has added another two-day session during spring break on Wednesday, April 14 and Thursday, April 15. Parents and youth are encouraged to book as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. As the program is online, it is open to participants across Canada. Visit www.draytonentertainment.com/online/article/broadway-bootcamp-spring for additional information

April 16 – Studio 180 Theatre, Toronto
Part origin story, part familial archeology, Palestineman is a journey of discovery for its subject and its audience. Returning for a second season in development, playwright sam Khalilieh continues to put together the pieces of a show that has been in his head for over 30 years. On April 16, sam will present an excerpt from the play and chat with Studio 180’s Mark McGrinder about the evolving scope and potential of this exploration of identity, desire, heritage and rage. More information here .

April 16 to May 2 – Theatre Orangeville
The Rules of Playing Risk by Kristen Da Silva.  An online play.
Theatre Orangeville Presents Online. Get tickets at https://www.theatreorangeville.ca/

Sunday, April 18 at 7:00 p.m. EST – Drayton Entertainment
It’s all about the music as a “little” Big Band plays an array of modern and classic jazz songs including “Cold Duck Time”, “My Baby Just Cares For Me”, the theme from “I Love Lucy”, and more. The 7-piece band features Music Director Brigham Phillips on piano, Sasha Boychouk on woodwinds, Howard Gaul on drums, Peter Hyson on trombone, Will Jarvis on bass, Paul Mitchell on trumpet, and Dave Thompson on guitar.
Read More

April 24 – The Foster Festival, St. Catharines, 6:30 p.m.
A LIVE reading of Norm Foster’s new play My Hero. Jim Devine, a forty-year-old high school literature teacher, lives with his mother, Corrine. He is the son of a former superstar hockey player – a player who was killed in a car accident at the peak of his career. Fast forward, Corrine has met a new man. Watch as these three characters intersect in the most hilarious and touching way as Norm unveils his newest play. Bonus, there will be a Post-Show Chat with the Creative Team & Cast!  Go here .

April 29 – May 8, 2021 AT 7:30PM Factory Theatre, Toronto
Canadian classic, Through The Eyes by acclaimed playwright Don Druick. This radical new interpretation will be directed by award winning artist ahdri zhina mandiela, and star Zorana Sadiq as the Courtier. It will be streaming live from Factory Theatre’s studio theatre for 6 performances. Find it here.

May 14 to 30 – Theatre Orangeville
The Third Life of Eddie Mann by John Spurway.  An online play.
Theatre Orangeville Presents Online.  Get tickets at: https://www.theatreorangeville.ca/

May through December 2021 – The Shaw Festival, Niagara-on-the-Lake
The Shaw Festival plans to open live theatre in May 2021, and run their season through December 2021. 
See their calendar for tickets: https://www.shawfest.com/whats-on-tickets/#calendar
Read about their Covid-19 protocol under Duty of Care: https://www.shawfest.com/visit/duty-of-care/
And in the meantime, check out some online entertainment in the Shaw from Home section on https://www.shawfest.com/shaw-from-home/#shaw-on-the-home-front

June 11 to 27 – Theatre Orangeville
Sunshine Sketches by Jim Betts.  A musical based on the works of Stephen Leacock.
Theatre Orangeville Presents Online.  Get tickets at:  https://www.theatreorangeville.ca/

Summer 2021 — Tweed & Company Theatre, Tweed
Either in-person or online, part of their flexible season. Hot Mess, starring Kelly Holiff. Date to be announced. Read more

Summer 2021 Stratford Festival, Stratford
Plans are in the making for having shows presented in tents with distancing. Details to come.

Summer 2021 – Thousand Islands Playhouse, Gananoque
Managing Artistic Director Brett Christopher has unveiled Thousand Islands Playhouse’s plans to return to the stage for the 2021 season. “In 2004, the Playhouse added a smaller, flexible venue to its operations in order to expand the company’s ability to innovate. Today, that decision will mean that we are able to produce theatre in 2021.” Running July 8 to October 31, the “bridge to brighter days” season will offer four full productions on the Firehall Theatre stage. An outdoor, open-air tent will be part of the experience and every production run will also include streamed performances. Season includes Miss Caledonia, Sexy Laundry, Back in ’69, Serving Elizabeth.

Ongoing Productions

Stratford Festival, Stratford
Thursday night viewing parties – Available free. 
Online: http://www.youtube.com/stratfordfestival

Western University, London
Production of Julius Caesar, directed by Jeff Culbert. An egomaniac destroying a republic and assuming dictatorial power. Available on You Tube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4P4ptJq65bw

Alvego Root Theatre, London
Harvest, an audio play with AlvegoRoot Theatre. Harvest was written by Ken Cameron based on the true story of his parents renting out their farmhouse after retirement, not realizing that the new tenants were going to use it as a grow-op. Elizabeth Durand and Jeff Culbert play the central couple and a host of other characters in this 2-hander. It will be available for listening from April 14th to July 11th here.

Jeff Culbert Production, London
A new play, Elocution: The Life of Richard Berry Harrison by Jeff Culbert. podcast version (audio only) and also one with visual images to accompany the audio play.  the inspiring story of a Black actor from London Ontario, whose parents escaped slavery in the US in the 1850s, and whose love for literature and skill in elocution drove him to make a living for himself as a travelling performer. The big payoff for his skill and perseverance came at the age of 65, when he became the biggest star on Broadway during the early 1930s. Presented online at www.jeffculbert.ca

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