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”. 

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

February 26 – March 11 – Theatre Orangeville, Orangeville
Laneway Café  The first of what will become Scriptease, an ongoing series of readings of original works created just for you through our New Play Development process. Online:  https://www.theatreorangeville.ca/our-shows/scripttease

March 1, 8 — Obsidian Theatre, Toronto with York U. & Brock U.
A series that exemplifies this extraordinary time and place, 21 BLACK FUTURES features an impressive group of 63 Black Canadian playwrights, actors and directors creating art during the COVID-19 pandemic and a global reckoning with anti-Black racism. The “Seeding the Future” student participants are taking this artistic dialogue further through their responses, which will be presented online on the CBC Arts website.  

March 1, 8, 15, 22 – 4th Line Theatre @ Home, Millbrook
Beau Dixon’s Sizzlin’ Series, a video series focussing on regional BIPOC residents who are leading fascinating and inspiring lives. The four episodes will be released on 4th Line Theatre’s website (here) and YouTube channel (here) for viewing beginning Monday, March 1, 2021 at 12:00 PM. New episodes will be released every Monday until March 22nd.

March 3 – 6 — Theatre Passe Muraille, Toronto
Speculation. Leslie Ting, a former optometrist and now a professional violinist, presents a re-imagining of this theatrical concert.
https://www.passemuraille.ca/20-21-season/speculation/

March 4 – Stratford Festival, Stratford
Thursday night viewing parties – Available free.  The Taming of the Shrew 1988. Online: http://www.youtube.com/stratfordfestival

Sunday, March 7 at 7:00 p.m. EST – Drayton Entertainment
Crooner Michael Vanhevel sings swinging hits from the ‘40s, ‘50s, and ‘60s including Bobby Darin’s “Beyond The Sea”, Dean Martin’s “Ain’t That a Kick in the Head”, Frank Sinatra’s “My Way”, and more. Michael is accompanied by Music Director Mark Payne on piano, Alex Baerg on guitar, Dan Baerg on drums, Tony DeLuca on saxophone, and Mark Laidman on bass.
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March 12 to 17, The Actors Fund and AFC, Toronto
Set in 1590, “Wil” introduces us to 26-year-old Wil Shakespeare – a promising, but floundering playwright with a wife, three children, a ballooning mortgage and a new play that just closed on opening night at the Stratford-Upon-Avon Supper Theater. Things look bleak until Wil’s trusted agent, Bernie Shylock, lands Wil his first professional gig – running the summer stock theatre program at Elsinore Castle in Denmark. This mostly Canadian all-star cast features Golden Globe and Emmy nominee Eric McCormack as Bernie Shylock, Oliver Dench as Wil, Lucy Peacock as Gertrude, directed by Sara Botsford. There is no admission fee, but audience members are encouraged to make donations to The Actors Fund and The AFC (the Actors’ Fund of Canada). Tickets are available here.

Sunday, March 14 at 7:00 p.m. EST – Drayton Entertainment
Popular vocal trio, The Mantini Sisters (Sandra, Barbara, and Ann), bring their unique vocal styling to various genres from jazz to popular standards including “The 59th Street Bridge Song”, “How High The Moon”, an Astaire Medley featuring “A Fine Romance,” “A Foggy Day,” and “They All Laughed”, and more. The Mantini Sisters are accompanied by Music Director Mark Camilleri on piano, Peter Bleakney on bass, and Kevin Dempsey on drums.
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March 14, Jeff Culbert Production, London
A new play, Elocution: The Life of Richard Berry Harrison by Jeff Culbert. Reading presented online at www.jeffculbert.ca

Saturday, March 20, 2021 @ 8 PM – The Regent Theatre and Festival Players, Picton
Chilina Kennedy, star of Stratford and Broadway, is one of Canada’s leading musical theatre performers. Among many starring roles on both sides of the border, Ms. Kennedy appeared as singer-songwriter Carole King in Beautiful for three years on Broadway.
This intimate salon-style 70 minute concert live streamed from 2gallery, features songs from classic and contemporary musicals from Broadway and the West End as well as songs by Joni Mitchell and a few of Kennedy’s own compositions. Accompanied by Stratford Festival’s Musical Director, Franklin Brasz on piano. ONLINE tickets: Regular $15 plus service fees. Buy tickets here.

Sunday, March 21 at 7:00 p.m. EST – Drayton Entertainment
Broadway performer Lee Siegel sings a variety of sensational songs from memorable standards and Motown classics to Broadway hits and beyond including “Tomorrow” from Annie, “Home” from The Wiz, “A Change Is Gonna Come” by Sam Cooke, and more. Lee is accompanied by Music Director Mark Camilleri on piano, Cathy Anderson on cello, Jesse Grandmont on violin, Matt Lima on bass, and David MacDougall on drums.
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Sunday, March 28 at 2:00 p.m. EST *matinee – Drayton Entertainment
Versatile performer Mark Cassius sings songs from his life in musical theatre, on Broadway, and touring internationally with the iconic Canadian acapella group, The Nylons. Performing popular tunes like “On Broadway”, “Make Them Hear You”, “Happy Together”, and more, Mark is accompanied by Music Director Steve Thomas on piano, Dave Dunlop on trumpet, Richard Moore on drums, Paul Pacanowski on saxophone, and Junior Riggan on bass.
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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.
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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.
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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

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. Plans are in the making for having shows presented in tents with distancing. Details to come.

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

 

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