Oscar’s Ghost Discussion

I’ve had a lot of requests to share this talk that I did a couple of weeks ago.

I apologize that it was recorded in grid mode, so I’m not as central on the screen as I probably should be. I have uploaded it to Youtube for easier posting, but it is an unlisted link, which means it will not turn up in the search, but people who have the link can share it.

After I did the talk, I listened through and wrote down some things I wanted to expand upon before sharing it, but I then lost the notebook in which I wrote it. Not having the gumption to watch it all again, (I don’t love watching myself) I’ll have to leave it as it is.

There are a couple of things that I do remember I had wanted to share.

One has to do with the part involving T.W.H. Crosland and Maurice Schwabe, which comes in the second half somewhere. I mention Crosland visiting Maurice Schwabe’s flat. The actual details of those associations are actually a bit more complicated. Crosland didnt spend time at Schwabe’s flat, but he and the friend Bosie was hanging out with at Schwabe’s flat were spending time together and went on a vacation together where a lot of debauchery allegedly happened and Crosland was part of that trip. All of this is to be detailed one day in my forthcoming book on Maurice Schwabe. (Really, I keep promising, but it is on the way.)

In the second part, around the 27 minute mark, as I recall, I realized that I was a bit fuzzy on the details of the seemingly endless series of trials between our combatants.  It is hard to keep all the details in one’s mind.  When Oscar’s Ghost was still being put together, I wrote a primer on the trials with the idea that it would be an appendix. In the end, it wasn’t included. I don’t know if I have ever posted it here, but I thought it might clarify some of my wobbling in the middle.

The Trials

The Wilde Trials

Oscar Wilde was famously ‘three times tried’. He filed the first action for criminal libel against Lord Alfred Douglas’s father, the Marquess of Queensberry. This backfired and led to two criminal prosecutions.

1. Regina vs. John Douglas (Marquess of Queensberry). March-April 1895.

In the preliminary hearing in the magistrates’ court, before R. M. Newton, Mr C. O. Humphreys appeared for Wilde and Sir George Lewis for Queensberry. In a further preliminary Lewis was replaced, because of a conflict of interest, with Edward Carson and Mr. Charles Frederick Gill. The libel trial was heard by Justice Richard Henn Collins with Sir Edward Clarke, Charles W. Mathews and Travers Humphreys acting for the prosecution (Wilde) and Edward Carson, C.F. Gill and A. E. Gill acting for the defendant (Queensberry). Wilde withdrew his case against Queensberry before all the evidence had been heard, supposeddly on a gentlemen’s agreement that if he did there would be no criminal prosecution.

2. Regina v. Oscar Wilde. April 1895.

Wilde was arrested for a violation of the Criminal Law Amendment Act of 1885 based on evidence Queensberry had collected for the libel case. Wilde was tried with a co-defendant, Alfred Taylor. They were charged with twenty-five counts of gross indecency, procuring and conspiracy to procure. Edward Clarke represented Wilde pro bono. Taylor was represented by Arthur Newton. (Lord Alfred Douglas contributed towards the costs of Taylor’s defense.) In the preliminary hearings C.F. Gill prosecuted. Travers Humphreys appeared for Wilde and Newton for Taylor. The Old Bailey trial opened on 22 April 1895 before Justice Arthur Charles. C.F. Gill and Horace Avory prosecuted. Edward Clarke, Charles Mathews and Travers Humphreys defended. The jury was not able to reach a verdict and the case was postponed until the next session. The Morning published what purported to be the actual results of jury vote. If their account is accurate, the jury was divided 10-2 on most questions, with the majority in favor of a guilty verdict.

3. Regina v. Oscar Wilde and Regina v. Alfred Taylor

Upon a joint application by counsel to the defendants Wilde and Taylor were tried separately before Justice Alfred Wills. The solicitor general Sir Frank Lockwood (uncle of Douglas and Wilde’s friend Maurice Salis-Schwabe) prosecuted with C.F. Gill and Horace Avory. Edward Clarke, Charles Mathews and Travers Humphreys again appeared for Wilde and J.P. Grain for Taylor. Taylor was tried first and was found guilty of gross indecency but acquitted of procuring as no evidence had been presented that Taylor took money for the introductions he made. Wilde’s trial followed and he was found guilty. Both defendants were sentenced to two years’ hard labor. J.P. Grain would go on to represent Wilde in his bankruptcy.

Lord Alfred Douglas and T.W. H. Crosland

In the early 20th Century Lord Alfred Douglas became associated with writer and notorious litigant T.W.H. Crosland and joined in his particular brand of sport. One of their many courtroom adventures is relevant to our story.

Henry Frederick Walpole Manners-Sutton v. T.W.H. Crosland December 1909-February 1910

The son of Viscount Canterbury (and later the next holder of that title) had been one of Lord Alfred Douglas’s best friends until he said he would only invest in Douglas and Crosland’s literary journal if Douglas agreed to take a pay cut. In retaliation, Crosland published a series of critical articles that hinted at Sutton’s identity. Sutton was reluctantly all but forced to sue for libel. Solicitor Arthur Newton (who had once acted for Sutton to extract him from an attempt at blackmail) initially acted for Crosland. After the preliminaries he stopped working for Crosland and testified for the prosecution (Sutton) in the trial. The case was heard before Sir F. A Bosanquet (whose nickname, coincidentally, was ‘Old Bosie’.) Marshall Hall, George Elliott and Storry Deans prosecuted. J.P. Valetta and Mr Rich defended. Crosland was found not guilty of libeling Sutton. Although it had no clear connection to the case at hand, Marshall Hall cross-examined Lord Alfred Douglas on his relationship with Oscar Wilde, giving him his first opportunity to tell his story on the stand. He interpreted the verdict as affirmation that he was an excellent witness. Robert Ross, who had fallen out with Douglas, was offended by what he read about the case. Particularly, he was offended by Douglas presenting himself as a reformed character. It was a catalyst that convinced him to ‘set the record straight’ about his former friend.

The Proxy Wars

Ross and Douglas sparred indirectly a number of times before they actually faced off in court.

Douglas v. Ransome and Others April 1913

Douglas sued author Arthur Ransome and the Times Book Club for writing and distributing respectively a biography called Oscar Wilde A Critical Study. This case was the hub around which the battle between Ross and Douglas turned. Ross had assisted Ransome with his biography and gave him select access to Wilde’s personal letters, including unpublished portions of De Profundis. Douglas was upset by the depiction of his role in Wilde’s downfall and sued for libel. Ross bankrolled the defense and provided personal letters that Douglas had written both to Oscar Wilde and to himself as evidence. The letters from Douglas to Ross were some of the most damning as they showed that Douglas was attracted to his own sex. Paradoxically, in a case where the actual libel was that Douglas had abandoned Wilde, the defense argued that a death bed message that Douglas had sent to Wilde through Ross, which contained the line “send him my undying love,” proved that Douglas had prevented Wilde from being reformed after he left prison, which made him responsible for Wilde’s downfall. (Note that this is different argument than the later understanding of Douglas as responsible for Wilde’s downfall because he involved him with rent boys. It was the fact that they were reunited, and continued to love each other in an “unnatural” way, that outraged the court.)

The trial was heard before Justice Charles Darling. Cecil Hayes acted for the plaintiff (Douglas). Hayes was a personal friend who had been a member of the Bar for less than two years. He probably worked pro bono. Ransome was represented by J.H. Capbell and H.A. McCardie. The Times Book Club by F.E. Smith. The jury found that the passage at issue was libelous, but also true. They also found that the Times Book Club had not been negligent in circulating it. Douglas filed an appeal, but was forced to withdraw it because he had been declared bankrupt and was unable to give security for the costs of the trial. Infuriated by what had happened in the case, Douglas and his friend Crosland began a campaign of libel against Robert Ross.

Ross v. Crosland April-June 1914

Following a long campaign of harassment, Ross finally went to court. He was well advised by Sir George Lewis not to file any libel actions that touched on the issue of his sexuality. Ross found an opportunity, however, to sue for conspiring to induce a witness to file a false police statement.  (The witness was a young man who claimed to have been kissed and fondled by Ross.) Douglas was out of the country, so Ross filed his lawsuit against Crosland alone. It was clear that Crosland and Douglas were on a vendetta against Ross. But Ross had the misfortune of drawing Justice Horace Avory, who had acted for the prosecution in Wilde’s criminal trials. Not only was Avory prejudiced against anyone associated with Wilde, he had an apparent dislike of F.E. Smith who led the prosecution. Crosland was defended by Cecil Hayes, and supported financially by Douglas’s mother. At issue was whether or not Crosland believed the boy was lying. Crosland was found not guilty. Bolstered by his success, Crosland went on to sue Ross for wrongful prosecution. This time Crosland lost.

Ross and Douglas

Robert Ross and Lord Alfred Douglas only confronted each other directly in court once.

Rex v. Douglas November 1914

Robert Ross finally was harassed into charging Lord Alfred Douglas with criminal libel for pamphlets accusing him of gross indecency and blackmail. The case was heard by Justice Coleridge. Ross was represented by Ernest Wild and Eustace Fulton and the defense by Comyns Carr. The trial was turning against Ross, and both were running out of money. The solicitors negotiated a settlement in which Ross agreed to drop the charges and pay court costs, and Douglas agreed to stop libeling Ross. Douglas found a loophole and had a sporting publication publish a libelous article on Ross’s lover, Freddie Smith. The dossier of compromising letters that Ross had assembled for the defense in the Ransome case continued to haunt Douglas well after Ross’s death. It was used against him in legal proceedings until the early 1920s.

 

Virtual Culture: Creative Times 7

My weekly list of virtual things to do.

I’ve converted all the times into my time zone, which is Eastern. Here is a link to covert to your own time. Events are free unless noted with $

Theater/Film Performances Upcoming:

Now through May 14 King Lear. Stratford Theater Festival. Launches with a viewing party at 7PM and runs for three weeks on the Stratford Festival website. Because the festival has been sidelined, they’re presenting a free Shakespeare On Film festival, beginning on the playwright’s birthday, April 23. The curated program is divided into four themes, each of which resonates with things we’re thinking about during the pandemic: Social Order, Isolation, Minds Pushed to the Edge and Relationships. Lear is the first. Once it begins, with several plays running “in rep,” it’ll come to resemble the actual Stratford Festival itself.

Now through May 27: Much Ado About Nothing PBS Great Performances. Features Danielle Brooks (“Orange is the New Black,” Broadway’s “The Color Purple”) and Grantham Coleman (“Buzzer,” “The Americans”) as the sparring lovers Beatrice and Benedick. Tony Award winner Kenny Leon (“American Son,” “A Raisin in the Sun”) directs with choreography by Tony Award nominee Camille A. Brown (“Choir Boy”).

Now through May 28. Stratford Theater Festival. Macbeth. You can also watch a virtual round table with the cast.

Now through July 1: Folger Theater’s Macbeth. On Youtube in two parts with a variety of companion videos, interviews and behind the scenes footage.

May 14 through June 4: Stratford Theater Festival. The Tempest. Preshow at 6:30 PM and live viewing party at 7.

May 22-24: A variety of events. The Lower East Side Festival of the Arts. Music, dance, theater, poetry.

May 26 3 PM: Speaking Shakespeare lecture with professor and author James Shapiro

Theater Film Ongoing

The Sequestered Micro Short Film Festival

 

Ballet/Dance Performances and classes Upcoming:

May 11 and available for two weeks: San Francisco Ballet’s Romeo and Juliet.

May 13 10 AM: Cinderella (ballet) Perm Opera and Ballet Theater

May 14 5:30 PM Jean Appolon, Movement Workshop. Presented by the Celebrity Series of Boston.

Music Upcoming

May 13 7 PM: Virtual Jazz Jam celebrating Louis Armstrong.

May 14 8 PM: Prince and the Revolution full concert available streaming through May 17 with a special 1 hour pre-show at 7.

May 18 1 PM: At Home Cabaret. The National Arts Club Presents Mark Nadler.

May 20 1 PM: National Arts Club presents pianist Matt Baker playing Gershwin.

May 22 11 AM: Michigan Opera Theater Children’s Chorus. The Very Last Green Thing.

Literature Upcoming

May 26 7 PM: The Art of Poetry Virtual Open Mic. Hosted by Detroit Writing Room.

 

Museums and Visual Art Upcoming

May 13 11 AM: Museum Crawl: The Pre-Raphaelites, Birmingham Museum Trust, UK.Museum Crawl is a collaboration between The Newark Museum of Art and a different institution each session.

May 13 5 PM: A Virtual Tour of Greenwood Cemetery with Monument Sculptor Karin Sprague

May 14 1 PM New York Adventure Club tour of rebellious New York artists, the three waves of artistic rebellion between the 1880s and the beginning of World War II. $

May 15 8 PM: The Art and Life of Frida Khalo virtual event. La Grange Public Library invites you to a Zoom meeting where art historian Jeff Mishur of Art Excursions will present on the art and life of artist Frida Kahlo. Space is limited to 100 people max. Register in advance for this meeting. https://bit.ly/3aeA9g1

Museums Ongoing

Ghibli Museum, Mitaka virtual tour via Youtube

 

 

Quarantine Binge: Netflix’s “Into the Night”

Tom, get your plane right on time….

So last night I binge watched the entire six episode Belgian science fiction mini series “Into the Night” on Netflix.

It’s hard to know if the thriller lands a different way in a pandemic than it would otherwise. I don’t fully remember life before the pandemic. I vague recall I was less likely binge a full series.

If the idea of watching a dystopian scenario in which nearly the entire human population is wiped out by a phenomenon that makes the sun toxic is not too off-putting to you just now, I recommend it. It does a great job of sucking you into its world as you watch a small band of airline passengers in a race against time to survive the night.

The story begins in the Brussels airport as a late night flight to Moscow is just preparing to board. Odd things are going on in the background. An internet celebrity is talking to a friend in another part of the world and she collapses. On the screen over the bar is a news story showing people lying face down. (If the sun kills everyone on contact, who was supposed to have recorded and broadcast these images? We’ll put that aside for the moment, and chalk it up to what I like to refer to as “exposition hell.”) As the flight begins pre-boarding, with just a handful of passengers inside, a man pushes down an armed guard, grabs his weapon and storms the plane shouting about the sun. Thus the action begins. Unless the plane keeps flying west and staying in darkness everyone on board will die.

You know those quarantine house lists that people have been sharing on social media? Where they list groups of famous people and ask which house you’d want to be stuck in? Well, this plane is almost entirely populated with people you would not want in your quarantine house.

[Mild spoilers in this graph] The characters have their moments, but what a bleak view of human nature this tale has. In spite of the fact that this airplane contains the last living human beings on the planet, as far as anyone knows, a fair amount of the drama centers around various characters scheming to get other characters kicked off their airborne life raft. This isn’t just banishing them from the village– it’s choosing to murder them. (Even characters possessed of skills that might help them survive.) I would like to think that if there were a great die-off the survivors would band together a bit more.

[Ok, you can come back now.] This show will take you for a fast-paced ride and you might just find that before you know it you’ve unintentionally watched the full series in one night.

 

Douglas v Ransome and Others

I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who attended my Zoom talk on “Oscar’s Ghost” yesterday. It was fun, and I do plan to make the recording available when I’ve had  chance to edit out some of the zoom awkwardness at the beginning.

In the meantime, I thought I would share this video highlighting an artifact from the trial at the heart of the story, the libel case between Lord Alfred Douglas and Arthur Ransome, which was more of a proxy battle between Douglas and Robert Ross.

This is the document from which the prosecution read in court. You will notice that on the first page of the typescript the salutation “Dear Bosie” is hand written. I believe that a typescript copy, sent to Douglas in discovery before the case, did not have this handwritten salutation.

Early on in the case, Douglas tried to deny that De Profundis was addressed to him. He only admitted it was when he saw the handwritten copy for the first time on the witness stand. He would only have done this if the document he had seen lacked the salutation. The lawyer for the Times Book Club even argued in his closing, based presumably on a similar copy of the typescript he had been given to prepare his case, that “Wilde in the De Profundis letter had not mentioned the plaintiff’s name.”

This video reflects the widely held belief that the reading of De Profundis caused Lord Alfred Douglas to lose his case. In fact, after taking up two days of the court’s time with it, the judge instructed the jury that it should not give it much weight. As I wrote in Oscar’s Ghost:

Ransome Trial PhotoThe reading of De Profundis, however, as dramatic as it was, did not cause him to lose his case. Justice Charles Darling, in his summation urged the jury not to take the prison letter at face value. He called it a “most remarkable and interesting document.” He said it should be taken as a study of what a bad man of genius had gone through in prison and its effect upon him. “It would be a great mistake to take all that he said as Gospel truth. The document was an excuse and an apology.” If De Profundis had been the only evidence, Douglas would probably have won the case. As we shall soon see, what swayed the judge, and caused him to direct the jury as he did, were damning personal letters provided by Robert Ross that proved beyond a doubt Douglas was guilty of the same crimes as Wilde. The defence team had strategically held back the letters, saving them as to use as rebuttal evidence in cross-examination. This meant that they did not have to include them in the initial plea of justification. In a statement for a later legal case, Ross would claim that he had produced the letters “under subpoena.” This is unlikely because if he had not made the decision to show them to the Ransome legal team, they would have had no way of knowing of their existence in the first place.

As the judge said in his summation, Douglas had been badly advised when he brought the case, but he had not known that these letters still existed until he was confronted with them in court. If he had known what was about to be unleashed on him, even the litigious Bosie might have thought twice about bringing the action.

The prosecution, financed and instructed by Ross, had used a carefully curated selection of letters to tell a story that Oscar Wilde came out of jail a reformed man only to be dragged back into a shameful life by Lord Alfred Douglas, who left him as soon as the money ran out.

I won’t go into the specifics of the letters here, and how well they represented the truth, but if you have an interest in that, it’s in the book.

Christopher Millard (Wilde bibliographer and editor of Three Times Tried) called Darling’s summation “a brilliant speech for the defence.”

Darling defended Ross’s decision to cut out the unpublished parts of De Profundis while publishing the rest.

The fact that the trustees of the British Museum agreed to take it proved that it was a valuable document. After bringing the case, Douglas could not now complain that the defence had produced De Profundis to show what Wilde’s view was of their relations. Nor, he said, could Douglas complain that his old letters had been produced. “He apparently did not know that those letters had been kept.”

It was on those letters that Darling put the greatest importance. He read one that Douglas had written to Wilde in 1899. The press declined to print it, but Darling described it as containing a “conversation which a decent pagan of the time of Pericles would not have referred to.”

Darling spoke of the attempts that had been made after Wilde’s release from prison “to enable him to redeem his past, and perhaps to still again become a great literary man if only he would give up his evil life. The plaintiff had referred to Oscar Wilde as a ‘devil incarnate.’ If it was true that Wilde was trying to lead a better life, what term might he not well apply to the man who had written that letter?”

He said that it had been proved that Lord Alfred Douglas was the subject of the text in Ransome’s book, and that De Profundis proved that Wilde did hold Douglas responsible for his downfall, and that further letters showed that he did believe Douglas behaved badly after he left prison and that Wilde feared his influence. His final thought before putting the case in the hands of the jury was devoted to De Profundis. “Oscar Wilde was writing this, and it is plain that he was writing it for his own glorification, whether it is true or not. That is quite plain.”

…It took the jury only 45 minutes to find that the words in Ransome’s book were libellous, but also true. They found that the Times Book Club was not negligent in making the book available. From then on there was no more talk of Wilde being driven to excess by “admirers” in the plural. Douglas was now the only suspect in Wilde’s ruin. The only question his supporters and detractors would fight over was just how culpable he was.

Virtual Culture: Creative Times 6

And my guide to virtual arts and culture offerings goes on…

I keep updating this list because I find it uplifting to think about the creativity and the opportunities to experience arts that you normally could not– because it is geographically distant. (Rather than focusing on the things you normally could do and cannot.)

So many artists and arts organizations are offering content that these posts have been getting long. This time, to keep things reasonable, I’m only going to list ongoing events if I have not listed them before. Scroll down to the past articles to see the ongoing events listed there, many of which are still happening.

I’ve converted all the times into my time zone, which is Eastern. Here is a link to covert to your own time. Events are free unless noted with $

There is also a comprehensive list at Cultural Digital Streams.

Theater/Film Performances Upcoming:

Now through May 14 King Lear. Stratford Theater Festival. Launches with a viewing party at 7PM and runs for three weeks on the Stratford Festival website. Because the festival has been sidelined, they’re presenting a free Shakespeare On Film festival, beginning on the playwright’s birthday, April 23. The curated program is divided into four themes, each of which resonates with things we’re thinking about during the pandemic: Social Order, Isolation, Minds Pushed to the Edge and Relationships. Lear is the first. Once it begins, with several plays running “in rep,” it’ll come to resemble the actual Stratford Festival itself.

Now through May 27: Much Ado About Nothing PBS Great Performances. Features Danielle Brooks (“Orange is the New Black,” Broadway’s “The Color Purple”) and Grantham Coleman (“Buzzer,” “The Americans”) as the sparring lovers Beatrice and Benedick. Tony Award winner Kenny Leon (“American Son,” “A Raisin in the Sun”) directs with choreography by Tony Award nominee Camille A. Brown (“Choir Boy”).

Now through July 1: Folger Theater’s Macbeth. On Youtube in two parts with a variety of companion videos, interviews and behind the scenes footage.

May 7 to 28. Stratford Theater Festival. Macbeth.

May 8 3 PM: Cirque de Soleil “Performing Luzia”. A behind the scenes documentary.

May 8 7:30 PM Michigan Irish Rep’s “Crowded Hour,” originally slated to be performed on stage, will be broadcast as a radio play.

May 12 7 PM: Chicago Dramatists. Zoom event. A “generative workshop,” playwright Emilio Williams.

Ballet/Dance Performances and classes Upcoming:

April 27-May 7. Weekdays. 1 PM: TeMaTe Institute for Black Dance and Culture with Ajara Alghali. Let’s Dance! Introduction to West African Dance. Presented by Sidewalk Detroit.

April 28 8 PM: New York City Ballet. Apollo.

April 30 8 PM: Heidi Duckler Dance’s The Chandelier scheduled to be performed in the Lovelace Studio Theater & Promenade Terrace at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. A short version, Illuminating The Chandelier, will premiere with a free livestream and will subsequently be available on demand. Registration appears to be required.

Music Upcoming

May 6 8 PM: And continuing every Wednesday. River Raisin Ragtime Review.

May 10 8 PM Nora Jane Struthers. Americana. The Ark Family Room Series

May 22 11 AM: Michigan Opera Theater Children’s Chorus. The Very Last Green Thing.

Literature Upcoming

May 4 7 PM: Zen and the Art of Poetry by Women. The Betsy and FIU Miami Beach Urban Studios, working in partnership with the poetry reading series and online literary journal, SWWIM (Supporting Women Writers in Miami), are pleased to present a new online series of salons featuring women and women identifying poets. Presenting, Mia Leonin and Alexandra Lytton Regalado.

May 7 8:30 PM: Quarantine Write-In. Hugo House. Writing prompts, and time to write and share with other writers.

May 7 10:30 PM: Poetry Series: Natalie Diaz. Seattle Arts and Lectures.

May 8 8PM: Solitude Social Club Literary Happy Hour. This is also an ongoing weekly event. Each week they bring a guest writer to discuss how they’re finding happiness through art and literature. Followed by breakout groups.

May 8 2 PM: Pict Classic Theater, “A Walk on the Wilde Side” lecture on Oscar Wilde. The series will continue the following two Fridays.

May 11 7 PM: Zen and the Art of Poetry by Women. Virtual salon. Presenting, Cynthia Atkins and Sonia Greenfield.

Museums and Visual Art Upcoming

May 15 8 PM: The Art and Life of Frida Khalo virtual event. La Grange Public Library invites you to a Zoom meeting where art historian Jeff Mishur of Art Excursions will present on the art and life of artist Frida Kahlo. Space is limited to 100 people max. Register in advance for this meeting. https://bit.ly/3aeA9g1

Other Upcoming

May 4 6 PM: Sidewalk Detroit’s Zoom Art Therapy. “Resilience: Continuing Our Creative Practice in Times of Hardship Week 2: Balancing Emotions.”

May 4 7 PM: Artist interview: Yvette Rock. “Multi-disciplinary artist Yvette Rock will share about her journey exploring the world of nature through a multi-year installation called ‘Nest’ while inviting you to consider embarking on your own ongoing creative projects using found objects and common household materials.”

Virtual Culture: Creative Times 5

Welcome to my ongoing catalog of virtual arts and culture offerings. Before I start my answer to TV Guide, I want to highlight one particular event– the one I am doing. This Sunday I’ll be talking about my book “Oscar’s Ghost.” I’m excited about it because it is the first time I will be able to give a talk in one place while having people throughout the world all attend in the same “room.”

 

Ross Douglas

Sunday, May 3, 3 PM Eastern (New York) Time. Join Laura Lee, author of “Oscar’s Ghost” for a discussion of the posthumous feud over Oscar Wilde’s legacy. Years after Oscar Wilde’s death, two of his closest friends, Lord Alfred Douglas and his literary executor Robert Ross– both had been Wilde’s lovers–engaged in a bitter battle over Wilde’s legacy and who was to blame for his downfall and early death. The centerpiece of the conflict was Ross’s handling of Wilde’s prison manuscript, De Profundis, which was written in the form of a letter to Douglas, full of recriminations. The bitter feud had ramifications for how the story of Oscar Wilde was told and remembered. The link to join the zoom discussion will be posted on the Oscar’s Ghost Facebook page.

Ok, now that I’ve got that out of the way. Here are some of the cultural opportunities this week and beyond.  I keep updating these as time permits and things come to my attention, so bookmark this to check in to find things to do.

As always, feel free to look back at some of the earlier posts on the subject because some of those events will either be ongoing or you can follow the links to find upcoming events I didn’t have an opportunity to list.

I’ve converted all the times into my time zone, which is Eastern. Here is a link to covert to your own time.  Events are free unless noted with $

A great resource to find streaming events of all kinds, mostly music, is the Nashville Based Do Stuff at Home. Plug in a date, and see a list of what is going on that day.

Ballet/Dance Performances and classes Upcoming:

April 27-May 7. Weekdays. 1 PM: TeMaTe Institute for Black Dance and Culture with Ajara Alghali. Let’s Dance! Introduction to West African Dance. Presented by Sidewalk Detroit.

April 28 8 PM: New York City Ballet. Apollo.

April 30 8 PM: Heidi Duckler Dance’s The Chandelier scheduled to be performed in the Lovelace Studio Theater & Promenade Terrace at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. A short version, Illuminating The Chandelier, will premiere with a free livestream and will subsequently be available on demand. Registration appears to be required.

May 3 12 PM: Bolshoi Ballet “Bright Stream.”

Ballet/Dance Performances/Classes Ongoing:

ABT is offering various streaming online classes and daily content for children ABT Kids.

Perm Opera Ballet Theater has a number of full length ballet streams planned. Check their Youtube page to sign up for reminders.

Stuttgart Ballet at Home has various offerings including full length ballets and documentaries.

English National Ballet post a full length ballet and hosts a Wednesday Watch Party every Wednesday at 2 PM Eastern. Their Youtube channel also offers classes.

Carolina Ballet has a number of pre-recorded full-length ballets on offer on its web page.

New York City Ballet offers various streaming classes and workshops.

The company of Michael Flatley (Lord of the Dance) is offering regular Irish dance classes and other content via Youtube.

Sumin Ballet is offering 48-hour streaming access to a pre-recorded performance every Wednesday. Called Hump Day Ballets, the week’s repertoire is chosen by a different company member. Links to the broadcast will be available on the company’s Facebook and Instagram page

School of Nashville Ballet has streaming classes every Monday through Saturday at noon.

For a regular update of schools offering streaming classes see the Virtual Ballet Facebook group.

Theater/Film Performances Upcoming:

Ending April 27 Cyprus Avenue by David Ireland. Commissioned by The Space Arts, the film mixes live capture of performance from the iconic Royal Court Theatre stage production starring Stephen Rhea with location shooting in Belfast.

Ending April 27: Cheek by Jowl Theater A Winter’s Tale

Now through May 14 King Lear. Stratford Theater Festival. Launches with a viewing party at 7PM and runs for three weeks on the Stratford Festival website. Because the festival has been sidelined, they’re presenting a free Shakespeare On Film festival, beginning on the playwright’s birthday, April 23. The curated program is divided into four themes, each of which resonates with things we’re thinking about during the pandemic: Social Order, Isolation, Minds Pushed to the Edge and Relationships. Lear is the first. Once it begins, with several plays running “in rep,” it’ll come to resemble the actual Stratford Festival itself.

Now through May 27: Much Ado About Nothing PBS Great Performances. Features Danielle Brooks (“Orange is the New Black,” Broadway’s “The Color Purple”) and Grantham Coleman (“Buzzer,” “The Americans”) as the sparring lovers Beatrice and Benedick. Tony Award winner Kenny Leon (“American Son,” “A Raisin in the Sun”) directs with choreography by Tony Award nominee Camille A. Brown (“Choir Boy”).

Now through July 1: Folger Theater’s Macbeth. On Youtube in two parts with a variety of companion videos, interviews and behind the scenes footage.

 

April 27-May 3. Hampstead Theater Company. The Arrest of Ai Wei Wei.

April 29 7:30 PM: Shakespeare Theater Company lecture. In 1596, Shakespeare’s son Hamnet dies from the plague. A few years later, his father dies. In 1603, James Stuart becomes King James I of England. We discuss Hamlet, the “poem unlimited” and an endlessly fascinating study of grief and spirituality with its twin in Measure for Measure, a problem comedy that explores the ambiguities and mysteries of authoritarian leadership, the human being’s relationship to the law, and the law’s relationship to all of us.

April 30 2 PM and available until May 7: National Theatre. Frankenstein. with Benedict Cumberbatch as the creature and Jonny Lee Miller as Victor Frankenstein.

April 30 and available until May 21. Stratford Theater Festival. Coriolanus.

May 2 2 PM: Arab Film Series. Short films all screened at a previous AANM Arab Film Festival.

May 7 to 28. Stratford Theater Festival. Macbeth.

May 12 7 PM: Chicago Dramatists. Zoom event. A “generative workshop,” playwright Emilio Williams.

Theater Ongoing:

Apollinaire Theater Company (Massachusetts) is doing a series of free interactive online play & film script reading gathering (by video meeting). You can to become part of the show — from a safe social distance. Download and read the script, choose your favorite parts and, if your name is drawn, you become part of the production or just sit and watch if you wish. See the web page for their upcoming schedule.

Jeff Daniels’ Purple Rose Theater has a streaming monologue series and is planning some future streaming events.

Soup Soup Theater has made their canceled production of Oscar Wilde’s The Selfish Giant available for free on Youtube.

Actor’s Theater of Louisville has launched “Actors Theater Direct” purchase tickets to stream past performances and support the theater. $

Second City improv the current players (and some alumni) from Second City in Chicago are presenting “Improv House Parties.” R.S.V.P. and chuckle along to their antics Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. ET.

Open Clasp Theatre Company. Key Change. Winner of The Carol Tambor ‘Best of Edinburgh’ Award 2015, Key Change premiered in New York in 2016 and was the prestigious New York Times Critics’ Pick.

The Actors Fund. Stars in the House. The Actors Fund is hosting miniature Broadway shows every day at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. ET with stars like Kristin Chenoweth, Patrick Wilson, and Audra McDonald via its YouTube page. The shows are free but donations are gladly accepted.

The Social Distancing Social Club. Streaming comedy show, every day, except for Monday and Thursday, at 8 PM Eastern.

Lionsgate Movies. Lionsgate Live! A Night at the Movies will be hosted by Jamie Lee Curtis. Curtis will be joined by special guest celebrities and YouTube personalities. The free movies that will livestream on Fridays at 6:00pm PT/9:00pm

Cirque du Soleil is offering streaming content including show and behind the scenes footage

The Original Theatre Company has two full length productions on offer. Asking for L2.50 or a larger donation. $

National Theatre (London) is streaming a free play every Thursday at 7PM GMT.

Pandemic Players of Baltimore are staging various plays Zoom style. See their Youtube page for the full length offerings.

The Show Must Go On Online will be streaming all of Shakespeare’s plays in order

Theater without Theater (Instagram) is posting everything from songs from canceled productions to full performances.

Center for Puppetry is offering a regular series of streaming shows and puppet making workshops see their web page for upcoming dates.

Marquee TV
offers a 30 Day free trial of its streaming service with performances by the Bolshoi, Royal Shakespeare Company and Classic Spring Theater
Company’s Oscar Wilde season.

Corona Virus Theater Club. Linking writers and actors to produce streaming content.

Keep on Writing 2020 creates a new Twitter length play each day.

Belarus Free Theater is streaming 24 of its productions on Youtube. English subtitles available.

Happenstance Theater’s Moxie production. Winner of two Helen Hayes Awards! Outstanding Costume Design and Musical Direction A theatrical collage inspired by the Great Age of Vaudeville, infused with the joys and struggles of its performers’ lives. In homage to the style and spirit of this immensely popular theatre from the late 19th Century, Happenstance Theater brings old Vaudeville back. $10 rental supports the theater. $

I, China. Shakespeare’s Julius Ceasar as told through the eyes of one of the play’s minor characters. The review of this performance in The Guardian says “There’s no shortage of Shakespeare and other live drama to watch online during this period when we are shut out of theatres. But Crouch and Owusu don’t just deliver spellbinding poetry: they urge us to create our own and, most importantly, assure us that we can’t fail.”

Virtual Theater and Learning from Chicago Children’s Theater on Youtube.

Sydney Theatre Company is posting regular videos with actors performing monologues from various plays.

The Intruder. Detroit Theater Collective. “For a limited time” (not specified) “Inspired by ghosts, dark angels, 1960s American soap operas, Hitchcock and Maeterlinck’s Symbolist writing.”

If you’re looking for something cultural to listen to, the Folger Shakespeare Library has a regular Shakespeare Unlimited podcast.

Film Ongoing

Talking Shorts, an online magazine devoted to short films, has organized the My Darling Quarantine Online Film Festival. Each week, the site will host seven shorts curated by the international film community on the theme of of “dystopia.” Vote on your favorites, and if you’re able, donate to the GoFundMe the site has set up to support both Medecins Sans Frontiers and cultural workers who have been impacted by the various shutdowns.

Cinema Detroit is hosting virtual screenings of indie films. Buy a ticket and they’ll send you a link to stream. $

Cinetopia Film Festival rent and stream independent movies. Support independent film makers. $

Michigan and State Theaters Virtual Cinema. Streaming independent films to support independent filmmakers and the theaters. $

Acme Screening Room. Rent and stream current independent films. $

Music Box Direct. Streaming service that brings international art house films and tv to your living room. 7 Day free trial. $

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Virtual screening room has international, documentary and independent films to rent. $

National Film Board of Canada has more than 3,000 films free online

Kate Lain’s “Cabin Fever” extensive list of experimental films, organized by mood.

Netflix has posted dozens of their educational film and programs on Youtube for free.

The historic Redford Theater has been hosting classic film watch parties on its Facebook page. Check there for the next one.

Planet of the Humans climate change-themed documentary directed by Jeff Gibbs and Produced by Michael Moore available via Youtube.

Réveíl: Waking Up French. Documentary on the French-Canadian, Franco-American communities of New England. Available streaming for 30 days.

Hyperallergic’s list of experimental film to enjoy in lockdown.

Music Upcoming

April 23-26 and April 30-May 3 11 AM-7 PM: Jazz Festing in Place. Radio station WWOZ’s version of the canceled New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.

April 28 7:30 PM: Rory Block Home Concert Series

May 1 8 PM The Accidentals livestream The Ark Family Room Series

May 6 8 PM: And continuing every Wednesday. River Raisin Ragtime Review.

May 10 8 PM Nora Jane Struthers. Americana. The Ark Family Room Series

May 22 11 AM: Michigan Opera Theater Children’s Chorus. The Very Last Green Thing.

Music Ongoing

Rock/Pop/Americana/Folk/Country/Jazz

The Uncancelled Music Festival. The UnCancelled Music Festival brings together musicians, fans and venues from around the globe for a virtual concert experience to help sustain the music industry.

Club Passim (Massachusetts) is streaming a series of concerts, mostly acoustic/americana each day at 6 or 7 PM. Visit their Live Stream page to see the schedule.

Cafe Lena has a streaming “Stay at Home” series every night at 8 PM.

Rufus Wainwright Livestreaming Daily

Mary Chapin Carpenter is doing songs from her kitchen on Facebook

Will Hoppey, NY Singer-Songwriter, is holding regular living room gigs every Wednesday and Saturday at 6 PM.

Randy Cormier, a Berkshire, MA singer-songwriter and record store owner posts regular streaming performances as well as live record auctions on his Facebook page. Follow to see when the next one is happening.

Jam Happy Hour with musical guests via Zoom. Every evening at 4 PM.

Harry Rollins shares some of his favorites from his music collection and the stories behind them in “Cool Quarantine” KCRW radio.

If you missed Glen Hansard playing live at his house on April 12, you can still catch the video on Youtube.

Pink Floyd is streaming free concert films.

Radiohead is streaming free concert films.

Neil Finn of Crowded House has a daily audio stream at 7PM Eastern. His web page also has a number of videos of his living room performances and performances in his home studio with the Finn brothers.

Tom Chapin and family. Mornings with Papa Tom and The Chapin Sisters continues with live family concerts every weekday at 11 AM Eastern time.

The Metro Times is listing livestreaming events from Detroi

Michigan Opera Theater’s “MOT At Home”

The Metropolitan Opera is offering nightly live streaming.

Paris Opera is screening select performances (including Swan Lake) online free

Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Live Streaming on its Youtube Channel

Boston Symphony Orchestra At Home

London Symphony Orchestra performance archive (new concerts streamed every Sunday and Thursday)

Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra Digital Concert Hall, free access if you register before March 31 (voucher code: BERLINPHIL)

Cellist and composer Joshua McClain has been posting morning cello usually at 11:30 Eastern/8:30 Pacific. Check his page for clips and future events.

Fred Hirsch, pianist and composer, is livestreaming a free mini-concert from his home every day at 1 PM on Facebook.

Toronto’s Koerner Hall has a Wednesday 4 PM watch party series. Mostly classical with some other genres. Check their page for upcoming shows.

Gilette Children’s Specialty Healthcare presents live children’s music therapy every Wednesday at 4:30 PM Eastern.

Camera Pacifica Concerts at Home. Archived performances. Every Sunday at 2:30 PM.

Other Genres

The Irish Arts Center in NY has a variety of streaming classes, archived Irish music videos and poetry

While baseball is sidelined, Fenway Park’s organist is giving 30 minute streaming concerts called The 7th Inning Stretch every day at 3 PM.

Virtual Dance Parties

Matthew Way has a daily DJ dance party streaming on Facebook at 6 PM

The Motown Museum in Detroit is holding a Motown Dance Party via its Instagram page every Friday night at 8 PM

The Basement Detroit. Sundays 7-9 PM.

Literature Upcoming

April 27 7PM: Zen and the Art of Poetry by Women. The Betsy and FIU Miami Beach Urban Studios, working in partnership with the poetry reading series and online literary journal, SWWIM (Supporting Women Writers in Miami), are pleased to present a new online series of salons featuring women and women identifying poets. Curated by three major Miami literary voices: Jen Karetnick, Catherine Esposito Prescott, and Caridad Moro-Gronlier. Presenting, Naoko Fujimoto and Freesia McKee.

April 30-May 7: Louder Than a Bomb Poetry Festival for writers aged 13-19

May 1-3 The Bay Area Book Festival has gone virtual. Visit the page for all of the events.

May 2 12 PM: Pages bookstore in Detroit is hosting its first virtual author event with Angie Kim discussing her book Miracle Creek.

May 4 7 PM: Zen and the Art of Poetry by Women. The Betsy and FIU Miami Beach Urban Studios, working in partnership with the poetry reading series and online literary journal, SWWIM (Supporting Women Writers in Miami), are pleased to present a new online series of salons featuring women and women identifying poets. Presenting, Mia Leonin and Alexandra Lytton Regalado.

May 11 7 PM: Zen and the Art of Poetry by Women. Virtual salon. Presenting, Cynthia Atkins and Sonia Greenfield.

Ongoing

Unemployed NYC Booksellers launch online bookstore

Insideout Literary Arts/Citywide Poets have daily writing prompts and a virtual poetry slam every Saturday from 3-4 PM.

Reading list of books and authors that were to be featured at the canceled PEN World Voices Festival

Literati Bookstore in Ann Arbor has a digital event series called At Home with Literati. Check their calendar to see upcoming author events.

Elliot Bay Book Company in Seattle has moved its literary events online.

Hugo House, a writer’s hub in Seattle, has various literary events scheduled.

Lockdown Litfest. A series of video chats with literary figures. My favorite is Ben Crystal on Shakespeare’s original pronunciation.

Poet Billy Collins is posting regular videos reading poetry on his Facebook page.

Actor Robert Sheehan reads Oscar Wilde’s The Happy Prince

Children’s Lit

Ongoing

David Williams releasing a free children’s audiobook every day for 30 days

Resources from Children’s Literature Authors

Kids Ask Authors podcast. Kids Ask Authors is a great new podcast led by author Grace Lin. You’ll want to check it out. The episodes are between 5-10 minutes each so they are a nice short way to have some discussion about writing and books.

Jennifer Garner has teamed up with a series of celebrity readers to bring children’s books to life.

Storytime with Yuyi Morales. Gather the kids and watch the award-winning author and illustrator read her book “Dreamers” on Instagram.

Dolly Parton is reading children’s stories live various evenings at 7 PM.

Other Arts Upcoming

April 29 5 PM: “Lets Draw Picasso’s Guitar” class for ages 8-12. $

May 15 8 PM: The Art and Life of Frida Khalo virtual event. La Grange Public Library invites you to a Zoom meeting where art historian Jeff Mishur of Art Excursions will present on the art and life of artist Frida Kahlo. Space is limited to 100 people max. Register in advance for this meeting. https://bit.ly/3aeA9g1

Museums Ongoing

Museum of Modern Art Free Online Classes

2,500 Museums You Can Now Visit Virtually

Virtual tour of the Van Gogh Exhibit that took place in Paris last year

You can now see every MoMA exhibit since 1929

Virtual tour of the International Spy Museum

Virtual tour of Art Omi Sculpture Park

Take a virtual tour of the Museum of the American Revolution

Coloring Books

The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy and other community partners, including the City of Detroit, have teamed up with illustrators from 313 Creative to produce a free coloring book celebrating some of Detroit’s most popular parks to provide kids with creative activities to do while they stay at home.
⠀Each Tuesday from April 14 through May 26, two new images will be released and available to download, print and color on the Detroit Riverfont website.

Free coloring sheets created by artists.

Download thousands of coloring pages from museum collections

Free Shakespeare coloring book

Other Ongoing

Nikon is offering free online photography classes throughout April

Fast Company’s List of Free Online Drawing Classes by Famous Illustrators

Virtual Tours of Frank Lloyd Wright buildings

Chicago Detours is offering virtual historic tours via Google Street View and images. See their page for upcoming tours.

Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Virtual Classroom

Virtual NYC Arts. Massive amounts of stuff here.

Playground Detroit. Wednesdays at 5. Playground Detroit hosts a regular Instagram Live series dedicated to visiting the city’s artists inside their own studios for candid conversations and a dose of much-needed creativity.

Creative Times 4

Welcome to part 4 of my guide to streaming arts and culture offerings. Be sure to look at the previous post as well because there will be some ongoing items of interest, and links to one time events are archived or that can lead you to others. All times are Eastern unless otherwise noted. Events are free unless noted with $

A great resource to find streaming events of all kinds, mostly music, is the Nashville Based Do Stuff at Home. Plug in a date, and see a list of what is going on that day.

Ballet/Dance Performances and classes Upcoming:

April 17-26: Royal Ballet. Peter and the Wolf.

April 17-? Royal Ballet. Metamorphosis.

April 17–April 24 San Francisco Ballet. Let’s Begin at the End.

April 19 5 PM American Ballet Theater. Misty Copeland and Calvin Royal III in Conversation with Budd Mishkin: Romeo & Juliet at American Ballet Theatre. $5

April 21 8PM: New York City Ballet.  Balanchine’s Allegro Brillante.  Recorded in the winter of 2017 and featuring Principal Dancers Tiler Peck and Andrew Veyette in the lead roles, Allegro Brillante will be presented with an introduction from NYCB Artistic Director Jonathan Stafford for 72 hours on NYCB’s YouTube channel, Facebook page, and homepage at nycballet.com.

April 22 2 PM: English National Ballet “Wednesday Watch Party” Full length “Broken Wings.” Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s critically acclaimed Broken Wings, featuring Tamara Rojo in the role of Frida Kahlo alongside legendary ballet star Irek Mukhamedov as Diego Rivera.

April 23 7 PM and archived through April 26. Alvin Ailey Dance Company “Night Theater”

April 24 8 PM: New York City Ballet. The world premiere performance of Justin Peck’s Rotunda, filmed on February 26, 2020.

April 24-May 1: An Evening with Natalia Osipova. A program by Sadler’s Wells Theatre.

April 25 12 PM: Bolshoi Ballet “A Hero For our Time.” Available for 24 hours.

April 26 10 PM: Misty Copeland Introduces the world premiere of Deluxe by the BalletBoyz

April 27-May 7. Weekdays. 1 PM: TeMaTe Institute for Black Dance and Culture with Ajara Alghali. Let’s Dance! Introduction to West African Dance. Presented by Sidewalk Detroit.

April 30 8 PM: Heidi Duckler Dance’s The Chandelier scheduled to be performed in the Lovelace Studio Theater & Promenade Terrace at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. A short version, Illuminating The Chandelier, will premiere with a free livestream and will subsequently be available on demand. Registration appears to be required.

Ballet/Dance Performances/Classes Ongoing:

ABT is offering various streaming online classes and daily content for children ABT Kids.

The Bolshoi Ballet’s “We Together” a two hour performance held at the Bolshoi Theater without an audience and streamed to the public is now available on Youtube.

Perm Opera Ballet Theater has a number of full length ballet streams planned. Check their Youtube page to sign up for reminders.

Stuttgart Ballet at Home has various offerings including full length ballets and documentaries.

English National Ballet post a full length ballet and hosts a Wednesday Watch Party every Wednesday at 2 PM Eastern. Their Youtube channel also offers classes.

Carolina Ballet has a number of pre-recorded full-length ballets on offer on its web page.

New York City Ballet offers various streaming classes and workshops.

Sumin Ballet is offering 48-hour streaming access to a pre-recorded performance every Wednesday. Called Hump Day Ballets, the week’s repertoire is chosen by a different company member. Links to the broadcast will be available on the company’s Facebook and Instagram page

For a regular update of schools offering streaming classes see the Virtual Ballet Facebook group.

Virtual Dance Parties

Matthew Way has a daily DJ dance party streaming on Facebook at 6 PM

The Motown Museum in Detroit is holding a Motown Dance Party via its Instagram page every Friday night at 8 PM

The Basement Detroit. Sundays 7-9 PM.

Theater/Film Performances Upcoming:

Now through April 26 Williamston Theater. These Mortal Hosts. This live performance was canceled due to Covid but it is being offered streaming with ticket sales benefiting the performers and the theater. $

Now through April 27 Cyprus Avenue by David Ireland. Commissioned by The Space Arts, the film mixes live capture of performance from the iconic Royal Court Theatre stage production starring Stephen Rhea with location shooting in Belfast.

Now through April 27: Cheek by Jowl Theater A Winter’s Tale.

Now through May 27: Much Ado About Nothing PBS Great Performances.  Features Danielle Brooks (“Orange is the New Black,” Broadway’s “The Color Purple”) and Grantham Coleman (“Buzzer,” “The Americans”) as the sparring lovers Beatrice and Benedick. Tony Award winner Kenny Leon (“American Son,” “A Raisin in the Sun”) directs with choreography by Tony Award nominee Camille A. Brown (“Choir Boy”).

Now through July 1: Folger Theater’s Macbeth. On Youtube in two parts with a variety of companion videos, interviews and behind the scenes footage.

April 16-23: National Theatre at Home Treasure Island

April 17-24 Various times. The Booksellers documentary. Holding virtual screenings which benefit local cinemas. Check the page for theaters and showtimes. $

April 20 2 PM and available until May 3. The Globe Theater. Romeo and Juliette.

April 21: 5 PM Broadway Cares Tuesday Trivia. Three rounds of musical theater trivia.

April 23 2 PM and available for one week. National Theater’s Twelfth Night.

April 23 to May 14 King Lear. Stratford Theater Festival. Launches with a viewing party at 7PM and runs for three weeks on the Stratford Festival website. Because the festival has been sidelined, they’re presenting a free Shakespeare On Film festival, beginning on the playwright’s birthday, April 23.  The curated program is divided into four themes, each of which resonates with things we’re thinking about during the pandemic: Social Order, Isolation, Minds Pushed to the Edge and Relationships.  Lear is the first. Once it begins, with several plays running “in rep,” it’ll come to resemble the actual Stratford Festival itself.

April 23 1 PM Happy Birthday, Shakespeare. Lecture by Shakespeare professor Lisa Kander.

April 22-26: The Freep Film Festival has moved online with its program of documentary films. Visit their page for schedule and showtimes.

April 22 7:30 PM: Shakespeare Theater Company lecture. A discussion of Shakespeare’s two early masterpieces, Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and why they remain such popular and beloved works. As a new member of the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, Shakespeare helps change our understanding of tragedy and comedy, teenage identity, and the magical experience of nature. Also discussed: Shakespeare’s “lyric” period, what makes these works different from what came before, Simon’s thoughts on directing Romeo and Juliet for the National Theatre. Free to Shakespeare Theater Company members, $10 to non-members. $

April 23: Premiere short documentary film. The Fight for Oak Flat, in conjunction with the Sierra Club – Grand Canyon (Arizona) Chapter. On April 23rd there will be a free online premiere and a virtual zoom discussion panel with the subjects of the film, moderated by the filmmaker. (I didn’t see what time of day but will update when I know.)

April 23 7 PM: MSU Filmetry Festival. Screening a collection of student, faculty and guest filmmakers adapting work from poems featured in RESPECT: The Poetry of Detroit Music. The Filmetry Festival is a collaboration between the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities, the Film Studies Program and the Department of English, and the MSU Libraries.

April 25: The Graduate, with Matthew Rhys, Kathleen Turner, Bruce Davison, and John Getz. To stream current and recently broadcast plays from LA Theaeterworks weekly radio series: latw.org/broadcasts#recent.

April 26 5 PM: Original Practice Shakespeare. A Midsommer Night’s Dreame.

April 28 8 PM: Sondheim 90th Birthday Celebration. Concert event with starts of Broadway.

April 29 7:30 PM: Shakespeare Theater Company lecture. In 1596, Shakespeare’s son Hamnet dies from the plague. A few years later, his father dies. In 1603, James Stuart becomes King James I of England. We discuss Hamlet, the “poem unlimited” and an endlessly fascinating study of grief and spirituality with its twin in Measure for Measure, a problem comedy that explores the ambiguities and mysteries of authoritarian leadership, the human being’s relationship to the law, and the law’s relationship to all of us.

April 30 2 PM and available until May 7: National Theatre. Frankenstein. with Benedict Cumberbatch as the creature and Jonny Lee Miller as Victor Frankenstein.

April 30 and available until May 21. Stratford Theater Festival. Coriolanus.

May 7 to 28. Stratford Theater Festival. Macbeth.

May 12 7 PM: Chicago Dramatists. Zoom event. A “generative workshop,” playwright Emilio Williams.

Theater Ongoing:

Apollinaire Theater Company (Massachusetts) is doing a series of free interactive online play & film script reading gathering (by video meeting). You can to become part of the show — from a safe social distance. Download and read the script, choose your favorite parts and, if your name is drawn, you become part of the production or just sit and watch if you wish. See the web page for their upcoming schedule.

Actor’s Theater of Louisville has launched “Actors Theater Direct” purchase tickets to stream past performances and support the theater. $

Second City improv the current players (and some alumni) from Second City in Chicago are presenting “Improv House Parties.” R.S.V.P. and chuckle along to their antics Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. ET.

The Actors Fund. Stars in the House. The Actors Fund is hosting miniature Broadway shows every day at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. ET with stars like Kristin Chenoweth, Patrick Wilson, and Audra McDonald via its YouTube page. The shows are free but donations are gladly accepted.

The Social Distancing Social Club. Streaming comedy show, every day, except for Monday and Thursday, at 8 PM Eastern.

Lionsgate Movies. Lionsgate Live! A Night at the Movies will be hosted by Jamie Lee Curtis. Curtis will be joined by special guest celebrities and YouTube personalities. The free movies that will livestream on Fridays at 6:00pm PT/9:00pm

Cirque du Soleil is offering streaming content including show and behind the scenes footage

The Original Theatre Company has two full length productions on offer. Asking for L2.50 or a larger donation. $

National Theatre (London) is streaming a free play every Thursday at 7PM GMT.

The Show Must Go On Online will be streaming all of Shakespeare’s plays in order

Theater without Theater (Instagram) is posting everything from songs from canceled productions to full performances.

Center for Puppetry is offering a regular series of streaming shows and puppet making workshops see their web page for upcoming dates.

Marquee TV
offers a 30 Day free trial of its streaming service with performances by the Bolshoi, Royal Shakespeare Company and Classic Spring Theater
Company’s Oscar Wilde season.

Corona Virus Theater Club. Linking writers and actors to produce streaming content.

Keep on Writing 2020 creates a new Twitter length play each day.

Belarus Free Theater is streaming 24 of its productions on Youtube. English subtitles available.

Happenstance Theater’s Moxie production. Winner of two Helen Hayes Awards! Outstanding Costume Design and Musical Direction A theatrical collage inspired by the Great Age of Vaudeville, infused with the joys and struggles of its performers’ lives. In homage to the style and spirit of this immensely popular theatre from the late 19th Century, Happenstance Theater brings old Vaudeville back. $10 rental supports the theater. $

I, China. Shakespeare’s Julius Ceasar as told through the eyes of one of the play’s minor characters. The review of this performance in The Guardian says “There’s no shortage of Shakespeare and other live drama to watch online during this period when we are shut out of theatres. But Crouch and Owusu don’t just deliver spellbinding poetry: they urge us to create our own and, most importantly, assure us that we can’t fail.”

Virtual Theater and Learning from Chicago Children’s Theater on Youtube.

Sydney Theatre Company is posting regular videos with actors performing monologues from various plays.

The Intruder. Detroit Theater Collective. “For a limited time” (not specified) “Inspired by ghosts, dark angels, 1960s American soap operas, Hitchcock and Maeterlinck’s Symbolist writing.”

If you’re looking for something cultural to listen to, the Folger Shakespeare Library has a regular Shakespeare Unlimited podcast.

Film Ongoing

Talking Shorts, an online magazine devoted to short films, has organized the My Darling Quarantine Online Film Festival. Each week, the site will host seven shorts curated by the international film community on the theme of of “dystopia.” Vote on your favorites, and if you’re able, donate to the GoFundMe the site has set up to support both Medecins Sans Frontiers and cultural workers who have been impacted by the various shutdowns.

Cinema Detroit is hosting virtual screenings of indie films. Buy a ticket and they’ll send you a link to stream. $

Cinetopia Film Festival rent and stream independent movies. Support independent film makers. $

Michigan and State Theaters Virtual Cinema. Streaming independent films to support independent filmmakers and the theaters. $

Acme Screening Room. Rent and stream current independent films. $

Music Box Direct. Streaming service that brings international art house films and tv to your living room. 7 Day free trial. $

National Film Board of Canada has more than 3,000 films free online

Netflix has posted dozens of their educational film and programs on Youtube for free.

The historic Redford Theater has been hosting classic film watch parties on its Facebook page. Check there for the next one.

Planet of the Humans climate change-themed documentary directed by Jeff Gibbs and Produced by Michael Moore available via Youtube.

Réveíl: Waking Up French. Documentary on the French-Canadian, Franco-American communities of New England. Available streaming for 30 days.

Music Upcoming

April 19 2 PM The Kennedys Live-Stream Concert.

April 20 2:30 PM Ukulele Lesson with Raelyn Nelson. (Granddaughter of Willie Nelson)

April 21 4 PM: It’s Irish singer-songwriter Glen Hansard’s 50th birthday and he has invited everyone to celebrate with him. “Join me for a glass, a song, and a story on my Instagram @thegingerman222”

April 21 9 PM: Music to Stargaze By.  Music for this years Lyrids meteor shower. Led Astronomer, Moiya McTier music by Yusuke Yamamoto.

April 23 9 PM: Blackwing Sessions presents Johnny Irion.

April 24 2 PM Royal Opera. Glorianna. Streaming on the Royal Opera House’s Youtube Channel.

April 24 3 PM Leon Gurvich Solo Piano. Original works, film music and improvisations on themes suggested by the audience.

April 26 1 PM: Dutch National Opera 50th Anniversary Gala. Available for one week.

April 26 3 PM: From the Woody Guthrie Center. A discussion with songwriter and musician Jimmy LaFave.

April 26 7:30 PM Birds of Change. Ark Family Room Series.

May 1 8 PM The Accidentals livestream The Ark Family Room Series

May 6 8 PM: And continuing every Wednesday. River Raisin Ragtime Review.

May 10 8 PM Nora Jane Struthers. Americana. The Ark Family Room Series

May 22 11 AM: Michigan Opera Theater Children’s Chorus. The Very Last Green Thing.

Music Ongoing

Rock/Pop/Americana/Folk/Country/Jazz

The Uncancelled Music Festival. The UnCancelled Music Festival brings together musicians, fans and venues from around the globe for a virtual concert experience to help sustain the music industry.

Club Passim (Massachusetts) is streaming a series of concerts, mostly acoustic/americana each day at 6 or 7 PM. Visit their Live Stream page to see the schedule.

Cafe Lena has a streaming “Stay at Home” series every night at 8 PM.

Rufus Wainwright Livestreaming Daily

Mary Chapin Carpenter is doing songs from her kitchen on Facebook

Will Hoppey, NY Singer-Songwriter, is holding regular living room gigs every Wednesday and Saturday at 6 PM.

Randy Cormier, a Berkshire, MA singer-songwriter and record store owner posts regular streaming performances as well as live record auctions on his Facebook page. Follow to see when the next one is happening.

Jam Happy Hour with musical guests via Zoom. Every evening at 4 PM.

Harry Rollins shares some of his favorites from his music collection and the stories behind them in “Cool Quarantine” KCRW radio.

If you missed Glen Hansard playing live at his house on April 12, you can still catch the video on Youtube.

Pink Floyd is streaming free concert films.

Radiohead is streaming free concert films.

Neil Finn of Crowded House has a daily audio stream at 7PM Eastern. His web page also has a number of videos of his living room performances and performances in his home studio with the Finn brothers.

Tom Chapin and family. Mornings with Papa Tom and The Chapin Sisters continues with live family concerts every weekday at 11 AM Eastern time.

The Metro Times is listing livestreaming events from Detroi

Michigan Opera Theater’s “MOT At Home”

The Metropolitan Opera is offering nightly live streaming.

Paris Opera is screening select performances (including Swan Lake) online free

Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Live Streaming on its Youtube Channel

Boston Symphony Orchestra At Home

London Symphony Orchestra performance archive (new concerts streamed every Sunday and Thursday)

Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra Digital Concert Hall, free access if you register before March 31 (voucher code: BERLINPHIL)

Cellist and composer Joshua McClain has been posting morning cello usually at 11:30 Eastern/8:30 Pacific. Check his page for clips and future events.

Fred Hirsch, pianist and composer, is livestreaming a free mini-concert from his home every day at 1 PM on Facebook.

Toronto’s Koerner Hall has a Wednesday 4 PM watch party series. Mostly classical with some other genres. Check their page for upcoming shows.

Gilette Children’s Specialty Healthcare presents live children’s music therapy every Wednesday at 4:30 PM Eastern.

Camera Pacifica Concerts at Home. Archived performances. Every Sunday at 2:30 PM.

Other Genres

The Irish Arts Center in NY has a variety of streaming classes, archived Irish music videos and poetry

While baseball is sidelined, Fenway Park’s organist is giving 30 minute streaming concerts called The 7th Inning Stretch every day at 3 PM.

Literature Upcoming

April 23 1 PM: Virtual Tour of the American Writers Museum

April 23 8 PM: Poetry off the Stage: A virtual reading with Carl Phillips

April 27 7PM: Zen and the Art of Poetry by Women. The Betsy and FIU Miami Beach Urban Studios, working in partnership with the poetry reading series and online literary journal, SWWIM (Supporting Women Writers in Miami), are pleased to present a new online series of salons featuring women and women identifying poets. Curated by three major Miami literary voices: Jen Karetnick, Catherine Esposito Prescott, and Caridad Moro-Gronlier. Presenting, Naoko Fujimoto and Freesia McKee.

April 30-May 7: Louder Than a Bomb Poetry Festival for writers aged 13-19

May 1-3 The Bay Area Book Festival has gone virtual. Visit the page for all of the events.

May 2 12 PM: Pages bookstore in Detroit is hosting its first virtual author event with Angie Kim discussing her book Miracle Creek.

May 4 7 PM: Zen and the Art of Poetry by Women. The Betsy and FIU Miami Beach Urban Studios, working in partnership with the poetry reading series and online literary journal, SWWIM (Supporting Women Writers in Miami), are pleased to present a new online series of salons featuring women and women identifying poets. Presenting, Mia Leonin and Alexandra Lytton Regalado.

May 11 7 PM: Zen and the Art of Poetry by Women. Virtual salon. Presenting, Cynthia Atkins and Sonia Greenfield.

Ongoing

Unemployed NYC Booksellers launch online bookstore

Insideout Literary Arts/Citywide Poets have daily writing prompts and a virtual poetry slam every Saturday from 3-4 PM.

Reading list of books and authors that were to be featured at the canceled PEN World Voices Festival

Literati Bookstore in Ann Arbor has a digital event series called At Home with Literati. Check their calendar to see upcoming author events.

Lockdown Litfest. A series of video chats with literary figures. My favorite is Ben Crystal on Shakespeare’s original pronunciation.

Poet Billy Collins is posting regular videos reading poetry on his Facebook page.

Actor Robert Sheehan reads Oscar Wilde’s The Happy Prince

Children’s Lit

Ongoing

David Williams releasing a free children’s audiobook every day for 30 days

Resources from Children’s Literature Authors

Kids Ask Authors podcast. Kids Ask Authors is a great new podcast led by author Grace Lin. You’ll want to check it out. The episodes are between 5-10 minutes each so they are a nice short way to have some discussion about writing and books.

Jennifer Garner has teamed up with a series of celebrity readers to bring children’s books to life.

Storytime with Yuyi Morales. Gather the kids and watch the award-winning author and illustrator read her book “Dreamers” on Instagram.

Dolly Parton is reading children’s stories live various evenings at 7 PM.

Other Arts Upcoming

April 23 1 PM: Al-Rabita Centenary Celebration. The Rabita centennial is a commemoration of an Arab artistic and cultural output that has extended over the past 100 years & continues today.

April 23 6 PM: Online Talk: Supernatural Cats of Japan. Join author and folklorist Zack Davisson for a live chat about the spooky felines. He’ll illuminate the mysterious realm of kaibyō (supernatural cats) with dozens of ukiyo-e prints from his namesake book, Kaibyō. Cat lovers and Japanophiles alike won’t want to miss this in-depth exploration.

April 29 5 PM: “Lets Draw Picasso’s Guitar” class for ages 8-12. $

May 15 8 PM: The Art and Life of Frida Khalo virtual event. La Grange Public Library invites you to a Zoom meeting where art historian Jeff Mishur of Art Excursions will present on the art and life of artist Frida Kahlo. Space is limited to 100 people max. Register in advance for this meeting. https://bit.ly/3aeA9g1

Museums Ongoing

Museum of Modern Art Free Online Classes

2,500 Museums You Can Now Visit Virtually

Virtual tour of the Van Gogh Exhibit that took place in Paris last year

You can now see every MoMA exhibit since 1929

Virtual tour of the International Spy Museum

Virtual tour of Art Omi Sculpture Park

Coloring Books

The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy and other community partners, including the City of Detroit, have teamed up with illustrators from 313 Creative to produce a free coloring book celebrating some of Detroit’s most popular parks to provide kids with creative activities to do while they stay at home.
⠀Each Tuesday from April 14 through May 26, two new images will be released and available to download, print and color on the Detroit Riverfont website.

Free coloring sheets created by artists.

Download thousands of coloring pages from museum collections

Free Shakespeare coloring book

Other Ongoing

Nikon is offering free online photography classes throughout April

Fast Company’s List of Free Online Drawing Classes by Famous Illustrators

Virtual Tours of Frank Lloyd Wright buildings

Chicago Detours is offering virtual historic tours via Google Street View and images. See their page for upcoming tours.

Virtual NYC Arts. Massive amounts of stuff here.

Playground Detroit. Wednesdays at 5. Playground Detroit hosts a regular Instagram Live series dedicated to visiting the city’s artists inside their own studios for candid conversations and a dose of much-needed creativity.

Creative Times 3

Welcome to part 3 of my guide to streaming arts and culture offerings. Be sure to look at the previous post as well because there will be some ongoing items of interest, and links to one time events are archived or that can lead you to others. All times are Eastern unless otherwise noted. Events are free unless noted with $.

But first I want to share my new favorite lockdown video from the Houston Ballet.

 

Ballet/Dance Performances and classes Upcoming:

April 15 12 PM Bolshoi Ballet’s Le Corsaire

April 16 12 PM Mariinsky Theater Queen of Spades full performance.

April 16 7PM and archived through April 19. Alvin Ailey Dance Company. Rennie Harris’s “Lazarus”

April 18 12 PM Bolshoi Ballet’s Spartacus will stream on the company’s Youtube channel.

April 17 6 AM National Dance Company Wales 1 Hour Company Class presented by BBC Arts

April 17 7 PM BST (2 PM Eastern Time) Metamorphosis, The Royal Ballet on demand and for free via the ROH’s Facebook and YouTube channels.

April 23 7 PM and archived through April 26. Alvin Ailey Dance Company “Night Theater”

Ballet/Dance Performances Ongoing:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCDeIGLiD2w

Boston Ballet has released video of dress rehearsals for its delayed performances

Dance themed streaming film: And Then We Danced. Directed by Levan Arkin. Available via the Olympia Film Society. “A passionate tale of love and liberation set amidst the conservative confines of modern Georgian society, AND THEN WE DANCED follows Merab, a devoted dancer who has been training for years for a spot in the National Georgian Ensemble. The arrival of the talented and rebellious Irakli throws Merab off balance, sparking an intense rivalry and a forbidden desire.” In Georgian with English subtitles. Runtime 113 minutes. Rent the film for $12.00, get 48 hours to view the film online. 50% of the profits will go to your local art house theater! $

ABT is offering various streaming online classes. Check their schedule for upcoming streams.

The Bolshoi Ballet’s “We Together” a two hour performance held at the Bolshoi Theater without an audience and streamed to the public is now available on Youtube.

English National Ballet post a full length ballet and hosts a Wednesday Watch Party every Wednesday at 2 PM Eastern. Their Youtube channel also offers classes.

Virtual Dance Parties

Matthew Way has a daily DJ dance party streaming on Facebook at 6 PM

The Motown Museum in Detroit is holding a Motown Dance Party via its Instagram page every Friday night at 8 PM

The Basement Detroit. Sundays 7-9 PM.

Theater/Film Performances Upcoming:

April 16 2 PM National Theater Live Treasure Island Full Performance

April 17 7 PM Celebrating 25 Magical Years of Disney on Broadway. The stream is free, but they are taking donations for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS’ COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund. The concert will showcase a wide array of Broadway Stars performing various songs from hit Disney musicals.

April 17 10 PM Eastern/ 7PM Pacific. Live reading of The Importance of Being Earnest by Method and Madness Theater

April 17-24 Various times. The Booksellers documentary. Holding virtual screenings which benefit local cinemas. Check the page for theaters and showtimes. $

April 18 (time not listed) The Importance of Being Earnest. LA Theaterworks Audio Theater.  L.A. Theatre Works offers audiences free access to state-of-the-art recordings of both contemporary and classic plays, each performed by leading actors of stage and screen. Every Friday, audiences can stream that week’s broadcast online. The Importance of Being Earnest, starring James Marsters, Charles Busch, Emily Bergl and Matthew Wolf. Past broadcasts are available to download for a fee.

April 18 Noon. Shakespeare in Detroit will be performing Antony and Cleopatra via Zoom/YouTube on and again the following day. The link is not yet up, but will be posted on their Facebook page.

April 18 2 PM. Come Play with Me Theater Company. Arcadia a play by Tom Stoppard. Streamed via Facebook.

April 18 6 PM Virtual Renaissance Festival

April 20 2 PM and available until May 3. The Globe Theater. Romeo and Juliette.

April 22-26: The Freep Film Festival has moved online with its program of documentary films. Visit their page for schedule and showtimes.

April 25: The Graduate, with Matthew Rhys, Kathleen Turner, Bruce Davison, and John Getz. To stream current and recently broadcast plays from LA Theaeterworks  weekly radio series: latw.org/broadcasts#recent.

Now through April 26 Williamston Theater. These Mortal Hosts. This live performance was canceled due to Covid but it is being offered streaming with ticket sales benefiting the performers and the theater. $

Now through April 27 Cyprus Avenue by David Ireland. Commissioned by The Space Arts, the film mixes live capture of performance from the iconic Royal Court Theatre stage production starring Stephen Rhea with location shooting in Belfast.

Theater/Film Ongoing:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmKYo1LW7yA

Apollinaire Theater Company (Massachusetts) is doing a series of free interactive online play & film script reading gathering (by video meeting). You can to become part of the show — from a safe social distance. Download and read the script, choose your favorite parts and, if your name is drawn, you become part of the production or just sit and watch if you wish. See the web page for their upcoming schedule.

Actor’s Theater of Louisville has launched “Actors Theater Direct” purchase tickets to stream past performances and support the theater. $

Second City improv the current players (and some alumni) from Second City in Chicago are presenting “Improv House Parties.” R.S.V.P. and chuckle along to their antics Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. ET.

The Social Distancing Social Club. Streaming comedy show, every day, except for Monday and Thursday, at 8 PM Eastern.

Lionsgate Movies. Lionsgate Live! A Night at the Movies will be hosted by Jamie Lee Curtis. Curtis will be joined by special guest celebrities and YouTube personalities. The free movies that will livestream on Fridays at 6:00pm PT/9:00pm

Cirque du Soleil is offering streaming content including show and behind the scenes footage

National Theatre (London) is streaming a free play every Thursday at 7PM GMT.

The Show Must Go On Online will be streaming all of Shakespeare’s plays in order

Theater without Theater (Instagram) is posting everything from songs from canceled productions to full performances.

Center for Puppetry is offering a regular series of streaming shows and puppet making workshops see their web page for upcoming dates.

Marquee TV
offers a 30 Day free trial of its streaming service with performances by the Bolshoi, Royal Shakespeare Company and Classic Spring Theater
Company’s Oscar Wilde season.

Corona Virus Theater Club. Linking writers and actors to produce streaming content.

Keep on Writing 2020 creates a new Twitter length play each day.

Belarus Free Theater is streaming 24 of its productions on Youtube. English subtitles available.

Happenstance Theater’s Moxie production. Winner of two Helen Hayes Awards! Outstanding Costume Design and Musical Direction A theatrical collage inspired by the Great Age of Vaudeville, infused with the joys and struggles of its performers’ lives. In homage to the style and spirit of this immensely popular theatre from the late 19th Century, Happenstance Theater brings old Vaudeville back. $10 rental supports the theater. $

I, China. Shakespeare’s Julius Ceasar as told through the eyes of one of the play’s minor characters. The review of this performance in The Guardian says “There’s no shortage of Shakespeare and other live drama to watch online during this period when we are shut out of theatres. But Crouch and Owusu don’t just deliver spellbinding poetry: they urge us to create our own and, most importantly, assure us that we can’t fail.”

Virtual Theater and Learning from Chicago Children’s Theater on Youtube.

Sydney Theatre Company is posting regular videos with actors performing monologues from various plays.

Film

Talking Shorts, an online magazine devoted to short films, has organized the My Darling Quarantine Online Film Festival.

Each week, the site will host seven shorts curated by the international
film community on the theme of of “dystopia.” Vote on your favorites, and if you’re able, donate to the GoFundMe the site has set up to support both Medecins Sans Frontiers and cultural workers who have been impacted by the various shutdowns.

Cinema Detroit is hosting virtual screenings of indie films. Buy a ticket and they’ll send you a link to stream. $

Cinetopia Film Festival rent and stream independent movies. Support independent film makers. $

Michigan and State Theaters Virtual Cinema. Streaming independent films to support independent filmmakers and the theaters. $

Acme Screening Room. Rent and stream current independent films. $

Music Box Direct. Streaming service that brings international art house films and tv to your living room. 7 Day free trial. $

National Film Board of Canada has more than 3,000 films free online

Music Upcoming

April 16 3:30 Eastern/8:30 London Time Tom Carradine’s Self-Isolation Cockney Sing Along.

April 16 8PM Disney Family Singalong on ABC and ABC.com. Sing your favorite Disney songs along with a star studded cast.

April 16 9 PM Join Josh Groban for a movie night to watch ‘Bridges Live: Madison Square Garden’ for a one-time viewing of the film. Josh Groban will be online to add live commentary to the movie.

April 18 6 PM New York Singer-Songwriter Will Hoppey “Alone Together” concert

April 20 2:30 PM Ukulele Lesson with Raelyn Nelson. (Granddaughter of Willie Nelson)

May 1 8 PM The Accidentals livestream The Ark Family Room Series

May 10 8 PM Nora Jane Struthers. Americana. The Ark Family Room Series

Music Ongoing

Rock/Pop/Americana/Folk/Country/Jazz

The Uncancelled Music Festival. The UnCancelled Music Festival brings together musicians, fans and venues from around the globe for a virtual concert experience to help sustain the music industry. It features artists and community-valued venues in the global music industry for an on-going, world-wide music event. It will be hosted on StageIt, the premier virtual live concert platform, and will host multiple digital “stages” simultaneously. Stage lineups will be curated by established music venues (from cities around the globe) along with marquee artists – who will pop in to perform from time to time on their stages.

Club Passim (Massachusetts) is streaming a series of concerts, mostly acoustic/americana each day at 6 or 7 PM. Visit their Live Stream page to see the schedule.

Cafe Lena has a streaming “Stay at Home” series every night at 8 PM.

Rufus Wainwright Livestreaming Daily

Mary Chapin Carpenter is doing songs from her kitchen on Facebook

Randy Cormier, a Berkshire, MA musician is posting regular videos from his yard on his Youtube channel. (If you like Bon Jovi, give him a listen.)

Jam Happy Hour with musical guests via Zoom. Every evening at 4 PM.

Harry Rollins shares some of his favorites from his music collection and the stories behind them in “Cool Quarantine” KCRW radio.

If you missed Glen Hansard playing live at his house on April 12, you can still catch the video on Youtube.

Tom Chapin and family. Mornings with Papa Tom and The Chapin Sisters continues with live family concerts every weekday at 11 AM Eastern time.

The Metro Times is listing livestreaming events from Detroit

Classical

Michigan Opera Theater’s “MOT At Home”

The Metropolitan Opera is offering nightly live streaming.

Paris Opera is screening select performances (including Swan Lake) online free

Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Live Streaming on its Youtube Channel

Boston Symphony Orchestra At Home

London Symphony Orchestra performance archive (new concerts streamed every Sunday and Thursday)

Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra Digital Concert Hall, free access if you register before March 31 (voucher code: BERLINPHIL)

Fred Hirsch, pianist and composer, is livestreaming a free mini-concert from his home every day at 1 PM on Facebook.

Toronto’s Koerner Hall has a Wednesday 4 PM watch party series. Mostly classical with some other genres. Check their page for upcoming shows.

Other Genres

The Irish Arts Center in NY has a variety of streaming classes, archived Irish music videos and poetry

While baseball is sidelined, Fenway Park’s organist is giving 30 minute streaming concerts called The 7th Inning Stretch every day at 3 PM.

Literature Upcoming

April 14 7 PM Mark Twain, His Wit His Wisdom lecture Zoom meeting hosted by Madison Heights Public Library

Ongoing

Unemployed NYC Booksellers launch online bookstore

Insideout Literary Arts/Citywide Poets have daily writing prompts and a virtual poetry slam every Saturday from 3-4 PM.

Reading list of books and authors that were to be featured at the canceled PEN World Voices Festival

Literati Bookstore in Ann Arbor has a digital event series called At Home with Literati. Check their calendar to see upcoming author events.

Poet Billy Collins is posting regular videos reading poetry on his Facebook page.

Actor Robert Sheehan reads Oscar Wilde’s The Happy Prince

Children’s Lit

Upcoming

April 19 1 PM Live story and watercolors. The Curious Garden courtesy the Department of Theater and Dance at Wayne State University.

Ongoing

David Williams releasing a free children’s audiobook every day for 30 days

Resources from Children’s Literature Authors

Kids Ask Authors podcast. Kids Ask Authors is a great new podcast led by author Grace Lin. You’ll want to check it out. The episodes are between 5-10 minutes each so they are a nice short way to have some discussion about writing and books.

Storytime with Yuyi Morales. Gather the kids and watch the award-winning author and illustrator read her book “Dreamers” on Instagram.

Dolly Parton is reading children’s stories live various evenings at 7 PM.

Other Arts Upcoming

April 13 (Beginning) The Tate is offering a curated tour of its Aubrey Beardsley exhibition via its Youtube channel.

April 13-15 8 PM each night.  “Backstage with a Magician” Hosted by Atlas Obscura. (Doesn’t give a time zone, so I am assuming Eastern.)

April 17 1 PM Our Changing Climate Art Show Virtual Event.

April 29 5 PM: “Lets Draw Picasso’s Guitar” class for ages 8-12. $

 

 

 

 

 

April 23 6 PM: Online Talk: Supernatural Cats of Japan. Join author and folklorist Zack Davisson for a live chat about the spooky felines. He’ll illuminate the mysterious realm of kaibyō (supernatural cats) with dozens of ukiyo-e prints from his namesake book, Kaibyō. Cat lovers and Japanophiles alike won’t want to miss this in-depth exploration.

Coloring Books

The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy and other community partners, including the City of Detroit, have teamed up with illustrators from 313 Creative to produce a free coloring book celebrating some of Detroit’s most popular parks to provide kids with creative activities to do while they stay at home.
⠀Each Tuesday from April 14 through May 26, two new images will be released and available to download, print and color on the Detroit Riverfont website.

Free coloring sheets created by artists.

Download thousands of coloring pages from museum collections

Free Shakespeare coloring book

Other Ongoing

Nikon is offering free online photography classes throughout April

2,500 Museums You Can Now Visit Virtually

Fast Company’s List of Free Online Drawing Classes by Famous Illustrators

Virtual Tours of Frank Lloyd Wright buildings

Chicago Detours is offering virtual historic tours via Google Street View and images. See their page for upcoming tours.

Virtual NYC Arts. Massive amounts of stuff here.

Virtual tour of the Van Gogh Exhibit that took place in Paris last year

You can now see every MoMA exhibit since 1929

Creative Times 2

I’ve continued to monitor some of the events and offerings going on online. There are so many now that it is hard to keep up. But here’s just a sampling of the live and recorded art that you can enjoy during lockdown. Some of the ongoing events, classes and resources from the previous post are still active, so take a look there as well. All times are Eastern unless otherwise noted. Events are free unless noted with $.

First, here is how to host virtual watch parties on various streaming services.

Ballet/Dance Performances Upcoming:

April 9 7PM and archived through April 12. Alvin Ailey Dance Company. Judith Jamison’s “Divining”

April 10 11 AM one day only The Bolshoi Ballet is offering its full Nutcracker performance via livestream.

April 11 12:30 PM via Instagram American Ballet Theater’s principal dancers Devon Teuscher and Cory Stearms will discuss how they were slated to perform together in ABT Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie’s Swan Lake at the Detroit Opera House on April 16, and their time in quarantine together.

April 16 7PM and archived through April 19. Alvin Ailey Dance Company. Rennie Harris’s “Lazarus”

April 23 7 PM and archived through April 26. Alvin Ailey Dance Company “Night Theater”

April 17 7 PM BST (2 PM Eastern Time) Metamorphosis, The Royal Ballet on demand and for free via the ROH’s Facebook and YouTube channels.

Ballet/Dance Performances Ongoing:

Boston Ballet has released video of dress rehearsals for its delayed performances

Dance themed streaming film: And Then We Danced. Directed by Levan Arkin.  Available via the Olympia Film Society. “A passionate tale of love and liberation set amidst the conservative confines of modern Georgian society, AND THEN WE DANCED follows Merab, a devoted dancer who has been training for years for a spot in the National Georgian Ensemble. The arrival of the talented and rebellious Irakli throws Merab off balance, sparking an intense rivalry and a forbidden desire.” In Georgian with English subtitles. Runtime 113 minutes. Rent the film for $12.00, get 48 hours to view the film online. 50% of the profits will go to your local art house theater!

ABT is offering various streaming online classes. Check their schedule for upcoming streams.

Theater/Film Performances Upcoming:

April 3-26 Williamston Theater. These Mortal Hosts. This live performance was canceled due to Covid but it is being offered streaming with ticket sales benefiting the performers and the theater. $

April 6 2 PM Eastern/7PM GMT The Globe Theater’s Hamlet streaming on Youtube available until Sunday 19 April.

April 7 12 PM Eastern Bolshoi Theater Opera Boris Godunov

April 9  1 PM: From the Department of Theater and Dance at Wayne State University. Learn choreography from the play Mary Poppins.

April 9 2 PM: Official Jane Eyre, full performance, a collaboration with Bristol Old Vic, filmed by National Theatre Live at London’s National Theatre.

April 10, 7 PM 2 PM Eastern Cosi fan tutte Royal Opera on demand and for free via the ROH’s Facebook and YouTube channels.

April 10 2 PM Eastern Andrew Lloyd Weber’s full length Jesus Christ Superstar will air on Youtube.

April 10 8PM Actors from the Stratford Festival (Canada) will be doing a staged reading A Midsummer Night’s Dream from their various living rooms. Streaming on Youtube. Set a reminder by following the link and if you miss it live it will be archived there.

April 11 1 PM From the Department of Theater and Dance at Wayne State University. Learn the dialects from the play Mary Poppins.

April 11 6 PM Phoenix, Oregon film. One day only. Presented by the Michigan Theater and State Theater in Ann Arbor. $

twelfth-night-production-photos_-2017_2017_photo-by-manuel-harlan-_c_-rsc_23419857b35fee74f76138967eff00002337f7.tmb-img-912April 11 7:15 PM (Not clear what time zone) Royal Shakespeare Company and Marquee TV are teaming up for a Twelfth Night Online Premiere Watch Party.

April 18 Noon. Shakespeare in Detroit will be performing Antony and Cleopatra via Zoom/YouTube on and again the following day. The link is not yet up, but will be posted on their Facebook page.

 

Theater/Film Ongoing:

Apollinaire Theater Company (Massachusetts) is doing a series of free interactive online play & film script reading gathering (by video meeting). You can to become part of the show — from a safe social distance.  Download and read the script, choose your favorite parts and, if your name is drawn, you become part of the production or just sit and watch if you wish.

This week’s schedule:

Thurs. April 9, 7:30
(gather 7:00-7:30)
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
by Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, Michael Palin
•Hosted by Andrea Lyman

Friday April 10, 7:30 (gather 7:00-7:30)
A Streetcar Named Desire
by Tennessee Williams
•Hosted by David Reiffel

Saturday April 11, 7:30 (gather 7:00-7:30)
Arsenic and Old Lace
by Joseph Kesselring
•Hosted by Andrea Lyman

Sunday April 12, 3:00 (gather 2:30-3:00)
Sense and Sensibility
Screenplay by Emma Thompson Based on the novel by Jane Austen
•Hosted by Brooks Reeves

 

Second City improv the current players (and some alumni) from Second City in Chicago are presenting “Improv House Parties.” R.S.V.P. and chuckle along to their antics Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. ET.

Cirque du Soleil is offering streaming content including show and behind the scenes footage

National Theatre (London)is streaming a free play every Thursday at 7PM GMT.

The Show Must Go On Online will be streaming all of Shakespeare’s plays in order

Theater without Theater (Instagram) is posting everything from songs from canceled productions to full performances.

Center for Puppetry is offering a regular series of streaming shows and puppet making workshops see their web page for upcoming dates.

Broadway Plays and Musicals You Can Watch from Home

Marquee TV
offers a 30 Day free trial of its streaming service with performances by
the Bolshoi, Royal Shakespeare Company and Classic Spring Theater
Company’s Oscar Wilde season.

Corona Virus Theater Club. Linking writers and actors to produce streaming content.

Keep on Writing 2020 creates a new Twitter length play each day.

Belarus Free Theater is streaming 24 of its productions on Youtube. English subtitles available.

Happenstance Theater’s Moxie production. Winner of two Helen Hayes Awards! Outstanding Costume Design and Musical Direction
A theatrical collage inspired by the Great Age of Vaudeville, infused with the joys and struggles of its performers’ lives. In homage to the style and spirit of this immensely popular theatre from the late 19th Century, Happenstance Theater brings old Vaudeville back. $10 rental supports the theater. $

I, China. Shakespeare’s Julius Ceasar as told through the eyes of one of the play’s minor characters. The review of this performance in The Guardian says “There’s no shortage of Shakespeare and other live drama to watch online during this period when we are shut out of theatres. But Crouch and Owusu don’t just deliver spellbinding poetry: they urge us to create our own and, most importantly, assure us that we can’t fail.”

Virtual Theater and Learning from Chicago Children’s Theater on Youtube.

The Guardian’s List of the “Hottest Front-Room Seats.”

Film

Talking Shorts, an online magazine devoted to short films, has organized the My Darling Quarantine Online Film Festival.

Each week, the site will host seven shorts curated by the international
film community on the theme of of “dystopia.” Vote on your favorites, and if you’re able, donate to the GoFundMe the site has set up to support both Medecins Sans Frontiers and cultural workers who have been impacted by the various shutdowns.

Cinema Detroit is hosting virtual screenings of indie films. Buy a ticket and they’ll send you a link to stream. $

Cinetopia Film Festival rent and stream independent movies. Support independent film makers. $

Michigan and State Theaters Virtual Cinema. Streaming independent films to support independent filmmakers and the theaters. $

Acme Screening Room. Rent and stream current independent films. $

Music Box Direct. Streaming service that brings international art house films and tv to your living room. 7 Day free trial. $

National Film Board of Canada has more than 3,000 films free online

Music Upcoming

April 6 3:30 PM Streaming singing lesson “How to Sing Freely” with Arden Kaywin.

April 6-11: The Dennos Musuem Center in Traverse City, MI is holding a “Live and Local” streaming concert series. Most shows start at 7PM visit their page for the full schedule.

April 7 4 PM The Marriage of Figaro Finale Houston Grand Opera Studio video premieres on Youtube.

April 10 6:30 PM Eliza Gilkyson 6:30 PM Album release live streaming show

April 11 4 PM Singer songwriter Gary Owen

April 11 8 PM At Home with Farm Aid featuring Willie Nelson, Dave Matthews, Neil Young and John Mellencamp.

April 12 1PM Andrea Bocelli On Easter Sunday, by invitation of the City and of the Duomo cathedral of Milan, Bocelli will give a solo performance representing a message of love, healing and hope to Italy and the world. Livestream on Youtube.  Follow the link to set a reminder.

 

 

April 12 4 PM Via Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Facebook page. Experience what Maestro Muti calls “the work of a divine architect” in this special encore presentation of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony on Facebook Premiere. Recorded live September 18, 2014, in Chicago at Orchestra Hall in one of the opening programs of the CSO’s 2014/15 season, this performance features Zell Music Director Riccardo Muti leading the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus and distinguished soloists in one of history’s most powerful and inspiring artistic works.

Music Ongoing

Classical

Michigan Opera Theater’s “MOT At Home”

The Metropolitan Opera is offering nightly live streaming.

Paris Opera is screening select performances (including Swan Lake) online free

Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Live Streaming on its Youtube Channel

Boston Symphony Orchestra At Home

London Symphony Orchestra performance archive (new concerts streamed every Sunday and Thursday)

Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra Digital Concert Hall, free access if you register before March 31 (voucher code: BERLINPHIL)

Fred Hirsch, pianist and composer, is livestreaming a free mini-concert from his home every day at 1 PM on Facebook.

The Guardian’s list of classical music and opera to stream

Other Genres Ongoing

 

 

Club Passim (Massachusetts) is streaming a series of concerts, mostly acoustic/americana each day at 6 or 7 PM. Visit their Live Stream page to see the schedule.

Cafe Lena has a streaming “Stay at Home” series every night at 8 PM.

The Motown Museum in Detroit is holding a Motown Dance Party via its Instagram page every Friday night at 8 PM

The Irish Arts Center in NY has a variety of streaming classes, archived Irish music videos and poetry

Tom Carradine’s Self-Isolation Cockney Sing-a-Long see his Facebook for upcoming times

Virtual Music Events Directory

Rufus Wainwright Livestreaming Daily

Mary Chapin Carpenter is doing songs from her kitchen on Facebook

Will Hoppey, NY Singer-Songwriter, is holding regular living room gigs every Wednesday and Saturday at 6 PM.

Randy Cormier, a Berkshire, MA musician is posting regular videos from his yard on his Youtube channel. (If you like Bon Jovi, give him a listen.)

While baseball is sidelined, Fenway Park’s organist is giving 30 minute streaming concerts called The 7th Inning Stretch every day at 3 PM.

Harry Rollins shares some of his favorites from his music collection and the stories behind them in “Cool Quarantine” KCRW radio.

Matthew Way has a daily DJ dance party streaming on Facebook at 6 PM

Also check out the #keepthemusicgoing hashtag on Youtube. It seems to be mostly classical and musical theater, but there is a long list of original content to go through.

Arlo Guthrie has posted a video from an earlier concert to help get donations for the Pete Seeger’s Clearwater Hudson River revival project after its major fundraising event was canceled due to Covid.

Literature Ongoing

Unemployed NYC Booksellers launch online bookstore

Insideout Literary Arts/Citywide Poets have daily writing prompts and a virtual poetry slam every Saturday from 3-4 PM.

Reading list of books and authors that were to be featured at the canceled PEN World Voices Festival

Literati Bookstore in Ann Arbor has a digital event series called At Home with Literati. Check their calendar to see upcoming author events.

Children’s Lit

Upcoming

April 7 1 PM Story and Illustration. Join Professor Tommy Karr, Director of Theatre Management, as he reads a chapter from the beloved classic, Mary Poppins. An author and illustrator himself, Professor Karr will illustrate a part of the story while he reads!

Children’s Lit

Ongoing

David Williams releasing a free children’s audiobook every day for 30 days

Resources from Children’s Literature Authors
Looking for something useful to do during distancing? The New York Public Library needs volunteers to correct computer transcriptions of oral histories.

Dolly Parton is reading children’s stories live various evenings at 7 PM.

Other Arts Upcoming

April 6 (Beginning) The Tate in London is offering a curated tour of its Andy Warhol exhibition via its Youtube channel.

April 13 (Beginning) The Tate is offering a curated tour of its Aubrey Beardsley exhibition via its Youtube channel.

April 29 5 PM: “Lets Draw Picasso’s Guitar” class for ages 8-12. $

 

 

 

 

 

Other Ongoing

Nikon is offering free online photography classes throughout April

Taxi Magazine’s list of celebrity streaming concerts and classes

Virtual Field Trips

Virtual Tour of Michigan’s Science Center

Fast Company’s List of Free Online Drawing Classes by Famous Illustrators

Virtual NYC Arts. Massive amounts of stuff here.

Free Shakespeare coloring book

Finally The Social Distancing Festival has a large list of upcoming live streams.

When Everything Stops We Sing

I’ve been thinking about that Matthew Arnold quote a lot lately.

Wandering between two worlds, one dead
The other powerless to be born,
With nowhere yet to rest my head
Like these, on earth I wait forlorn.

It is as though we got here via a bridge that collapsed behind us and we’re standing on a platform with the way forward obscured by heavy fog.

The support systems you would rely on when you’re going through a rough time are going through a rough time. Lots of great causes to donate to, lots of artist friends to support, lots of businesses you value that are stressed— and no money coming in. You just want to give everyone who is disrupted, anxious, depressed, broke, lonely, a hug.  And you can’t.

If we were oblivious to it before we are not now. We do not exist in isolation. We are interdependent. We need each other. We need a deeper connection than a social media feed. How can we share what it is to be human while keeping a distance?

A couple of weeks ago our ballet master class tour ended, and we faced some challenges getting my partner Valery Lantratov back home to Moscow. When Russia closed its borders to Europe, but not yet to America, I scrambled to find a flight from Detroit to Moscow that was affordable and did not go through Europe. It’s not so easy to find a flight to Moscow from here that does not go through Europe. I found one from Chicago on Azerbijani Airlines that went through Baku, but this was less than ideal, and so we had to drive to New York where we could catch a direct Aeroflot flight. Things were changing quickly at that time, and long story short, we got him back home two days before JFK closed for all international passenger flights.

It was an emotionally draining experience. Being in the airport itself was a bit like being among the last two people in a horror movie who have not yet been taken over by the body snatchers. To send him off and to be left alone there was even more ominous, especially given the uncertainty of when he would be able to come back.

I sought refuge at the home of nearby friends. He is a musician, and his work had dried up a couple of weeks before. Because he makes his living from playing live he was not sure when he would have income again, and of course, he missed playing and being with people.

We came up with a system, using a cell phone, and a tripod, to put on a little live streaming show. We didn’t announce it in advance, not knowing if it would work. We thought a few friends might log in. What happened was quite amazing. About 50 people discovered the feed and logged in, and they posted requests, and thanks, and said it was just what they needed. A half hour later the video had been shared and more than a hundred had seen it. By the next morning it was 1,500.

For the duration of the show people felt connected, music and art have always done that. They share an essential aspect of what it is to be human across distance and time.  To hear a familiar song, to know that others are experiencing it with you, is to remember that our culture connects us, that our humanity connects us, even when things around us seem to be falling apart. We are still us.

That’s why people are singing from their balconies, and dancing in the streets. We are still us. We still sing. We still dance.

The arguments we’ve been making for years for art tend to fall flat. The grant writers and the patrons of the arts ask for and give funding in spite of these arguments, not because of them. They are disingenuous. The people who make art don’t want you to support it because it helps downtown development. They don’t want to have music classes in schools because it improves math scores. They want art to be supported because art matters.

What we have learned this past month is that when the buying and selling stops we need to know that other people have felt what we do, and that it connects us. When everything else stops, we sing.

Here’s a song for the friends you’re thinking of who you can’t be with physically at this moment.