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


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.


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


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.

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.

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