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Virtual Theater Trips

  • July 01, 2020
  • December 31, 2020
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virtual theater Trips

PLATO theater trips will return!  But during the COVID-19 era, we still have some options for you. Use the links to connect to more information or to the appropriate streaming service, which will vary. Check out these online performances before they disappear.

12–24 DEC

12–24 DEC

Irish Repertory Theater

On Beckett / In Screen

On Beckett

November 17 - 22

“CRITIC’S PICK! Captivating…radiant, living theater” – Ben Brantley, New York Times

Bill Irwin can’t escape Samuel Beckett. The pandemic hasn’t changed this. Two years ago, Irwin took the Irish Rep stage to premiere On Beckett, his award-winning meditation on Samuel Beckett’s works and language. Since then, COVID-19 has upended daily life worldwide. In this time of anxiety and loss, Irwin revisits the words of Samuel Beckett, and returns alone to the Irish Rep digital stage, to bring us On Beckett / In Screen, a new meditation filmed for our current times.

In this intimate evening, Irwin will mine the physical and verbal skills acquired in his years as a master clown and Tony Award-winning actor to explore a performer’s relationship to Beckett in the time of COVID. Irwin’s approach to the comic, the tragic, to every side of Beckett’s work – including “Waiting for Godot,” “The Unnamable,” and “Texts for Nothing” – will allow audiences to experience the Nobel Prize winner Samuel Beckett’s language in compelling new ways.

Reservations are free but required to access this digital event. A donation of $25 per viewer is suggested for those who can afford to give.

Jagged Live in NYC:

A Broadway Reunion Concert

Jagged Live in NYC:  A Broadway Reunion Concert

Early bird tickets on sale NOW... buy early and save!

On Sunday, December 13 — for the first time in nearly 10 months — the Broadway cast of the 15-time Tony Award®-nominated Jagged Little Pill is reuniting for a live concert in New York City! Join Kathryn, Celia, Derek, Sean, Lauren, Elizabeth, Antonio and others, along with the Jagged Little Broadway Band, as they perform selections from the show.

Story inspired by Alanis Morissette’s Grammy Award-winning masterpiece,   Jagged Little Pill brings to the stage the “humanly recognizable and magnificently staged story” (The Daily Beast) of the Healys, a suburban family whose serene Connecticut lives collide head-on with some of the most burning issues of today.

Through explosive raw power of an onstage band, Jagged Little Pill creates a spellbinding musical experience that lifts its audience from moments of quiet, tender intimacy to pure rock ‘n’ roll release. The result is an electric, fearless look at what it means to be alive in 21st century America and an urgent call for us to come together even as the world pushes us apart.  

In the spirit of the vital #SaveOurStages movement that has risen during the Covid-19 pandemic, this concert event directly supports our nation’s most vulnerable venues experiencing catastrophic revenue loss during this time of suspension for live arts. Partner Performing Arts Centers and Regional Theaters across the nation can sell concert tickets to their subscribers and single ticket buyers and keep proceeds from those sales to support future programming.

All tickets include access to the Livestream premiere on Sunday,  December 13th at 8:00pm ET and On Demand access through Tuesday, December 15th.December 13th at 8:00pm ET and On Demand access through Tuesday, December 15th. $27

12–24 DEC

12–24 DEC

212–24 DEC

Milwaukee Repertory Theater

Until the Flood

Until the Flood, was originally commissioned and produced by The Repertory Theatre of St Louis, and subsequently produced around the United States and in Ireland, Scotland, and England, with the same performer, director, and creative team.

Pulitzer Prize finalist and celebrated performer Dael Orlandersmith (Forever) explores the social uprising in Ferguson, Missouri following the shooting of teenager Michael Brown. Pulling from her extensive interviews with Missouri residents, Orlandersmith crafts a stunning theatrical experience that must be seen. The Chicago Tribune called it “palpably compassionate” and raved that it “achieves a great beauty by bringing us together rather than driving us apart.”

“Orlandersmith gives expression to America’s racial stalemate with lyrical flow. Written with as much empathy as outrage… Until the Flood quietly assures that the struggle lives on.”
— Los Angeles Times

12–24 DEC

12–24 DEC

Stratford Festival


WATCH PARTY: Elizabeth Rex 

YouTube premiere: Thursday, November 19, at 6:30 p.m. EST [streaming free for 36 hours]

Welcome to the Stratford Festival’s watch party for Elizabeth Rex, our 2000 production of Timothy Findley's acclaimed drama, directed by Martha Henry, and starring Brent Carver and Diane D'Aquila. 

Capital City Theatre

Daddy Long Legs

Local Capital City Theatre (who recently produced a fabulous On the Town) will stream the musical based on the classic novel by Jean Webster, which inspired the 1955 movie starring Fred Astaire. An unnamed benefactor sends to college poor orphan Jerusha Abbott. His only requirement for providing her the scholarship is that she write him a letter once a month. Jerusha grows more and more curious about this elusive and kindly “old” gentleman. Meanwhile, another relationship begins to develop in her life with Jervis Pendleton, a well-to-do uncle of one of Jerusha’s roommates. Jerusha’s letters chronicle her emergence as a delightfully independent “New American Woman.” The 2016 off-Broadway production was the winner of the Drama Desk Award for Best Book of Musical. It was also nominated for 3 Outer Circle Critics Awards. The show will stream November 12-22 and will be available for a 48-hour period. Tickets are available now with a presale price of $20.

12–24 DEC

12–24 DEC

The Metropolitan Opera

The Metropolitan Opera is streaming full operas for free every night IN NOVEMBER.  Each available for 23 hours.

Tuesday, November 17:  Gounod’s Faust
Starring Marina Poplavskaya, Jonas Kaufmann and René Pape. Conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Transmitted live on December 10, 2011. 

Wednesday, November 18:  Dvořák’s Rusalka
Starring Renée Fleming, Emily Magee, Dolora Zajick, Piotr Beczała and John Relyea. Conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Transmitted live on February 8, 2014.

Thursday, November 19:  Verdi’s La Traviata
Starring Diana Damrau, Juan Diego Flórez and Quinn Kelsey. Conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Transmitted live on December 15, 2018.

Friday, November 20:  Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites
Starring Isabel Leonard, Adrianne Pieczonka, Erin Morley, Karen Cargill, Karita Mattila, David Portillo and Jean-François Lapointe. Conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Transmitted live on May 11, 2019.

Saturday, November 21:  Puccini’s Turandot
Starring Christine Goerke, Eleonora Buratto, Yusif Eyvazov and James Morris. Conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Transmitted live on October 12, 2019.

Sunday, November 22:  Berg’s Wozzeck
Starring Elza van den Heever, Tamara Mumford, Christopher Ventris, Gerhard Siegel, Andrew Staples, Peter Mattei and Christian Van Horn. Conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Transmitted live on January 11, 2020.

Monday, November 23:  Verdi's Il Trovatore
Starring Sondra Radvanovsky, Dolora Zajick, Marcelo Álvarez, and Dmitri Hvorostovsky, conducted by Marco Armiliato. From April 30, 2011.

Tuesday, November 24:  Nico Muhly's Marnie
Starring Isabel Leonard, Iestyn Davies, and Christopher Maltman, conducted by Roberto Spano. From November 10, 2018.

Wednesday, November 25:  Thomas's Hamlet
Starring Marlis Petersen, Jennifer Larmore, Simon Keenlyside, and James Morris, conducted by Louis Langrée. From March 27, 2010.

Thursday, November 26:  Strauss's Elektra
Starring Nina Stemme, Adrianne Pieczonka, Waltraud Meier, and Eric Owens, conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen. From April 30, 2016.

Friday, November 27:  Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor
Starring Natalie Dessay, Joseph Calleja, Ludovic Tézier, and Kwangchul Youn, conducted by Patrick Summers. From March 19, 2011.

Saturday, November 28:  Wagner's Die Walküre
Starring Christine Goerke, Eva-Maria Westbroek, Jamie Barton, Stuart Skelton, Greer Grimsley, and Günther Groissböck, conducted by Philippe Jordan. From March 30, 2019.

Sunday, November 29:  Verdi's Simon Boccanegra
Starring Kiri Te Kanawa, Plácido Domingo, Vladimir Chernov, and Robert Lloyd, conducted by James Levine. From January 26, 1995.

Monday, November 30:  Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin
Starring Renée Fleming, Ramón Vargas, and Dmitri Hvorostovsky, conducted by Valery Gergiev. From February 24, 2007.

Tuesday, December 1:  Verdi's Aida
Starring Leontyne Price, Fiorenza Cossotto, James McCracken, and Simon Estes, conducted by James Levine. From January 3, 1985.  

12–24 DEC

12–24 DEC

Door Shakespeare

READING - Holidays on Ice, by David Sedaris

December 4, 5, 18, 19 at 7 pm • December 6 and 20 • at 5 pm

Select essays from the David Sedaris classic, Holidays on Ice, return once again to Door Shakespeare as an alternative to more mainstream holiday fare. Door Shakespeare’s producing artistic director, Michael Stebbins, is also the performer, and has been sharing Sedaris’ writing and producing his works for a number of years. Stebbins says, “My wish, Door Shakespeare’s wish, and I think Mr. Sedaris’ hope, is that we’ll continue to find humor in the holiday and in the everyday.” Adult content and language. Parental discretion is advised.

READING - Dream Upon Avon, by John Kishline
December 11 and 12 at 7 pm • December 13 • at 5 pm

It is Christmas Eve at the Windmill Inn, Shakespeare’s favorite pub in Stratford-Upon-Avon. While the Bard quaffs his favorite beverage at his usual table, he encounters a series of visitors, each with an unrealized dream and unanswered questions. As things turn out, the Bard has some questions, too, for his visitors, as both playwright and guests discover the true meaning of Christmas. Dream Upon Avon had its world premiere at the Shakespeare Project of Chicago in 2017.

The Door Shakespeare Reading Series is free and open to the public, with donations welcomed.

12–24 DEC

12–24 DEC

The Old Vic Theater

A Christmas Carol

Dec. 12-24, 2020 

Matthew Warchus’ big-hearted, smash hit production of Charles Dickens’ immortal classic A Christmas Carol returns to our stage this year, to be performed live from our auditorium and streamed to homes across the world.

This Christmas, come together with your household or with friends and family online to take part in the music and merriment of this uplifting story, joyously adapted by Jack Thorne.

A Christmas Carol will be performed and streamed live as part of our Old Vic: In Camera series. We hope that you will join with us to support the series and feel excited to be part of a live theatre community once again. We need your help in making sure that The Old Vic and our productions are still here to enjoy once our much-missed normal lives resume.

Tickets go on sale Nov. 3.   Prices start at $26 per household. 

Filmed on Stage


Ambitious stage mother Rose Hovick (Bette Midler) wants desperately for her daughter, June (Jeffrey Broadhurst), to become the vaudeville star she never was. With the help of savvy but kind-hearted agent Herbie Sommers (Peter Riegert), Rose realizes her aspirations for June, but when her new star rebelliously elopes, June's shy sister, Louise (Cynthia Gibb), reluctantly steps into the spotlight, transforming herself into the legendary burlesque star Gypsy Rose Lee.

The production is the 1993 American made-for-television film directed by Emile Ardolino and features a score with music by Jule Styne and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. The musical numbers were choreographed by Jerome Robbins, who directed and choreographed the original Broadway production. Bob Mackie designed the costumes. The film was nominated for 12 Primetime Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Made for Television Movie and Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie for Midler. FilmedonStage.com is an online database for filmed Broadway and West End theater. The movie is now available to stream for free "all week" (posted October 27). 

Live from Lincoln Center 

Enjoy a soulful evening of song from one of Broadway’s brightest stars.  Seamlessly making the transition from the stage to the big screen, British-born Cynthia Erivo won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her performance in The Color Purple before starring in several films, including Steve McQueen’s Widows. If you saw the film Harriet or the most recent Academy Awards telecast, you heard her powerful rendition of the song "Stand Up," which she co-wrote.  Streaming free through May 10, 2022.

Amazon Prime Video

What the Constitution Means to Me

Heidi Schreck's hit play is now available on Amazon Prime Video. The off- and off-off-Broadway show moved to Broadway in 2019, and picked up both Tony and Pulitzer nominations along the way. Schreck plays a version of herself at 15, traveling the country giving speeches about the U.S. Constitution in order to win money for college. At the same time hilarious, hopeful, and human, Schreck traces her relationship between four generations of women and the founding document that shaped their lives. Review from TheaterMania.

Skylight Music Theatre

Being Earnest

Skylight Music Theatre will present its first online/virtual, full-length musical, Being Earnest by Paul Gordon and Jay Gruska, based on Oscar Wilde’s satirical comedy of manners, The Importance of Being Earnest. The show takes place in a mod, 1960’s, Austin Powers-era setting. All of the brilliant wit in Wilde’s most popular play remains intact in this effervescent musical. The score is a sparkling homage to 1960’s rock groups such as Herman’s Hermits, The Dave Clark Five, The Rolling Stones, and more. 

Being Earnest is being performed, recorded and presented in a way that assures social distancing for both cast and audience. Performers are rehearsing online through Zoom, in their own homes, and the final performance will be recorded and edited together like a film. Being Earnest will be available for streaming Oct. 16 - Nov. 30, 2020. Tickets are $25 and are available here Patrons purchase a ticket for a specific date, and have 48 hours from their selected date to view the show online.  Watch the promotional video now.

Dante or Die

USER NOT FOUND: A video podcast

What happens to your digital life after you die? If there was a magic button, would you delete your online existence? USER NOT FOUND is an immersive video podcast about what happens to our online identities after we die. For this new digital adaptation of the 2018/19 critically-acclaimed live show by Chris Goode (premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival), Dante or Die have created a virtual site-specific world. Charge your phone, plug in your headphones and find a quiet space for this intimate, meditative and funny story of one man grappling with something deeply private. USER NOT FOUND explores the ethics of digital ownership, public and private grief and shifting notions of connection and community. The play is "a beautiful song of love and letting go" (The Guardian), inspired by Caroline Twigg’s Guardian article about dealing with her late husband’s digital afterlife. The show is 50 minutes long, and available for free on YouTube.


good dog

In good dog, we meet an Indian middle-aged shopkeeper, a Caribbean father and son, gangs of multicultural boys and girls, a Jamaican hairdresser, a Ghanaian uncle, a Nigerian single mother, a mixed-race girl--all British. Set in London between 2003 and 2013, good dog deals with the political and social events leading up to the 2011 riots through the personal lives of communities of color. First premiered as a play in 2017 in the wake of the EU referendum, it was later adapted into a film in 2018 in a world in which communities the play embraces were murdered in the devastating Grenfell Tower Fire. This shortened version (19 minutes) of Arinzé Kene's hit play is now released in the time of Black Lives Matter uprisings. The play’s investigation into community, growing up in a multicultural borough, trauma, what happens when you lose faith in being good, and the resilience of communities of color continues to prove it is an essential piece of culture. Available for free on YouTube.

Badger Talks Live

Hamilton: How a Musical About History is Making History

Sarah Marty, producing director at Four Seasons Theatre and interim co-director at the Bolz Center in the UW-Madison School of Business, gives an online talk on the record-shattering musical Hamilton. Marty gives a glimpse into the ways that Lin Manuel-Miranda's take on U.S. history, which blends hip-hop, pop music and storytelling, has changed the face of theater. Shown live originally on October 6 through the Badger Talks Live series, it is now available to watch any time. Advance to minute 5:00 for the free presentation, which included a question and answer session after her lecture. Even if you've heard Sarah talk about Hamilton before, she includes updates on Lin-Manuel Miranda and COVID's affect on theater.

Dramatists Play Circle On Air

The Party Hop

Ben Platt and Beanie Feldstein are among the stars of the new online play The Party Hop, written by Natalie Margolin and presented via Dramatists Play Service. The Party Hop takes place on a Saturday night three years into quarantine. Three college sophomores bounce from virtual party to virtual party. However, when the friends find out that one of them hasn't been kissed, they insist that tonight must be the night. The cast and writer suggest giving a donation to YourMomCares, a charity founded by celebrity moms banding together for kids' mental health. The play premiered October 3 and will be available for free viewing for a limited time. 

Ma-Yi Studios

Sophocles in Staten Island

A Filipino American family in Staten Island is quarantined with an overbearing homeschool dad. There's no such thing as time off, so why not make a film of Oedipus Rex and Antigone that will surely please the College Board?  In other words, what happens when you cross a Wong Kar Wai-wannabe with Gen-Z entitlement?

Opera North

Leonard Bernstein's Short Opera, Trouble in Tahiti

Bernstein's one-act satire on the American dream, Trouble in Tahiti , is the story of one day in the life of a lonely married couple. Opera North is a national opera company based in Leeds, in the north of England, but with an international scope. 

Globe Theatre and Swinging the Lens

Richard II

Richard II isn’t just one of Shakespeare’s most lyrical plays. With its trenchant, emotionally wrenching analysis of political corruption and the consequent decline of good governance, it’s also among the most relevant to our own moment, as we collectively wrestle with what’s next in a country that, to quote Gaunt, “has made a shameful conquest of itself.”

This production features a cast composed entirely of women of color, that played to acclaim last year at London’s Globe under the direction of Adjoa Andoh (who also stars as Richard) and Lynette Linton. The entire production is available for streaming, in a top-notch archival recording.

In contrast to Holland’s contemplative and idealized Richard, Andoh gives us a petulant and narcissistic tyrant. Both interpretations are legitimate; as always, Shakespeare’s plays contain multitudes. And as this fabulous cast drives home, that goes for who can and should embody these roles, as well as for the plays themselves. Here’s hoping American Players Theatre returns to this great play – which hasn’t been performed in Spring Green in 20 long years – soon. And here’s hoping that it proves similarly audacious in its casting choices once it finally does.

--Mike Fischer, dramaturg,

former theater critic for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

and Forward Theater Company Advisory Member

Lifeline Theatre

Pride and Prejudice

Christina Calvit’s adaptation – which debuted at Chicago’s Lifeline Theatre in 1986 has been reprised there twice since – because it fully captures the broader social dimension of Austen’s great novel through additions such as constantly gossiping townspeople. There’s more: Because Calvit’s Lizzy continually breaks the fourth wall in appeals to us rather than being channeled through Austen’s distancing use of a close third-person narrator, Calvit injects additional dramatic immediacy and raises the stakes.

Lifeline’s current virtual production of the Calvit adaptation – available for a four-day rental through October 4 for a suggested $20 donation – has its drawbacks. Some members of the young Lifeline cast overegg the pudding. And there is no scenic or costume design. But that second weakness is also a strength; rather than losing ourselves in well-appointed sets, elaborate costumes, and courtly minuets, we can focus on Austen’s words and her lead characters’ conflicting emotions.

Samantha Newcomb – an American Players Theatre apprentice last summer – is particularly splendid in deftly balancing Lizzie’s intoxicating warmth and self-involved conceit; it’s not hard to see why Andrés Enriquez’s priggish Darcy falls for her, losing his reserve while recovering his humanity. Meanwhile, Zoom makes us more aware than ever that even when we’re alone, others are watching, nattering, and judging – appealing to our pride and stoking our prejudice.

--Mike Fischer, dramaturg,

former theater critic for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

and Forward Theater Company Advisory Member

Curve Theatre

My Beautiful Laundrette

Hanif Kureishi’s My Beautiful Laundrette was justly acclaimed when it arrived in the cinema in 1985; it movingly captured the fault lines involving race, class, and gender, as played out within a Pakistani family in London led by an entrepreneurial Thatcherite and his alcoholic, socialist brother. Overlaying that conflict was the seemingly star-crossed romance between two young men – one of Pakistani descent and the second an English skinhead – trying to overcome ethnic hate and homophobia.

Last year, Kureishi’s stage adaptation of his screenplay (with linking music from Tennant/Lowe of the Pet Shop Boys) debuted at Leicester’s Curve Theatre; Curve has now given us the tremendous gift of a captioned archival stream of the final (public) dress rehearsal before previews for this well-reviewed 2019 world premiere. It’s very good (and the captioning helps with occasional sound issues). It will remain available for on-demand streaming until Curve reopens.

The play is even better, retaining the film’s original 1980’s milieu while speaking directly to the current moment, in ways that not only implicate British politics but also indirectly indict the radioactive, anti-immigrant racism spawned and spewed by 45 and his lackeys. While Kureishi’s original takedown of Thatcherite capitalism remains intact, he has simultaneously sharpened his focus on anti-immigrant hysteria – and on how women of color are especially victimized by a politics of race hatred (the uncle’s mistress is now a woman of color rather than a white woman, which helps drive this home).

--Mike Fischer, dramaturg,

former theater critic for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

and Forward Theater Company Advisory Member

Court Theatre of Chicago

Court’s Theatre & Thought series connects audiences to expert insights from University of Chicago faculty about the historical context, thematic relevance, and artistic possibilities surrounding classic works. Each Theatre & Thought topic will feature a different play and include virtual meetings with University scholars to discuss the ideas underpinning these classic texts.

Skylight Music Theatre

While PLATO is not currently planning any field trips at this point, for those of you who are hungry for live theater events and are willing to incur the possible health risks (despite extensive Covid-19 precautions taken by the Theatre), you may wish to mark your calendar with these upcoming shows in Milwaukee. This is FYI only! PLATO is not endorsing or taking any trips to these, or any other venues at this point.

Milwaukee Opera Theatre


Available now online:

Episode 1

Episode 2  Episode 3  Episode 4

New: Shakespeare Shorts from Milwaukee Rep!

Most of these clips are under 5 minutes long, while two of them are a little over 10 minutes in length.

As You Like It

Twelfth Night

Henry VI

The Taming of the Shrew

Romeo and Juliet

Other Theater Shorts

If you don't have time for an entire show, you may enjoy these clips.  These high energy musical numbers take 5 minutes or less.

Pinball Wizard - Tommy, Stratford Festival 2013

The Impossible Dream - Man of La Mancha, Stratford Festival 2014

What I Did for Love – A Chorus Line, Stratford Festival 2016

Pirate Island- Poor Wand'ring One - Madison Savoyards, 2020

Rocky Horror Show - Time Warp - Stratford Festival 2018

Rocky Horror Show - Hot Patootie - Stratford Festival 2018

The Music Man - 76 Trombones - Stratford Festival 2018 

Pirate Island - When the Foeman Bares His Steel - Madison Savoyards, 2020

HMS Pinafore - When I Was a Lad - Stratford Festival 2017

Pirates of Penzance - I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major General! - Stratford Festival 1985

The Mikado - A More Humane Mikado - Stratford Festival 1982

Jermyn Street Theatre

Samuel Beckett: No Country for Old Men

Krapp’s Last Tape | The Old Tune

Trevor Nunn staged Beckett’s Krapp’s Last Tape and the rarely performed The Old Tune at Jermyn Street shortly before the pandemic hit. Both plays are prophetic of what was to come; the old men inhabiting them underscore how fragile our lives are and how easily they can come undone, as we draw on unreliable memories to make sense of lives that we never live as fully or well as we might have.

Krapp’s Last Tape is now rightly considered a major work in the Beckett canon, and James Hayes’ embodiment of a failed writer shows why: listening to diary-like tapes he’d made as a younger man, the 69-year-old Krapp winces at all his younger self left out and didn’t understand, overestimated about who he was and failed to appreciate in others. It’s a devastating performance that goes a long way toward explaining why Nunn’s production (which included a third Beckett one-act not made available here) was the hottest ticket in London this past winter.

Gentler and funnier, The Old Tune is a minor variation on some of the themes sounded in Waiting for Godot. Two septuagenarians (Niall Buggy and David Threlfall) wait for death; lost in a world they never made, their failing memories leave them unable to return to the world they’ve left behind. As with Didi and Gogo in Godot, their lone respite from existential loneliness is each other – even if their efforts to communicate miss more often than they land.

--Mike Fischer, dramaturg,

former theater critic for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

and Forward Theater Company Advisory Member

The Fire This Time Festival

On the other side of the continent, the 11th annual edition of The Fire This Time Festival – a showcase for emerging Black playwrights which, in years past, has given early exposure to artists including Aziza Barnes, Jocelyn Bioh, Katori Hall, Dominque Morisseau, and Antoinette Nwandu – has made archival recordings available for on-demand streaming of all seven shorts from this year’s Festival.

Many of these plays touch on a theme central to the Black experience in America: with one’s community constantly under siege, does one fight or take flight? And if one leaves one’s roots behind (literally, in Jay Mazyck’s If Men Were Flowers), how does one avoid becoming invisible, appropriated by a dominant culture’s continued campaign to whitewash Blackness? Can old alliances be saved (an express theme in both Tyler English-Beckwith’s Maya and Rivers and in Natyna Bean’s Assume Positions)? Might new ones arise (a topic explored in Deneen Reynolds-Knott’s Antepartum and Mario Wolfe’s Wish I Could P. (Pay it No Mind))?

All of these questions are on the table in the night’s longest and best piece: Niccolo Aeed’s One Morning Soon. Aeed’s play invokes and then bends Paul’s early Christian writings to explore how, in moving past the old order to create a better one, a culture might preserve all that’s best about where and what it’s been – while simultaneously ensuring that hate and oppression aren’t replicated, but rather vanquished by love.

--Mike Fischer



New York’s hottest star-filled event goes WORLDWIDE for 2020.  The full event was previously live-streamed in its entirety for FREE.  While that has now ended, online streaming of the individual musical numbers is still available!  See some of your favorite Broadway stars perform like you’ve never seen them before.

Founded in 1986 as MANHATTAN CLASS COMPANY, MCC began as a collective of young actors, writers, and directors determined to steer their own artistic development and redefine the NYC theater scene with the kind of stories they wanted to see on the stage. That work continues today in Hell’s Kitchen at THE ROBERT W. WILSON MCC THEATER SPACE, a creative hotbed where our ARTISTS, STAFF, and STUDENTS have the freedom to stir things up, all under one roof.

The Public Theater

Richard II  by William Shakespeare.  Conceived for the Radio and Directed by Saheem Ali

Without a venue for their free Shakespeare in the Park series, The Public Theater is instead producing a radio version of Richard II.  Listen as the last of the divinely anointed monarchs descends and loses it all. One of the Bard’s only dramas entirely in verse, this epic and intimate play presents the rise of the house of Lancaster through a riveting tale of lost sovereignty, political intrigue, and psychological complexity.  The all-star cast includes Andre Holland as Richard. Read a "behind the scenes" account of the production in the New York Times.   It is now available for download on the Public Theater website and wherever you get your podcasts.


The show you have been waiting for, with the original Broadway cast! Winner of the Tony Award for best new musical and Pulitzer Prize in drama, this sensational show chronicles the life of the first U.S. Treasurer Alexander Hamilton and his compatriots through a variety of musical styles.  Filmed live at The Richard Rodgers Theatre on Broadway in June of 2016. Local critic Rob Thomas says "in some ways it’s better than the best seats in the house." Watch it on Disney Plus; there is no end date. A one-month subscription is $6.99, and you can cancel at any time. More details on this unique viewing experience.

Bush Theatre (London)

The Protest

A series of short online works, collectively titled The Protest in response to the death of George Floyd. Associate director Daniel Bailey, who curated the series, said: "The Bush kneels with the black community at home and aboard as we fight the ongoing pandemic – racism and the oppression of Black People. We asked some of our Bush family to lift their voices in a myriad of ways that mirrors the diversity within the Black community." Originally distributed through Twitter, but available as a collection on this site.

streaming link


First performed in December of 2016, in a country hurting from racism and oppression, the Broadway cast of Hamilton used the words of Langston Hughes, Bob Marley and Lin-Manuel Miranda to call for peace and equality in this short song with dance.

"Now, as we reel yet again in anger and despair, the impassioned pleas for justice continue to resonate. We stand with those who walk in fear simply for being black. We will continue to listen and educate ourselves, and call out others, on how we can best lift up our colleagues, artists, community members and supporters. Lives depend on it."

PBS Wisconsin - Great Performances

PBS Great Performances has several free full-length musical and dramatic theater performances for your enjoyment.  Additional performances may require the Passport membership. Beginning and ending dates may not apply for those with Passport membership. 

Porgy and Bess

This 2019 Metropolitan Opera production takes a fresh approach to Gershwin's complicated 1935 masterpiece, which has been criticized for its African American stereotypes since its debut. The setting — Catfish Row, a Charleston, South Carolina neighborhood – is now a close-knit, aspirational working-class community in which everyone is doing his or her best to get by, instead of an abandoned slum. David Robertson conducts a dynamic cast, featuring the sympathetic duo of Eric Owens and Angel Blue in the title roles. Streaming for free on PBS Great Performances beginning July 17.

Streaming link

Gloria: A Life

Experience a unique interpretation of feminist icon Gloria Steinem’s life told by an all-female cast, starring Emmy Award winner Christine Lahti and directed by Tony Award winner Diane Paulus.  Streaming now through July 24.

Streaming link


Enjoy a powerful and revealing look at legendary, larger-than-life Texas governor Ann Richards who enriched the lives of her followers, friends and family in this critically acclaimed play written by and starring Emmy Award-winner Holland Taylor. Streaming now through July 17.

Streaming link

Twilight: Los Angeles 

Anna Deavere Smith's play is about race relations in Los Angeles at the time of the infamous police beating of Rodney King, and the ensuing jury acquittal of the perpetrators. She notes that “few people speak a language about race that is not their own. If more of us could actually speak from another point of view, like speaking another language, we could accelerate the flow of ideas.” “After all,” Smith says later, “identity is in some ways a process toward character. It is not character itself. It is not fixed. Our race dialogue desperately needs this more complex language.”

Smith channels the voices of forty among the hundreds of people she interviewed: white and Black, Korean and Latinx, men and women, cops and activists, store owners and looters. Playing them all, Smith physically embodies the truth that each of us contains multitudes.

Director Marc Levin blends Smith’s stage performance with news footage and interviews to capture a community’s rage and loss, but also its grit and hope and love. This encore streaming will expire June 7, 2021.

Take Me to the World: A Sondheim 90th Birthday Celebration

Take Me to the World - Free - A starry line-up of Broadway favorites are toasting Stephen Sondheim with a once-in-a-lifetime concert event live on Broadway.com    Mr. Sondheim is an American composer and lyricist known for his work in musical theater like:  A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1962); Company (1970); Follies (1971); A Little Night Music (1973), Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (1979); Merrily We Roll Along (1981); Sunday in the Park with George (1984); and Into the Woods (1987). He is also known for writing the lyrics for West Side Story (1957) and Gypsy (1959).

Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre

After Pass Over's 2017 world premiere at Steppenwolf, Academy Award nominee and Honorary Oscar winner Spike Lee brought a camera crew and filmed the entire performance. The filmed play premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, and now Lee's filmed play is available for streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

Enjoy this complete production of Pass Over by Antoinette Nwandu featuring ensemble member Jon Michael Hill. A provocative riff on Waiting for GodotPass Over is a rare piece of politically-charged theater about two young black men who stand around on the corner dreaming of their promised land when a stranger wanders into their space with his own agenda and derails their plans.

L.A. Theatre Works

Over 500 plays audio-recorded live in performance, everything from Shakespeare and Oscar Wilde to Arthur Miller and recent Tony winners, all with top-name actors,  so you can listen to great theatre anywhere.

Listen free to the Relativity Series of Science Themed Plays which present science as a thoroughly human endeavor, bringing to life the people and stories behind the research and invention which shapes and changes our world.

Among the many included titles are:

Copenhagen, by Michael Frayn

Arcadia, by Tom Stoppard

An Enemy of the People, by Henrik Ibsen

Proof, by David Auburn

The Doctor's Dilemma, by George Bernard Shaw

Also, in the 1990s, LA Theatre Works came to Chicago and recorded plays with many of the Chicago theatres, including Victory Gardens. Two of those play recordings are FREE FOR ALL to enjoy through July 15, 2020. (Note: Audio recordings still available as of Aug. 10.)

Still Waters and Drowning Sorrows


Contact PLATO Theater Team members at:

Sue Josheff  sooziej@sbcglobal.net
Nancy McClements   nancymcclements@gmail.com 
Stuart Utley  stuart.utley@gmail.com

PLATO is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in association with:

For more information about PLATO, contact:

Christine Bartlett
UW-Madison Continuing Studies
21 N. Park St, 7th Floor, Madison, WI 53715
Email: info@platomadison.org
Phone: 608-262-5823
Fax: 608-265-4555

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