Upcoming events

    • July 28, 2020
    • (CDT)
    • December 31, 2021
    • (CST)
    • Madison


    This 3.7 mile walk through the Tenney-Lapham neighborhood in Madison's isthmus highlights some of the important features and buildings in the neighborhood.  The descriptions come from two brochures published by the Madison Landmarks Commission and the neighborhood:   The Tenney-Lapham Neighborhood: A Walking Tour (1997),  and The Old Market Place Neighborhood: A Walking Tour (1991).   Both brochures have many more landmarks not described in the walk listed below.

    This guide is meant for your enjoyment during our time of dealing with the COVID-19 virus.  Please adhere to all municipal and state requirements for social distancing and healthy behavior on public paths and streets. 

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    Tenney Park and Sherman Avenue


    The walk starts at the Tenney Park locks located at 1500 Sherman Avenue.   Parking is available on N. Thornton Avenue across from the locks.   To start, walk past the locks onto the breakwater where you have wonderful views of the lake.  Then take the pedestrian path west along Lake Mendota until you come to the first stop, 1250 Sherman Avenue. 

    This guide is designed to be used with a smartphone.   When you click on the underlined links for each address, you will get a fuller description of each of the houses.

    1250 Sherman Avenue - 1929, Tudor Revival Style

    1228 Sherman Avenue - 1895, Queen Anne Style

    1127 Sherman Avenue - 1916, Prairie School Style

    1047 Sherman Avenue - 1916, Prairie School Style

    1040 Sherman - 1916, Georgian Revival

    1031 Sherman - 1938, Wrightian Style

    1010 Sherman Avenue - 1913, Prairie School Style

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    East Gorham Street and Prospect Place


    At the end of Sherman avenue, turn left on N. Brearly street for a half block until you reach E. Gorham street.   Turn right on E. Gorham street.

    On the south side of the 900 block of E. Gorham you will see a number of brick apartment buildings, the Norris Court Apartments.

    At the beginning of the 900 block of E. Gorham, turn right on N. Paterson street for one block until you reach Prospect Place.

    818, 822, 831, 844 Prospect Place -  Claude & Starck Houses

    At the intersection of Prospect Place/Washburn Place, walk down Washburn Place one block until you reach E. Gorham and turn right.

    802 E. Gorham - 1901, Claude & Starck

    803 E. Gorham - 1870, Vernacular 19th Century

    752 E. Gorham - 1857, Gothic Revival Style

    720 E. Gorham - 1915-1916, Lincoln School

    703 E. Gorham - 1868, Italianate Style

    640, 646, 704 E. Gorham - 1908-1920

    Note the wonderful garden at 704 E. Gorham, home of Mendota Lake House Bed & Breakfast.

    637 E. Gorham - 1925, Late Georgian

    Now you will be walking west on E. Gorham along  James Madison Park.

    622 1/2 E. Gorham - 1915, Bernard-Hoover Boat House

    Just before the Gates of Heaven Synagogue note the monument to the 45,000 International Volunteers who fought for the Spanish Republic during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939).

    302 E. Gorham - 1863, Gates of Heaven Synagogue

    Now backtrack to the corner of E. Gorham/N. Blount and walk south on N. Blount for two blocks to E. Dayton street.

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    East Dayton Street to Lapham School


    202 N. Blount  - 1910-1914, City Horse Barn

    At the corner of N. Blount/E. Dayton, note the sign denoting Madison's first African-American neighborhood.

    647 E. Dayton - 1853, Miller house

    649 E. Dayton - 1901 and 1912, Hill house & grocery

    123 N. Blount - 1909-1910, Badger State Shoe Factory

    917, 919, 921, 923, 925 E. Dayton - 1915-1916, John Blake bungalows

    939, 941 E. Dayton - 1915, Michael Olbrich bungalows

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    Lapham School to Tenney Park


    1045 E. Dayton - 1939-1940, Lapham School

    1055 E. Mifflin (Madison Youth Arts Center) - At E. Dayton/N. Ingersoll, turn right for one block to view the Madison Youth Arts Center.  After viewing, return to E. Dayton street and head east on E. Dayton.

    124 N. Baldwin - 1873, Second Empire Style

    Continue east on E. Dayton Street where you will reach the Yahara River.  Follow the bike/pedestrian path under E. Johnson where you can explore Tenney Park before returning to the starting point.

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    Compiled by Bob Shaw - robert.e.shaw@gmail.com

    August 2020

    • March 29, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • November 01, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • Madison

    Below are five guides to popular bicycling routes in Madison.   Each guide is broken up into distinct sections with maps providing detailed instructions.

    The guides are meant for your enjoyment during our time of dealing with the COVID-19 virus.  Please adhere to all municipal and state requirements for social distancing and healthy behavior on public paths and streets. 

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    Bicycling Around Lake Monona


    The 12.5 mile route around Lake Monona is one of the most popular bicycle trips in Madison.  It goes through a mixture of bicycle paths and lightly traveled streets and takes about 75 minutes for the average cyclist.

    Click on A Guide to Bicycling Around Lake Monona

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    Bicycling the Cannonball Path/Arboretum Loop


    The route (8.2 miles) traverses a mixture of bicycle paths, city streets with bike lanes, and a quiet road through the U.W. Arboretum.  It takes about 50 minutes for the average cyclist.

    Click on A Guide to Bicycling the Cannonball Path/Arboretum Loop

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    Bicycling the Southwest Commuter Path/Capital City State Trail Loop


    The route (18.1 miles) is entirely on dedicated bicycle paths with the exception of a short 1/2 mile section on a quiet road.  It takes a little less than two hours for the average cyclist.

    Click on A Guide to Bicycling the Southwest Commuter Path/Capital City State Trail Loop

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    Bicycling the McFarland Loop


    The highlight of this route (18 miles) is a mile-long bridge spanning Lake Waubesa.  It is the longest inland boardwalk bridge constructed solely for non-motorized transportation in North America.  It takes a little less than two hours for the average cyclist.

    Click on A Guide to Bicycling the McFarland Loop

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    Bicycling the Blackhawk Path/Lake Mendota Drive/Lakeshore Nature Preserve Loop



    This 7.8 mile loop begins at Allen Centennial Garden and parallels University Avenue on bike paths before heading over to Lake Mendota Drive, a quiet, tree-lined residential neighborhood.   It then follows the Lakeshore Nature Preserve back to the starting point.   It takes less than one hour for the average cyclist.

    Click on A Guide to Bicycling the Blackhawk Path, Lake Mendota Drive, Lakeshore Nature Preserve Loop

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    BCycle Stations along the Route

    Madison BCycle has a number of stations along the routes where you can rent an electric bicycle.


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    Other Resources

    Dane County Bicycle Map

    Madison BCycle

    Madison Bikes Community (Facebook)

    Madison Bikes

    Bicycle Benefits

    Top 10 Trails to Try in Madison

    Madison Road Bike Routes

    Biking in Fitchburg

    Riding in Sun Prairie

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    Compiled by Bob Shaw - robert.e.shaw@gmail.com

    August 2020

    • July 01, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • December 31, 2021
    • (CST)
    • Internet

    virtual theater Trips

    There is no timetable on when PLATO theater trips will resume.  The PLATO Board, in consultation with its COVID workgroup, will continue to monitor State and County guidance and recommendations on safely gathering. PLATO is not currently planning any theater field trips, nor endorsing private trips to any venues.  Meanwhile, we offer some virtual options for you. Use the links below to connect to more information or to the appropriate streaming service.

    Signature Theatre

    This exhilarating song and dance extravaganza is set to the swinging sounds of Duke Ellington, Jimmy McHugh, Dorothy Fields, Harold Arlen and more and framed by the poems of Langston Hughes.  Streaming on demand now through August 4. Tickets are $35.

    Starring Hamilton’s Christopher Jackson and Signature favorite Nova Y. Payton (Dreamgirls, Blackbeard) with direction and choreography by Jared Grimes (Broadway’s After Midnight, Signature’s Jelly’s Last Jam, Ain’t Misbehavin’), music direction by Mark G. Meadows (Ain’t Misbehavin’, Motown cabarets), and featuring 28 of the big band era’s most memorable songs including “Stormy Weather,” “I’ve Got the World on a String,” “On the Sunny Side of the Street,” and “It Don’t Mean a Thing,” this non-stop revue showcases the gorgeous glamour and sophisticated syncopation of the Harlem heartbeat after midnight.

    “Tap-crazy? You’ll be in seventh heaven at After Midnight… the music gleams, shimmers, dances and sings with an eloquence that enthralls” The New York Times 

    Broadway on Demand


     The Wolves

    Left quad. Right quad. Lunge. A girls' indoor soccer team warms up. From the safety of their suburban field, the team navigates big questions and wages tiny battles with the vigor of a pack of adolescent warriors. The Wolves is a portrait of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for nine American girls who just want to score some goals.

    Sarah DeLappe's debut play was a finalist for the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Drama; the original production won an Obie Ensemble Award; it won a special Drama Desk Award for its acting ensemble, and was nominated for Lucille Lortel and Drama League awards for Best Play, as well as for the Outer Critics’ Circle John Gassner Award for Outstanding New American Play.

    Stream this production from Lincoln Center Theatre for free through August 15 using the password FREEWOLF at Broadway on Demand.

    Goodman Theatre


    Memories of Overdevelopment

    LIVE FREE VIRTUAL READING JULY 31 AT 7PM CDT - Reservations required

    By Caridad Svich, Directed by Lavina Jadhwani

    This play is a film: a documentary about what people remember about dictatorships where they grew up and how they left and how they survived. An enactment of eight startling, personal interviews, inspired by true stories, performed by two people. Caridad Svich’s newest work is a rebellious look at where we’ve been and where we are right now.

    The production is from Future Labs—Goodman Theatre’s newest artistic program to develop works authored and directed by Black, Indigenous, Latinx, AAPI and other artists of color. Designed primarily for Chicago-based writers who have not had a play produced at the Goodman, Future Labs will feature up to nine workshops and presentations.

    Apple TV+


    Schmigadoon!

    A parody of iconic musicals, Schmigadoon! is a new musical comedy series produced by Lorne Michaels of Saturday Night Live and starring Emmy Award nominee Cecily Strong and Emmy Award winner Keegan-Michael Key. A couple on a backpacking trip designed to reinvigorate their relationship discovers a magical town in which everyone is living in a studio musical from the 1940s. They then discover that they can’t leave until they find “true love.” If you love musicals, you'll enjoy catching the clever  references to Oklahoma, Carousel, The Music Man, and, of course, Brigadoon, among other classics.

    Apple TV+ is available for streaming on your computer, tablet, or phone. A monthly subscription is $4.99 per month after a free 7-day trial. More information on how to watch Apple TV+.


    PBS Great Performances


    The Arts Interrupted

    In this special edition of Great Performances, see how the arts have been managing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Arts organizations across America share their survival stories, along with examples of innovative performances, from COVID-19 inspired theater to site-specific operas. Learn how the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement have impacted America’s emerging artists in this new documentary hosted by Grammy, Emmy, and Tony nominee Vanessa Williams. The short (53-minute) program is available to stream for free through July 9. (PBS Passport members may still watch after July 9.) In addition to Madison's own Karen Olivo performing in Moulin Rouge!, the program includes:

    • Ballet X (Pennslyvania)
    • The Cast of “Wicked”
    • The Juilliard School
    • Michigan Opera Theatre
    • Renée Fleming & Vanessa Williams
    • Rosanne Cash & John Leventhal
    • Scott Patterson
    • Somi and the Frankfurt Radio Big Band (Germany)
    • The String Queens (Dawn Michelle Johnson, Élise Sharp, & Kendall Isadore)
    • Yo-Yo Ma (Massachusetts)

    Welcome to the most comprehensive Online Searchable Database
    ​for Filmed Live Musicals!


    ● Discover musicals from around the globe in one central location!

    ● Listen to interviews with theater industry experts via podcast

    ● Check out the calendar of upcoming screenings

    ● Sign-up for weekly updates of upcoming streams direct to your inbox!

    Search The Database & Discover New Musicals from Around the World



    Check out APT's 6-show summer season! In addition to the return of reduced capacity live theater, online versions of the performances will also be available. Tickets for the digital plays will start at $32, and be available to watch starting 7 days after the in-person play opens, and close when that play closes. 


    Public Theater

    SHADOW/LAND

    Tow Playwright-in-Residence and Laurents/Hatcher Foundation Award winner Erika Dickerson-Despenza joins The Public’s digital stage with an audio production of SHADOW/LAND, a harrowing new drama set amid the ongoing devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Ruth coaxes her mother, Magalee, to sell Shadowland, the family business and New Orleans’s first air-conditioned dancehall and hotel for Black people. But as Hurricane Katrina begins her ruin, Ruth is forced to wrestle with all that she’s ready to let go. Directed by Lilly Award winner Candis C. Jones, SHADOW/LAND is the first installment of a 10-play cycle traversing the Katrina diaspora in an examination of the ongoing effects of disaster, evacuation, displacement, and urban renewal rippling in and beyond New Orleans. Available free as a podcast for one year.  Also available as Open Caption video.

    Finborough Theatre


    CONTINUITY by Gerry Moynihan

    A forensic examination of the soul of an Irish ‘freedom fighter’.

    Pádraig Devlin is a dissident Irish Republican, who begins to have doubts about his commitment to The Cause after he meets and falls in love with a woman from Barcelona. Soon after meeting her, Pádraig botches three assignments in a row. The other members of his terrorist cell decide to test the love-struck Pádraig’s commitment. Has falling in love really weakened the resolve of a man determined to re-ignite the struggle for Irish freedom, and whose Republican credentials are beyond reproach? And just exactly what kind of test do they plan to set him? And how will Pádraig react when he discovers that he’s being tested… Continuity is the story of a man who begins to question everything he has ever fought for – and marks a stunning debut from a brand new playwright. 

    Available for FREE through the end of 2021

    MCC Theater

    MISCAST21

    MCC Theater’s annual Miscast gala is one of the most exciting and unique theater events in town. Broadway’s hottest stars perform songs from roles in which they would not traditionally be cast. And the results are thrilling!

    MEET THIS YEAR'S PERFORMERS

    Tony Award® winner ANNALEIGH ASHFORD (“B Positive,” Kinky Boots)

    Tony Award® nominee ROBIN DE JESÚS (tick, tick… Boom!, The Boys in the Band)

    CHEYENNE JACKSON “American Horror Story,” Xanadu)

    Tony Award® winner IDINA MENZEL (Frozen, Wicked)

    KELLY MARIE TRAN (Raya and the Last Dragon,Star Wars: The Last Jedi)

    MELISSA BARRERA (In the Heights, Vida)

    Tony Award® winner RENÉE ELISE GOLDSBERRY (Hamilton, “Altered Carbon”)

    JAI’LEN JOSEY (SpongeBob SquarePants, The Secret Life of Bees)

    Tony Award® winner KELLI O’HARA (The King and I, South Pacific)

    Tony Award® nominee AARON TVEIT Moulin Rouge: The Musical, Next to Normal)

    Tony Award® winner GAVIN CREEL (Hello, Dolly!, Hair)

    LESLIE GRACE (In the Heights)

    Tony Award® winner LACHANZE (Summer: The Donna Summer Musical, The Color Purple)

    Tony Award® and Emmy Award® winner BILLY PORTER (“Pose,” Kinky Boots)


    George Takei's ALLEGIANCE

    Streaming NOW

    Allegiance tells the story of one family’s extraordinary journey in a troubling time for a nation plunged into World War II by the events of Pearl Harbor.

    George Takei's ALLEGIANCE Will be Available to Stream Beginning in March

    BroadwayHD has announced that George Takei's Allegiance, which also features Broadway stars Telly Leung (Godspell, Glee) and Tony Award-winner Lea Salonga (Miss Saigon, Mulan) will be available on the platform exclusively beginning on March 18th. The musical, inspired by the true-life experience of its star George Takei (Star Trek, Heroes) tells the story of one family's extraordinary journey in a troubling time for a nation plunged into World War II by the events of Pearl Harbor.

    "I'm absolutely thrilled that the release of Allegiance on BroadwayHD will allow even more audiences to experience this vital piece of theater," says George Takei. "Telling the story of the Japanese American internment, which my family and I experienced firsthand, has been my life's work. Allegiance truly is my legacy, and I'm so grateful that it has given me the opportunity to share our history in such a compelling and beautiful way."

    Allegiance brings to the forefront an important piece of American history through a powerful story. A mysterious envelope leads Sam Kimura (George Takei) back 60 years to a time when he (played as a young man by Telly Leung) and his sister Kei (Lea Salonga) strive to save their family from the wrongful imprisonment of Japanese Americans during World War II. Sam enlists in the army to prove his family's loyalty, while Kei joins the draft resisters fighting for the rights of their people. Their paths take them from the lush farmlands of California to the wastelands of Wyoming to the battlefields of Europe, and their divided loyalties threaten to tear them apart forever. But as long-lost memories are re-lived and a new perspective is gained, Sam finds that it is never too late to forgive and experience the redemptive power of love.

    Allegiance originally opened on Broadway in November 2015.

    Stream Your Favorite Broadway Hits! Anytime, Anywhere! Start your 7 day free trial with Broadway HD, with the option to continue with either a monthly or yearly subscription after that.



    Duchess! Duchess! Duchess!

    A Royal Wedding is looming. The Duchess and The Soon-to-be-Duchess are meeting face-to-face for the first time to go over everything you ever needed to know to become a duchess. There are rules. There’s a way of doing things. Remember, everybody is watching. And you don’t want to know what happens if you step out of line. Duchess! Duchess! Duchess! looks at the hidden costs of being the “luckiest girl in the world.”

    Loosely inspired by Meghan Markle and the royal family, Duchess! Duchess! Duchess! uses the monarchy to investigate how society’s institutions of power affect Black women. “The play explores the bigger question of what it means to be a Black woman entering institutions that seem eager to have you but aren't necessarily built to support you, how you start to adapt in order to survive once you're inside of them, and the impact of bringing other people like you along,” shares playwright Vivian J.O. Barnes.

    "Review: Royalty as Horror Show in ‘Duchess! Duchess! Duchess!’" – The New York Times Critic's Pick

    Duchess! Duchess! Duchess! is one of six virtual productions on the Steppenwolf NOW virtual stage. The six breakthrough stories—all of varying lengths and styles—are crafted specifically for the digital platform. Get access to all six productions through August 31, 2021, with the purchase of a virtual membership for only $75.   


    The National Black Theatre of Harlem

    The National Black Theatre of Harlem Hosts Black History Month Livestream Event

    Premiered on February 28th, 2021 on YouTube Live, but the recorded version is still available to watch. Jump to the 31:10 minute mark to bypass the very long Introductory screen!

    Broadway Stars come together to celebrate Black History Month. This is an evening of song and dance presented by Shine Theatre Arts Project and Kaden Amari Anderson of Caroline, or Change, Broadway. The mission of this cabaret is to raise money for The National Black Theatre of Harlem.

    NBT's Artistic Director, Jonathon McCory will be a featured speaker at the event and the line-up includes:


      Repertorio Espanol 

      La Gringa

      A young woman born in NYC travels to Puerto Rico for the first time to meet her family and to discover her roots. Her misconceptions are transformed and she learns that being Puerto Rican is a matter of heart and spirit. La Gringa, the longest-running (25 years) Spanish language play in off-Broadway history, is presented in Spanish with English subtitles. Tickets are $7 per user + $3 system fee. Available now, you will have 72 hours starting from the first-viewed date to enjoy the production.


      The all-new National Theatre at Home

      A streaming service offering unforgettable British theatre available to watch any time, anywhere

      Watch National Theatre Live recordings, filmed in high definition for cinema to capture all the twists and turns, laughter and heartbreak. Plus, for the first time ever, we’re releasing a treasure trove of plays from the National Theatre Archive. You can choose to subscribe, or pay for a single play.


      Filmed on Stage

      Stream Broadway Shows and Musicals: Filmed on Stage

      Les Miserables

      Seen by over 120 million people worldwide, LES MISÉRABLES is undisputedly one of the world’s most popular musicals.

      Based on the novel by Victor Hugo, 'Les Miserables' travels with prisoner-on-parole, 24601, Jean Valjean, as he runs from the ruthless Inspector Javert on a journey beyond the barricades, at the center of the June Rebellion. Meanwhile, the life of a working class girl with a child is at turning point as she turns to prostitution to pay money to the evil innkeeper and his wife who look after her child, Cosette. Valjean promises to take care of the child, eventually leads to a love triangle between Cosette, Marius who is a student of the rebellion, and Eponine, a girl of the streets. The people sing of their anger and Enjolras leads the students to fight upon the barricades.

      Coinciding with its 35th triumphant year in London’s West End, Cameron Mackintosh produced a spectacular sell-out staged production featuring an all-star cast including Michael Ball, Alfie Boe, Carrie Hope Fletcher, Matt Lucas and John Owen Jones.


      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


      TiataFahodzi

      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.


      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


      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



      SHORTS

       

      The Shows Must Go On

      A free YouTube channel bringing you showtunes, backstage access, and full performances from some of the best loved musicals in history! Try individual videos (approximately 3 to 12 minutes each) or created playlists with multiple shorts from the same production.


      NY PopUps

      Broadway reopened its doors briefly on April 3 with a special NY PopsUp performance at the St. James Theatre. The matinee, directed by Jerry Zaks, featured an audience primarily made up of staffers from the Actors Fund and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, with back-to-back performances from Tony winners Savion Glover and Nathan Lane. 


      Steppenwolf Theatre Company

      Red Folder: An Illustrated Short Play

      Written, directed and illustrated by Steppenwolf ensemble member Rajiv Joseph, featuring narration by ensemble member Carrie Coon. Streaming beginning January 27, 10 minutes in length. The red folder belongs to a first grader. It is the source of all his woes. Years later, he seeks vengeance. 


      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.

      A Trip to the Library - She Loves Me, Madison Opera/Madison Public Library 2021

      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



      Hamilton

      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

      America 

      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. Also, beginning and ending dates may not apply for those with Passport membership. One current example is the following:

      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.


      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



      MORE INFORMATION

      Contact PLATO Theater Team members at:

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



      • August 17, 2021
      • 8:30 AM - 11:30 AM (CDT)
      • 0
      Join waitlist


      Pheasant Branch Creek Corridor Trail

      ADA Accessible

      Free to PLATO Members and Guests

      Registration Will Open August 1st

      Introducing Walk Leader

      Hans Hilbert is one of the co-presidents of the Friends of Pheasant Branch Conservancy.

      The Walk and Talk

      The walk and talk will focus on the history of the waterway and how it has been changed over the last 75 years by weather events
      and the impact it has made to the Yahara Chain of Lakes.

      We will also hear what the City of Middleton and Dane County are planning to do to reduce the impact of future exceptional storms.

      This will be a 2 1/2 mile walk along the Pheasant Branch Creek Corridor Trail.  The paved, two-lane trail is ADA-accessible and suitable for hiking and biking. Users will find benches along the way. The wide, gently rolling trail will allow us to walk at a comfortable pace with stops for information. 

      COVID-19 Safety Protocols

      We will follow Dane County COVID-19 safety protocols in place at the time of the walk.  By registering for this event, you:

      • Agree to wear a mask if you are unvaccinated.  Fully vaccinated participants do not need to wear masks unless they feel more comfortable doing so.
      • Acknowledge that going on the walk is voluntary and a personal decision. PLATO recommends full compliance with safety standards: masks, social distancing, and handwashing. We are not responsible for enforcing public health orders. 

      Microphone

      Our leaders will have directional microphones to assist in delivering the message clearly as possible.  The microphones have added greatly to the quality of the conversations as we walk and make informational stops along the way.

      Length, Difficulty & Pace of Walk

      A two to three mile walk along a wide paved trail following the creek through gently rolling corridor at a  moderate pace with informational stops.  The walk will take about 2.5 hours.

      On a scale of 1 to 5, where 5 is very  steep, the trails are rated 2.0.

      Handicap Accessibility?

      The trails are said to be ADA accessible as i winds down the creek corridor and uses hardwood bridges over the water.  Please call Mike at 608 257-9164 to further evaluate the trails.

      Driving and Parking Information

      We will be using the Parmenter Street entrance to the Pheasant Branch Creek Corridor Trail.  There is parking available just north of the trail head in the parking lot of an office building at 2501 Parmenter Street. 

      To find the parking lot at 2501 Parmenter Street, click on Google Maps and enter your beginning location with 2501 Parmenter Street as the ending location.

      Facilities

      There are no bathroom facilities on the walk.

      General Guidance

      PLATO has the right to cancel any event if it is apparent that the activity itself does not comply with the current guidelines.  PLATO can also cancel any activity if there is an increase in COVID cases (or hospitalizations or deaths), which would increase an infection risk for the participants.

      Questions?  Contact trip leader Mike Dilorio at mdiiorio1234@gmail.com












      • September 01, 2021
      • 8:30 AM - 11:30 AM (CDT)
      • Dane County parking lot at 10712 Amenda Rd Mazomanie, WI 53560
      • 25
      Registration is closed


      Walking Iron Wildlife Area

      Free to PLATO Members and Guests

      Registration Will Open August 17th

      Introducing Dennis Connor, Guide

      Dennis Connor is the Land Manager for a number of County Parks and Wildlife Areas including Indian Lake County Park. 

      The Walk

      The 1255-acre Walking Iron Wildlife Area is a public hunting area located north of Walking Iron County Park and the Village of Mazomanie and south of the Lower Wisconsin State Riverway. Walking Iron Wildlife Area offers multiple trails through 898 acres of land  hosting waterfowl, deer and turkey.  Lands east of CTH Y are being restored to prairie.   Lands south of Amenda Road are being restored to oak savanna and offer excellent opportunities for deer and turkey viewing.  Cone with us to see a large riverine area before it has implemented the conservation plans.

      This will be a two and 1/2 mile walk along several trails through mostly flat  with some rolling terrain at a  moderate pace with stops for information.

      COVID-19 Safety Protocols

      We will follow Dane County COVID-19 safety protocols in place at the time of the walk.  By registering for this event, you:

      • Agree to wear a mask if you are unvaccinated.  Fully vaccinated participants do not need to wear masks unless they feel more comfortable doing so.
      • Acknowledge that going on the walk is voluntary and a personal decision. PLATO recommends full compliance with safety standards: masks, social distancing, and handwashing. We are not responsible for enforcing public health orders. 

      Microphone

      Our leaders will have directional microphones to assist in delivering the message clearly as possible.  The microphones have added greatly to the quality of the conversations as we walk and make informational stops along the way.

      Length, Difficulty & Pace of Walk

      A two to three mile walk along wide trails recently mowed through mostly flat terrain at a  moderate pace with informational stops.  The walk will take about 2.5 hours,

      On a scale of 1 to 5, where 5 is very  steep, the trails are rated 1.0.  

      Handicap Accessibility?

      The trails are not handicap accessible.  Please call Mike at 608 257-9164 to further evaluate the trails.

      Driving and Parking Information

      Starting from Madison, take Campus Dr. and University Ave to US-14 West in Middleton.  Continue on US-14W until reaching Mazomanie

      Look for the Dane County Parks sign on the right side of the road.  We will be using parking area located at

      10712 Amenda Rd
      Mazomanie, WI 53560

      To find how to get to10712 Amenda Rd from your location, click on Google Maps and enter your beginning location.

      Portable Toilet

      There are no bathroom facilities on the walk.

      General Guidance

      PLATO has the right to cancel any event if it is apparent that the activity itself does not comply with the current guidelines.  PLATO can also cancel any activity if there is an increase in COVID cases (or hospitalizations or deaths), which would increase an infection risk for the participants.

      Questions?  Contact trip leader Mike Dilorio at mdiiorio1234@gmail.com












      • October 19, 2021
      • 9:00 AM - 11:30 AM (CDT)
      • Aztalan State Park
      • 25
      Registration is closed

      Aztalan State Park

      Free to PLATO Members and Guests

      Registration Will Open  September 28th

        The Walk



        Introducing Dr. Robert Birmingham



        COVID-19 Safety Protocols

        We will follow Dane County COVID-19 safety protocols in place at the time of the walk.  By registering for this event, you:

        • Agree to wear a mask if you are unvaccinated.  Fully vaccinated participants do not need to wear masks unless they feel more comfortable doing so.
        • Acknowledge that going on the walk is voluntary and a personal decision. PLATO recommends full compliance with safety standards: masks, social distancing, and handwashing. We are not responsible for enforcing public health orders. 

        Microphone

        Our leaders will have directional microphones to assist in delivering the message clearly as possible.  The microphones have added greatly to the quality of the conversations as we walk and make informational stops along the way.

        Length, Difficulty & Pace of Walk

        A two to three mile walk along several trails through mixed hilly and flat terrain at a  moderate pace with stops for information.  The walk will take about 2.5 hours, but will depend on the informational stops we make along the way. 

        There will be opportunities to shorten or lengthen the walk, depending on group interests and abilities.

        On a scale of 1 to 5, where 5 is very  steep, the trails are rated 2.5.  

        Handicap Accessibility?

        The trails are not particularly handicap accessible.  They may be manageable with someone to assist you.  Please call me at 608 257-9164 to further evaluate the trails.

        Driving and Parking Information

        We will meet at Frautschi Point parking lot to start our walk.  There is a new path from the Frautschi Point parking lot that will give us quick access to the Preserve and Picnic Point.  The following directions will guide you to the trail parking lot.


        From University Avenue, take University Bay Drive at light at Farley St., go up the hill, and sharp left at the top of the hill onto continuation of University Bay Drive (Highland Ave. continues straight). Continue down along soccer fields, then take left onto Lake Mendota Drive, across from soccer fields. Turn left onto Lake Mendota Drive, drive about 0.2 miles up hill to where Lake Mendota Drive curves sharply to the left. The Frautschi Point parking area is on the right at the curve.

        Additional parking is available near the University housing, across the road.

        To find how to get to Frautschi Point from your location, click on Google Maps and enter your beginning location with Frautschi Point as the ending location.

        To learn more about Lakeshore Preserve Nature Area, go to the following website:  https://lakeshorepreserve.wisc.edu/visit/places/picnic-point/

        General Guidance

        PLATO has the right to cancel any event if it is apparent that the activity itself does not comply with the current guidelines.  PLATO can also cancel any activity if there is an increase in COVID cases (or hospitalizations or deaths), which would increase an infection risk for the participants.

        Questions?  Contact trip leader Mike Dilorio at mdiiorio1234@












        • October 26, 2021
        • 9:00 AM - 11:30 PM (CDT)
        • Lodi - Springfield Road Entrance
        • 25
        Registration is closed


        Free to PLATO Members and Guests

        Registration Will Open October 12th


        What to expect on the walk:

        • The Eastern Lodi Marsh segment of the Ice Age Trail transitions from a Trail Community to a beautiful ridge top natural area with outstanding restored prairies and stunning views. 
        • A 3.2 mile walk over somewhat challenging hills (rated a 4 on a scale of 1 to 5).  The footing is decent (rated as a 2 on a scale of 1 t0 5).  This walk is one of the more challenging we will be on this Spring and not suitable for using a walker.
        • This segment traverses till-covered ridges of Prairie du Chien dolomite.  While glaciers partially shaped the landscape into drumlin forms, the north-south-trending ridge that the trail follows in its central section is bedrock.  From this segment you will have excellent views of Lodi Marsh, which is in a glacial tunnel channel.  You will also see disturbed land from former gravel mining near the railroad grade just west of highway 113.
        • The marsh formed after the last glaciation as wetland vegetation slowly filled a shallow pond in part of the valley.  The valley is a tunnel channel which formed beneath the glacier, water under pressure flowed beneath the ice, cutting a deep valley in the bedrock..

        COVID-19 Safety Protocols

        We will follow Dane County COVID-19 safety protocols in place at the time of the walk.  By registering for this event, you:

        • Agree to wear a mask if you are unvaccinated.  Fully vaccinated participants do not need to wear masks unless they feel more comfortable doing so.
        • Acknowledge that going on the walk is voluntary and a personal decision. PLATO recommends full compliance with safety standards: masks, social distancing, and handwashing. We are not responsible for enforcing public health orders.
        Microphone:

        Our leader will have a microphone along to assist in delivering her message clearly as possible.

        Driving and Parking Information

        To be described in early June once the best route has been agreed upon.

        • We will meet at:

        Trail access and parking will be announced in early August and will be one of the field  parking lots on Lodi-Springfield Road. 

        General Guidance

        PLATO has the right to cancel any event if it is apparent that the activity itself does not comply with the current guidelines.  PLATO can also cancel any activity if there is an increase in COVID cases (or hospitalizations or deaths), which would increase an infection risk for the participants.

        Questions?  Contact trip leader Mike Dilorio at mdiiorio1234@gmail.com

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

      For more information about PLATO, contact:

      PLATO Office Operations
      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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