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. 


    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


    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.


    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


    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.


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

    August 2020

    • March 05, 2021
    • (CST)
    • May 21, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • 6 sessions

    Spring 2021 PLATO Virtual Breakfast Get-Togethers
    1st and 3rd Fridays

    Make new friends and meet new and longtime PLATO members; with special guests and possible topics suggested each week via the PLATO newsletter. 


    Conveniently online via your computer or phone from the comforts of your home!

    1st and 3rd Fridays in Spring 2021

    from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

    March 5

    March 19

    April 2

    April 16

    May 7

    May 21

      • Organizer:  Peter Weiler

      • To join,  just click on this url at the right date and time: 

      • https://meet.google.com/yhy-vrgy-vqf
      • If you do not have a computer or smart phone, join by calling +1 501-803-2238  then when asked, enter the PIN 475483052# (long distance charges may apply)

      • RSVP or Questions? -  Let Peter know you're coming the Wednesday before the breakfast by email or phone, or just show up!  

      • Weekly PLATO emails will let you know of special guests or topics.

      Questions?  RSVP:  Peter's contact information is: prweiler@wisc.edu   or 608 278-1244 and leave a message.

      Helpful tips for being in a Google Meet meeting:

      • Join the conference, click on the link:

      • https://meet.google.com/yhy-vrgy-vqf
      • The link will be active now and you can go to Google Meet at any time although other people will not join you until the meeting date and time.

      • Use the link above before the meeting to:

        • Make sure your device’s camera and microphone work.

        • Get familiar with the interface.

        • Make sure you look good on camera (for example, I have a window behind me that casts me in silhouette so I close the blinds for the meeting).

      • Joining the meeting:

        • Clicking on the “Joining info” link will open a tab in your browser and start Google Meet.

        • Depending on how you have your browser’s privacy settings configured, you may be asked to allow the browser to turn on your camera and microphone. Accept those permissions (otherwise you won’t be seen or heard!) and you will see yourself on your computer or phone screen.

        • If you’re the only one on the call, it will tell you that. If anybody else happens to be on, it will tell you that.

      • Using the interface:

        • Use the icons in the center of the white bar at the bottom of the screen to control your participation.

        • To pin yourself to the people in the meeting (go to your small picture in the corner, click on the 3 vertical dot/bars, and click on a little table figure
        • The microphone icon – Click on the icon to turn the mic on or to mute it. In the meeting you should always have your microphone muted unless you are speaking. This will prevent any background noises in your house from disturbing while others are talking.

        • The camera icon – Click on the camera icon to turn it on and off.

        • The red telephone receiver icon – Click on this icon to disconnect from the conference. If you leave Google Meet completely and then want to return to the conference, go back and click the “Joining info” link the invitation email.

        • If the white bar at the bottom disappears from your screen, click anywhere in the main picture area to get it back.

        • Chat :  In the upper right corner of the screen is a chat function, this allows participants to send and receive texts. If there are many people in the meeting it may work better to write via Chat that you want to make a comment or question.

      • 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. 


      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


      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


      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


      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


      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


      BCycle Stations along the Route

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


      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


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

      August 2020

      • May 11, 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.

      MCC Theater

      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!


      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)

      Available on Sunday, May 16, 2021 at 7 pm CT.

      New York City Center Digital

      Sutton Foster | Bring Me to Light

      Sutton Foster - Bring Me to Light

      Award-winning actor, singer, dancer Sutton Foster takes over City Center—filling it with her indomitable spirit for a concert with her friends Raúl EsparzaJoaquina KalukangoKelli O'Hara, and Wren Rivera, celebrating their connections to the historic theater and reflecting on the challenges facing all of us.  Available through May 31.

      Writers Theatre

      The Last Match

      When a young Russian tennis phenom and an American superstar in his prime meet at center court, it’s a tough call whether the greatest drama is playing out off the court or on! As the swift action volleys between prime time tennis matches and the most pivotal moments in the personal lives of the competitors and their equally driven romantic partners, sharp and insightful playwright Anna Ziegler (Photograph 51) draws you inside the minds of all four as they face challenges in sport, life and love. What results is a fast-paced and moving montage exploring family, the sacrifices we make for success and the legacy we leave behind.

      You won’t want to miss this engrossing, rapid-fire take on what it means to finally achieve greatness, only to be left wanting more. In The Last Match, there is much more than just a championship on the line! Available online April 28-May 30.

      New Normal Rep


      Set in 1991, during the Pan American Games in Havana and while the Russians are pulling out of Cuba, this play portrays two sisters, Maria Celia, a novelist, and Sofia, a pianist, serving time under house arrest. Passion infiltrates politics when a lieutenant assigned to their case becomes infatuated with Maria Celia, whose literature he has been reading.  General Admission $25.  Streaming April 21st - May 23rd, 2021

      Lincoln Center Theater

      The Royale

      When is a play about a boxer not really about boxing? When it's the 2016 Obie and Drama Desk Award-winning THE ROYALE. The play is about the life of the outsider in America as much as it is about charismatic African-American boxer Jay “The Sport” Jackson. The stylized and stunning conception of Marco Ramirez was realized by director Rachel Chavkin. Not a single punch will be thrown, at least not with fists.

      "Original and graceful. THE ROYALE packs a punch!"

      New York Times

      Beginning April 22 at 6pm CDT, stream through May 16 the 2016 Lincoln Center Theater production of THE ROYALE by Marco Ramirez, directed by Rachel Chavkin, featuring McKinley Belcher III, Khris Davis, Montego Glover, John Lavelle, and Clarke Peters (The Wire). Register to watch the free production.

      National Theatre/PBS Great Performances

      online link for entire play

      Romeo and Juliet

      This stylized film of Shakespeare’s masterpiece from the National Theatre celebrates the theatrical imagination. In this contemporary retelling, a company of actors in a shuttered theater bring to life the tale of two young lovers who strive to transcend a world of violence and hate. Josh O’Connor (The Crown) and Jessie Buckley (Fargo, Wild Rose) star as Shakespeare’s immortal star-crossed lovers.

      Last year, the original live production had to switch to TV.  National Theatre Director and Joint Chief Executive Rufus Norris said in a statement, "I wanted to find a way to use that space to create something exciting and special for audiences, that utilized the exceptional skill and craft of the National Theatre’s teams, freelancers and creative associates, and that could reach as many people as we can." 

      Although Romeo and Juliet  typically runs 3 hours, this production is "cut in half and twice as good." "Yet as directed by Simon Godwin, this emotionally satisfying and highly theatrical filmed version scores point after point while whizzing past, or outright cutting, the elements that can make you think it was written not by Shakespeare but by O. Henry on a bender." --Jesse Green, New York Times  Critic's Pick

      Available beginning Friday, April 23,  8pm CDT, on various PBS channels, the PBS Live App, and using your web browser.

      Roundabout Theater/Black Theater United

      The ReFocus Project

      The Refocus Project aims to transform the American theatre canon by looking to the past and shining a spotlight on the plays and playwrights that were left behind by history, not because of their merits, but because of their identities. 

      Beginning April 23, the first year of this free project will spotlight twentieth-century Black plays and their playwrights. A diverse panel of readers, consuming dozens of plays, chose several for readings and many more to be highlighted through the additional resources. Check out the links below for more information on the history and content of each play as well as to RSVP for the free productions.


      Available May 14–17


      Available May 21–24

      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 made available. 

      "There will be a digital version of each play. 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. We're still working out all the technical details, but we'll have more information soon!"

      Public Theater


      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 as a podcast for free beginning April 13 at 6:00 p.m. CDT and will be available for one year.  It will be offered with an Open Caption video shortly after its audio premiere.

      Broadway's Best Shows

      Spotlight on Plays: 7 Great Plays by 7 Great Playwrights

      Broadway’s Best Shows is proud to present Spotlight on Plays, a starry series of livestream readings of Broadway’s best plays to benefit The Actors Fund. Experience a season of starry livestream events from home featuring Oscar, Pulitzer, Tony, and Grammy Award®-winning artists. Actors include Debbie Allen, Ellen Burstyn, Bobby Cannavale, Kathryn Hahn, Kevin Kline, Audra McDonald, Mary-Louise Parker, Phylicia Rashad, Keanu Reeves, Heidi Schreck, Alia Shawkat, Heather Alicia Simms, Alicia Stith, Meryl Streep, and many more. Stream to your desktop/laptop/tablet/smartphone, your choice! Following the live premieres,  presentations will be available to watch anytime on-demand for four days ONLY. Purchase a discounted season pass by Thursday, April 8, or purchase shows individually. Individual premieres begin March 25 and end June 17.

      Overture Center for the Arts

      Rock of Ages

      The five-time Tony Award-nominated musical Rock of Ages, the 30th Longest Running Show in Broadway history, will play a one-night only, bi-coastal livestream jamfest Rock of Ages: All-Star Reunion Concert on SAT, APR 24, 2021 at 7 PM, available exclusively on the premium streaming platform Stellar. Overture Center is a partnering performing arts center and will benefit from ticket sales.

      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

      Late Night Staring at High Res Pixels

      Two women. One photograph. A young woman sends a topless selfie to her boyfriend as a bit of flirtatious fun. When he shows it to his best friend for a laugh, he can’t imagine her having any other reaction. But what starts out as a joke soon turns into an accusation of something much darker. At what point does admiration become a form of control? How do we say ‘stop’ when it becomes apparent that we are complicit in hurting other women? If someone you know to be a good person, starts to prove themselves otherwise, how do you walk away?

      Late Night Staring at High Res Pixels explores the issue of assumed consent and how it contributes to a culture of complicity and control towards women. Men have long held power in relationships with tools that have no name; this story aims to identify those methods.

      Athena Stevens has been using online platforms and iPhones to tell stories since 2013. While the traditional channels are dark, Stevens and her creative team have invented a new form of theatre, combining a play written by Stevens with elements of web-series and vlogs. Created via Zoom across eight time zones, and filmed on iPads, the series follows two women in their separate spaces, as they realize that their lives are more entwined than they could have ever imagined.

      FREE through April 30, 2021.

      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.

      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.   

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

      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 through May 10, 2022.


        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



        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



        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 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. 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


        Contact PLATO Theater Team members at:

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

        • June 11, 2021
        • 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM (CDT)
        • Turville Point Parking Lot, 1202 Olin-Turville Ct, Madison
        • 0
        Join waitlist

        Free to PLATO Members and Guests

        Registration is required

        Masks are required during the walk

        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 face mask during the walk.
        • 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. 
        • Understand that PLATO may decide to cancel the walk based on changing health conditions such as surge in cases; conditions will be reviewed two weeks prior to the event. 

        The Walk
        This City of Madison Conservation Park is a natural gem on the shores of Lake Monona, a short bike ride from downtown Madison.  Large red, bur and white oak provide the canopy under which a variety of spring wildflowers bloom.  A seven-acre prairie opening adds to the diversity of the site.  Turville is adjacent to Olin Park which has restrooms and a parking lot.

        You will enjoy this leisurely paced 3 mile loop walk as we increase our understanding of this beautiful place.  We will walk rolling hills through woods and along the Lake Monona shoreline.  Our guide will tell us a little about Glacial Lake Mendota and the First Peoples who lived on the land after the waters receded.  We will also hear a little about the use of the land during the 19th & 20th centuries.

        On the walk back, we will capture several views of downtown Madison across Lake Monona.


        About Our Tour Guide
        You are in for a treat when you take a walk at Turville with history buff Ron Shutvet!  Ron will point out interesting spots and share fascinating stories about the history of Turville Point and the people who lived there. You will also enjoy spring colors and seeing the birds and nature that make their home at Turville today. Look for migrating birds resting on the bay and busy squirrels collecting nuts below the ancient oaks.

        Driving and Parking Instructions
        Meet at the Turville Point parking lot (not the Olin Boat Launch parking lot) on the lakeside of John Nolen Drive at the railroad crossing.  The address is 1202 Olin-Turville Ct • in Olin Park, Madison.


        Narrow paths through hilly wooded terrain makes this a moderately difficult walk and especially slippery following a rain.  A walking stick would be helpful.

        Our leader will have a microphone along to assist in delivering his message clearly as possible.  This will help us maintain outdoor social distancing requirements.

        There are no bathroom facilities at this site.

        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 mdiiorio@tds.net

      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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