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

    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

    • February 20, 2021
    • (CST)
    • December 01, 2021
    • (CST)
    • Internet

    virtual theater Trips

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

    Milwaukee Rep

    We Rise: MKE's Celebration of Black History Month

    The celebration will honor the tremendous contributions that African American artists, administrators, and audiences have made to Milwaukee Rep and the City of Milwaukee. Events will take place on Monday nights in February at 7pm CST via Facebook Live and YouTube Live.

    Feb. 22: The Ground on Which I Stand honors the life and legacy of playwright August Wilson in the American Theater and features keynote speaker Ebony Jo-Ann, detailing her personal and professional relationships with Wilson.

    New York City Center

    City Center: Honoring Black History Month with Kyle Abraham, Dormeshia, Jamar Roberts and Calvin Royal III

    Three encore dance presentations about the Black experience in America.  

    • Legendary tap dancer Dormeshia in Lady Swings the Blues
    • Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s Resident Choreographer Jamar Roberts  in Morani/Mungu (Black Warrior/Black God)
    • American Ballet Theatre Principal Dancer Calvin Royal III in to be seen choreographed by Kyle Abraham, founding artistic director of A.I.M
    Each performance was captured live on our stage as part of the digital Fall for Dance Festival in October 2020. The videos will be available to watch for free at NYCityCenter.org and their YouTube channel during the month of February.

    The Nation Black Theatre of Harlem

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

     February 28th, 2021 at 5pm on YouTube Live.

    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:

      American Players Theatre

      Winter Words Header 3

      Winter Words is a public play-reading series where APT artists explore new-to-APT plays, some of which may someday make their way to our stages. This popular series is, of course, typically held in the Touchstone Theatre. But this year, Zoom is where it's at. So while the format may be different, these readings still teem with the raw energy of an early table read, produced for you with just one day of rehearsal. 

      Readings will begin at 7:00 pm CST on the dates below.  Each reading will be followed by a talk back with the actors and artists.   

      Tickets are $15 and only 300 tickets are sold.  Available for purchase online.  Please note: Unlike APT's earlier Zoom series, these readings are one-time events and will be unavailable for on-demand viewing. The readings begin at 7:00 pm CST.

      February 22   Agamemnon
      By Aeschylus | Adapted by Simon Scardifield    Directed by David Daniel 

      “…a cracking version, featuring a brilliantly conceived three-person Chorus who merge almost seamlessly into the narrative." – Radio Review

      With the Trojan War raging, King Agamemnon offers a brutal sacrifice in hopes of getting his brother’s wife, Helen, out of Troy. But that bloody betrayal paves the way for more violent acts, until the palace runs with the blood of innocent and guilty alike. The first play in the Oresteia trilogy, Aeschylus’ classic tale of betrayal and revenge comes to new life on Zoom. This one was originally scheduled to be the final Winter Words reading of 2020 – too good to be left behind.

      March 8   Dear Brutus
      By J.M. Barrie    Directed by Kelsey Brennan

      “It’s Peter Pan for grownups.” – The Guardian

      J.M. Barrie's take on what happens when people are, in fact, forced to grow up. And then, just as they're coming to terms with adulthood, are provided with a reprieve. A mysterious man invites an eclectic group of friends and lovers to his home on Midsummer (yes, Midsummer). Then, after being specifically warned against it, the group heads into the woods for a series of strange and fantastic events, and maybe a few realizations.

      March 22   Elliot, A Soldier's Fugue
      By Quiara Alegría Hudes    Directed by Melisa Pereyra

      …a well-crafted, lyrical piece of writing with a good deal of formative interest and a skilled juxtaposition of epic matters with the little stuff that informs our everyday.” – The Chicago Tribune

      Elliot, a young soldier, follows in the military footsteps of his father and grandfather before him by going to war in Iraq. When he returns home, injured and questioning everything, Elliot must pierce the bubble of silence around his family’s legacy of service to get to the soul of his family and his heritage. A lyrical exploration of three generations of a Puerto Rican family by Pulitzer Prize winner and Tony Award nominee Quiara Alegría Hudes (In the Heights, Water by the Spoonful)

      April 5   Dontrell, Who Kissed the Sea   
      By Nathan Alan Davis 
      Directed by Ameenah Kaplan

      "Nathan Alan Davis’s script is sunny and lovable, despite its inexorable pull from present-day Baltimore toward the slave trade’s notorious Middle Passage." - The Washington Post

      Dontrell is living the American high school dream – straight A, top of the class, headed to college, and the light of his family’s life. And then one night, the dream comes. A dream of an ancestor lost at sea, sending Dontrell on a hero quest through history. But before he dives in, he needs to learn how to swim. A funny and dreamlike work of magical realism, Dontrell, Who Kissed the Sea makes a poetic statement about what it means to be young and Black in America, written by Nathan Alan Davis (Nat Turner in Jerusalem).

      Goodman Theater

      The Secretaries

      Saturday, February 27 at 7 pm 

      By Omer Abbas Salem, Directed by Audrey Francis

      Berlin, 1944: four women in Aryan drag vie to be the Führer’s personal secretary as he heads into a bunker with his girlfriend. It’s a rough time to be a German, but this is a chance to search for greater importance in a national capacity. Omer Abbas Salem’s fearsome, absurd new work examines complicity and the lies we tell ourselves as we mistake self-interest and supremacy for patriotism.

      Please make a reservation to view this performance. After completing your reservation, you will receive a print-at-home ticket with details about how to stream the live reading. 

      George Street Playhouse

      Bad Dates

      A one-woman comedy about a single mom in search of cute shoes, the perfect dress, and a romantic table for two at a great restaurant, Bad Dates is a charming, funny and hopeful tale of dates gone wrong and looking for Mr. Right. The Wall Street Journal said it was "miraculously contrived to turn Ms. Rebeck’s show into a poignant slice of urban life that also happens to be drop-dead funny” 

      February 23 — March 14, 2021   Virtual Household Ticket - $33

        Beck Center for the Arts

        5 x 15: Five World Premiere Fifteen-Minute Musicals (virtual production)

        5 x 15: Five World Premiere Fifteen-Minute Musicals 

        February 12 – February 28, 2021, online only - Please note this digital pay-per-view production is available for you to enjoy anytime from February 12 to February 28, 2021 but once you start the video you have 48 hours to complete your viewing.  Tickets $20.

        Perpetual Sunshine and the Ghost Girls - Musical based on the true story of the women who fought United States Radium Corporation in the 1920s for knowingly poisoning them and subsequently changed United States labor laws forever.

        Holo - Musicalset in 2189 in a holograph museum, the curator and holographic Kyle enter into a unique relationship which recounts the year 2020 and the pandemic that came with it on an ever repeating loop.

        Rodeo Clowns  - Musical is a queer, western epic about two eccentric outcasts who save the heart of their disintegrating town. This whip crack comedy act features a colorful musical-country score.

        Monster on the Lawn  - Musical centers around Ricky, a six-year-old boy with a growing imagination, wakes up to see a whale-like creature laying on his front lawn.

        White Man’s Burden - Musical takes place inside of the world of sideshow "freaks" who have been killed because of the color of their skin.

          Woolly Mammoth Theatre

          Hi, Are You Single?

          Join Ryan, a gay man with a high sex drive and cerebral palsy on his search to find love. Or a date. Or at least a hookup.  Ryan will guide you through the gay dating scene with his provocative take on intimacy, rejection, and judgment. His one request? Please bring an attractive male friend with you. This solo show stars the playwright, Ryan J. Haddad, recently seen in the Netflix series The Politician. Available for streaming February 1-28, tickets $16.00.

          PBS Great Performances

          Julius Caesar from Donmar

          Set in a women’s prison, this Donmar Warehouse Theatre version of Julius Caesar  available via PBS Great Performances offers a powerful dramatization of the catastrophic consequences of a political leader’s extension of power beyond constitutional confines through an all-female lens.  The all-female cast portray both male and female roles within the play. Brutus wrestles with his moral conscience over the assassination of Julius Caesar, and Mark Antony manipulates the crowd with subtle and incendiary rhetoric to create frenzied mob violence. Performed in-the-round and enhanced by a guerilla filming style on a mostly bare stage, this production creates a unique perspective on Shakespeare’s tragedy. GoPros and a drone offer a stark reminder of the prison setting, and heavy metal music blasts to highlight the conflict on stage.

          Marin Theatre Company

          The Catastrophist

          A world-premiere "theatrical experience" by American's most-produced playwright, Lauren Gunderson--and it's about her husband, virologist Nathan Wolfe. Though not a play about COVID19, it is a true story of a pandemic expert. An interactive deep dive into the profundities of scientific exploration and the harrowing realities of facing your own mortality, The Catastrophist is built of and for this moment in time. Available for streaming January 26 through February 28. Tickets are $30 plus fees. Read more about this play: "A Playwright’s New Subject: Her Husband, the Pandemic Expert" - New York Times

          In & Of Itself

          Performer/storyteller/magician Derek DelGaudio's stage show In & Of Itself is now available as a film on Hulu. Don't read too much about it ahead of time--is it a magic show? A performance piece? An interactive audience experience? The words "surreal" and "idiosyncratic" have been used to describe this series of vignettes. "An intimate and powerful exploration of what it means to be and be seen." Directed by Frank Oz. Free one-week trials of Hulu are available for new and eligible returning subscribers.

          Repertorio Español 

          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.

          A Virtual Season of Tributes

          The Cabaret Project of St. Louis is a non-profit with a mission to support, develop and sustain the art of cabaret and song performance in St. Louis. They produce high-level public performances for the community and arts education programs for teens and adults. Watch the teaser for a taste of all three upcoming shows. Single tickets are $25.

          Christine Andreas sings Edith Piaf: February 20 & 27, 7:30 CST. Two time Tony Award nominee Christine Andreas brings her dynamic voice and passionate interpretations to celebrate the music and life of one of the greatest musical artists of all time. Andreas’ “engagement with lyrics is so intense….you feel you are HER, living the song she is performing” - New York Times

          Tony DeSare & Capathia Jenkins sing Frank Sinatra & Ella Fitzgerald: March 20 & 27, 7:30 CST. Frank & Ella features DeSare’s mastery at the keyboard and timeless songs performed as solos and duets by two dynamic singers.  DeSare is “Two parts young Sinatra, one part Billy Joel” - New York Times. Jenkins’ “vocal range can embellish every note with just the right amount of warmth and tenderness” - Times Square Chronicles

          Mint Theater Company 

          Silver Streaming Series

          Days to Come

          Lillian Hellman’s second play, Days to Come, is a family drama set against the backdrop of labor strife in a small Ohio town which threatens to tear apart both town and family. “It’s the story of innocent people on both sides who are drawn into conflict and events far beyond their comprehension,” Hellman said in an interview before Days to Come opened in 1936. “It’s the saga of a man who started something he cannot stop…”  The New Yorker called it "a gripping, lucid examination of the dangerous intersection of economic, social, and personal forces."

          Originally produced in 2018, you can now watch it for free through February 22 on this celebrated theater company's new streaming service.  It was made with professional quality, hi-definition, three-camera recordings of a live performance, captured in the theater with live audiences. According to the Wall Street Journal, "you'll come away from Days to Come feeling like you've seen a real stage show, not a telecast." To receive the password for on-demand streaming, click this link and complete the form.  A donation to Mint Theater is suggested. 

          Milwaukee Repertory Theater

          Until the Flood

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

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

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

          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.

          Amazon Prime Video

          What the Constitution Means to Me

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

          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.

          Dante or Die

          USER NOT FOUND: A video podcast

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


          good dog

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

          Badger Talks Live

          Hamilton: How a Musical About History is Making History

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

          Dramatists Play Circle On Air

          The Party Hop

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

          Ma-Yi Studios

          Sophocles in Staten Island

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

          Opera North

          Leonard Bernstein's Short Opera, Trouble in Tahiti

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

          Globe Theatre and Swinging the Lens

          Richard II

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

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

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

          --Mike Fischer, dramaturg,

          former theater critic for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

          and Forward Theater Company Advisory Member

          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

          Skylight Music Theatre

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



          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.

          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.

          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. Beginning and ending dates may not apply for those with Passport membership. 

          Streaming link

          Gloria: A Life

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

          Streaming link


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

          Streaming link

          Twilight: Los Angeles 

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

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

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

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

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

          Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre

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

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

          L.A. Theatre Works

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

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

          Among the many included titles are:

          Copenhagen, by Michael Frayn

          Arcadia, by Tom Stoppard

          An Enemy of the People, by Henrik Ibsen

          Proof, by David Auburn

          The Doctor's Dilemma, by George Bernard Shaw


          Contact PLATO Theater Team members at:

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

          • 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 18, 2021
            • 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM (CDT)
            • Online


            Life’s A Daring Adventure

            and You’re Not Done Yet!

            Mary Helen Conroy

            Thursday, March 18, 1:00 - 2:00 p.m.

            Online via Zoom or by Phone

            Description:  Mary Helen Conroy will examine the good, the bad and the ugly, the scary and sad, and the awesomeness of building our lives after we end our career. Whether you’re nearly or newly retired, Mary Helen will share 15 essential tips for making your next chapter your best chapter. Her Amazing Itty Bitty Retirement Book became a #1 best seller. Join us as you gather the tips that will make your retirement exceptional, a true daring adventure.

            Speaker bio: Mary Helen Conroy is an inspirational speaker, reinvention life coach and author of a Kindle #1 Best Seller, The Amazing Itty Bitty Retirement Book. Mary Helen’s reinvention story has been featured in the  Huffington Post, Wisconsin Public Radio and a variety of podcasts. She has been named the “Midwife for Midlife” and her company, Life’s a Daring Adventure has sought to remind folks that regardless of their age, they are not alone, and they’re not done yet!  


            As the lecture is online, you can use your computer or smartphone to access the lecture and see the speaker during the presentation. You will not be visible during the lecture, but you will be able to chat with the speaker by typing in your comments.

            If you do not have a computer or smartphone you can also use your regular phone to dial a phone number and listen to the talk.

            Questions? - contact lecture organizer,  Joy Cardin at cardinjoy@gmail.com

            • April 06, 2021
            • 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM (CDT)
            • Online


            Hidden in Plain Slight: Native American Cultural Landscape

            Omar Poler

            Tuesday, April 6, 1:00 - 2:30 p.m.

            Online via Zoom or by Phone


            Omar Poler is the Indigenous Education Coordinator for UW-Madison's Office of the Provost / School of Education. He will discuss the Native American cultural landscape present all around us. He will also talk about using place-based experiential learning to explore the revolving relationship between Indians and non-Indians in the development of campus buildings and landmarks over time, and how people can examine and interrogate Indigenous landmarks created between 700 and 2500 years ago. Join PLATO for a very informative lecture on how interpreting the significance of the landmarks provides an overview of American Indian history and leads to a greater awareness of modern Indigenous nations and peoples.

            Speaker bio: 

            Omar Poler is an enrolled member of the Sokaogon Chippewa Community and serves as the Indigenous Education Coordinator at the School of Education. In that position, he leads UW-Madison First Nation Cultural Landscape Tours and is involved with campus and community signage projects to support learning about First Nations cultures, languages, histories, and sovereignty. He has also served as an Outreach Specialist at the UW-Madison Information School, where has worked closely with tribal librarians, archivists, and museum curators in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota.


            As the lecture is online, you can use your computer or smartphone to access the lecture and see the speaker during the presentation. You will not be visible during the lecture, but you will be able to chat with the speaker by typing in your comments.

            If you do not have a computer or smartphone you can also use your regular phone to dial a phone number and listen to the talk.

            Questions? - contact lecture organizer,  Trish Iaccarino  trish@uwalumni.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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