With Broadway, movies, concerts, and other cultural establishments remaining indefinitely closed amid the Covid-19 pandemic, many are turning to digital forms of entertainment to get their fix. Thanks to the power of live-stream technology and a multitude of archived collections, fans have been able to watch all their favorite productions from home. Here’s some of the most popular things people are watching around the world right now.
Hamilton: If you’re on social media of any kind you’re definitely already aware that Hamilton has been uploaded to Disney+. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s highly praised Pulitzer Prize-winning Broadway musical about the country’s founding fathers was filmed over the course of three nights in New York back in 2016 with the original cast. Director Thomas Kail claims that they filmed and edited the show to give audiences at home the “best seat in the house.”
The National Theater At Home: The National Theater at Home Initiative has become widely popular all around the world. Popular theater productions are streamed for free online every Thursday at 7 pm and then remain uploaded on the site for seven days until the next show. Currently The Deep Blue Sea, written by Terence Rattingan, is set to be performed and uploaded to the site from July 9th-16th followed by Peter Shaffer’s Amadeus.
549: Scots of the Spanish Civil War: The 2019 archived production of the play has recently been uploaded to YouTube where it will remain until July 31st. Jack Nurse and Robbie Gordon’s play follows four miners from East Lothian who volunteer for the Spanish Civil War in 1936. The play has been widely well received for its polished choreography during battle scenes, and raw singing talent of the actors.
WeRNotVirus: In this special directed by Jennifer Tang and Anthony Lau, 10 short dramas unfold for the viewer, each depicting a different part of the current racism pandemic the world is battling simultaneously alongside Covid-19. The entire production is two hours in length and incorporates multiple mediums such as animation, poetry, music, and of course, singing and dancing. The special is currently available on YouTube.
Tiny Dancers: The National Youth Theatre created this production using a multitude of young dancers. Created throughout the course of the pandemic, this production is described as a “funny and heartfelt look at how it feels to be together and apart.” The production will be available for free on YouTube from July 23rd-31st. The group will also be uploading a Q&A style video on July 23rd that will take viewers behind the scenes of the production.
The Lord Chamberlain’s Men: This all-male theater company is known in the UK for touring and performing open-air Shakespeare productions. They were performing Macbeth when the pandemic began and have since postponed the rest of the tour indefinitely. However, they recently shared two past archived productions online. The Tempest, filmed in 2018, and A Midsummer’s Night Dream, performed last year, are currently streaming to celebrate the companies 15 year anniversary.
Scenes For Survival: The National Theatre of Scotland was one of the first cultural institutions in the world to announce a lockdown program for viewers at home. The company is continuously streaming and uploading their collection of short films which are meant to “offer audiences a sense of hope and joy” during such uncertain times.
The Show Must Go Online: Finally, actor Robert Myles has set up a live-stream reading group that he’s advertising for professional and amateur actors to join. The group of actors perform Shakespeare’s complete plays in the order that they agreed they were likely written. The goal is to give actors old and new an opportunity to continue to practice their craft and have a sense of normalcy for a few hours while they do what they love.