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7 Full-Length Plays to Watch Online

Date: Mar 28, 2020


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Get your theatre fix while supporting a nonprofit company or independent artist

The show must go online! That's been the motto for many theatres that were forced to cancel productions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While lots of stage stars have been appearing on online talk shows or singing a song or two on social media, many well-regarded companies are streaming entire plays for modest fees. Watching these shows is an excellent way to distract yourself from the current health emergency while supporting nonprofit theatres and independent artists who've been hard-hit by this crisis.


Fandango for Butterflies (and Coyotes)
Saturday, March 28 at 7:30 p.m.
Inspired by the harrowing real-life stories of undocumented immigrants living in New York City, En Garde Arts' docuplay is filled with songs, dancing and, refreshingly, joy. This performance was recorded at La MaMa in February before the show's scheduled five-borough tour was cut short. Tickets are available online though TDF members pay a discounted rate. Once you buy, you'll be sent a link to the recording, which will be available to watch for two weeks.


Desperately Seeking the Exit
Saturday, March 28 at 2 p.m.; Wednesday, April 1 at 2 p.m.; Thursday, April 2, Saturday, April 4 and Sunday, April 5 at 7 p.m.
A breakout hit in NYC and at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Peter Michael Marino's riotous comedy about a theatrical tragedy chronicles all the behind-the-scenes drama at his notorious 2007 London flop musical, Desperately Seeking Susan. On Saturday, March 28, he'll be doing a special 90-minute version of the solo show, complete with archival video, but you can catch a one-hour edition sans multimedia on the other dates. Note, Marino is live-streaming, so the start time is the only time to watch! March 28 tickets are available here. TDF member tickets are available for the April dates.


Trump Lear
Various dates and times April 3 to May 1
In this comedic solo show, playwright-performer David Carl has been imprisoned for his Trumpian take on Shakespeare's tragedy, and the only way he'll avoid execution is by doing the show for the POTUS himself. A long-running Off-Off Broadway hit, this politically charged romp will be live-streamed, so the start time is the only time to watch, and you must download the free video conferencing app Zoom. Tickets are available online though select dates are available at a discount to TDF members.


The Siblings Play
Anytime through Sunday April 5
Ren Dara Santiago's debut play about a trio of adolescent siblings in Harlem trying to navigate life without their absent parents had to close during previews. Happily, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater recorded a performance of this searing show, directed by Jenna Worsham, which you can watch online anytime through April 5. Tickets are available here.


Toni Stone
Anytime through Sunday April 5
Perhaps the only upside to theatres closing is that audiences can now watch productions from companies all over the country online. Before it was forced to shutter, San Francisco's acclaimed American Conservatory Theater recorded its mounting of Lydia R. Diamond's Toni Stone, a kinetic and insightful portrait of the pioneering black female baseball player. Tickets are available here and you can watch online anytime through April 5.


Anytime through Sunday April 5
San Fran's American Conservatory Theater also recorded its mounting of Gloria, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins' slippery play, which starts off as an office comedy but goes in an unexpectedly dark direction. Tickets are available here and you can watch online anytime through April 5.


Teenage Dick
Various dates and times through Sunday April 19
Chicago's Theater Wit recorded its production of Mike Lew's dark comic take on Richard III set in a high-pressure high school before it was forced to close. You can catch it online at designated times through April 19, and even join in a live post-show discussion via video conference with your fellow socially distant audience members. Tickets are available here.


Raven Snook is the Editor of TDF Stages. Follow her at @RavenSnook. Follow TDF at @TDFNYC.

Top image: Fandango for Butterflies (and Coyotes). Photo by Maria Baranova.