There’s a little bit of everything online as the traditional theatre season closes in an age of COVID. Local Milwaukee theaters are still planning for live seasons in 2021-2022, but there’s still an opportunity to catch some really interesting and potentially innovative locally-produced stuff online before everything begins to migrate back to the live stage late next fall.
The Loud ‘N Unchained Black Theater Festival
All the theatre going on online lately has offered a really cool opportunity to see locally-produced stuff that hasn’t been locally produced in Milwaukee. April closes into May this year with Madison’s Loud ’N Unchained Black Theater Festival. It’s a live two-day streaming show featuring work from Madison-area theater, drag and spoken word artists. And...y’know...it’s free. Given all the stuff going on at the festival, this looks like a really fun way to enter May. The show runs April 30th and May 1st. For more information, visit the festival online.
The Laramie Project
It’s been nearly a quarter century since the brutal murder of Matthew Shepard. I’t would be nice to think that things have gotten better since then. I’ve seen productions of Moises Kaufman’s exploration of the murder quite a few times over the years in quite a few different formats. This coming weekend, the UW Green Bay theatre department stages a live production of the show online. In addition to being a really important exploration of the brutality the people are capable of, it’s a good project for university theatre online. The show consists largely of first-person accounts delivered directly to the audience...it’s a chance for an actor to really explore the portrayal of deep individual thought and intellectual reflection.
UWGB’s production of The Laramie Project runs April 29 to May 2 online. The show is free. For more information, visit the show’s page at UWGB.
This month 53212 Presents welcomes UWM Dance composer Allen Russell to the screen with another improvisational dance performance. The show mixes live and limited in-person audience with a free online streaming presentation in an eclectic digital atmosphere. Up to 12 people can register in advance to attend the performance live. (This IS one of the most intimate stages in Milwaukee right now.) The rest of us are free to watch it live on May 2nd from 10:00 am-12:00 pm. (Sunday mid-day dance? Sounds lovely.) For more information, visit the show’s page on Eventbrite.
KidsWrites: Time Capsule
The Skylight’s KidsWrites program has been around in one format or another for decades. This year, the project that pairs kids’ writing with professional musical theatre producers tackles the subject of the pandemic. Kids had written about a variety of different things impacting them that were developed into little video packages online...from the soulfully operatic Time Capsule to moody acoustic guitar to the straight-ahead comic opera of Ode to Toilet Paper. The show runs online from May 3 - June 13. It’s free. To register to see it online, visit Skylight online.
The Very First zoom Comedy Show Ever: Why has no one thought of this before?
If sarcasm had a title it might be the name of the new Broadminded Comedy show. The seemingly invincible all-woman comedy group continues straight into the pandemic with an online sketch comedy show. The prolific group will feature all-new material that has been constructed specifically for videoconferencing format. Zoom has become such a universally...tolerated...format over the course of the past year. It should be fun to see the unique mix of comedy brought to the screen by a group of writer/performers who have a long history onstage together. Broadminded’s new show runs May 8 and 22nd online. For more information, visit Broadminded’s website.