Stay the Fuck Home Guest Post by Cate McKim Theatre Edition

It’s been heartbreaking to see all the cancellations of live theatre performances—not to mention devastating for theatre companies, festivals and artists—with seasons being cut short or delayed indefinitely, and productions and festivals cancelled during the COVID-19 crisis. But there are still ways you can support companies and artists, and stay connected with theatre while we wait for the doors to open again.

Theatre artists and companies are going online, and even on the phone, to deliver livestream readings, live performances and filmed productions to a device near you! And there are also a number of resources you can tap into for up-to-date info and connection with theatre—and ways to support companies, festivals and artists. The following is by no means an exhaustive list, so please feel free to add to it in the Comments. 


Canadian Opera Company #OperaAtHome posts a clip every day at 11:00 a.m. on Twitter https://twitter.com/CanadianOpera

Convergence Theatre’s (http://www.convergencetheatre.com/) over-the-phone presentation The Corona Variations http://www.convergencetheatre.com/corona-variations has new dates coming up in May

Outside the March’s production of Rosamund Small’s Vitals is up on Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/102824358

They’re also presenting an interactive theatre experience, over the phone, The Ministry of Mundane Mysteries https://outsidethemarch.ca/the-ministry-of-mundane-mysteries-an-faq/?preview=true

The Social Distancing Festival (https://www.socialdistancingfestival.com/), launched by Canadian actor/playwright Nick Green, is an online artist’s community that showcases talent from around the world, and connects the work with audiences through livestream performances and social posts.

Soulpepper presents Fresh Ink, livestream script readings, on their website: next one is on Fri, May 1 at 4:00 p.m., featuring works by Beverley Cooper, Judith Thompson and Carole Fréchette. https://www.soulpepper.ca/online/live-events

Spontaneous Theatre Canada (https://www.spontaneoustheatre.ca/) has been presenting Blind Date livestream performances on YouTube on Friday nights at 10:00 p.m. EST (with Rebecca Northan as Mimi and a featured guest actor date every week) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpJc-n4bx1XWHCqBXBbl01w (you can also catch up on previous Mimi dates). On Fri, May 1, Mimi will be joined by actor/improviser/comedian Andrew Phung (who many of you will know as Kimchee on Kim’s Convenience).

SpiderWebShow (https://spiderwebshow.ca/) is hosting FoLDA (Festival of Live Digital Art) June 10-13 https://www.folda.ca/

Stratford Festival presents streaming performances with StratFest@Home https://www.stratfordfestival.ca/AtHome

Also: Follow theatre companies, festivals and artists on social media, and visit their websites to get news/updates on one-time only livestream readings/events.


PlayME by Expect Theatre: Listen to radio drama-style podcasts of Canadian plays http://www.playmepodcast.com/

Stageworthy podcast: Host Phil Rickaby interviews folks in and about theatre https://stageworthypodcast.com/


Follow Toronto theatre producer and corporate/entertainment lawyer Derrick Chua (aka the King of Toronto Fringe) on Twitter; Derrick is in the know and a great resource for what’s happening in the arts all over: https://twitter.com/d_chua

Recently launched, GhostLight Canada (https://www.ghostlight.ca/) provides an online platform for theatrical mentorship, collaboration and experimentation, as well as audience/artist connection through their Friday Night at the GhostLight conversations on YouTube (first one, Margaret Atwood in conversation with Adrienne Clarkson, is May 8 at 8:00 p.m.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dajResBwffY

Hye’s Musings https://www.facebook.com/HyeMusings/

Intermission Magazine https://www.intermissionmagazine.ca/

Globe & Mail theatre critic J. Kelly Nestruck’s theatre newsletter https://www.theglobeandmail.com/newsletters/?utm_source=Globe%20Life&utm_medium=Newsletter&utm_campaign=2020-4-21_16&utm_content=GlobeLife&utm_term=newsletter_signup#newsletter-group-5

Toronto Theatre Zone Facebook group for theatre folks https://www.facebook.com/groups/TorontoTheatreZone/


Consider making a donation to The AFC, which provides emergency financial aid to support the health and well-being of Canada’s entertainment professionals: https://afchelps.ca/

The good folks at CBC Arts posted this great list of supports for Canadian artists/freelancers, which arts supporters can check out and donate to: https://www.cbc.ca/arts/here-s-where-canadian-artists-and-freelancers-can-find-help-during-covid-19-shutdowns-1.5503360

Have tickets to a show that’s been cancelled? Instead of requesting a refund, consider donating the price of that ticket back to the theatre.

Donate to local theatre companies and festivals. 

Support theatre companies, festivals and artists by following them on social media, and broadcast boosting their online performances over your social media accounts—and telling your friends!

Cate McKim is a multidisciplinary storyteller, an accidental freelance copy editor/proofreader, and an arts/culture lover and supporter. Her blog life with more cowbell (https://lifewithmorecowbell.com/)—once featuring reviews and interviews of and about Toronto’s arts scene, with a focus on theatre—is gradually returning after an extended hiatus, in an ongoing, emerging new direction.

Stay The Fuck Home Entertain Yourself Edition

I’ve been seeing a lot of posts from friends witnessing way too many people out on the streets and in generally populated areas, including lounging in parks. Apparently, there are still people who don’t understand social distancing. The only times you should be going out is for groceries/supplies and exercise.

If you miss interacting with you friends, you can have virtual coffee or a Netflix Party. Platforms like Google Hangouts, Zoom or Facebook allow video conferencing.

As mentioned another fun thing to do is Netflix Party. https://www.netflixparty.com/

You can also live stream from YouTube or Facebook. Get a dance party going!

If you want to do things on your own, you can get caught up on reading or learn something new. Here are a few suggestions.

Open Culture has a TONNE of free ebooks http://www.openculture.com/free_ebooks

Go learn about ancient botany. https://botany.edwardworthlibrary.ie/ancient-botany/ancient-botany-2/

Take a virtual museum tour. https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/virtual-tours-canada-museums_ca_5e7275c2c5b6eab77941338d

My friend Diana Coatsworth is teaching you how to do sewing basics such as sew on a button! https://www.facebook.com/diana.coatsworth.7/videos/10163201173745634/

Ask Sarah Has a lot of sewing tutorials and hacks. https://www.asksarah.com.au/

Draw something, even if you haven’t for years.

Find a cooking video on YouTube.

Do Yoga or some other form of exercise.

Dig out that copy of Macbeth you’ve had since High School and start acting out scenes.

Go through your closet and have a fashion show. This also helps you purge items you don’t need and someone else could use!

Learn how to do the CanCan! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HL2g1WuuqKU

Adult Colouring http://www.openculture.com/2019/02/download-free-coloring-books-from-113-museums.html?fbclid=IwAR1exfo2aaUsahjbaGwue9yeJL9jhkPFVDkQFpGFCBspII4HMqHet0wyDg4

There are soooooo many things you could be doing at home. You don’t need to be out with your friends or meeting up in parks! Be responsible!!!