Porcelain Punch… a theatre-making memory

Two performers on stage. A male performer is holding a medicine bottle with bow tied arounf the top, accompanied by a female performer playing an accordion piano.

In 2013 Critical Stages Touring (then ‘Critical Stages’)  took The Porcelain Punch Traveling Medicine Show on a whirlwind tour of regional Victoria from Kingston Arts to Colac Otway Performing Arts Centre, and from Apollo Bay’s Mechanic Hall to the lovely Phee Broadway Theatre in Castlemaine. It was the beginning of a beautiful arts friendship that continues today with two of those artists Christy Flaws and Luke O’Connor of the multi award winning indie company Asking For Trouble.

Immediately following the tour the team captured their tour experience with writer Ailsa Wild in an article that we are so lucky to be able to share here with you. It’s an emotional reminder of the camaraderie, passion and care that theatre makers have for their craft, each other and their audiences…


I went to a Porcelain Punch rehearsal last week: up the Irene-warehouse stairs, through smells of spices and acrylic paint. I made room for myself on a floor covered in velvet curtains, a baby-change mat, juggling knives and hoop skirts. And of course, the Punchies – the five current performers of Porcelain Punch, an independent theatre company making contemporary vaudeville.

The Punchies: Madeline (Madz) plays the accordion and the mandolin and sings out rich and wild, her voice driving me into the secret corners of the show. Alex has a clear face with wide, blue eyes, which make me forget to watch his tricks. He has passed me in a festival crowd, feet on bicycle handlebars, his face bright and silent. As a performer he doesn’t ask the audience for anything. He simply holds a compelling spot in the space and I am drawn to watch.

Luke and Christy are acrobats who’ve lived together in a 1963 J2 Bedford truck for five years now, sharing a tiny bed and key roles in at least three independent theatre companies. With the fifth performer Emilie, they are the producers of Porcelain Punch. Emilie and Christy bounce off each other to tell me what they like about co-producing:

“Knowing that things get done.”

“Knowing you can delegate.”

“Knowing that other people are as passionate as you are.”

Porcelain Punch have lugged their old-time wooden props cases across several Australian states and New Zealand, and set up their red velvet stage drapes in Fringe Festivals, Falls Festivals and small-town regional theatres. They last set off on tour when Emilie’s baby, Olive, was just 6 ½ weeks old. Now, two months later, she lies in my lap, eyes slipping around the room in charming, baby amazement.

Emilie says touring with Olive gave her a bigger sense of what the ‘carnie family’ really is: “It’s professional work meets family meets ‘you can do anything’ meets everybody looking after each other.” She pauses. “It’s pretty nice.”

Two performers on stage in vintage costumes. A male wearing baggy pants and braces stands with a curious look, holding the hand of a female performer who is kneeling in a sailor-style dress. She is shouting with a comical expression.

Amongst these performers there’s a fierce and wonderful determination to make this tour possible for parents.

Their tour stories are full of peacock feathers falling apart all over Emilie, hot-glue-gunning costumes at the last minute, while Olive is settled in a bouncer in the corner. The punchies laugh about winning pub trivia while feasting on oversized parmas and talk with delight about gorgeous old country theatres refurbished since Kevin 07’s stimulus package and tables laden with vanilla slice, lamingtons and party sausage rolls after the show. Not to mention regional arts workers who are full of warmth and welcome. On a regional tour your contacts are so often the people who work the hardest for arts in their community.

The Punchies love getting a sense of each community as they travel. And they really tell the story of community when they talk about their art – a community of makers. “No one person sits down and says, this is what you’re going to do,” Emilie says. “Things get dreamed up collectively… so ideas almost have their own wings.” They develop characters out of found objects and costumes and they play together. They play while searching for moments of gold, trying, choosing, developing, digging and playing some more. They’ve been doing it for long enough that they trust each other’s ideas.

A woman in period costume with a flower in her hair sings while strumming an acoustic guitar

“You learn to communicate so the others can play with you.” Christy says. “You’re thinking about them [your collaborators]. You think, these people need this kind of attention right now, so they can listen to the next idea.”

Their process is collaborative, not just with each other, but also with previous cast members, a crew of directors, engineers, costume designers, lighting designers, writers and musicians. Even Emilie’s tattoo artist. Nick, who has been tattooing Emilie for the last ten years, is a collaborator. From these collaborations come luscious visuals, performance with exquisite precision and a theatrical world pulsing with nostalgia.

In one scene Emilie, as little Shirley Crumple, spins around and around, her dizzy face drunken and cross eyed, while a morphed Chitty Chitty Bang Bang track escalates with tension. Audiences from have laughed so uncontrollably at this scene it’s stopped the show. Such a connection with theatre tells audiences something about themselves and the Punchies are very conscious of a responsibility in this. “We don’t do crap gender roles,” one of them says as they discuss their philosophy as makers. The others nod emphatically. As we talk, it becomes clear that the Punchies care deeply about what ideas they represent.

They also care deeply about each other, and this caring is what enables their work. When Olive gets restless Christy takes her and tries to keep the attention of those wandering baby-eyes. It gives Emilie time to stay beside me. Time to articulate her thoughts.

“We’re ferocious theatre makers,” she says.

Two vaudeville characters on stage shake hands. One is in trousers and braces, the other a comical vintage swimming costume

You can find out more about Asking For Trouble and their work at www.askingfortrouble.com.au. Keep an eye our What’s On page for future production and touring news.

CST Commissions 16 New Australian Stories for Stage and Screen

a collage of headshots featuring the selected writers is presented without colour over three rows with the Come To Where i Am Logo placed in the middle of the image.

CST Commissions 16 New Australian Stories for Stage and Screen

After a rigorous selection process, sixteen new plays about the places we live are destined for both live performance and digital distribution for Come to Where I Am – Australia, the exciting new writing and performance initiative from Paines Plough and Critical Stages Touring, Australia’s national touring theatre company.

In response to a rapidly changing world, where all touring and live performance is currently on hiatus, Paines Plough launched Come To Where I Am. In partnership with theatres across the UK and beyond, 30+ new short plays from writers about the places they call home have been shared with online audiences as visual-audio pieces. All donations made to this project go directly towards employing writers to deliver more excellent new writing during COVID-19.

Come to Where I Am – Australia was initially created to support the development of seven new stories, engaging writers in regional and remote towns to craft a snapshot of what life is like in their part of the country right now. The program has been recently expanded to accommodate an additional nine writers thanks to a Covid-19 support grant from the Australia Council for the Arts and private donations.

The sixteen stories come from across the country and represent a mix of rural, regional, suburban and city experiences from a diverse group of authors that includes award-winners Samah Sabawi (VIC), Mary Anne Butler (NT), Jeanette Cronin (QLD), Vanessa Bates (NSW) and comedian Jon Bennett (SA).

Highlights include a story of music and connection between generations in Western Sydney from James Elazzi (Lady Tabouli); a tree-change tale from Tahli Corin (One for the Ugly Girls) and Joshua Tyler (Top End Wedding); and a new piece weaving together old and new stories of the Noongar people from Wilman Noongar artist Ian Michael (HART).

The project is based on an exceptionally successful program from UK project partner Paines Plough. Since 2010 Paines Plough have engaged more than 160 playwrights with invitations to write and perform short plays about their home towns and the places that shaped them, distributed globally through their smartphone and tablet app – Come to Where I’m From.

The new Australian works will be produced as video postcards, filmed on location by the writers in the region they are writing about. It is intended that the short films will live beyond their initial digital premieres, with live performances to be staged at venues across the country when restrictions are lifted. They will also be hosted on Paines Plough’s YouTube channel.

Chris Bendall, CEO of Critical Stages Touring said, “I couldn’t be more excited to share this project, which started as a creative response to the lockdown, an inversion of our usual model of touring artists to perform for audiences in all corners of the country. This project gives us all an opportunity, from the safety our homes, to hear stories directly from the places that inspired them.” Chris continued, “It’s been a joy to work with Paines Plough, a company I have long admired for their deep commitment to new writing and regional audiences. I hope that this is just the beginning of our relationship with them, and I also hope that our collaboration with these wonderful artists and their work continues beyond the digital form, so that when our theatres re-open we will be able to present these new works to live audiences in the very places that inspired them.”

Charlotte Bennet and Katie Posner, Joint Artistic Directors of Paines Plough, said “We are so delighted to be working with Critical Stages on the International arm of Come To Where I Am. This project gives us an opportunity to share stories from a group of outstanding writers that we may not have been able to connect with otherwise, and we are so excited to be able to platform their voices through our digital channels. We are looking forward to growing our relationship as two national touring companies who share a commitment to developing writers and championing new stories.”

Come to Where I Am – Australia is part of a broader digital production and engagement strategy undertaken by Critical Stages touring in response to the pandemic. The first episode of Come to Where I Am – Australia will premiere on the Critical Stages Touring website, social channels and streaming service Vimeo and on the Paines Plough YouTube channel on Wednesday, August 19th.

The selected writers are:

  • James Elazzi
  • Margaret Davis
  • Peter Matheson
  • Vanessa Bates
  • Mary Anne Butler
  • Tessa Rose
  • Kathryn Ash
  • Merlynn Tong
  • Jeanette Cronin
  • Alyssha Hermann
  • Jon Bennett
  • Alison Mann
  • Samah Sabawi
  • Tahli Corin & Joshua Tyler
  • Ian Michael
  • Ross Mueller

To see the full list including the places they’ll be writing from visit the Come To Where I Am -Australia page. For more information about the project and participants please contact:

Robbi James | Marketing & Engagement | robbi @ criticalstages.com.au
Mel Carolan | Senior Producer | mel @ criticalstages.com.au

Stage & Stream – Streaming Theatre & Cabaret – June 12-18

a collage of posters and performance images from the productions listed in the blog article.

Welcome to the Critical Stages Touring list of streaming theatre, cabaret, performing arts education and arts opportunities for the week ahead. We aim to bring you the best directory of Australian and New Zealand theatre at home, with indy programming you’ll find nowhere else. The list is updated throughout the week so if you find something we don’t know about, please let us know. Note that donation links take you directly to donations for that show – please support the artists who entertain you. If you have something to share send a message to robbi@criticalstages.com.au or complete the Google form. We are especially keen to hear from independent artists and those streaming accessible performances.

Stage And Stream Links
Friday 12th – Thursday 18th June

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AUSTRALIA / NZ BY DATE

Friday 12th June

Saturday 13th June

  • ROUGH DRAFT #45 – SYDNEY THEATRE COMPANY
    Tune in for a free live-streamed reading as part of our Rough Draft development series. The event will sample two plays in development: Chalkface by Angela Betzien and Marriage by Marieke Hardy – another offering from our STC Virtual program.
    4pm AEST
    STC Virtual.
  • TALES FOR UNCERTAIN TIMES – SNOW BUSINESS
    A 5-part comic-adventure fairy-tale series broadcast weekly on Facebook Live. Previous episodes will remain online following the broadcast. With elements of comedy, mystery, live music, and Zoom-bombing TALES is about rediscovering your own social world through the frame of a webcam and using it to build a new kind of community.
    6pm AEST 
    FACEBOOK
  • THE RESERVOIR ROOM
    Catherine Alcorn has established one of the most exciting cabaret streams on the net! Live from the iconic Paddington Town Hall, The Reservoir Room will stream the best of Australian cabaret and live music every Friday and Saturday night. Big names, local stars, a good night in. Tonight – Ursula Yovich!
    Fridays & Saturdays from 7pm AEST
    www.reservoirroom.com
  • VARIETYVILLE – ACTS OF ABSURDITY
    Outstanding Interactive live online variety show with guests from all over the world performing wondrous Acts of Absurdity, hosted by the Dandy himself and rolling through regular segments fashioned by a team of marvels misfits including Foxy Moron’s “Fun Fiesta”, Eric the Dog’s “Mysteries of the Animal Kingdom” and “Are you Game”. 
    7:40pm AEST – A$5 + Pay what you can afford. Patron of the Arts tickets available.
    www.varietyville.net
  • SEQUIN SESSIONS
    Cabaret star Michaela Burger returns with all-new Sequin Sessions shows! Tonight it’s all-80’s retro adventure for the grown ups featuring all the music you remember, or wish you could. Michaela’s trademark humour and fabulous voice is a great way to spend Saturday night. Tune in again with the little ones for a children’s cabaret special on Sunday.
    8pm AEST – please donate
    www.michaelaburger.live/
  • LIVE FROM STONEWALL
    The Stonewall Hotel, Create & Cast and Undefine Media present an fantastic weekly multi-camera live-stream variety hour starring drag icon Minnie Cooper. This stream just goes from strength to strength!
    8pm AEST – please donate

Sunday 14th June

Monday 15th June

  • IF THIS BE NOTHING – MONTAGUE BASEMENT
    It’s Shakespeare, but it’s not. It’s theatre, but it’s not. It’s live-streamed, but it’s not. Twitch streams, cam girls, loose bears, makeup tutorials, Netflix quandaries and more: out of this web wormhole created by Lucinda Howes and Aro Lusty-Cavallari comes a twist on Shakespeare’s A Winter’s Tale. Available to stream with captions from June 12.
    7:30pm AEST
    FACEBOOK – www.facebook.com/events/961803220924247
  • BRAVE NEW ROUGH & READY – BRAVE NEW WORD
    The first week of submissions to Sydney’s indy storytelling darlings, Brave New Word, were an eclectic and exciting round of shortform stories. There’s a new round every fortnight. Start every night with a quick story from great Australian theatre makers.
    6pm (Daily) AEST
    FACEBOOK – www.facebook.com/BraveNewWordTC/
  • THE STORY CHUNDER WITH MATT YOUNG
    Matt Young’s weekly live event was performed at Brisbane’s BackDock Arts. Every week a new lot of storytellers spew forth their most entertaining stories for your delight or disapproval. Join Matt (TBS’s Wrecked, The Producers) for the livestream then listen to his podcast on Spotify, iTunes, Twitch or where ever you listen to podcasts.
    7pm AEST – please donate.
    INSTAGRAM – www.instagram.com/thestorychunder

Tuesday 16th June

  • AUDIO GUIDE WATCH PARTY – ROGUE PROJECTS
    Sydney theatre makers Rogue Projects (Company of Rogues) are taking three of their postponed play projects into the world of film and to kick off their fundraising campaign for the first work, Refuse Classification, they’re hosting a watch party with Director Chris Elena viewing his award-winning short film Audio Guide, showing now as part of the St Kilda Film Festival.  Free to view and includes a Q&A with the Chris, cinematographer Kym Vietikus and writer Bradford Elmore.
    8:00pm AEST – please donate
    FACEBOOK – www.facebook.com/companyofrogues
  • CORONAVLOG
    Using her psychological insight, musical therapy exercises and psychic powers, the very fictional Jan van de Stool is here to unwrap the #Coronavirus news, in an attempt to help tens of people around the world, weekly.
    On-Demand – A$1.98
    VIMEO – www.vimeo.com/ondemand/coronavlog
  • HOME THEATRE ARTS
    This online collective record a zoom group performance every week and host a global weekly watch party every Tuesday.
    7pm AEST
    http://tiny.cc/HomeTheatreArts

Wednesday 17th June

  • WESTSIDE POETRY SLAM – WEST WORDS
    Two featured poets are lying the flag for Pride Month! Robin M. Eames and Ana Sarsfield will bring their unmistakable lyricism to Zoom, and livestream poetry will never be the same.
    6:45pm AEST
    Zoom via FACEBOOK
  • SYDNEY POETRY LOUNGE:
    It’s a double header for the Sydney Poetry Lounge this month! The writing duo of Audrey Molloy and Anthony Lawrence take to the virtual stage to read a series of poems exchanged between two poets who have never met.
    7:30pm AEST
    Zoom via FACEBOOK
  • THE LOCKDOWN MONOLOGUES – MALTHOUSE THEATRE
    Melbourne’s Malthouse have commissioned nine new monologues in response to the pandemic, brought to life by director Bridget Balodis. New words from writers Jean Tong, Jane Harrison and Tom Holloway.
    On-Demand – please donate
    Register to watch at www.malthousetheatre.com.au
  • ART CENTRE MELBOURNE’S BIG NIGHT IN
    Arts Centre Melbourne, one of Australia’s most important artistic hubs for more than 35 years, has teamed up with John Foreman’s Aussie Pops Orchestra to present a weekly live digital show every Wednesday at 7pm. Special guests, great chat, top performers!
    7pm – Please donate
    www.artscentremelbourne.com.au/

Thursday 18th June

  • RUBY’S WISH – SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE 
    Through an unlikely friendship with a beatboxing clown doctor, Ruby’s time in hospital turns into an imaginative adventure. Watch her room change into a wonderland, where anything can happen and wishes really do come true! An adventure into imagination for the whole family.
    4pm AEST
    www.sydneyoperahouse.com/digital/season/kids-and-families/rubys-wish.html
  • TIED UP WITH STRINGS – HOPE NEW WORKS
    Pearl is a compulsive hoarder and her sister, Libby, is a compulsive neat freak. When Libby offers to help declutter, they dive into a mess of unresolved family conflict and past trauma. As Libby begins to untangle her sister’s addiction, Pearl’s hoard awakens to resist the unwelcome intruder and wreak chaos. This is development nine (!) from the Hope New Works program for new musicals.
    7pm AEST – please donate
    www.hopenewworks.com

 

AUS/NZ ON-DEMAND

 

  • CHEAP TRILL – COMPUTER CHOIR
    In an effort to keep community performers connected Cheep Trill created a ‘Computer Choir‘ to bring together singers from across the country to sing together. This ongoing project resulted in a music video fro YouTube featuring over 100 artists. Check it out, and get in touch with them if you’re keen get involved in the next one!
    YOUTUBE – www.youtube.com/watch?v=ba1AKX2ScaU
  • THE SEAGULL – AUCKLAND THEATRE COMPANY
    ATC have made a production of Chekhov’s The Seagull set in lockdown, with the family all on a Zoom call! It is cut into 4 acts/episodes which are now all available for a thorough weekend binge! Don’t miss this created-for-online production directed by Eleanor Bishop and featuring powerhouse actors Jennifer Ward-Lealand, Goretti Chadwick, and Arlo Green.
    On-Demand – please donate
    YOUTUBE – www.youtube.com/channel/UCKDS6vUXW4axHk5Ht5vTNsQ
  • ABC iVIEW ARTS
    Australia’s national broadcaster has curated a fantastic array of streaming arts programming and there’s truly something for everyone – from classical concerts to the 15 year celebration of the Sydney Theatre Company’s Wharf Revue. Not available outside Oz.
    On-Demand
    www.iview.abc.net.au/category/arts
  • THE CITIZEN’S HANDBOOK – RNZ
    Become a better New Zealand citizen! A comedy Video and Podcast civics series that tackles NZ history & issues. Made possible by the RNZ/NZ On Air Innovation Fund.
    On-Demand
    www.rnz.co.nz/programmes/the-citizens-handbook
  • MOUNTAIN GOAT MOUNTAIN – THRESHOLD
    Families across Australia have the opportunity to participate in an adventurous new audio-led theatre experience, developed during isolation for families to enjoy at home. Guided by a narrative soundscape, families will embark on this 45-minute theatrical experience using only a charged audio device (computer, phone of tablet), a bed sheet (the bigger the better), a piece of blank paper (A4 will do) and favourite pencils, pens or textas.
    On-Demand from May 14 – A$12.95 for 30 days access
    www.artscentremelbourne.com.au
  • NANDHU – BANGARRA DANCE COMPANY
    Bangarra have curated a new digital offering – Nandhu (‘to be close in Wiradjuri language) – which will include a selection of performances from their repertoire. Each will be presented with interviews, BHS features and more to dive deeper into each work.
    On-Demand – please donate
    www.bangarra-knowledgeground.com.au
  • KIDS COUCH CONCERTS
    Hosted by Emily Who the Kids Couch Concerts were created as a way for indy preschool entertainers to keep connecting with the audiences they love. The project has produced two volumes that take the form of a video variety show featuring The Mik Maks, Pevan and Sarah and Avocado Smash. 95% of profits go the artists involved.
    On-Demand – A$11.95 to purchase, A$5.95 to rent
    VIMEO – Volume 1 & Volume 2
  • ADAPT – AUSTRALIAN DANCE THEATRE
    Australian Dance Theatre’s exciting online-only season for 2020 is on-demand with new shows going live regularly.
    On-Demand – please donate
    www.adt.org.au/adapt/the-beginning-of-nature/
  • RED RATTLER 
    Sydney’s Red Rattler Theatre is at the heart of emerging, fringe and queer arts practice, and this week they begin a new fortnightly online events series. There’s lots to come from the rattler so bookmark them and check back Fridays.
    www.facebook.com/TheRedRattler/
  • MARDI GRAS LINK LIST
    Looking for great queer content and a complete listing of drag performances happening online? Sydney Mardi Gras has a handy list with far more shows than we can list here and some great music picks as well. Check it out here.
  • MONKEY BAA THEATRE CO
    Look behind the scenes of one of the world’s best children’s theatre makers. Each session will give young people an insight into the many people who work to create a live theatre production. New episodes coming soon. Previous live-streams available on-demand.
    On-Demand – Free, please donate
    FACEBOOK – www.facebook.com/monkeybaatheatreco
  • KEEP HEART PENRITH
    The new online program Keep Heart Penrith delivered by Penrith Performing and Visual Arts will help guide audiences and community to the new changed arts world via Creative Care Packs; a series of arts-based content & learning delivered to your email address.
    www.qtheatre.com.au/keep-heart-penrith/

INTERNATIONAL

  • CITIZEN: AN AMERICAN LYRIC – FOUNTAIN THEATRE
    A provocative meditation on race, fusing prose, poetry, movement, music, and the visual image. A lyric poem, snapshots, vignettes, on the acts of everyday racism. Written by Claudia Rankine, adapted for the stage by Stephen Sachs.Directed by Shirley Jo Finney Starring Bernard K. Addison – Leith Burke – Adenrele Ojo – Tony Maggio – Monnae Michaell – Lisa Pescia.
    On-Demand
    www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-E0gk4ZNRM
  • GUY – A NEW MUSICAL – LIVE SESSIONS
    UK writing duo Leo and Hyde have recently confirmed this musical will come to Australia now that they have a local production partner. Recently they’ve gone back to the studio to record a new EP of the work and every Friday (UK) theyre going live with artists from the show. This week it’s Guy himself, Ben Raymond, in concert.
    5pm BST /  2am AEST
    Instagram Live
  • PIVOT ARTS FESTIVAL
    Pivot Arts, which celebrates adventurous, multidisciplinary performance, is “pivoting” in the presentation of its eighth annual festival, in response to COVID-19. For this year’s Festival—themed “This is How We Pivot”—performances once scheduled at venues in Chicago’s Uptown and Edgewater neighbourhoods are moving to online presentations.
    Runs 5th – 30th June
    www.pivotarts.org
  • THE MOUNTAINTOP – ROYAL EXCHANGE
    Katori Hall’s Olivier award-winning play, set on the night before Martin Luther King’s assassination, is performed as a reading directed by Roy Alexander Weise, co-artistic director of Manchester’s Royal Exchange. Donations to this stream will support BLM protesters who need legal support.
    On-Demand until June 15 – please donate
    www.youtube.com/channel/UCOKd6GvsdIkLPpVKrS9kWVw
  • THE MADNESS OF KING GEORGE III – NOTTINGHAM PLAYHOUSE
    Watch Mark Gatiss (Dracula, Sherlock) as George III in Nottingham Playhouse’s ‘spellbinding’ ★★★★★ (The Telegraph) play examining the fine line between a king and a man.
    Available until Thursday June 18 – please donate 
    YOUTUBE – www.youtube.com/watch?v=fofiKCV9wGc
  • THE ANNOYANCE – ANNOYANCE THEATRE
    Chicago’s celebrated comedy theatre has unleashed a number of new projects to be enjoyed from their website (and several others). From parody cooking shows to the slickly produced The Annoynance Presents, this is where we’re laughing this week.
    On-Demand
    www.ifc.com/comedy-crib/the-annoyance
  • JEREMY JORDAN – The Seth Concert Series
    Broadway star, and Disney darling, Jeremy Jordan brings his musical theatre talent to Seth Rudetsky’s broadway concert series. Streaming Live from New York, it’s an early one, but pour a deep coffee and sit back for a Monday morning special. Presented by Broadway World.
    10am AEST – Monday 15th June
    www.events.broadwayworld.com/
  • GYPSY – CHICHESTER  FESTIVAL THEATRE
    Imelda Staunton is British theatre and film royalty, so it’s no wonder sher’s about to play The Queen in The Crown. The Chichester production of hit musical Gypsy, which then transferred to the West End, has been immortalised in this movie.
    On-Demand at Amazon
  • MR MAGLUMP – BRISTOL OLD VIC
    The magical musical for all ages, Mr Maglump, returns, but this time you and your family can watch it at home. Experience this show whose sellout premiere was loved by Andrew Lloyd Webber and described by audiences as ‘phenomenal’, ‘magical’ and ‘gorgeous’.
    On-Demand from June 12 – please donate
    www.bristololdvic.org.uk/whats-on/mr-maglump
  • PIPELINE – LINCOLN CENTER
    Live From Lincoln Center, in partnership with BroadwayHD, brings to audiences at home Dominique Morisseau’s strikingly powerful work PIPELINE, originally staged at Lincoln Center Theater in 2017. This intimate play depicts a mother’s hopes for her son and their clash with an educational system rigged against him.
    On-Demand from June 8 
    BROADWAY HD
  • ANNA CHRISTIE – ENSEMBLE THEATRE 
    This 2014 production of Eugene O’Neill’s American classic is one that doesn’t get seen very often. This inspiring tale of love and forgiveness played out against a tumultuous sea is a classic for the ages, and available to watch via Vimeo for a short time
    On-Demand
    https://vimeo.com/110666500
  • PUPPETZILLA PUPPET SLAM – LA GUILD OF PUPPETRY
    Join host Michael Paul as the Puppetzilla Puppet Slam stomps onto the small screen. The June 2020 theme is “Together Alone,” reflecting whatever that means for our puppet artists during this weird quarantine time. Ages 18+
    On-Demand after live performance – please donate
    FACEBOOK – www.facebook.com/LAGuildOfPuppetry/
  • SPYMONKEY
    Physical theatre and comedy doesn’t get much more irreverent, or entertaining. Spymonkey are opening their vault of inventive original works with a new work streamed every Sunday.
    On-Demand
    www.spymonkey.co.uk

 

ARTIST OPPORTUNITIES

  • AUSTRALIAN PERFORMING ARTS EXCHANGE
    Applications to Australia’s largest performing arts and touring market close Monday 22nd June at 7pm. Moving online in 2020 APAX will expand the usual market format for the new digital format including idea exchanges, forums and post-crisis planning. Get all the information at www.apax.org.au
  • ELBOW ROOM PRODUCTIONS – CALL FOR WRITERS
    Elbow Room are offering opportunities to writers based on the continent of Australia to participate in paid development sessions, in which professional actors and theatre makers engage with their work. Elbow Room are looking for scripts, at any stage including or after first draft, that are intended to provoke action to happen, preferably for 40 minutes or longer. Submissions close 30th Junewww.elbowroomproductions.com
  • UPSTREAM FESTIVAL OF ART + CULTURE – CALL FOR PRODUCTIONS
    AlburyCity and Wodonga Council are calling for expressions of interest from artists and cultural organisations for Upstream – Festival of Art + Culture 2021. In its first year, the festival attracted more than 16,000 people who took part in a range of art and cultural performances, programming and activities across the two cities and over four days. Next year’s festival is scheduled for March 5-9. Submissions close July 10www.wodonga.vic.gov.au
  • BELVOIR THEATRE COMPANY – SHUTDOWN RESIDENCIES
    The company has opened their doors for submissions, calling for expressions of interest for a brand new series of one-off, quick response grants for short-term residencies at Belvoir, supported by the generosity of a private philanthropic foundation. Submissions close Sunday 14th Junewww.belvoir.com.au
  • HILLSCENE LIVE – CALL FOR ARTISTS
    Working in partnership with Yarra Ranges Council and Burrinja Cultural Centre, the hillsceneLIVE program is structured to be a comprehensive and nurturing platform to take an idea / challenge / creative work and develop it into a live performance outcome. EOIs close Friday 19th Junewww.hillscenelive.com
  • MELBOURNE FRINGE – REGISTRATIONS OPEN
    Now that the new dates have been set for 12-29 November 2020, Melbourne Fringe is opening registrations for works. If you’ve been iso-dreaming up an event, an exhibition or even a physically distanced arena spectacular, they want to know about it. 2 rounds – one for ‘pants off’ events (digital, at-home program) opens 1 June, and ‘pants on’ events (in-person events) opening 1 July. melbournefringe.com.au
  • NSW – STAGE AT HOME – SYDNEY EISTEDDFORD
    This free event will be a celebration of all the hard work that the eisteddfod entrants have put into their entries and a showcase of the immense talent that exists in the Sydney Eisteddfod community. Entries can be received from now, up until July 27 and will be uploaded until July 31.
    www.sydneyeisteddfod.com.au
  • LITTLE LUNCH ONLINE – ARTS FRONT
    Little Lunch Online is a chance to check in and connect with each other while we grab a quick bite of lunch, or a morning coffee for folk in the West. It’s a quick 30 minute window to share ideas and resources, and plan our actions in responding to the pandemic, the climate crisis and whatever global emergency awaits us next.
    Daily, Midday AEST – Free
    www.artsfront.com/event/37103-little-lunch-online-llol
  • BROWN’S MART BUILD UP 
    BUILD UP is Brown’s Mart’s seeding and development program. Projects can be for research or creative development of new projects by Independent Theatre artists working and living in the top end of the NT. These projects are for any stage of development and are designed to support a fertile environment for the creation of new
    NT theatre. The last round applications close on 15th June. Full details at www.brownsmart.com.au
  • BRAVE NEW ROUGH & READY
    Sydney indy favourites Brave New Word Theatre Co are inviting artists to take part in a new project – an open access, weekly invitation to tell a story from your own home and have it featured on their networks. There are very finite guidelines that make participation easy, and a weekly theme to inspire you. Seven performances will be showcased weekly. Get all the details on their Facebook page.

SAVE THE DATE

These are the future streams that are high on our list – get them into your diary now!

  • FRI JUNE 19 –  LIGHTS UP ON THE ARTS – NOT DONE YET
    After an overwhelmingly positive response to their first online Home Delivery concert, this zoom-enabled fundraising benefit is back to raise dollars for artists in need. Line up includes Rob Mills, Christie Whelan Brown, Simon Gleeson, Matilda Moran and more, accompanied by the Jack Earle Trio.
  • JUNE 24-28 – WHO’S YOUR BAGHDADDY
    Who’s Your Baghdaddy, or How I Started the Iraq War is a comedy musical that will be performed and streamed live from June 24-28. Presented as a support group for people who started the Iraq War, this dark, boisterous and  irreverent story follows a handful of mid-level spies whose vanity and office politics contributed to  the worst intelligence blunder in modern history. Directed by Neil Gooding, presented by Curveball Creative.
    FRI JUNE 26 – GALAH BAR
    Six cross-border venues are collaborating on live-stream variety supershow! Brought to you by Albury Entertainment Centre, Albury LibraryMuseum, The Cube Wodonga, Flying Fruit Fly Circus, HotHouse Theatre and Murray Art Museum Albury (MAMA), with support from Nomad Films and Murray Arts.
  • FRI- JUL 3 – HAMILTON
    Streaming platform Disney+ brings Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Pulitzer-prize winning musical to screens worldwide. recorded in 2016 with the original Broadway cast the screen version is directed by Thomas Kail who promises the best seat in the house for every moment.

EDUCATION / ACTIVITIES

  • Curious Legends Workshops
    Newcastle’s Curious Legends are running a series of free, live streamed workshops from their studio every Tuesday and Thursday @ 4pm AEST. Aimed at helping kids and parents in lockdown, as well as to support artists during this time. Workshops explore performance, puppetry, clowning, making, dance, storytelling, and much else besides!  Supported by Create NSW, Orica, and Newcastle Region Library. www.curiouslegends.com.au/out-of-the-box
  • Barking Gecko Theatre – Isolate > Create > Connect
    Made in collaboration with ThinkArts in India. A weekly video delivered by teaching artists from BGT and ThinkArts online, children aged 5 to 17 will set a creative task inviting them to create a small artwork capturing their perspective on the world right now. Each week children will be asked to upload their creation digitally to the Barking Gecko website. At the end of the 10 week-long project we will have created a digital scrapbook that documents this unprecedented time in history through the eyes of children. Now in week 4 it’s not too late to jump in and get creative with kids around the world. No cost. www.barkinggecko.com.au
  • ATYP Home Theatre Plays – With help from the ATYP Foundation, Australian Theatre for Young People have commissioned 10 brilliant Australian playwrights to each write a 5-minute script that you can download and perform with your family and friends (when visitors are allowed at your place or try it with your friends over Zoom!). Each script features 2-6 characters, with a mix of some young people and some adults. Anyone in your house can play any character – or multiple characters! There are no boundaries! And if you want to share your reading with the world submit it to ATYP for inclusion in their YouTube Channel. All the details at www.atyp.com.au
  • Poetry In Action – this NFP touring company has brought their popular education program online to stream into homes and classrooms. There are 4 performances in line with curriculum for Years 5-12. Visit www.poetryinaction.com.au for more info.
  • Storyville Live – Storyville’s in-school program sends performers to read much-loved storybooks to children. For the next couple of weeks they’ll be trialling live storytime via Facebook, and it’s well worth it for those with little ones at home. 11am and 3pm AEST daily – free www.facebook.com/theStoryville/
  • Slingsby by Request – South Australian theatre company Slingsby has created an online resource of live performances in line with curriculum. The first work is Emil and the Detectives by Erich Kastner, adapted for the stage by Nicki Bloom. Teachers and home-teachers should check out this great new resource.  www.slingsby.net.au/slingsby-by-request/
  • Audioplay – This is unlike any other activity out there at the moment. An immersive play experience for kids (ages 6-12) where they download an audio story in which they play one of the characters using ordinary household items for props. Creative play just got so much better! www.audioplay.me
  • Shake & Stir Interact
    Since 2006, shake & stir drama classes have been a regular extra-curricular activity adored by tens of thousands of students, and now their latest program has moved online. Each week, your child will engage with a carefully-planned, professionally-produced and, most importantly, super-fun 30 minutes of creative play, at home. We’re talking drama activities and performance-based games that will get them acting and keep them active. www.shakeandstirinteract.com.au
  • ATYP Online
    Australian Theatre for Young People have brought made their drama programs virtual just in time for term 2. A selection of their regular programs will be facilitated live each week via Zoom and Google Classroom. Participants will work with a skilled ATYP tutor and classmates in an interactive online space from the safety of their homes. It’s just one of several programs teachers and home teachers should discover. www.atyp.com.au
  • Patch Theatre
    Patch Theatre has been making shows for 4–8 year old children and their families from our home in South Australia since 1972. In our nearly 48 years, Patch has made 110 much loved theatre works and performed to over 1.8 million children around the world. They’re posting regular updates to arts activities for little ones online, and via Facebook and Instagram. www.patchtheatre.org.au/activities
  • Polyglot Theatre
    Children’s theatre makers Polyglot have developed a series of new arts activities that will keep young ones busy and thinking during creative play. There’s heaps of fun stuff to explore and if you don’t have kids we highly recommend doing them anyway because a) they’re fun and b) home-grown hilarity is needed right now. www.polyglot.org.au/polyglot-at-home/
  • Riverside Theatres
    Parramatta’s Riverside Theatres has always had a fantastic education team and resources to match – and now a directory of teacher resources from past performances is available on their website. There’s also a super-handy (and HUGE) listing of other online resources that teachers and parents should not miss. www.riversideparramatta.com.au

 

a collage of posters and performance images from the productions listed in the blog article.

Stage & Stream – Streaming Theatre & Cabaret – June 5-11

a collage of posters and performance images from the productions listed in the blog article.

Welcome to the Critical Stages Touring list of streaming theatre, cabaret, performing arts education and arts opportunities for the week ahead. We aim to bring you the best directory of Australian and New Zealand theatre at home, with indy programming you’ll find nowhere else. The list is updated throughout the week so if you find something we don’t know about, please let us know. Note that donation links take you directly to donations for that show – please support the artists who entertain you. If you have something to share send a message to robbi@criticalstages.com.au or complete the Google form. We are especially keen to hear from independent artists and those streaming accessible performances.

Given the extraordinary events of the past week we would like to acknowledge the many artists and arts organisations choosing to postpone work in solidarity with civil rights actions globally. The arts are often at the forefront of social progress, and it is hoped that through our stages we can make the voices of the unheard, heard. We would like you all to know we stand with you and support your efforts. The Stage & Stream list this week is a little lighter, however with so many artists still taking to the stage this week the list continues. Thank you.

 

Stage And Stream Links
Friday 5th – Thursday 11th June

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AUSTRALIA / NZ BY DATE

Friday 5th June

  • ON THE PRODUCTION OF MONSTERS – BROWN’S MART
    Brown’s Mart’s popular monthly play reading series, Evening Reads @7.30pm, will kick off with ‘On the Production of Monsters‘ by Robert Reid in the Brown’s Mart Theatre. Directed by Scott Gooding.
    7.30pm ACT / 8PM AEST – please donate
    FACEBOOK – www.facebook.com/events/610429946235613/
  • ST NICHOLAS – THE STREET
    An eccentric, teasing yarn of a play from the multi-award winning author of The Weir – Conor McPherson. McPherson’s chilling and spellbinding vampire tale will be performed by award-winning actor, Craig Alexander (Venus in Fur) sharing the stage with singer/songwriter, guitar, banjo and harp player, and stomp-box stomper Den Hanrahan (Den Hanrahan and The Rum Runners). Live-streamed via multiple cameras from the confines of The Street Theatre.
    8pm AEST – please donate
    www.thestreet.org.au/shows/st-nicholas
  • SOFA SO GOOD – GEELONG ARTS CENTRE
    Award-winning musical comedian Gillian Cosgriff has been writing songs for ten years – five solo shows, twenty-five festival seasons, and that one time Pharrell Williams said she was amazing. (Seriously, you can google it.)
    8pm AEST – please donate
    www.geelongartscentre.org.au
  • SHRIMP COCKTAIL HOUR – BATS THEATRE
    Put on your smoking jacket and saunter yourself to the parlour. It’s time for the Shrimp Cocktail Hour. Award-winning duo Aaron and Alayne, (Deep and Meaningful, 2 Dope Teenz) are serving you an absurd, refreshing talk-show with new characters, live music, and, most importantly, the SHRIMP COCKTAIL OF THE WEEK.
    On-Demand from 8pm NZST until 7th June – tickets from NZ$5
    www.bats.co.nz/whats-on/shrimp-cocktail-hour
  • CONTAGIOUS CABARET – BROOKLYN RUNAWAYS
    Brooklyn Runaways’ have launched an ambitious online cabaret series. Each week professional singers are asked to interpret a song in a new way, and finish by nominating another artist for the next week. Let’s see how far it can go! Donations taken for artists on the show.
    7pm AEST – please donate
    FACEBOOK – www.facebook.com/brooklynrunaways/ & YOUTUBE
  • LET’S FRIDAY WITH THE LISTIES
    Will there be remote Learning? No! Will it be informative? Unlikely! Will it be barely held together chaos? Probably! Kid’s favourites The Listies are back with a weekly live-stream of the kind of madness that only they can make. Tune in and LOL out.
    4:30pm AEST – please donate
    FACEBOOK – www.facebook.com/events/2745559065730543/

Saturday 6th June

  • TALES FOR UNCERTAIN TIMES – JELLYFISH
    A 5-part comic-adventure fairy-tale series broadcast weekly on Facebook Live. Previous episodes will remain online following the broadcast. With elements of comedy, mystery, live music, and Zoom-bombing TALES is about rediscovering your own social world through the frame of a webcam and using it to build a new kind of community.
    6pm AEST 
    FACEBOOK
  • TRUE NORTH – QPAC
    Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) will celebrate Queensland Day by welcoming artists back to the Concert Hall stage for the first time in nearly three months as it presents an online concert for Queensland Day. There’s a massive lineup of performers to enjoy over 90 minutes, including Katie Noonan, Steven Oliver, and Shabshri Kandiah.
    From 7pm AEST
    www.qpac.com.au/
  • PAUL CAPSIS LIVE – SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE
    One of Australia’s most extraordinary and versatile performers is ready to dominate the digital stage. Captivating and electric, join the goddess of cabaret as he fills the hauntingly empty Joan Sutherland Theatre, streaming straight to your living room.
    8pm AEST
    www.sydneyoperahouse.com
  • VARIETYVILLE – ACTS OF ABSURDITY
    Outstanding Interactive live online variety show with guests from all over the world performing wondrous Acts of Absurdity, hosted by the Dandy himself and rolling through regular segments fashioned by a team of marvels misfits including Foxy Moron’s “Fun Fiesta”, Eric the Dog’s “Mysteries of the Animal Kingdom” and “Are you Game”. 
    7:40pm AEST – A$5 + Pay what you can afford. Patron of the Arts tickets available.
    www.varietyville.net
  • SEQUIN SESSIONS
    Cabaret star Michaela Burger returns with all-new Sequin Sessions shows! Tonight it’s all-80’s retro adventure for the grown ups featuring all the music you remember, or wish you could. Michaela’s trademark humour and fabulous voice is a great way to spend Saturday night. Tune in again with the little ones for a children’s cabaret special on Sunday.
    8pm AEST – please donate
    www.michaelaburger.live/
  • LIVE FROM STONEWALL
    The Stonewall Hotel, Create & Cast and Undefine Media present an fantastic weekly multi-camera live-stream variety hour starring drag icon Minnie Cooper. This stream just goes from strength to strength!
    8pm AEST – please donate

Sunday 7th June

  • AS ONE – TINY BRICKS THEATRE
    As One is a dark and ridiculous comedy about tribal belonging. It is an experiment—written for the theatre, directed for Zoom—presented to you live from the homes of the six cast members on Facebook Live. There will be births, death, marriages, plane crashes and shark attacks. Also, there are songs. The show is also available to stream on Friday 5th and Saturday 6th June at 7.30pm AEST.
    10.30am ACST / 11am AEST – please donate
    www.tinybrickstheatre.com
  • NO CABARET FOR OLD MEN – RIVERSIDE THEATRES
    Join The Wharf Revue’s Jonathan Biggins and Phil Scott as they give a veritable masterclass in cabaret – with neither the mastery nor class. Together, these lightly-seasoned performers examine the many strands of the cabaret art form. Ages 12+
    5pm AEST – from A$12
    www.riversideparramatta.com.au
  • MUSICAL MUGWUMPS
    Each week a new musical for artists to perform is announced. Artists volunteer to be part of the read/sing-through and on Sunday nights these brave performers go live for a non-rehearsed, full run through of the show! This week: Les Miserables.
    7pm AEST
    FACEBOOK – www.facebook.com/MusicalMugwumps/
  • HAMLET – STREAMED SHAKESPEARE
    Streamed Shakespeare is now viewd by over 35,000 worldwide – and that makes us terribly keen to see what they do with Twelfth Night, directed by Victor Kalka.
    2pm AEST – please donate
    FACEBOOK –  www.facebook.com/StreamedShakespeare/

Monday 8th June

  • BRAVE NEW ROUGH & READY – BRAVE NEW WORD
    The first week of submissions to Sydney’s indy storytelling darlings, Brave New Word, were an eclectic and exciting round of shortform stories. There’s a new round every week and this week will centre around the theme ‘blanket’. Start every night with a quick story from great Australian theatre makers.
    6pm (Daily) AEST
    FACEBOOK – www.facebook.com/BraveNewWordTC/
  • THE STORY CHUNDER WITH MATT YOUNG
    Matt Young’s weekly live event was performed at Brisbane’s BackDock Arts. Every week a new lot of storytellers spew forth their most entertaining stories for your delight or disapproval. Join Matt (TBS’s Wrecked, The Producers) for the livestream then listen to his podcast on Spotify, iTunes, Twitch or where ever you listen to podcasts.
    7pm AEST – please donate.
    INSTAGRAM – www.instagram.com/thestorychunder

Tuesday 9th June

  • CORONAVLOG
    Using her psychological insight, musical therapy exercises and psychic powers, the very fictional Jan van de Stool is here to unwrap the #Coronavirus news, in an attempt to help tens of people around the world, weekly.
    On-Demand – A$1.98
    VIMEO – www.vimeo.com/ondemand/coronavlog
  • HOME THEATRE ARTS
    This online collective record a zoom group performance every week and host a global weekly watch party every Tuesday.
    7pm AEST
    http://tiny.cc/HomeTheatreArts

Wednesday 10th June

Thursday 11th June

  • IN THE SHADOW IT WAITS 
    From Adelaide-based film, VR and arts maker Michael Beets comes this horror film, performed live, and edited in real-time with actors performing from their own homes in different states across Australia. The audience is literally witnessing a film being made as they’re watching it. Pushing the bounds of tech and performance this happy scary marriage between theatre and film is on nightly until saturday. Don’t miss it.
    8.30pm AEST
    Tickets & Links
  • IF THIS BE NOTHING – MONTAGUE BASEMENT
    It’s Shakespeare, but it’s not. It’s theatre, but it’s not. It’s live-streamed, but it’s not. Twitch streams, cam girls, loose bears, makeup tutorials, Netflix quandaries and more: out of this web wormhole created by Lucinda Howes and Aro Lusty-Cavallari comes a twist on Shakespeare’s A Winter’s Tale. Live tonight but available to stream with captions from June 12.
    7:30pm AEST
    FACEBOOK – www.facebook.com/events/961803220924247
  • GIRL ASLEEP – WINDMILL THEATRE
    Umbrella Entertainment and Windmill Theatre Co’s award-winning film Girl Asleep is available to rent or own via YouTube. A great one for families with young teens at home. Don’t miss Matt Whittet’s timeless epic.
    On-Demand A$1.99 to rent
    YOUTUBE – www.youtube.com/watch?v=iTZnyaEft4E
  • THE LORELAI & THE SIREN – HOPE NEW WORKS
    This absurdist comedy brings together the outrageousness of The Book of Mormon with the lyricism of a 50s Broadway musical. Through a series of outrageous circumstances, including a maritime tragedy, an attempted assassination and a lot of theme parties, they find love, enlightenment and the courage and determination to get on with their strange and wonderful lives. Written by Geoff Wallis. This is development eight from the Hope New Works program for new musicals.
    7pm AEST – please donate
    www.hopenewworks.com

 

AUS/NZ ON-DEMAND

  • THE RESERVOIR ROOM
    Catherine Alcorn has established one of the most exciting cabaret streams on the net! Live from the iconic Paddington Town Hall, The Reservoir Room will stream the best of Australian cabaret and live music every Friday and Saturday night. Big names, local stars, a good night in. This week – Tim Draxl and Phil Jamieson
    Fridays & Saturdays from 7pm AEST
    www.reservoirroom.com
  • CHEAP TRILL – COMPUTER CHOIR
    In an effort to keep community performers connected Cheep Trill created a ‘Computer Choir‘ to bring together singers from across the country to sing together. This ongoing project resulted in a music video fro YouTube featuring over 100 artists. Check it out, and if you’re keen get involved in the next one!
    YOUTUBE – www.youtube.com/watch?v=ba1AKX2ScaU
  • THE SEAGULL – AUCKLAND THEATRE COMPANY
    ATC have made a production of Chekhov’s The Seagull set in lockdown, with the family all on a Zoom call! It is cut into 4 acts/episodes which are screening Fridays 7pm NZT. The first three are online for viewing now with Act 4 going up tonight.
    On-Demand – please donate
    YOUTUBE – www.youtube.com/channel/UCKDS6vUXW4axHk5Ht5vTNsQ
  • ABC iVIEW ARTS
    Australia’s national broadcaster has curated a fantastic array of streaming arts programming and there’s truly something for everyone – from classical concerts to the 15 year celebration of the Sydney Theatre Company’s Wharf Revue. Not available outside Oz.
    On-Demand
    www.iview.abc.net.au/category/arts
  • THE CITIZEN’S HANDBOOK – RNZ
    Become a better New Zealand citizen! A comedy Video and Podcast civics series that tackles NZ history & issues. Made possible by the RNZ/NZ On Air Innovation Fund.
    On-Demand
    www.rnz.co.nz/programmes/the-citizens-handbook
  • MOUNTAIN GOAT MOUNTAIN – THRESHOLD
    Families across Australia have the opportunity to participate in an adventurous new audio-led theatre experience, developed during isolation for families to enjoy at home. Guided by a narrative soundscape, families will embark on this 45-minute theatrical experience using only a charged audio device (computer, phone of tablet), a bed sheet (the bigger the better), a piece of blank paper (A4 will do) and favourite pencils, pens or textas.
    On-Demand from May 14 – A$12.95 for 30 days access
    www.artscentremelbourne.com.au
  • NANDHU – BANGARRA DANCE COMPANY
    Bangarra have curated a new digital offering – Nandhu (‘to be close in Wiradjuri language) – which will include a selection of performances from their repertoire. Each will be presented with interviews, BHS features and more to dive deeper into each work.
    On-Demand – please donate
    www.bangarra-knowledgeground.com.au
  • KIDS COUCH CONCERTS
    Hosted by Emily Who the Kids Couch Concerts were created as a way for indy preschool entertainers to keep connecting with the audiences they love. The project has produced two volumes that take the form of a video variety show featuring The Mik Maks, Pevan and Sarah and Avocado Smash. 95% of profits go the artists involved.
    On-Demand – A$11.95 to purchase, A$5.95 to rent
    VIMEO – Volume 1 & Volume 2
  • ADAPT – AUSTRALIAN DANCE THEATRE
    Australian Dance Theatre’s exciting online-only season for 2020 is on-demand with new shows going live regularly.
    On-Demand – please donate
    www.adt.org.au/adapt/the-beginning-of-nature/
  • RED RATTLER 
    Sydney’s Red Rattler Theatre is at the heart of emerging, fringe and queer arts practice, and this week they begin a new fortnightly online events series. There’s lots to come from the rattler so bookmark them and check back Fridays.
    www.facebook.com/TheRedRattler/
  • MARDI GRAS LINK LIST
    Looking for great queer content and a complete listing of drag performances happening online? Sydney Mardi Gras has a handy list with far more shows than we can list here and some great music picks as well. Check it out here.
  • MONKEY BAA THEATRE CO
    Look behind the scenes of one of the world’s best children’s theatre makers. Each session will give young people an insight into the many people who work to create a live theatre production. New episodes coming soon. Previous live-streams available on-demand.
    On-Demand – Free, please donate
    FACEBOOK – www.facebook.com/monkeybaatheatreco
  • KEEP HEART PENRITH
    The new online program Keep Heart Penrith delivered by Penrith Performing and Visual Arts will help guide audiences and community to the new changed arts world via Creative Care Packs; a series of arts-based content & learning delivered to your email address.
    www.qtheatre.com.au/keep-heart-penrith/

INTERNATIONAL

  • PASS OVER – STEPPENWOLF
    Antoinette Nwandu’s fierce, Beckettian play about police brutality was filmed at Chicago’s Steppenwolf theatre by Spike Lee. Filled with humour, tension and humanity, it’s an urgent very timely play. Essential viewing this week.
    On-Demand – Amazon Prime (subscription) 
    www.primevideo.com
  • REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL – GRAEAE
    Part gig, part play, Reasons To Be Cheerful tells a coming of age tale that rejoices in the infectious and enduring music of Ian Dury and the Blockheads. Featuring stone-cold classic songs including Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick; Plaistow Patricia; Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll; Sweet Gene Vincent; What A Waste and the titular Reasons to be Cheerful (Part 3). Graeae Artistic Director, Jenny Sealey’s production is loud, bold and jubilant.
    On-Demand until August 3 – please donate, audio described and captioned.
    www.graeae.org
  • CAROUSEL – LINCOLN CENTER
    The New York Philharmonic presents a stunning staged production of this iconic American work, featuring a star-studded cast including Kelli O’Hara, Nathan Gunn, Stephanie Blythe, Shuler Hensley, Jason Danieley, Jessie Mueller, Kate Burton, John Cullum and New York City Ballet dancers Robert Fairchild and Tiler Peck.
    From 8pm EDT, 5th June
    YOUTUBE – www.youtube.com/user/LincolnCenterVideos
  • TORI SCOTT IS OVERSERVED
    New York-based comedian, actor and singer Tori Scott brings her wry and funny cabaret to Joe’s Pub. Filmed live from their iconic Manhattan stage it’s a show best suited for cocktails – anecdotes, soul, and great tunes.
    On-Demand
    YOUTUBE – www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNl0pEeTtmE
  • SANTA CLAUSE THE MUSICAL
    Ok, this is an odd one for June, but maybe we all need a little seasonal cheer (and Winter in Sydney is an excuse for warm spiced rum right?). The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati have their full production up on YouTube and some fun activities for kids on their website to go with the viewing.
    On-Demand
    YOUTUBE – www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFuJxhwF6jI&feature=youtu.be
  • CORIOLANUS – NATIONAL THEATRE LIVE
    Beginning today, The National Theatre is streaming The Donmar Warehouse’s 2014 production of Coriolanus, starring Tom Hiddleston!
    On-Demand from June 4 (UK) to June 11
    YOUTUBE
  • A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM – GLOBE THEATRE
    Directed by Dominic Dromgold, this sumptuously raw produciton, designed by Jonathan Fensom, is the Globe at it’s best. Featuring renaissance costumes and staging it’s a like stepping into the past to experience this Bard favourite.
    £5.99 to rent
    www.globeplayer.tv
  • A MONSTER CALLS – BRISTOL OLD VIC
    Adapted from the critically acclaimed bestseller by Patrick Ness, and directed by Sally Cookson (Peter Pan, La Strada), this Olivier Award-winning production of A Monster Calls offers a dazzling insight into love, life and healing. If you didn’t catch it when The Old Vic was streaming it in April, now’s your chance.
    On-Demand until 11 June – please donate
    www.bristololdvic.org.uk/whats-on/a-monster-calls-at-home
  • SPYMONKEY
    Physical theatre and comedy doesn’t get much more irreverent, or entertaining. Spymonkey are opening their vault of inventive original works with a new work streamed every Sunday.
    On-Demand
    www.spymonkey.co.uk
  • THEATRE IS THE CURE
    A pay-what-you-can theatre event, with all proceeds distributed to the artists. 15 Playwrights write one original monologue each. 15 Directors are matched with a script and one of 15 Actors to rehearse via video, culminating in a live-streaming event.
    Every Friday (USA) at 6.30pm PDT and Saturday 12.30pm Sydney
    FACEBOOK LIVE – www.facebook.com/events/1417131878461230

 

ARTIST OPPORTUNITIES

  • MINI FILM & SCRIPT COMPETITION – THEATRE BUGS & ADELAIDE THEATRE
    Calling all young Filmmakers & Screenwriters! This is your chance to win $500 and other Awards in the inaugural ATABUG Mini Film & Script Competition. There are two competitions to enter: 1. Produce a three-minute film, a slideshow with voice over, a music video, an animation, a documentary, or a musical. OR 2. Write a three-page script. Pay to enter – A$37.50 per entry. Entries close June 7th.
    www.filmfreeway.com/Atabug
  • LITTLE LUNCH ONLINE – ARTS FRONT
    Little Lunch Online is a chance to check in and connect with each other while we grab a quick bite of lunch, or a morning coffee for folk in the West. It’s a quick 30 minute window to share ideas and resources, and plan our actions in responding to the pandemic, the climate crisis and whatever global emergency awaits us next.
    Daily, Midday AEST – Free
    www.artsfront.com/event/37103-little-lunch-online-llol
  • BROWN’S MART BUILD UP 
    BUILD UP is Brown’s Mart’s seeding and development program. Projects can be for research or creative development of new projects by Independent Theatre artists working and living in the top end of the NT. These projects are for any stage of development and are designed to support a fertile environment for the creation of new
    NT theatre. The last round applications close on 15th June. Full details at www.brownsmart.com.au
  • BRAVE NEW ROUGH & READY
    Sydney indy favourites Brave New Word Theatre Co are inviting artists to take part in a new project – an open access, weekly invitation to tell a story from your own home and have it featured on their networks. There are very finite guidelines that make participation easy, and a weekly theme to inspire you. Seven performances will be showcased weekly. Get all the details on their Facebook page.
  • PERFORMING LINES
    Performing lines have put together an exhaustive list of resources, grant links and current programs that every artist and independent org should look over.  www.performinglines.org.au

SAVE THE DATE

These are the future streams that are high on our list – get them into your diary now!

  • SAT JUNE 13 – STC ROUGH DRAFT #45
    Tune in for a free live-streamed reading as part of our Rough Draft development series. The event will sample two plays in development: Chalkface by Angela Betzien and Marriage by Marieke Hardy – another offering from our STC Virtual program.
  • JUNE 24-28 – WHO’S YOUR BAGHDADDY
    Who’s Your Baghdaddy, or How I Started the Iraq War is a comedy musical that will be performed and streamed live from June 24-28. Presented as a support group for people who started the Iraq War, this dark, boisterous and  irreverent story follows a handful of mid-level spies whose vanity and office politics contributed to  the worst intelligence blunder in modern history. Directed by Neil Gooding, presented by Curveball Creative.
    FRI JUNE 26 – GALAH BAR
    Six cross-border venues are collaborating on live-stream variety supershow! Brought to you by Albury Entertainment Centre, Albury LibraryMuseum, The Cube Wodonga, Flying Fruit Fly Circus, HotHouse Theatre and Murray Art Museum Albury (MAMA), with support from Nomad Films and Murray Arts.
  • FRI- JUL 3 – HAMILTON
    Streaming platform Disney+ brings Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Pulitzer-prize winning musical to screens worldwide. recorded in 2016 with the original Broadway cast the screen version is directed by Thomas Kail who promises the best seat in the house for every moment.

EDUCATION / ACTIVITIES

  • Curious Legends Workshops
    Newcastle’s Curious Legends are running a series of free, live streamed workshops from their studio every Tuesday and Thursday @ 4pm AEST. Aimed at helping kids and parents in lockdown, as well as to support artists during this time. Workshops explore performance, puppetry, clowning, making, dance, storytelling, and much else besides!  Supported by Create NSW, Orica, and Newcastle Region Library. www.curiouslegends.com.au/out-of-the-box
  • Barking Gecko Theatre – Isolate > Create > Connect
    Made in collaboration with ThinkArts in India. A weekly video delivered by teaching artists from BGT and ThinkArts online, children aged 5 to 17 will set a creative task inviting them to create a small artwork capturing their perspective on the world right now. Each week children will be asked to upload their creation digitally to the Barking Gecko website. At the end of the 10 week-long project we will have created a digital scrapbook that documents this unprecedented time in history through the eyes of children. Now in week 4 it’s not too late to jump in and get creative with kids around the world. No cost. www.barkinggecko.com.au
  • ATYP Home Theatre Plays – With help from the ATYP Foundation, Australian Theatre for Young People have commissioned 10 brilliant Australian playwrights to each write a 5-minute script that you can download and perform with your family and friends (when visitors are allowed at your place or try it with your friends over Zoom!). Each script features 2-6 characters, with a mix of some young people and some adults. Anyone in your house can play any character – or multiple characters! There are no boundaries! And if you want to share your reading with the world submit it to ATYP for inclusion in their YouTube Channel. All the details at www.atyp.com.au
  • Poetry In Action – this NFP touring company has brought their popular education program online to stream into homes and classrooms. There are 4 performances in line with curriculum for Years 5-12. Visit www.poetryinaction.com.au for more info.
  • Storyville Live – Storyville’s in-school program sends performers to read much-loved storybooks to children. For the next couple of weeks they’ll be trialling live storytime via Facebook, and it’s well worth it for those with little ones at home. 11am and 3pm AEST daily – free www.facebook.com/theStoryville/
  • Slingsby by Request – South Australian theatre company Slingsby has created an online resource of live performances in line with curriculum. The first work is Emil and the Detectives by Erich Kastner, adapted for the stage by Nicki Bloom. Teachers and home-teachers should check out this great new resource.  www.slingsby.net.au/slingsby-by-request/
  • Audioplay – This is unlike any other activity out there at the moment. An immersive play experience for kids (ages 6-12) where they download an audio story in which they play one of the characters using ordinary household items for props. Creative play just got so much better! www.audioplay.me
  • Shake & Stir Interact
    Since 2006, shake & stir drama classes have been a regular extra-curricular activity adored by tens of thousands of students, and now their latest program has moved online. Each week, your child will engage with a carefully-planned, professionally-produced and, most importantly, super-fun 30 minutes of creative play, at home. We’re talking drama activities and performance-based games that will get them acting and keep them active. www.shakeandstirinteract.com.au
  • ATYP Online
    Australian Theatre for Young People have brought made their drama programs virtual just in time for term 2. A selection of their regular programs will be facilitated live each week via Zoom and Google Classroom. Participants will work with a skilled ATYP tutor and classmates in an interactive online space from the safety of their homes. It’s just one of several programs teachers and home teachers should discover. www.atyp.com.au
  • Patch Theatre
    Patch Theatre has been making shows for 4–8 year old children and their families from our home in South Australia since 1972. In our nearly 48 years, Patch has made 110 much loved theatre works and performed to over 1.8 million children around the world. They’re posting regular updates to arts activities for little ones online, and via Facebook and Instagram. www.patchtheatre.org.au/activities
  • Polyglot Theatre
    Children’s theatre makers Polyglot have developed a series of new arts activities that will keep young ones busy and thinking during creative play. There’s heaps of fun stuff to explore and if you don’t have kids we highly recommend doing them anyway because a) they’re fun and b) home-grown hilarity is needed right now. www.polyglot.org.au/polyglot-at-home/
  • Riverside Theatres
    Parramatta’s Riverside Theatres has always had a fantastic education team and resources to match – and now a directory of teacher resources from past performances is available on their website. There’s also a super-handy (and HUGE) listing of other online resources that teachers and parents should not miss. www.riversideparramatta.com.au

 

a collage of posters and performance images from the productions listed in the blog article.

Stage & Stream – Streaming Theatre & Cabaret – May 29 to June 4

a collage of posters and performance images from the productions listed in the blog article.

Welcome to the Critical Stages Touring list of streaming theatre, cabaret, performing arts education and arts opportunities happening online this week and next. Our goal is to bring you with the best directory of Australian and New Zealand streams with a all the indy programming seen no where else. The list is updated throughout the week so if you find something we don’t know about, please make sure we do. Note that donation links take you directly to donations for that show – please support the artists who entertain you. If you have something to share send a message to robbi@criticalstages.com.au or complete the Google form. We are especially keen to hear from independent artists and those streaming accessible performances.

Stage And Stream Links
Friday 29th May – Thursday 4th June

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AUSTRALIA / NZ BY DATE

Friday 29th May

  • THE SEAGULL – AUCKLAND THEATRE COMPANY
    ATC have made a production of Chekhov’s The Seagull set in lockdown, with the family all on a Zoom call! It is cut into 4 acts/episodes which are screening Fridays 7pm NZT. The first three are online for viewing now with Act 4 going up tonight.
    7pm NZT / 5pm AEST – Free, please donate
    YOUTUBE – www.youtube.com/channel/UCKDS6vUXW4axHk5Ht5vTNsQ
  • CONTAGIOUS CABARET – BROOKLYN RUNAWAYS
    Brooklyn Runaways’ have launched an ambitious online cabaret series. Each week professional singers are asked to interpret a song in a new way, and finish by nominating another artist for the next week. Let’s see how far it can go! Donations taken for artists on the show.
    7pm AEST – Free, please donate
    FACEBOOK – www.facebook.com/brooklynrunaways/ & YOUTUBE
  • THE ISOLATE LATE SHOW – LITTLE RED COMPANY
    It’s the season finale of what has become the most popular show to stream out of BrisVegas! Tune in to see host Naomi Price raise funds for Australian performers in association with the Actors’ And Entertainers’ Benevolent Fund. Visit the facebook event and request a song for this special last night.
    8pm AEST – Free – Please donate
    FACEBOOK & YOUTUBE – www.facebook.com/events/153740219261322/
  • BATS HAPPY HOUR
    Wellington’s BATS Theatre are hosting weekly happy hours hosted by the BATS team via Zoom. It’s drinks, laughs and an opportunity for some cross-Tasman covid support. Only, it’s much more fun than we just mad it sound.
    5.30 – 7pm UTC +12 / 3.30 – 5pm AEST – Free, NZ$5+
    www.bats.co.nz/whats-on/bats-happy-hour/

  • LET’S FRIDAY WITH THE LISTIES
    Will there be remote Learning? No! Will it be informative? Unlikely! Will it be barely held together chaos? Probably! Kid’s favourites The Listies are back with a weekly live-stream of the kind of madness that only they can make. Tune in and LOL out.
    4:30pm AEST – free, please donate
    FACEBOOK – www.facebook.com/events/2745559065730543/

Saturday 30th May

  • TALES FOR UNCERTAIN TIMES – JELLYFISH
    A 5-part comic-adventure fairy-tale series broadcast weekly on Facebook Live. Previous episodes will remain online following the broadcast. With elements of comedy, mystery, live music, and Zoom-bombing TALES is about rediscovering your own social world through the frame of a webcam and using it to build a new kind of community.
    6pm AEST – Free
    FACEBOOK
  • BEYOND THE PAGE
    A mini (virtual) festival of performance, readings, arts activities and more. Beyond the page is Wellington’s all-family literary festival, and New Zealands’ largest. Jump in until June 1st to discover great on-demand fun including Duck, Death and the Tulip by Wold Erlbruch, performed by Little Dog Barking Company.
    On-Demand until June 1
    FACEBOOK – www.facebook.com/beyondthepagenz
  • THE LOST CABARET – LOST IN LOCKDOWN!
    Join the teams behind The Lost Cabarets in Sydney and Melbourne, for the sensational third edition of their online cabaret, LOST IN LOCKDOWN! Each week this innovative and mischievous cabaret moves from Australia to Europe as teams of comedians and performers create a new show over Zoom.
    8pm AEST / 11AM BST – Pay what you can
    Facebook for all the details.
  • VARIETYVILLE – ACTS OF ABSURDITY
    Outstanding Interactive live online variety show with guests from all over the world performing wondrous Acts of Absurdity, hosted by the Dandy himself and rolling through regular segments fashioned by a team of marvels misfits including Foxy Moron’s “Fun Fiesta”, Eric the Dog’s “Mysteries of the Animal Kingdom” and “Are you Game”. 
    7:40pm AEST – A$5 + Pay what you can afford. Patron of the Arts tickets available.
    www.varietyville.net
  • SEQUIN SESSIONS
    Cabaret star Michaela Burger returns with all-new Sequin Sessions shows! Tonight it’s all-80’s retro adventure for the grown ups featuring all the music you remember, or wish you could. Michaela’s trademark humour and fabulous voice is a great way to spend Saturday night. Tune in again with the little ones for a children’s cabaret special on Sunday.
    8pm AEST – Free, please donate
    www.michaelaburger.live/
  • LIVE FROM STONEWALL
    The Stonewall Hotel, Create & Cast and Undefine Media present an fantastic weekly multi-camera live-stream variety hour starring drag icon Minnie Cooper. This stream just goes from strength to strength!
    8pm AEST – Free, please donate
  • COOPED UP CABARET
    Each show will feature a tasty selection of performers from all over Australia (and international, if ya lucky!)… Magic in the kitchen? Comedy in the bathroom? Fire show in the backyard? Burlesque in the living room? Aerials in the hallway? You’ll never know what you’re gonna get, with Cooped-Up Cabaret! 16+
    8pm AEST – A$15.71
    Broadcast via Zoom

Sunday 31st May

  • YOU’LL NEVER WALK ALONE – RIVERSIDE THEATRES DIGITAL
    Hear your favourite musical theatre tunes and make some new ones, as Helpmann Award-winner Luke Joslin directs world renowned stars Rachael Beck, Daniel Belle, Michael Cormick, Robert McDougall and Penny McNamee, with legendary musical director Michael Tyack AM on piano. Streamed live from the theatre!
    5pm AEST – Pay what you can from A$12
    www.riversideparramatta.com.au
  • MAY HOUSE PARTY – SLAMALAMADINGDONG
    Poetry slam kings Slamalamadingdong’s May Slam has the same structure and flair of an online slam, but with an international feature close to Slama Fama’s heart and more poetic stories shared! Special guest poet this month – Texas-born Afro-Latinx performance artist Arielle Cottingham.
    5.30pm AEST – Tickets from A$10
    FACEBOOK – www.facebook.com/events/2869351606524965/
  • MUSICAL MUGWUMPS
    Each week a new musical for artists to perform is announced. Artists volunteer to be part of the read/sing-through and on Sunday nights these brave performers go live for a non-rehearsed, full run through of the show! This week: Sweeney Todd: Demon Barber of Fleet Street.
    7pm AEST – Free
    FACEBOOK – www.facebook.com/MusicalMugwumps/
  • HAMLET – STREAMED SHAKESPEARE
    Streamed Shakespeare is back with everyone’s favourite Danish prince, Hamlet, directed by Charles Mayer. What’s great about Streamed Shakespeare is getting to know the huge troupe of actors involved over the last 10 weeks. Got a favourite yet? You will.
    2pm AEST – Free, please donate
    FACEBOOK –  www.facebook.com/StreamedShakespeare/

Monday 1st June

  • HAPPILY AFTER EVER – ANTIPODES THEATRE COMPANY
    Newlyweds Darren and Janet want nothing more than to build the perfect life together. But when Janet gives birth to a baby with both male and female genitalia, they find themselves in the unlikely position of having to choose a gender for their child—all while competing with the perfect couple next door and dealing with a misunderstood family dog—in this hilarious battle of the sexes. Directed by Shamita Siva. Featuring Aurnab As-Saber, Anthony Craig, Emma Jevons, Joseph Lai, and Ursula Searle. Followed by a Q&A with cast and creatives.
    Live at 7pm AEST – Free, please donate
    FACEBOOK – www.facebook.com/antipodesarts/
  • BRAVE NEW ROUGH & READY – BRAVE NEW WORD
    The first week of submissions to Sydney’s indy storytelling darlings, Brave New Word, were an eclectic and exciting round of shortform stories. There’s a new round every week and this week will centre around the theme ‘blanket’. Start every night with a quick story from great Australian theatre makers.
    6pm (Daily) AEST – Free
    FACEBOOK – www.facebook.com/BraveNewWordTC/
  • THE STORY CHUNDER WITH MATT YOUNG
    Matt Young’s weekly live event was performed at Brisbane’s BackDock Arts. Every week a new lot of storytellers spew forth their most entertaining stories for your delight or disapproval. Join Matt (TBS’s Wrecked, The Producers) for the livestream then listen to his podcast on Spotify, iTunes, Twitch or where ever you listen to podcasts.
    7pm AEST – Free, please donate.
    INSTAGRAM – www.instagram.com/thestorychunder

Tuesday 2nd June

  • CORONAVLOG
    Using her psychological insight, musical therapy exercises and psychic powers, the very fictional Jan van de Stool is here to unwrap the #Coronavirus news, in an attempt to help tens of people around the world, weekly.
    On-Demand – A$1.98
    VIMEO – www.vimeo.com/ondemand/coronavlog
  • HOME THEATRE ARTS
    This online collective record a zoom group performance every week and host a global weekly watch party every Tuesday.
    7pm AEST – Free
    http://tiny.cc/HomeTheatreArts

Wednesday 3rd June

  • THE LOCKDOWN MONOLOGUES – MALTHOUSE THEATRE
    Melbourne’s Malthouse have commissioned nine new monologues in response to the pandemic, brought to life by director Bridget Balodis. New words from writers Jean Tong, Jane Harrison and Tom Holloway.
    On-Demand from 3 June – Free, please donate
    Register to watch at www.malthousetheatre.com.au
  • ART CENTRE MELBOURNE’S BIG NIGHT IN
    Arts Centre Melbourne, one of Australia’s most important artistic hubs for more than 35 years, has teamed up with John Foreman’s Aussie Pops Orchestra to present a weekly live digital show every Wednesday at 7pm. Special guests, great chat, top performers!
    7pm – Free – Please donate
    www.artscentremelbourne.com.au/
  • FAILED BECHDEL TEST – THORNHILL THEATRE
    Failed Bechdel Test written by P Diegues is presented as part of  Thornhill’s Couch Readings on May 27th. After a disappointing book club session where little time was spent discussing literature due to conversations circling back to husbands and boyfriends, 2 women decide to have an exclusive one on one book club in  a coffee shop where their conversation spirals onto the topic of men. Returning to Couch Readings are Australian actors Elisa Vitagliani and Fernanda Murialdo.
    FACEBOOK – www.facebook.com/ThornhillTheatreSpace

Thursday 4th June

  • SMART ARTS 2020 – MURRAY ARTS
    An arts forum and original play reading wrapped in one. Hear from an independent local theatre panel about their current work and then sit back to enjoy a rehearsed play reading of Brendan Hogan’s latest work, directed by Alyson Evans.
    6pm AEST – A$10-$20
    Tickets via Eventbrite (event enabled by Zoom)
  • THIS WAS URGENT YESTERDAY – COUNTRY ARTS SA & CARCLEW
    “This Was Urgent Yesterday” is a collection of single-actor scripts written by and for young people from regional Australia. To celebrate it’s publication we’re throwing a party! Join us for a live stream featuring interviews with the regional writers responsible for This Was Urgent Yesterday. Join, listen, celebrate.
    7pm AEST – Free
    FACEBOOK – www.facebook.com/events/235248294423078/
  • COBURG, MELBOURNE – HOPE NEW WORKS
    A play about good people forced to cope with tragic circumstances. Coburg, Melbourne, by Michael Bingham, Nicholas Gentile and Brittanie Shipway, explores friendship, race and family in 1939 Australia. This is development seven from the Hope New Works program for new musicals.
    7pm AEST – Free, please donate
    www.hopenewworks.com

 

AUS/NZ ON-DEMAND

  • THE CITIZEN’S HANDBOOK – RNZ
    Become a better New Zealand citizen! A comedy Video and Podcast civics series that tackles NZ history & issues. Made possible by the RNZ/NZ On Air Innovation Fund.
    On-Demand
    www.rnz.co.nz/programmes/the-citizens-handbook
  • MOUNTAIN GOAT MOUNTAIN – THRESHOLD
    Families across Australia have the opportunity to participate in an adventurous new audio-led theatre experience, developed during isolation for families to enjoy at home. Guided by a narrative soundscape, families will embark on this 45-minute theatrical experience using only a charged audio device (computer, phone of tablet), a bed sheet (the bigger the better), a piece of blank paper (A4 will do) and favourite pencils, pens or textas.
    On-Demand from May 14 – A$12.95 for 30 days access
    www.artscentremelbourne.com.au
  • NANDHU – BANGARRA DANCE COMPANY
    Bangarra have curated a new digital offering – Nandhu (‘to be close in Wiradjuri language) – which will include a selection of performances from their repertoire. Each will be presented with interviews, BHS features and more to dive deeper into each work.
    On-Demand – free, please donate
    www.bangarra-knowledgeground.com.au
  • STAN ORIGINAL LOCKDOWN COMEDY FESTIVAL
    Filled in the homes of comedians in isolation the specials will features over 25 Australian comedians making us chuckle from the (dis)comfort of their living rooms. Four specials over four weeks – this is the last but you can stream all four for a great comedy binge.
    On-Demand, subscription service (Australia only)
    www.stan.com.au
  • KIDS COUCH CONCERTS
    Hosted by Emily Who the Kids Couch Concerts were created as a way for indy preschool entertainers to keep connecting with the audiences they love. The project has produced two volumes that take the form of a video variety show featuring The Mik Maks, Pevan and Sarah and Avocado Smash. 95% of profits go the artists involved.
    On-Demand – A$11.95 to purchase, A$5.95 to rent
    VIMEO – Volume 1 & Volume 2
  • ADAPT – AUSTRALIAN DANCE THEATRE
    Australian Dance Theatre’s exciting online-only season for 2020 is on-demand with new shows going live regularly.
    On-Demand – Free, please donate
    www.adt.org.au/adapt/the-beginning-of-nature/
  • GEELONG ARTS CENTRE
    Watch previous editions of their live-streamed events that have featured artists including Michaela Burger, Jude Perl and Hassall.
    On-Demand – Free, please donate
    www.geelongartscentre.org.au
  • RED RATTLER 
    Sydney’s Red Rattler Theatre is at the heart of emerging, fringe and queer arts practice, and this week they begin a new fortnightly online events series with a screening of Kelli Jean Drinkwater’s groundbreaking documentary Nothing To Lose. There’s lots to come from the rattler so bookmark them and check back Fridays.
    www.facebook.com/TheRedRattler/
  • MARDI GRAS LINK LIST
    Looking for great queer content and a complete listing of drag performances happening online? Sydney Mardi Gras has a handy list with far more shows than we can list here and some great music picks as well. Check it out here.
  • MONKEY BAA THEATRE CO
    Look behind the scenes of one of the world’s best children’s theatre makers. Each session will give young people an insight into the many people who work to create a live theatre production. New episodes coming soon. Previous live-streams available on-demand.
    On-Demand – Free, please donate
    FACEBOOK – www.facebook.com/monkeybaatheatreco

INTERNATIONAL

  • WHEN EVERYTHING’S NORMAL WILL YOU FORGET? – GRAEAE
    A collaboration between Graeae’s new writing department and Graeae Patron and acclaimed playwright Jack Thorne. Deaf and disbaled writers in the UK were commissioned to write 11 new works during lockdown. This week, a new work written and performed by Ink Asher Hemp. Directed by Nickie Miles-Wildin.
    On-Demand – please donate, audio described and captioned.
    graeae.org/our-work/crips-without-constraints/
  • THE PLAYBOY OF THE WESTERN WORLD
    Alongside The Shadow of the Glen and Riders to the Sea, Druid and Wildfire Films have made the 2005 production of The Playboy of the Western World available to watch online for free. This is theatre history folks, don’t miss it.
    On-Demand
    VIMEO – vimeo.com/411063868
  • JAMES & THE GIANT PEACH
    Hear Roald Dahl’s beloved story brought to life by a cavalcade of stars to raise dollars for Partners in Health. Amongst the celestial gathering:  Liam and Chris Hemsworth, Cate Blanchett, Meryl Streep, Benedict Cumberbatch, Sarah Paulson, Eddie Redmayne, Kumail Nanjiani and Tessa Thompson.
    On-Demand, closed captions
    YOUTUBE – www.youtube.com
  • THIS HOUSE – NATIONAL THEATRE LIVE
    This House is a timely, moving and funny insight into the workings of British politics by James Graham (Ink) and directed by Jeremy Herrin (People, Places and Things). This much-loved production enjoyed two sold-out National Theatre runs, a West End transfer and national tour as well as being filmed by National Theatre Live.
    On-Demand from May 29 (UK) until June 4
    YOUTUBE
  • HAIRSPRAY LIVE – THE SHOW MUST GO ON
    Hairspray the Musical is based on the 1988 film of the same name, which starred Divine and Ricki Lake. It originally opened in 2002 on Broadway and won eight Tony Awards, with songs such as “You Can’t Stop the Beat”, “Big, Blonde and Beautiful” and “Good Morning Baltimore”.
    48 Hours from Friday 29th May (UK) – Free, closed captions
    YOUTUBE – www.youtube.com/channel/UCdmPjhKMaXNNeCr1FjuMvag
  • BEAUTY AND THE BEAST – CHICHESTER FESTIVAL YOUTH THEATRE
    You may think you know the story of Beauty and the Beast but director Dale Rooks has a few surprises in store in this brand new version adapted from the original fairy tale by Anna Ledwich, with music and lyrics by Richard Taylor. Set designer Simon Higlett and costume designer Ryan Dawson Laight deliver a visually spectacular production.
    On-Demand until June 19, closed captions
    www.cft.org.uk/beauty-and-the-beast-broadcast
  • THE WINTERS TALE – GLOBE THEATRE
    Blanche McIntyre directs a new version of Shakespeare’s great play of the irrational and inexplicable. Set in a world of monsters, gods and natural disasters, travel from the stifling atmosphere of the Sicilian court, to the unbuttoned joy of a Bohemian festival.
    On-Demand until 31st May
    YOUTUBE –  www.youtube.com/watch?v=nscB0yEWSgY
  • MESSIAH – BRISTOL OLD VIC
    Exploring the dramatic heart of Messiah, this acclaimed Bristol Old Vic production is a powerful dramatisation of Handel’s profound masterpiece. See and hear Messiah as Handel controversially intended – performed for the people in a theatre, rather than in a sacred space.
    On-Demand – please donate
    www.bristololdvic.org.uk/whats-on/messiah
  • SPYMONKEY
    Physical theatre and comedy doesan’t get much more irreverant, or entertaining. Spymonkey are opening their vault of inventive original works with a new work streamed every Sunday. First up – The Complete Deaths – 75 death scenes from Shakespeare in one captivating work.
    On-Demand from 31st May
    www.spymonkey.co.uk
  • THEATRE IS THE CURE
    A pay-what-you-can theatre event, with all proceeds distributed to the artists. 15 Playwrights write one original monologue each. 15 Directors are matched with a script and one of 15 Actors to rehearse via video, culminating in a live-streaming event.
    Every Friday (USA) at 6.30pm PDT and Saturday 12.30pm Sydney – Free
    FACEBOOK LIVE – www.facebook.com/events/1417131878461230

 

ARTIST OPPORTUNITIES

  • NEW – ASK AN ORACLE ONE-ON-ONE CONSULTATIONS – BROWNS MART
    Need to just talk to someone in the know? Have no idea what you need but know you need something? Art Oracle and Brown’s Mart Theatre have got you covered. FREE one on one consultations for artists and creatives with producer Erica McCalman for artists in the Northern Territory. Tuesdays in June, numbers strictly limited.
  • MINI FILM & SCRIPT COMPETITION – THEATRE BUGS & ADELAIDE THEATRE
    Calling all young Filmmakers & Screenwriters! This is your chance to win $500 and other Awards in the inaugural ATABUG Mini Film & Script Competition. There are two competitions to enter: 1. Produce a three-minute film, a slideshow with voice over, a music video, an animation, a documentary, or a musical. OR 2. Write a three-page script. Pay to enter – A$37.50 per entry. Entries close June 7th.
    www.filmfreeway.com/Atabug
  • KEEP HEART PENRITH
    The new online program Keep Heart Penrith delivered by Penrith Performing and Visual Arts will help guide audiences and community to the new changed arts world via Creative Care Packs; a series of arts-based content & learning delivered to your email address.
    www.qtheatre.com.au/keep-heart-penrith/
  • LITTLE LUNCH ONLINE – ARTS FRONT
    Little Lunch Online is a chance to check in and connect with each other while we grab a quick bite of lunch, or a morning coffee for folk in the West. It’s a quick 30 minute window to share ideas and resources, and plan our actions in responding to the pandemic, the climate crisis and whatever global emergency awaits us next.
    Daily, Midday AEST – Free
    www.artsfront.com/event/37103-little-lunch-online-llol
  • BROWN’S MART BUILD UP 
    BUILD UP is Brown’s Mart’s seeding and development program. Projects can be for research or creative development of new projects by Independent Theatre artists working and living in the top end of the NT. These projects are for any stage of development and are designed to support a fertile environment for the creation of new
    NT theatre. The last round applications close on 15th June. Full details at www.brownsmart.com.au
  • BRAVE NEW ROUGH & READY
    Sydney indy favourites Brave New Word Theatre Co are inviting artists to take part in a new project – an open access, weekly invitation to tell a story from your own home and have it featured on their networks. There are very finite guidelines that make participation easy, and a weekly theme to inspire you. Seven performances will be showcased weekly. Get all the details on their Facebook page.
  • PERFORMING LINES
    Performing lines have put together an exhaustive list of resources, grant links and current programs that every artist and independent org should look over.  www.performinglines.org.au

SAVE THE DATE

These are the future streams that are high on our list – get them into your diary now!

  • FRI JUN 5 – ON THE PRODUCTION OF MONSTERS
    Brown’s Mart’s popular monthly play reading series, Evening Reads @7.30pm, will kick off with ‘On the Production of Monsters‘ by Robert Reid in the Brown’s Mart Theatre. Directed by Scott Gooding.
  • FRI Jun 26 – GALAH BAR
    Six cross-border venues are collaborating on live-stream variety supershow! Brought to you by Albury Entertainment Centre, Albury LibraryMuseum, The Cube Wodonga, Flying Fruit Fly Circus, HotHouse Theatre and Murray Art Museum Albury (MAMA),  with support from Nomad Films and Murray Arts.
  • FRI- JUL 3 – HAMILTON
    Streaming platform Disney+ brings Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Pulitzer-prize winning musical to screens worldwide. recorded in 2016 with the original Broadway cast the screen version is directed by Thomas Kail who promises the best seat in the house for every moment.

EDUCATION / ACTIVITIES

  • Curious Legends Workshops
    Newcastle’s Curious Legends are running a series of free, live streamed workshops from their studio every Tuesday and Thursday @ 4pm AEST. Aimed at helping kids and parents in lockdown, as well as to support artists during this time. Workshops explore performance, puppetry, clowning, making, dance, storytelling, and much else besides!  Supported by Create NSW, Orica, and Newcastle Region Library. www.curiouslegends.com.au/out-of-the-box
  • Barking Gecko Theatre – Isolate > Create > Connect
    Made in collaboration with ThinkArts in India. A weekly video delivered by teaching artists from BGT and ThinkArts online, children aged 5 to 17 will set a creative task inviting them to create a small artwork capturing their perspective on the world right now. Each week children will be asked to upload their creation digitally to the Barking Gecko website. At the end of the 10 week-long project we will have created a digital scrapbook that documents this unprecedented time in history through the eyes of children. Now in week 4 it’s not too late to jump in and get creative with kids around the world. No cost. www.barkinggecko.com.au
  • ATYP Home Theatre Plays – With help from the ATYP Foundation, Australian Theatre for Young People have commissioned 10 brilliant Australian playwrights to each write a 5-minute script that you can download and perform with your family and friends (when visitors are allowed at your place or try it with your friends over Zoom!). Each script features 2-6 characters, with a mix of some young people and some adults. Anyone in your house can play any character – or multiple characters! There are no boundaries! And if you want to share your reading with the world submit it to ATYP for inclusion in their YouTube Channel. All the details at www.atyp.com.au
  • Poetry In Action – this NFP touring company has brought their popular education program online to stream into homes and classrooms. There are 4 performances in line with curriculum for Years 5-12. Visit www.poetryinaction.com.au for more info.
  • Storyville Live – Storyville’s in-school program sends performers to read much-loved storybooks to children. For the next couple of weeks they’ll be trialling live storytime via Facebook, and it’s well worth it for those with little ones at home. 11am and 3pm AEST daily – free www.facebook.com/theStoryville/
  • Slingsby by Request – South Australian theatre company Slingsby has created an online resource of live performances in line with curriculum. The first work is Emil and the Detectives by Erich Kastner, adapted for the stage by Nicki Bloom. Teachers and home-teachers should check out this great new resource.  www.slingsby.net.au/slingsby-by-request/
  • Audioplay – This is unlike any other activity out there at the moment. An immersive play experience for kids (ages 6-12) where they download an audio story in which they play one of the characters using ordinary household items for props. Creative play just got so much better! www.audioplay.me
  • Shake & Stir Interact
    Since 2006, shake & stir drama classes have been a regular extra-curricular activity adored by tens of thousands of students, and now their latest program has moved online. Each week, your child will engage with a carefully-planned, professionally-produced and, most importantly, super-fun 30 minutes of creative play, at home. We’re talking drama activities and performance-based games that will get them acting and keep them active. www.shakeandstirinteract.com.au
  • ATYP Online
    Australian Theatre for Young People have brought made their drama programs virtual just in time for term 2. A selection of their regular programs will be facilitated live each week via Zoom and Google Classroom. Participants will work with a skilled ATYP tutor and classmates in an interactive online space from the safety of their homes. It’s just one of several programs teachers and home teachers should discover. www.atyp.com.au
  • Patch Theatre
    Patch Theatre has been making shows for 4–8 year old children and their families from our home in South Australia since 1972. In our nearly 48 years, Patch has made 110 much loved theatre works and performed to over 1.8 million children around the world. They’re posting regular updates to arts activities for little ones online, and via Facebook and Instagram. www.patchtheatre.org.au/activities
  • Polyglot Theatre
    Children’s theatre makers Polyglot have developed a series of new arts activities that will keep young ones busy and thinking during creative play. There’s heaps of fun stuff to explore and if you don’t have kids we highly recommend doing them anyway because a) they’re fun and b) home-grown hilarity is needed right now. www.polyglot.org.au/polyglot-at-home/
  • Riverside Theatres
    Parramatta’s Riverside Theatres has always had a fantastic education team and resources to match – and now a directory of teacher resources from past performances is available on their website. There’s also a super-handy (and HUGE) listing of other online resources that teachers and parents should not miss. www.riversideparramatta.com.au

 

a collage of posters and performance images from the productions listed in the blog article.

Our Future is Full of Possibility

Critical Stages Touring is Australia’s national touring theatre company. Each year we tour outstanding theatrical productions to audiences right around Australia, helping to make live theatre accessible to audiences everywhere, especially in regional, rural and remote Australia. In 2019, we toured no less than 7 original Australian shows, reaching new audiences in over 100 different towns and communities right across Australia, China and New Zealand.

We need your support to help us build an exciting new future for our artists and our audiences. This is a time of great change for the performing arts in Australia. Travel and touring will need to be reimagined now not only in response to Covid-19, but also as we consider the world we want to create on the other side – one that considers a reduced carbon footprint and better care for our environment.

We have been busy adapting to digital audiences over the past few months, reshaping our website for digital connection, taking our successful independent theatre forums online, and producing a popular weekly ‘Stage and Stream’ update about online performances and arts opportunities. We will soon be launching our new CST Screening Room, where we will be streaming new digital performances from across the independent sector.

We are particularly proud of our latest initiative: Come To Where I Am. Our usual model of performance involves touring artists to perform for audiences in regional Australia. At this time, we are inverting that model, taking advantage of the interest from audiences in digital platforms to bring stories from regional Australia to the rest of Australia.

Come to Where I Am is inspired by a project from UK touring company Paines Plough. With their support, we are bringing this program to Australia, engaging theatre-makers around the country to create short works about their home town. These works will be streamed from July into the CST Screening Room, with the opportunity for live performances once our theatres reopen.

As a very small not-for-profit organisation, each year we rely on the generosity of people like yourself to make our vision possible. If you are in a position to help, we would love you to consider supporting this new project. At the moment we have enough to support 7 projects from around Australia, just one artists per state or territory. Each dollar you give will go towards further commissions, more artists supported, and more stories from around the country. $1500 supports a whole new commission.

Your donation is tax-deductible and will be used to support our artists, as well as supporting access to exciting contemporary performance for audiences around Australia. Donations can be made quickly and simply today via the button below or the downloadable form.

I’m very much looking forward seeing you in a theatre foyer for one of our productions again very soon. With very best wishes,

Chris Bendall
CEO Critical Stages Touring

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