Nestruck on Theatre
 

March 29, 2020

 
What theatres are performing online this week across Canada
What theatres are performing online this week across Canada
 

J. Kelly Nestruck

I watched my first live-streamed Canadian theatre production of the COVID-19 pandemic last week. Theatre Replacement, the endlessly inventive West Coast theatre company run by recent Siminovitch Prize co-winners James Long and Maiko Yamamoto, went ahead with three modified performances of a show “created by tweens and adults for tweens and adults” and broadcast it online from the Cultch in Vancouver.

 
It was well-suited for screens. Mine explores classic mother-son narratives (Beowulf, Bambi, The Terminator) and features Yamamoto and her preteen son, Hokuto MacDuff, acting out versions of these stories in the virtual world of the video game Minecraft. A highly unusual but ultimately quite moving show, it’s ultimately about how parents must strike a balance between our desire to protect our children and the necessity of letting them grow up.

 
At first, I felt mostly loneliness watching Mine’s live-stream on Facebook, in a darkened living room several time zones deeper into the night than the performers, while the three generations of family I am isolating with slept in rooms nearby. I missed having people around me; I missed the audience and the unique energy groups of humans create.

 
But then I saw all the comments come in during the curtain call, a flurry of hearts and clapping emojis. “Parents of 11-year olds in tears here” read one. The sense of connection that completes a theatre experience did arrive in the end.

 
There will be plenty of connection and caring on Wednesday during Places, Please, a 24-hour YouTube telethon to benefit the AFC, a charitable organization that helps entertainment professionals when they fall on hard times, which many are already as live gigs are cancelled and film and TV productions are put on hold.

 
 
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Online performances
 
If you need your fix of opera, theatre and ballet, here’s where to find them on TV
If you need your fix of opera, theatre and ballet, here’s where to find them on TV
 

John Doyle

 
Television critic
 
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United by a metronome, Toronto Symphony Orchestra brings Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring to life
United by a metronome, Toronto Symphony Orchestra brings Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring to life
 

Brad Wheeler

 
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The best picks from the Metropolitan Opera’s streaming schedule
  The best picks from the Metropolitan Opera’s streaming schedule
 

Jenna Simeonov

 
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Critic’s notebook: Online concerts by Jim Cuddy, Neil Young and others just a mouse-click away
Critic’s notebook: Online concerts by Jim Cuddy, Neil Young and others just a mouse-click away
 

Brad Wheeler

 
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Opinion
 
Stratford Festival is the swan in the coal mine for COVID-19’s impact on the arts
Stratford Festival is the swan in the coal mine for COVID-19’s impact on the arts
 

J. Kelly Nestruck

 
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The coronavirus crisis is going to be hard on actors, but the theatre will find a way to survive
The coronavirus crisis is going to be hard on actors, but the theatre will find a way to survive
 

Andrew Kushnir

 
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In the news
 
Ottawa’s cultural funding to continue, but festivals may need extra help if pandemic persists
Ottawa’s cultural funding to continue, but festivals may need extra help if pandemic persists
 

Daniel Leblanc

 
Parliamentary affairs reporter
 
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National Theatre School to give $60,000 in grants to theatre students, emerging artists for online projects during COVID-19 crisis
 

J. Kelly Nestruck

 
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National Arts Centre, Facebook to fund online performances by Canadian entertainers
 

Brad Wheeler

 
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Banff Centre temporarily lays off 400 staff because of pandemic
 

Marsha Lederman

 
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Vancouver’s summer festivals up in the air as COVID-19 hits community
 

Marsha Lederman

 
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  National Arts Centre’s new season promises a wide range of theatrical delights
 

Brad Wheeler, J. Kelly Nestruck, Jenna Simeonov and Penelope Ford

 
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PUZZLES AND CROSSWORDS
 
Help fill the hours at home with a collection of The Globe and Mail’s giant crosswords from the archives.
 
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