Arts & Entertainment

A Theater Manager’s Recommendations for TV and Online Escapes

• Bookmarks: 18


by Gregory Allen

As the theater manager of the Irvington Theater, part of my job is to fill the calendar with a variety of outstanding live events for patrons to attend. All of that came to a halt two weeks ago when we started canceling March and April events in our space. This is heartbreaking for lovers of the arts, but we also know how vitally important social distancing is at this time: Safety comes before everything else. I’m still working on next season’s calendar and we’re excited about all the events that will fill our stage in 2020/2021.

Like countless venues across the globe, we’ve rescheduled some of Irvington Theater’s annual events:  Our ever-popular As iFF (All Shorts Irvington Film Festival) that was scheduled in April for a special fifth anniversary weekend celebration has been rescheduled for October 10th, along with our inaugural Environmental Festival, also rescheduled for October. Our arts partners are also working on rescheduling events that are being canceled.

As the world shelters in place, for many working from home and others out of work during this global crisis, the arts have truly played a huge part in keeping people occupied. I am in awe of the amount of online and virtual events taking place. From staged readings of plays to ‘quarantine cabarets’ happening on Facebook to big-name stars offering free concerts from their living rooms — there has truly been an abundance of arts hitting the worldwide web. Even some of the large film studios are going straight to streaming since movie theaters are closed (Onward, The Invisible Man, etc.).

Each time I find something new that we can watch online or on television, I’ve been sharing those on the Irvington Theater social media sites. The importance of the arts is to uplift us, educate us, entertain us, and, during these times — help us escape the real world.

Many arts and literature-related amenities are available for free. (Like other authors, for instance, I’ve made three of my novels free downloads on Amazon Kindle this week to aid in that escape.)

Here are a few links and ideas for your enjoyment that I can wholeheartedly recommend during these trying times:

-A personal favorite, Sirius Radio personality and Broadway performer Seth Rudetsky, brings Broadway performers into your house each day at 2pm & 8pm:

http://starsinthehouse.com

-PBS is offering up a variety of plays that you can watch: https://www.thirteen.org/programs/theater-close-up/

-Broadway HD has a list of shows you can watch online: https://www.broadwayhd.com/categories/must-see

-For Concerts, you can now stream the last two seasons of Austin City Limits: https://www.pbs.org/show/austin-city-limits/

-Netflix has the new series “Self Made” about Irvington’s own Madam C.J. Walker https://www.netflix.com/title/80202462

-There are wonderful virtual museum tours you can take:

https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/75809/12-world-class-museums-you-can-visit-online

Lastly, there is an amazing cabaret space in New York City called Feinstein’s/54 Below that is doing an “at home” series: https://54below.com/54belowathome/

I hope you are able to enjoy some of these arts offerings to take your mind of the news for a moment. As many have said in our business, this is only intermission and we WILL be back. Stay safe.

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