Tuesday, March 02, 2021

Review: Up close and personal with St. Louis Symphony string players as the digital concert series continues

The pandemic forced the St. Louis Symphony to cancel its regular season but for one brief shining moment last fall they were able to present chamber music concerts in Powell Hall by operating at less than 3% capacity and instituting strict health measures. The experiment had to be called off in November when COVID-19 cases began to rise again, but not before a large number of concerts were presented and recorded in HD audio and video. The symphony is now offering six of those recordings for on-demand streaming through May 22nd.

L-R: Xiaoxiao Qiang, Andrea Jarrett,
Jennifer Humphreys, Jonathan Chu in "Strum"
The second concert in the digital series offers Mendelssohn’s Octet along with shorter works for string quartet by a pair of contemporary women of color: Jessie Montgomery’s “Strum” and three movements from Gabriela Lena Frank’s "Leyendas: An Andean Walkabout"

The result is a high-energy hour of music with videography that gets you up close and personal with the performers—something you can’t get at a live concert in Powell Hall. And it’s a big benefit with small-ensemble pieces like these.

The concert begins with the bubbling exuberance of Montgomery’s "Strum". Employing a wide variety of techniques, the string players pluck, strum, and bow in ways that call to mind everything from Appalachian folk tunes to guitar rock. As performed by violinists Xiaoxiao Qiang and Andrea Jarrett, violist Jonathan Chu, and cellist Jennifer Humphreys, it dances its way merrily and expertly off the stage and into your heart.

L-R: Jessica Cheng, Asako Kuboki,
Andrew Francois, Alvin McCall in "Leyendas"
Next are the selections from Frank’s "Leyendas". Each movement is a mini tone poem reflecting some aspect of Peruvian history or culture. "Chasqui" represents Incan messenger runners with rapid runs and pizzicati suggesting fleet-footed speed. "Toyos" uses gliding melodic lines interspersed with plucked strings to evoke the Andean panpipe. And "Coqueteos" pays homage to the guitar-strumming Peruvian troubadours known as romanceros with grand, sweeping gestures that suggest with the open sensuality of the Argentinian tango.

This time the quartet consists of violinists Jessica Cheng and Asako Kuboki, violist Andrew Francois, and cellist Alvin McCall. Fine players all, they bring out all of the many moods of this music.

The concert closes with Mendelssohn's Octet, written when the composer was only 16 and nearly half-way through his life. Although only around 30 minutes long, it's music of symphonic proportions.

The Mendelssohn Octet
The two string quartets from the first half of the concert combine here to deliver a dynamic and well-balanced performance that allows solo lines to be plainly heard while still projecting all the required power in the large ensemble moments.

Special applause is due Xiaoxiao Qiang in her performance of the difficult first violin part. You can hear the power of her playing and see her commitment to the music in her many close-up shots.

I saw and reviewed this concert for KDHX last October.  Revisiting it now with HD video and surround sound, I found myself thoroughly impressed by the results.

Indeed, in some ways the video format actually improves the experience by providing a sense of intimacy that wasn’t available in the vastness of Powell Hall. Brief introductions to each of the works by, respectively violinist Andrea Jarrett, cellist Alvin McCall, and violinist Jessica Cheng add personal notes and are both interesting and informative.

The video runs just over one hour and is available through February 27th. More information is available at the SLSO web site.

This article originally appeared at 88.1 KDHX, where Chuck Lavazzi is the senior performing arts critic.

Sunday, February 28, 2021

St. Louis theatre calendar for the week of March 1, 2021

Now including both on-line and live events during the pandemic. To get your event listed here, send an email to calendar [at] stageleft.org.

The Blue Strawberry presents Open Mic Night with Sean Skrbec and Patrick White Sundays at 7 pm. "Come on down and sing, come on down to play, or come on down to listen and enjoy." The club is operating under a "COVID careful" arrangement with restricted indoor capacity, mask requirements, and other precautions. The Blue Strawberry is on North Boyle in the Central West End. For more information: bluestrawberrystl.com.

Circus Harmony in St. Louis and Circus Circuli in Stuttgart, St. Louis's German sister city, present Sister City Circus, on Circus Harmony’s YouTube page.  "Through a series of online meetings, workshops, and classes the two troupes created 6 different circus acts and then filmed them at iconic architectural locations in each of their cities." For more information, visit the Circus Harmony YouTube channel.

Fly North Theatricals presents three new free digital series. Their new digital line up includes The Spotlight Series, the Grown-Up Theatre Kids Podcast, and Gin and the Tonic. The Spotlight Series highlights the Fly North family of students and actors performing songs from previous FNT shows. In the Grown-Up Theatre Kids podcast you can join Colin Healy and Bradley Rohlf every other Friday as they explore life after drama club and what it means to make a living in theatre far from the lights of broadway. Gin and the Tonic is a "reckless unpacking of music history’s weirdest stories hosted by Colin Healy.” The Spotlight Series and Gin and the Tonic are available at the Fly North Theatricals YouTube channel and the Grown-Up Theatre Kids podcast can also be found on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Sticher, other podcast platforms. All three are updated on a bi-weekly (every other week) basis.

The Lemp Mansion Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre presents A Fistful of Hollers through May 8. "Gun slingers, dance hall girls, cowboys, gold diggers, cowboy boots and ten-gallon-hats will abound. Rowdy cowboys will duel to the death as the crooked sheriff watches with glee. But none of these characters are as dangerous as Nasty Nate, he’s the orneriest gun in the west and word is that he’s going to be stirring up trouble at the Lemp Mansion." The Lemp Mansion is at 3322 DeMenil Place in south city. For more information: www.lempmansion.com

Jacked!
Metro Theatre Company presents Jacked! streaming on demand through March 31. "From playwright Idris Goodwin (Ghost, And in this Corner: Cassius Clay) comes the Jack and the Beanstalk story with a modern-day twist. And it’s not just the story that has a fresh take. This all-new virtual production fuses storytelling and poetry with a smart, moving hip hop score and hand-drawn animation based on visuals by artist Nick Kryah – exploring the imaginative boundaries of theater, film, and animation. You and the children in your family join Jack for an adventure that might start with the beanstalk, but follows Jack and his mother as they struggle to live happily ever after." For more information: metroplays.org.

Moonstone Theatre Company presents Moonstone Connections, a series of in-depth interviews with arts leaders by company founder Sharon Hunter. New episodes air the third Tuesday of each month; see linktr.ee/moonstoneconnections for more information.

The Muny presents Attuned: Cast Me at the Muny, a nine-part podcast that "showcases audition tips and funny stories, while offering an inside look at what makes casting a Muny show so challenging." The series is available on demand at the Classic 107.3 web site. For more information: classic1073.org/podcasts

Opera Theatre of St. Louis presents A Toast to Opera Happy Hour on Thursday, March 4 at 6:00 pm. "Join OTSL’s Intermezzo Society for a happy hour on Zoom with beautiful music, conversation, and fun featuring two of Opera Theatre’s Gerdine Young Artists and General Director Andrew Jorgensen. Tickets include a special appetizer delivery to enjoy during the event." For more information, visit the event site.

The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, in collaboration with Baltimore Center Stage, Long Wharf Theatre, The Public Theater and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, present Play at Home, a series of micro-commissioned short plays from some of the American theatre's most exciting and prominent playwrights. These new plays – which all run 10 minutes or less – are available for the public to download, read and perform at home for free at playathome.org.

Adena Varner and family
The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis presents a live video stream of the WiseWrite Digital Play Festival running until the end of the Rep's 2020-2021 season. “Step into the imagination of three young playwrights as The Rep presents professional readings of their new plays.” The production is directed by Adena Varner, the Rep's Director of Learning and Community Engagement. For more information: repstl.org.


Deal Orlandersmith in
After the Flood
The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis and All Arts present Until the Flood, written and performed by Dael Orlandersmith, via on-demand streaming. "On August 9, 2014, Darren Wilson, a white police officer, shot and killed Michael Brown, an African American teenager in Ferguson, Missouri. The shooting ignited weeks of social unrest, propelled the Black Lives Matter movement and prompted a controversial investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice. Celebrated writer, performer and Pulitzer Prize finalist Dael Orlandersmith traveled to St. Louis and conducted interviews with dozens of people who were grievously shaken by Brown’s shooting and the turbulent aftermath. From these intimate conversations, Orlandersmith created eight unforgettable characters who embody a community struggling to come to terms with the personal damage caused by these events." For more information: allarts.org

R-S Theatrics presents While the Ghostlight Burns, a virtual discussion series featuring R-S Artistic Director Sarah Lynne Holt in conversation with St. Louis theatre artists, Mondays at 7 pm.  Conversations will be archived at the R-S Theatrics YouTube channel. For more information: r-stheatrics.com/while-the-ghostlight-burns.html

Come Together
The St. Louis Shakespeare Festival presents streaming videos from the SHAKE20 festival, including re-imagined, condensed versions of classic Shakespeare plays and new takes on old favorites like Joe Hanrahan's Come Together, at the Shakespeare Festival Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pg/STLShakesFest/videos

The St. Louis Writers Group presents an evening of readings of New One-Act Plays by local playwrights on Monday, March 1 at 6:30 pm via Zoom. The plays include Checkmate, the Play by Dan McGee, A Bit of Skin by David Hawley, Murder of a Minimalist by Lewis Shilane, and Window Into the Universe by Dennis Fisher. For more information: visit their Facebook page or YouTube channel.

SATE, in collaboration with COCA and Prison Performing Arts, presents Project Verse: Creativity in the Time of Quarantine. Project Verse presents two new plays: Quatrains in Quarantine by e.k. doolin and Dream On, Black Girl: Reflections in Quarantine by Maxine du Maine. The performances are streamed free of charge on SATE’s website and Facebook page. For more information: slightlyoff.org.

Classic Mystery Game
SATE also offers streaming performances of the shows originally scheduled for live 2020 productions: The Mary Shelley Monster Show, As You Like It (produced for SHAKE20, Project Verse, and Classic Mystery Game. The shows are available on their YouTube channel.


Union Avenue Opera offers Sneak Peeks of its 2021 season operas Il barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville), Les Contes d'Hoffmann (The Tales of Hoffmann) and The Cradle Will Rock on its YouTube channel.

Looking for auditions and other artistic opportunities? Check out the St. Louis Auditions site.
For information on events beyond this week, check out the searchable database at the Regional Arts Commission's Events Calendar.
Would you like to be on the radio? KDHX, 88.1 FM needs theatre reviewers. If you're 18 years or older, knowledgeable in this area, have practical theatre experience (acting, directing, writing, technical design, etc.), have good oral and written communications skills and would like to become one of our volunteer reviewers, send an email describing your experience and interests to chuck at kdhx.org. Please include a sample review of something you've seen recently.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

St. Louis theatre calendar for the week of February 22, 2021

Now including both on-line and live events during the pandemic. To get your event listed here, send an email to calendar [at] stageleft.org.

The Blue Strawberry presents Open Mic Night with Sean Skrbec and Patrick White Sundays at 7 pm. "Come on down and sing, come on down to play, or come on down to listen and enjoy." The club is operating under a "COVID careful" arrangement with restricted indoor capacity, mask requirements, and other precautions. The Blue Strawberry is on North Boyle in the Central West End. For more information: bluestrawberrystl.com.

Martin Silvestri and Christine Andreas
The Cabaret Project presents Christine Andreas in Piaf, No Regrets via on-demand video stream Saturdays from 7:30 pm to midnight, February 27. "Two time Tony Award nominee Christine Andreas brings her dynamic voice and passionate interpretations to celebrate the music and life of one of the greatest musical artists of all time - Edith Piaf. Andreas weaves a journey filled with love, loss and ultimately hope. Martin Silvestri music directs the evening. Filmed exclusively for The Cabaret Project of St. Louis at the The Katharine Hepburn Arts Center in Old Saybrook, Connecticut Piaf, No Regrets is a masterfully performed salute to a master." For more information: thecabaretproject.org.

Circus Harmony in St. Louis and Circus Circuli in Stuttgart, St. Louis's German sister city, present Sister City Circus, on Circus Harmony’s YouTube page.  "Through a series of online meetings, workshops, and classes the two troupes created 6 different circus acts and then filmed them at iconic architectural locations in each of their cities." For more information, visit the Circus Harmony YouTube channel.

Look Into My Eyes
First Run Theatre presents an on-demand streaming version of Look Into My Eyes, a new play by Robb Willoughby, through the end of February 2021. The play can be viewed on First Run's YouTube channel as well as on the First Run Facebook page.

Fly North Theatricals presents three new free digital series. Their new digital line up includes The Spotlight Series, the Grown-Up Theatre Kids Podcast, and Gin and the Tonic. The Spotlight Series highlights the Fly North family of students and actors performing songs from previous FNT shows. In the Grown-Up Theatre Kids podcast you can join Colin Healy and Bradley Rohlf every other Friday as they explore life after drama club and what it means to make a living in theatre far from the lights of broadway. Gin and the Tonic is a "reckless unpacking of music history’s weirdest stories hosted by Colin Healy.” The Spotlight Series and Gin and the Tonic are available at the Fly North Theatricals YouTube channel and the Grown-Up Theatre Kids podcast can also be found on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Sticher, other podcast platforms. All three are updated on a bi-weekly (every other week) basis.

The Lemp Mansion Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre presents A Fistful of Hollers through May 8. "Gun slingers, dance hall girls, cowboys, gold diggers, cowboy boots and ten-gallon-hats will abound. Rowdy cowboys will duel to the death as the crooked sheriff watches with glee. But none of these characters are as dangerous as Nasty Nate, he’s the orneriest gun in the west and word is that he’s going to be stirring up trouble at the Lemp Mansion." The Lemp Mansion is at 3322 DeMenil Place in south city. For more information: www.lempmansion.com

Jacked!
Metro Theatre Company presents Jacked! streaming on demand through March 31. "From playwright Idris Goodwin (Ghost, And in this Corner: Cassius Clay) comes the Jack and the Beanstalk story with a modern-day twist. And it’s not just the story that has a fresh take. This all-new virtual production fuses storytelling and poetry with a smart, moving hip hop score and hand-drawn animation based on visuals by artist Nick Kryah – exploring the imaginative boundaries of theater, film, and animation. You and the children in your family join Jack for an adventure that might start with the beanstalk, but follows Jack and his mother as they struggle to live happily ever after." For more information: metroplays.org.

Moonstone Theatre Company presents Moonstone Connections, a series of in-depth interviews with arts leaders by company founder Sharon Hunter. New episodes air the third Tuesday of each month; see linktr.ee/moonstoneconnections for more information.

The Muny presents Attuned: Cast Me at the Muny, a nine-part podcast that "showcases audition tips and funny stories, while offering an inside look at what makes casting a Muny show so challenging." The series is available on demand at the Classic 107.3 web site. For more information: classic1073.org/podcasts

Opera Theatre of St. Louis presents a free John D. and Sally S. Levy Master Class led by Nova Thomas, soprano and professor of voice at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. at 4 pm on Friday, February 26. Viewers will have the opportunity to watch in real-time as Nova works with three Gerdine Young Artists on their musical and dramatic artistry. The class will be broadcast live on the OTSL YouTube channel.

L-R: Angel Riley, Ryan Johnson in
The Pirates of Penzance
Opera Theatre of St. Louis presents an abridged, 30-minute version of Gilbert and Sullivan's The Pirates of Penzance designed to introduce children to the world of Opera. The Pirates of Penzance is available via on-demand streaming through February 27. "As a child, Frederic was accidentally apprenticed to a conscientious but hapless band of pirates. On the day of his 21st birthday, Frederic thinks he’s finally free to explore the world — and meet girls — but some fine print in his contract leads to a surprising twist." For more informtation: opera-stl.org/on-the-go.

The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis presents the one-actor comedy Hi, Are You Single? via on-demand streaming through February 28th. "Ryan is searching for love. Or a date. Or at least a hookup. From encounters with drag queens to platonic lap dances, writer/performer Ryan J. Haddad guides the audience through the gay dating scene while living with cerebral palsy, sharing his provocative take on intimacy, rejection and judgment. Hi, Are You Single? contains depictions and descriptions of sexual content, explicit language and discussion of ableism, racism, ageism and the stigmatization of HIV status." For more information: repstl.org.

The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, in collaboration with Baltimore Center Stage, Long Wharf Theatre, The Public Theater and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, present Play at Home, a series of micro-commissioned short plays from some of the American theatre's most exciting and prominent playwrights. These new plays – which all run 10 minutes or less – are available for the public to download, read and perform at home for free at playathome.org.

Adena Varner and family
The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis presents a live video stream of the WiseWrite Digital Play Festival running until the end of the Rep's 2020-2021 season. “Step into the imagination of three young playwrights as The Rep presents professional readings of their new plays.” The production is directed by Adena Varner, the Rep's Director of Learning and Community Engagement. For more information: repstl.org.


Deal Orlandersmith in
After the Flood
The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis and All Arts present Until the Flood, written and performed by Dael Orlandersmith, via on-demand streaming. "On August 9, 2014, Darren Wilson, a white police officer, shot and killed Michael Brown, an African American teenager in Ferguson, Missouri. The shooting ignited weeks of social unrest, propelled the Black Lives Matter movement and prompted a controversial investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice. Celebrated writer, performer and Pulitzer Prize finalist Dael Orlandersmith traveled to St. Louis and conducted interviews with dozens of people who were grievously shaken by Brown’s shooting and the turbulent aftermath. From these intimate conversations, Orlandersmith created eight unforgettable characters who embody a community struggling to come to terms with the personal damage caused by these events." For more information: allarts.org

R-S Theatrics presents While the Ghostlight Burns, a virtual discussion series featuring R-S Artistic Director Sarah Lynne Holt in conversation with St. Louis theatre artists, Mondays at 7 pm.  Conversations will be archived at the R-S Theatrics YouTube channel. For more information: r-stheatrics.com/while-the-ghostlight-burns.html

Come Together
The St. Louis Shakespeare Festival presents streaming videos from the SHAKE20 festival, including re-imagined, condensed versions of classic Shakespeare plays and new takes on old favorites like Joe Hanrahan's Come Together, at the Shakespeare Festival Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pg/STLShakesFest/videos

The St. Louis Writers Group streams live recordings of previous play reading sessions at their Facebook page. For more information: facebook.com.

SATE, in collaboration with COCA and Prison Performing Arts, presents Project Verse: Creativity in the Time of Quarantine. Project Verse presents two new plays: Quatrains in Quarantine by e.k. doolin and Dream On, Black Girl: Reflections in Quarantine by Maxine du Maine. The performances are streamed free of charge on SATE’s website and Facebook page. For more information: slightlyoff.org.

Classic Mystery Game
SATE also offers streaming performances of the shows originally scheduled for live 2020 productions: The Mary Shelley Monster Show, As You Like It (produced for SHAKE20, Project Verse, and Classic Mystery Game. The shows are available on their YouTube channel.


Union Avenue Opera offers Sneak Peeks of its 2021 season operas Il barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville), Les Contes d'Hoffmann (The Tales of Hoffmann) and The Cradle Will Rock on its YouTube channel.

Looking for auditions and other artistic opportunities? Check out the St. Louis Auditions site.
For information on events beyond this week, check out the searchable database at the Regional Arts Commission's Events Calendar.
Would you like to be on the radio? KDHX, 88.1 FM needs theatre reviewers. If you're 18 years or older, knowledgeable in this area, have practical theatre experience (acting, directing, writing, technical design, etc.), have good oral and written communications skills and would like to become one of our volunteer reviewers, send an email describing your experience and interests to chuck at kdhx.org. Please include a sample review of something you've seen recently.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Review: A message of hope opens the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra's digital concert series

The pandemic forced the St. Louis Symphony to cancel its regular season but for one brief shining moment last fall they were able to present chamber music concerts in Powell Hall by operating at less than 3% capacity and instituting strict health measures. The experiment had to be called off in November when COVID-19 cases began to rise again, but not before a large number of concerts were presented and recorded in HD audio and video.

Stéphane Denève conducts the SLSO strings
The symphony is now offering six of those recordings for on-demand streaming through May 22nd, beginning with a program of works by Richard Strauss, Takashi Yoshimatsu, and Dvořák originally performed last October 22nd through 24th. The theme of the concert,  as Music Director Stéphane Denève notes in his opening remarks, is a message of mourning followed by one of hope. Given the current state of the world at large and our nation in particular, that feels very apt.

The concert opens with Ricard Strauss's "Metamorphosen" for 23 solo strings a work written in the wake of the destruction Germany brought upon itself during World War II.

The prevailing mood is one of lamentation, although there are moments of near-joy and even hope, including some glorious passages for the entire ensemble rendered with stunning power and beauty by the SLSO strings, but in the end the work fades to a quiet, resigned conclusion.

Spread out across the full width of the Powell Hall stage,  the 23 string players create a clear web of sound in which the individual musical lines were clearly audible and easy to follow. Primary credit for that resplendent result goes to the skill of the musicians in the string section and to Maestro Denève's masterful command of Strauss's intricate musical structure.

The next piece, played without a pause, is Takashi Yoshimatsu's "And the Birds Are Still..." from 1998. At only 8 minutes it’s short but packs a lot of striking imagery into that brief period.  To my ears, it sounds like a day in an avian friendly garden, with awakening birds suggested by the violins playing soft triplet motifs over a drone in the lower strings that conjures up images of a world slowly emerging from sleep. Combined with the Strauss, it all adds up to an ultimately blissful 35 minutes or so that provides a welcome respite from the madness that dominates our media these days.

Stèphane Denève conducts the SLSO winds
The concert concludes with a nuanced and good-humored rendition of Anton Dvořák's D-minor Serenade, Op. 44. Composed in only two weeks in January 1878 just as the 37-year-old composer's career was taking off, the Serenade is a warmly cheerful piece. Mr. Denève highlights and enhances the work's good cheer without neglecting its more poetic moments.

I saw and reviewed this concert for KDHX last October.  Revisiting it now on a 4K HDTV with a surround sound system, I found myself thoroughly impressed by the audio and video quality. The videography, in particular, adds a lot to the experience, with close-up views of Maestro Denève and the musicians that simply aren’t available at a live performance. The video includes short but enlightening introductory remarks by Maestro Denève.

If the rest of the concerts in this series keep up that same level of technical excellence—and there’s no reason to assume they won’t—I’d recommend subscribing to the series even if you managed to catch them all live the first time around. And if you missed them, this is the next best thing to having been there.

This video of the October 22-24 concert runs just over one hour and is available through February 27th. More information is available at the SLSO web site.

This article originally appeared at 88.1 KDHX, where Chuck Lavazzi is the senior performing arts critic.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

St. Louis theatre calendar for the week of February 15, 2021

Now including both on-line and live events during the pandemic. To get your event listed here, send an email to calendar [at] stageleft.org.

The Blue Strawberry presents Open Mic Night with Sean Skrbec and Patrick White Sundays at 7 pm. "Come on down and sing, come on down to play, or come on down to listen and enjoy." The club is operating under a "COVID careful" arrangement with restricted indoor capacity, mask requirements, and other precautions. The Blue Strawberry is on North Boyle in the Central West End. For more information: bluestrawberrystl.com.

Martin Silvestri and Christine Andreas
The Cabaret Project presents Christine Andreas in Piaf,No Regrets via on-demand video stream Saturdays from 7:30 pm to midnight, February 20 and 27. "Two time Tony Award nominee Christine Andreas brings her dynamic voice and passionate interpretations to celebrate the music and life of one of the greatest musical artists of all time - Edith Piaf. Andreas weaves a journey filled with love, loss and ultimately hope. Martin Silvestri music directs the evening. Filmed exclusively for The Cabaret Project of St. Louis at the The Katharine Hepburn Arts Center in Old Saybrook, Connecticut Piaf, No Regrets is a masterfully performed salute to a master." For more information: thecabaretproject.org.

Circus Harmony in St. Louis and Circus Circuli in Stuttgart, St. Louis's German sister city, present Sister City Circus, on Circus Harmony’s YouTube page.  "Through a series of online meetings, workshops, and classes the two troupes created 6 different circus acts and then filmed them at iconic architectural locations in each of their cities." For more information, visit the Circus Harmony YouTube channel.

Look Into My Eyes
First Run Theatre presents an on-demand streaming version of Look Into My Eyes, a new play by Robb Willoughby, through the end of February 2021. The play can be viewed on First Run's YouTube channel as well as on the First Run Facebook page.

Fly North Theatricals presents three new free digital series. Their new digital line up includes The Spotlight Series, the Grown-Up Theatre Kids Podcast, and Gin and the Tonic. The Spotlight Series highlights the Fly North family of students and actors performing songs from previous FNT shows. In the Grown-Up Theatre Kids podcast you can join Colin Healy and Bradley Rohlf every other Friday as they explore life after drama club and what it means to make a living in theatre far from the lights of broadway. Gin and the Tonic is a "reckless unpacking of music history’s weirdest stories hosted by Colin Healy.” The Spotlight Series and Gin and the Tonic are available at the Fly North Theatricals YouTube channel and the Grown-Up Theatre Kids podcast can also be found on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Sticher, other podcast platforms. All three are updated on a bi-weekly (every other week) basis.

The Lemp Mansion Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre presents A Fistful of Hollers through May 8. "Gun slingers, dance hall girls, cowboys, gold diggers, cowboy boots and ten-gallon-hats will abound. Rowdy cowboys will duel to the death as the crooked sheriff watches with glee. But none of these characters are as dangerous as Nasty Nate, he’s the orneriest gun in the west and word is that he’s going to be stirring up trouble at the Lemp Mansion." The Lemp Mansion is at 3322 DeMenil Place in south city. For more information: www.lempmansion.com

Metro Theatre Company presents Jacked! streaming on demand through March 31. "From playwright Idris Goodwin (Ghost, And in this Corner: Cassius Clay) comes the Jack and the Beanstalk story with a modern-day twist. And it’s not just the story that has a fresh take. This all-new virtual production fuses storytelling and poetry with a smart, moving hip hop score and hand-drawn animation based on visuals by artist Nick Kryah – exploring the imaginative boundaries of theater, film, and animation. You and the children in your family join Jack for an adventure that might start with the beanstalk, but follows Jack and his mother as they struggle to live happily ever after." For more information: metroplays.org.

Moonstone Theatre Company presents Moonstone Connections, a series of in-depth interviews with arts leaders by company founder Sharon Hunter. New episodes air the third Tuesday of each month; see linktr.ee/moonstoneconnections for more information.

The Muny presents Attuned: Cast Me at the Muny, a nine-part podcast that "showcases audition tips and funny stories, while offering an inside look at what makes casting a Muny show so challenging." The series is available on demand at the Classic 107.3 web site. For more information: classic1073.org/podcasts

Opera Theatre of St. Louis presents Meet the Makers on Thursday, February 18, at 5:30 pm on the OTSL YouTube channel. General Director Andrew Jorgenson will head a live panel discussion with the composer/librettist teams who have created new operas for the company's New Works, Bold Voices Lab. "Normally, writing a new opera takes several years — but in OTSL's New Works, Bold Voices Lab, three fearless teams of composers and librettists have accepted the challenge of creating world premiere works in less than 9 months! Learn more about the stories that have inspired their new operas and hear how the events and restrictions of this time have influenced the creative process. The panel will be live-streamed on YouTube and will remain available for viewing after the event date." For more information, visit the Opera Theatre YouTube channel.

L-R: Angel Riley, Ryan Johnson in
The Pirates of Penzance
Opera Theatre of St. Louis presents an abridged, 30-minute version of Gilbert and Sullivan's The Pirates of Penzance designed to introduce children to the world of Opera. The Pirates of Penzance is available via on-demand streaming through February 27. "As a child, Frederic was accidentally apprenticed to a conscientious but hapless band of pirates. On the day of his 21st birthday, Frederic thinks he’s finally free to explore the world — and meet girls — but some fine print in his contract leads to a surprising twist." For more informtation: opera-stl.org/on-the-go.

The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis presents the one-actor comedy Hi, Are You Single? via on-demand streaming through February 28th. "Ryan is searching for love. Or a date. Or at least a hookup. From encounters with drag queens to platonic lap dances, writer/performer Ryan J. Haddad guides the audience through the gay dating scene while living with cerebral palsy, sharing his provocative take on intimacy, rejection and judgment. Hi, Are You Single? contains depictions and descriptions of sexual content, explicit language and discussion of ableism, racism, ageism and the stigmatization of HIV status." For more information: repstl.org.

The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, in collaboration with Baltimore Center Stage, Long Wharf Theatre, The Public Theater and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, present Play at Home, a series of micro-commissioned short plays from some of the American theatre's most exciting and prominent playwrights. These new plays – which all run 10 minutes or less – are available for the public to download, read and perform at home for free at playathome.org.

Adena Varner and family
The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis presents a live video stream of the WiseWrite Digital Play Festival running until the end of the Rep's 2020-2021 season. “Step into the imagination of three young playwrights as The Rep presents professional readings of their new plays.” The production is directed by Adena Varner, the Rep's Director of Learning and Community Engagement. For more information: repstl.org.


Deal Orlandersmith in
After the Flood
The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis and All Arts present Until the Flood, written and performed by Dael Orlandersmith, via on-demand streaming. "On August 9, 2014, Darren Wilson, a white police officer, shot and killed Michael Brown, an African American teenager in Ferguson, Missouri. The shooting ignited weeks of social unrest, propelled the Black Lives Matter movement and prompted a controversial investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice. Celebrated writer, performer and Pulitzer Prize finalist Dael Orlandersmith traveled to St. Louis and conducted interviews with dozens of people who were grievously shaken by Brown’s shooting and the turbulent aftermath. From these intimate conversations, Orlandersmith created eight unforgettable characters who embody a community struggling to come to terms with the personal damage caused by these events." For more information: allarts.org

R-S Theatrics presents While the Ghostlight Burns, a virtual discussion series featuring R-S Artistic Director Sarah Lynne Holt in conversation with St. Louis theatre artists, Mondays at 7 pm.  Conversations will be archived at the R-S Theatrics YouTube channel. For more information: r-stheatrics.com/while-the-ghostlight-burns.html

The St. Louis Cabaret Conference is accepting applications for a five-week Song Performance Class using the JamKazam platform. Classes will take place Saturdays from 1-4 pm, February 20 through March 20. "This is a song performance coaching class with an emphasis on increasing the singers ability to collaborate with their musical director. You will do the same type of performance work, but because of working latency free (no delay) we will be able to adjust keys, tempos, and in some cases begin the process of arrangments. The purpose of the class is not to hand you a complete arrangment, but to empower you to an active participant in the arrangement process via acting choices, lyric interpretation and how the song will be used in a performance, etc Award winning music director Christopher Denny and St. Louis Cabaret Conference Artistic Director Tim Schall will lead the class. New York tech guru Matt Berman will monitor the platform for ease of use during each class so the focus can be on your work." A two-month Gold Level JamKazam account is included in the price of the course. For more information: www.stlouiscabaretconference.com.

Come Together
The St. Louis Shakespeare Festival presents streaming videos from the SHAKE20 festival, including re-imagined, condensed versions of classic Shakespeare plays and new takes on old favorites like Joe Hanrahan's Come Together, at the Shakespeare Festival Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pg/STLShakesFest/videos

The St. Louis Writers Group streams live recordings of previous play reading sessions at their Facebook page. For more information: facebook.com.

The St. Louis Writers Group presents Bits and Pieces, a Zoom workshop on play writing, Monday at 6:30 pm, February 15. Bits and Pieces is an interactive workshop in which ideas can be explored and partly-completed scripts can be read and reviewed by experienced actors and writers. Advance registration is required. For more information, visit the St. Louis Writers Group page on Facebook.

SATE, in collaboration with COCA and Prison Performing Arts, presents Project Verse: Creativity in the Time of Quarantine. Project Verse presents two new plays: Quatrains in Quarantine by e.k. doolin and Dream On, Black Girl: Reflections in Quarantine by Maxine du Maine. The performances are streamed free of charge on SATE’s website and Facebook page. For more information: slightlyoff.org.

Classic Mystery Game
SATE also offers streaming performances of the shows originally scheduled for live 2020 productions: The Mary Shelley Monster Show, As You Like It (produced for SHAKE20, Project Verse, and Classic Mystery Game. The shows are available on their YouTube channel.


Union Avenue Opera offers Sneak Peeks of its 2021 season operas Il barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville), Les Contes d'Hoffmann (The Tales of Hoffmann) and The Cradle Will Rock on its YouTube channel.

Looking for auditions and other artistic opportunities? Check out the St. Louis Auditions site.
For information on events beyond this week, check out the searchable database at the Regional Arts Commission's Events Calendar.
Would you like to be on the radio? KDHX, 88.1 FM needs theatre reviewers. If you're 18 years or older, knowledgeable in this area, have practical theatre experience (acting, directing, writing, technical design, etc.), have good oral and written communications skills and would like to become one of our volunteer reviewers, send an email describing your experience and interests to chuck at kdhx.org. Please include a sample review of something you've seen recently.

Sunday, February 07, 2021

St. Louis theatre calendar for the week of February 8, 2021

Now including both on-line and live events during the pandemic. To get your event listed here, send an email to calendar [at] stageleft.org.

The Blue Strawberry presents Open Mic Night with Sean Skrbec and Patrick White Sundays at 7 pm. "Come on down and sing, come on down to play, or come on down to listen and enjoy." The club is operating under a "COVID careful" arrangement with restricted indoor capacity, mask requirements, and other precautions. The Blue Strawberry is on North Boyle in the Central West End. For more information: bluestrawberrystl.com.

Laka
The Blue Strawberry presents Laka in The Story and Glory of Love, with Corey Patterson on piano, Thursday at 730 pm, February 11. "In a long black dress, high heels and sparkling jewelry, her right hand balanced on the nook of a grand piano, her left wrapped around a microphone, Laka’s a picture of the sleekest of west end beauties. Her subject on this start of Valentine’s weekend? The story and the glory of love. Her listeners will be at cabaret tables, with cocktails. With all of its joy and all of its pain, its twists and turns and ups and downs, there has never been a subject of song as remotely popular as love. Laka sings, especially this year, to the longing for connection - and reconnection - in all of our hearts. She picks the songs of Anita Baker, Sade, Al Green and Frank Sinatra (and others) to tie the  narrative together." The club is operating under a "COVID careful" arrangement with restricted indoor capacity, mask requirements, and other precautions. The show is also available as a live video stream.The Blue Strawberry is on North Boyle in the Central West End. For more information: bluestrawberrystl.com.

Chuck Flowers
The Blue Strawberry presents Chuck Flowers in Love Notes, Friday at 730 pm, February 12. "Chuck Flowers returns to the Blue Strawberry for Valentine’s weekend with Love Notes, a sophisticated take on some of the world’s most romantic, intimate and well-known love songs. Ballads for sure, but also fun, surprising and joyful up-tempo expressions of The Valentine Force. It takes two to be in a relationship, and special guest Kim Fuller Barnes dons the role of partner in sometimes moving, sometimes hilarious duets. Chuck's heavy-hitter ensemble features Antonio Foster on piano, Vince Clark on upright bass, and Demarius Hicks on drums. " The club is operating under a "COVID careful" arrangement with restricted indoor capacity, mask requirements, and other precautions. The show is also available as a live video stream.The Blue Strawberry is on North Boyle in the Central West End. For more information: bluestrawberrystl.com.

Circus Harmony in St. Louis and Circus Circuli in Stuttgart, St. Louis's German sister city, present Sister City Circus, on Circus Harmony’s YouTube page.  "Through a series of online meetings, workshops, and classes the two troupes created 6 different circus acts and then filmed them at iconic architectural locations in each of their cities." For more information, visit the Circus Harmony YouTube channel.

Look Into My Eyes
First Run Theatre presents an on-demand streaming version of Look Into My Eyes, a new play by Robb Willoughby, through the end of February 2021. The play can be viewed on First Run's YouTube channel as well as on the First Run Facebook page.

Fly North Theatricals presents three new free digital series. Their new digital line up includes The Spotlight Series, the Grown-Up Theatre Kids Podcast, and Gin and the Tonic. The Spotlight Series highlights the Fly North family of students and actors performing songs from previous FNT shows. In the Grown-Up Theatre Kids podcast you can join Colin Healy and Bradley Rohlf every other Friday as they explore life after drama club and what it means to make a living in theatre far from the lights of broadway. Gin and the Tonic is a "reckless unpacking of music history’s weirdest stories hosted by Colin Healy.” The Spotlight Series and Gin and the Tonic are available at the Fly North Theatricals YouTube channel and the Grown-Up Theatre Kids podcast can also be found on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Sticher, other podcast platforms. All three are updated on a bi-weekly (every other week) basis.

The Lemp Mansion Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre presents A Fistful of Hollers through May 8. "Gun slingers, dance hall girls, cowboys, gold diggers, cowboy boots and ten-gallon-hats will abound. Rowdy cowboys will duel to the death as the crooked sheriff watches with glee. But none of these characters are as dangerous as Nasty Nate, he’s the orneriest gun in the west and word is that he’s going to be stirring up trouble at the Lemp Mansion." The Lemp Mansion is at 3322 DeMenil Place in south city. For more information: www.lempmansion.com

Metro Theatre Company presents Jacked! streaming on demand through March 31. "From playwright Idris Goodwin (Ghost, And in this Corner: Cassius Clay) comes the Jack and the Beanstalk story with a modern-day twist. And it’s not just the story that has a fresh take. This all-new virtual production fuses storytelling and poetry with a smart, moving hip hop score and hand-drawn animation based on visuals by artist Nick Kryah – exploring the imaginative boundaries of theater, film, and animation. You and the children in your family join Jack for an adventure that might start with the beanstalk, but follows Jack and his mother as they struggle to live happily ever after." For more information: metroplays.org.

Moonstone Theatre Company presents Moonstone Connections, a series of in-depth interviews with arts leaders by company founder Sharon Hunter. New episodes air the third Tuesday of each month; see linktr.ee/moonstoneconnections for more information.

The Muny presents Attuned: Cast Me at the Muny, a nine-part podcast that "showcases audition tips and funny stories, while offering an inside look at what makes casting a Muny show so challenging." The series is available on demand at the Classic 107.3 web site. For more information: classic1073.org/podcasts

L-R: Angel Riley, Ryan Johnson in
The Pirates of Penzance
Opera Theatre of St. Louis presents an abridged, 30-minute version of Gilbert and Sullivan's The Pirates of Penzance designed to introduce children to the world of Opera. The Pirates of Penzance is available via on-demand streaming through February 27. "As a child, Frederic was accidentally apprenticed to a conscientious but hapless band of pirates. On the day of his 21st birthday, Frederic thinks he’s finally free to explore the world — and meet girls — but some fine print in his contract leads to a surprising twist." For more informtation: opera-stl.org/on-the-go.

The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, in collaboration with Baltimore Center Stage, Long Wharf Theatre, The Public Theater and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, present Play at Home, a series of micro-commissioned short plays from some of the American theatre's most exciting and prominent playwrights. These new plays – which all run 10 minutes or less – are available for the public to download, read and perform at home for free at playathome.org.

Adena Varner and family
The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis presents a live video stream of the WiseWrite Digital Play Festival running until the end of the Rep's 2020-2021 season. “Step into the imagination of three young playwrights as The Rep presents professional readings of their new plays.” The production is directed by Adena Varner, the Rep's Director of Learning and Community Engagement. For more information: repstl.org.


Deal Orlandersmith in
After the Flood
The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis and All Arts present Until the Flood, written and performed by Dael Orlandersmith, via on-demand streaming. "On August 9, 2014, Darren Wilson, a white police officer, shot and killed Michael Brown, an African American teenager in Ferguson, Missouri. The shooting ignited weeks of social unrest, propelled the Black Lives Matter movement and prompted a controversial investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice. Celebrated writer, performer and Pulitzer Prize finalist Dael Orlandersmith traveled to St. Louis and conducted interviews with dozens of people who were grievously shaken by Brown’s shooting and the turbulent aftermath. From these intimate conversations, Orlandersmith created eight unforgettable characters who embody a community struggling to come to terms with the personal damage caused by these events." For more information: allarts.org

R-S Theatrics presents While the Ghostlight Burns, a virtual discussion series featuring R-S Artistic Director Sarah Lynne Holt in conversation with St. Louis theatre artists, Mondays at 7 pm.  Conversations will be archived at the R-S Theatrics YouTube channel. For more information: r-stheatrics.com/while-the-ghostlight-burns.html

The St. Louis Cabaret Conference is accepting applications for a five-week Song Performance Class using the JamKazam platform. Classes will take place Saturdays from 1-4 pm, February 20 through March 20. "This is a song performance coaching class with an emphasis on increasing the singers ability to collaborate with their musical director. You will do the same type of performance work, but because of working latency free (no delay) we will be able to adjust keys, tempos, and in some cases begin the process of arrangments. The purpose of the class is not to hand you a complete arrangment, but to empower you to an active participant in the arrangement process via acting choices, lyric interpretation and how the song will be used in a performance, etc Award winning music director Christopher Denny and St. Louis Cabaret Conference Artistic Director Tim Schall will lead the class. New York tech guru Matt Berman will monitor the platform for ease of use during each class so the focus can be on your work." A two-month Gold Level JamKazam account is included in the price of the course. For more information: www.stlouiscabaretconference.com.

Come Together
The St. Louis Shakespeare Festival presents streaming videos from the SHAKE20 festival, including re-imagined, condensed versions of classic Shakespeare plays and new takes on old favorites like Joe Hanrahan's Come Together, at the Shakespeare Festival Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pg/STLShakesFest/videos

The St. Louis Writers Group streams live recordings of previous play reading sessions at their Facebook page. For more information: facebook.com.

The St. Louis Writers Group presents Bits and Pieces, a Zoom workshop on play writing, Monday at 6:30 pm, February 15. Bits and Pieces is an interactive workshop in which ideas can be explored and partly-completed scripts can be read and reviewed by experienced actors and writers. Advance registration is required. For more information, visit the St. Louis Writers Group page on Facebook.

SATE, in collaboration with COCA and Prison Performing Arts, presents Project Verse: Creativity in the Time of Quarantine. Project Verse presents two new plays: Quatrains in Quarantine by e.k. doolin and Dream On, Black Girl: Reflections in Quarantine by Maxine du Maine. The performances are streamed free of charge on SATE’s website and Facebook page. For more information: slightlyoff.org.

Classic Mystery Game
SATE also offers streaming performances of the shows originally scheduled for live 2020 productions: The Mary Shelley Monster Show, As You Like It (produced for SHAKE20, Project Verse, and Classic Mystery Game. The shows are available on their YouTube channel.


Union Avenue Opera offers Sneak Peeks of its 2021 season operas Il barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville), Les Contes d'Hoffmann (The Tales of Hoffmann) and The Cradle Will Rock on its YouTube channel.

Looking for auditions and other artistic opportunities? Check out the St. Louis Auditions site.
For information on events beyond this week, check out the searchable database at the Regional Arts Commission's Events Calendar.
Would you like to be on the radio? KDHX, 88.1 FM needs theatre reviewers. If you're 18 years or older, knowledgeable in this area, have practical theatre experience (acting, directing, writing, technical design, etc.), have good oral and written communications skills and would like to become one of our volunteer reviewers, send an email describing your experience and interests to chuck at kdhx.org. Please include a sample review of something you've seen recently.

Sunday, January 31, 2021

St. Louis theatre calendar for the week of February 1, 2021

Now including both on-line and live events during the pandemic. To get your event listed here, send an email to calendar [at] stageleft.org.

The Blue Strawberry presents Open Mic Night with Sean Skrbec and Patrick White Sundays at 7 pm. "Come on down and sing, come on down to play, or come on down to listen and enjoy." The club is operating under a "COVID careful" arrangement with restricted indoor capacity, mask requirements, and other precautions. The Blue Strawberry is on North Boyle in the Central West End. For more information: bluestrawberrystl.com.

Circus Harmony in St. Louis and Circus Circuli in Stuttgart, St. Louis's German sister city, present Sister City Circus, on Circus Harmony’s YouTube page.  "Through a series of online meetings, workshops, and classes the two troupes created 6 different circus acts and then filmed them at iconic architectural locations in each of their cities." For more information, visit the Circus Harmony YouTube channel.

Look Into My Eyes
First Run Theatre presents an on-demand streaming version of Look Into My Eyes, a new play by Robb Willoughby, through the end of February 2021. The play can be viewed on First Run's YouTube channel as well as on the First Run Facebook page.

Fly North Theatricals presents three new free digital series. Their new digital line up includes The Spotlight Series, the Grown-Up Theatre Kids Podcast, and Gin and the Tonic. The Spotlight Series highlights the Fly North family of students and actors performing songs from previous FNT shows. In the Grown-Up Theatre Kids podcast you can join Colin Healy and Bradley Rohlf every other Friday as they explore life after drama club and what it means to make a living in theatre far from the lights of broadway. Gin and the Tonic is a "reckless unpacking of music history’s weirdest stories hosted by Colin Healy.” The Spotlight Series and Gin and the Tonic are available at the Fly North Theatricals YouTube channel and the Grown-Up Theatre Kids podcast can also be found on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Sticher, other podcast platforms. All three are updated on a bi-weekly (every other week) basis.

The Lemp Mansion Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre presents A Fistful of Hollers through May 8. "Gun slingers, dance hall girls, cowboys, gold diggers, cowboy boots and ten-gallon-hats will abound. Rowdy cowboys will duel to the death as the crooked sheriff watches with glee. But none of these characters are as dangerous as Nasty Nate, he’s the orneriest gun in the west and word is that he’s going to be stirring up trouble at the Lemp Mansion." The Lemp Mansion is at 3322 DeMenil Place in south city. For more information: www.lempmansion.com

Metro Theatre Company presents Jacked! streaming on demand through March 31. "From playwright Idris Goodwin (Ghost, And in this Corner: Cassius Clay) comes the Jack and the Beanstalk story with a modern-day twist. And it’s not just the story that has a fresh take. This all-new virtual production fuses storytelling and poetry with a smart, moving hip hop score and hand-drawn animation based on visuals by artist Nick Kryah – exploring the imaginative boundaries of theater, film, and animation. You and the children in your family join Jack for an adventure that might start with the beanstalk, but follows Jack and his mother as they struggle to live happily ever after." For more information: metroplays.org.

Moonstone Theatre Company presents Moonstone Connections, a series of in-depth interviews with arts leaders by company founder Sharon Hunter. New episodes air the third Tuesday of each month; see linktr.ee/moonstoneconnections for more information.

The Muny presents Attuned: Cast Me at the Muny, a nine-part podcast that "showcases audition tips and funny stories, while offering an inside look at what makes casting a Muny show so challenging." The series is available on demand at the Classic 107.3 web site. For more information: classic1073.org/podcasts

L-R: Angel Riley, Ryan Johnson in
The Pirates of Penzance
Opera Theatre of St. Louis presents an abridged, 30-minute version of Gilbert and Sullivan's The Pirates of Penzance designed to introduce children to the world of Opera. The Pirates of Penzance is available via on-demand streaming through February 6. "As a child, Frederic was accidentally apprenticed to a conscientious but hapless band of pirates. On the day of his 21st birthday, Frederic thinks he’s finally free to explore the world — and meet girls — but some fine print in his contract leads to a surprising twist." For more informtation: opera-stl.org/on-the-go.

The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, in collaboration with Baltimore Center Stage, Long Wharf Theatre, The Public Theater and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, present Play at Home, a series of micro-commissioned short plays from some of the American theatre's most exciting and prominent playwrights. These new plays – which all run 10 minutes or less – are available for the public to download, read and perform at home for free at playathome.org.

Adena Varner and family
The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis presents a live video stream of the WiseWrite Digital Play Festival running until the end of the Rep's 2020-2021 season. “Step into the imagination of three young playwrights as The Rep presents professional readings of their new plays.” The production is directed by Adena Varner, the Rep's Director of Learning and Community Engagement. For more information: repstl.org.


Deal Orlandersmith in
After the Flood
The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis and All Arts present Until the Flood, written and performed by Dael Orlandersmith, via on-demand streaming. "On August 9, 2014, Darren Wilson, a white police officer, shot and killed Michael Brown, an African American teenager in Ferguson, Missouri. The shooting ignited weeks of social unrest, propelled the Black Lives Matter movement and prompted a controversial investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice. Celebrated writer, performer and Pulitzer Prize finalist Dael Orlandersmith traveled to St. Louis and conducted interviews with dozens of people who were grievously shaken by Brown’s shooting and the turbulent aftermath. From these intimate conversations, Orlandersmith created eight unforgettable characters who embody a community struggling to come to terms with the personal damage caused by these events." For more information: allarts.org

R-S Theatrics presents While the Ghostlight Burns, a virtual discussion series featuring R-S Artistic Director Sarah Lynne Holt in conversation with St. Louis theatre artists, Mondays at 7 pm.  Conversations will be archived at the R-S Theatrics YouTube channel. For more information: r-stheatrics.com/while-the-ghostlight-burns.html

Come Together
The St. Louis Shakespeare Festival presents streaming videos from the SHAKE20 festival, including re-imagined, condensed versions of classic Shakespeare plays and new takes on old favorites like Joe Hanrahan's Come Together, at the Shakespeare Festival Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pg/STLShakesFest/videos

The St. Louis Writers Group streams live recordings of previous play reading sessions at their Facebook page. For more information: facebook.com.

The St. Louis Writers Group presents Bits and Pieces, a Zoom workshop on play writing, Monday at 6:30 pm, February 1 and 15. Bits and Pieces is an interactive workshop in which ideas can be explored and partly-completed scripts can be read and reviewed by experienced actors and writers. Advance registration is required. For more information, visit the St. Louis Writers Group page on Facebook.

SATE, in collaboration with COCA and Prison Performing Arts, presents Project Verse: Creativity in the Time of Quarantine. Project Verse presents two new plays: Quatrains in Quarantine by e.k. doolin and Dream On, Black Girl: Reflections in Quarantine by Maxine du Maine. The performances are streamed free of charge on SATE’s website and Facebook page. For more information: slightlyoff.org.

Classic Mystery Game
SATE also offers streaming performances of the shows originally scheduled for live 2020 productions: The Mary Shelley Monster Show, As You Like It (produced for SHAKE20, Project Verse, and Classic Mystery Game. The shows are available on their YouTube channel.


Union Avenue Opera offers Sneak Peeks of its 2021 season operas Il barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville), Les Contes d'Hoffmann (The Tales of Hoffmann) and The Cradle Will Rock on its YouTube channel.

Looking for auditions and other artistic opportunities? Check out the St. Louis Auditions site.
For information on events beyond this week, check out the searchable database at the Regional Arts Commission's Events Calendar.
Would you like to be on the radio? KDHX, 88.1 FM needs theatre reviewers. If you're 18 years or older, knowledgeable in this area, have practical theatre experience (acting, directing, writing, technical design, etc.), have good oral and written communications skills and would like to become one of our volunteer reviewers, send an email describing your experience and interests to chuck at kdhx.org. Please include a sample review of something you've seen recently.