Welcome to the Critical Stages Touring list of streaming theatre, cabaret, performing arts education and artist opportunities for the week ahead. We aim to bring you the best guide to Australian and New Zealand theatre at home, with independent programming you’ll find nowhere else. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or complete the Google form. We are especially keen to hear from independent artists and those streaming accessible performances.
Stage And Stream Links
Friday July 10th – Thursday July 16th
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AUSTRALIA / NZ BY DATE
Friday 10th July
- FABULOUSLY FUNNY FRIDAY
Melbourne’s Chapel Off Chapel are bringing the Roola Boola Children’s Arts Festival online with this fun friday offering. Circus, comedy, physical buffoonery, magic and some unforgettable one-of-a-kind surprises are coming your way! The guests are hilarious, and the whole family will be entertained.
- CONTAGIOUS CABARET
The THIRD installment of Contagious Cabaret will feature performances by Alessandra Bizzanelli, Juan Gomez, Matthew Hamilton, Jenni Little, Mx Munro, Phoebe Panaretos, and Geraldine Quinn. Brooklyn Runaways have done it again!
7pm AEST – please donate
- JACK CHARLES V THE CROWN – ILBIJERRI
An extraordinary tale told by one of Australia’s living treasures, Uncle Jack Charles. Based on his life and spoken in his own words. accompanied by a three-piece band, this one man show is a theatrical delight brought to us by Australia’s longest running First Nations theatre company and Arts Centre Melbourne. Filmed at Belvoir Theatre in 2011.
From 7pm AEST until 7pm Friday 24 July
- 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
Saturday 11th July
- COOPED UP CABARET
SEASON FINALE – This Melbourne favourite is back live-streaming some of the best cabaret online. 10 performances, acts from across NZ and Aus, and a wild wild end to a great run.
- LET’S GO ON WITH THE SHOW – SOH
Calling all music theatre fans – the Sydney Opera House presents Let’s Go On With The Show, an entertainment extravaganza and very special appeal supporting the Actors Benevolent Fund. Big names, Big hearts.
- 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.
- SEQUIN SESSIONS
Cabaret star Michaela Burger’s trademark humour, huge repertoire 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 Sundays.
8pm AEST – please donate
- 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 12th July
- THE TEMPEST – STREAMED SHAKESPEARE
Shakespeare’s final play and swansong to the magic of theatre. The Tempest, streaming LIVE this Sunday 12th July 2PM AEST. This is Streamed Shakespeare like you’ve never seen it before and we are very very excited to see how this local company evolves.
- HUMOUR US – SOH
Lockdown woes, memories of ‘before-time’ frivolity, and a sneaky vaccine reveal? Get ready for an evening of good laughs and great comics as two of Australia’s favourite comedians – Nikki Britton and Sam Taunton join forces for an exclusive double header.
Monday 13th July
- HENRY VI, PART ONE – CIRCLE IN THE SAND
Circle in the Sand and the International Actors Ensemble, in association with the Alex Theatre (Melbourne), have been presenting weekly staged readings of the eight plays of Shakespeare’s major history cycle. Each work is presented in its complete form.
Tuesday 14th July
- AFTER DINNER – QUEENSLAND THEATRE
Artistic director Lee Lewis presents a live-streamed reading via Zoom webinar. This month’s reading – Andrew Bovell’s 1988 pub bistro comedy After Dinner, read by Ray Chong Nee, Cameron Hurry, Amy Ingram, Hsiao-Ling Tang, and Melanie Zanetti (AKA Bluey’s mum).
- THE POP PROJECT – LA MAMA
The Pop Project is a weekly workshop series run over six weeks facilitated by Cassandra Fumi. You’ll develop and complete a collective story and learn the technical side of stop-motion animation. This can be paper, clay, object, or body animation, and then compose an original score. Starts today and is perfect for kids 8+.
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.
VIMEO – www.vimeo.com/ondemand/coronavlog
Wednesday 15th July
- ART CENTRE MELBOURNE’S BIG NIGHT IN
SEASON FINALE – 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.
7pm – Please donate
- WESTSIDE POETRY SLAM
Westwords’ first birthday poetry slam is set to be a big one. The open mic will still be open but alos held by local artists Defne, Melodie Grafton, and Terry Papadkis. Free to join in the fun via Zoom.
Thursday 16th July
- A NOT SO TRADITIONAL STORY – TERRAPIN
Created by the renowned Terrapin Puppet Theatre, A Not So Traditional Story uses masks, shadow puppetry and physical theatre to tell an important story of culture, identity, bravery and friendship. This beautiful and funny production was written by award-winning playwright Nathan Maynard, a Trawlwoolway, Pakana/Palawa man from lutruwita/Tasmania.
- ASIATOPA CONNECTED
The Asia-Pacific’s preeminent triennial performing arts festival has published a number of amazing archival performances including Garin Nugroho’s powerful The Planet – A Lament, to Actnow’s mini documentary about queer culture in Taiwan, there’s lots to enjoy.
- DECAMERON 2.0 – STCSA
100 Stories. Each week, 10 South Australian writers will create 10 new characters and 10 new stories, which will be performed by 10 actors, recorded on film and digitally delivered to you over 10 weeks. Presented by the State Theatre Company of SA.
Sign up to receive each episode
- BLEED LIVE – ARTS HOUSE
(Biennial Live Event in the Everyday Digital) is a six year long project exploring the live experience across platforms, conceived by Arts House in Melbourne, and Campbelltown Arts Centre in Sydney. A new artwork is featured every 2 weeks starting from the 22nd of June. Full Accessibility options.
- HORIZON FESTIVAL – OPEN AIR
Celebrating place, Open Air is a monthly concert series, streamed from the Sunshine Coast’s most picturesque locations, featuring some of the region’s most celebrated artists.
- THE RESERVOIR ROOM
Filmed live at Sydney’s iconic Paddington Town Hall, The Reservoir Room has been streaming the best of Australian cabaret and music weekly, and every show is now available on demand. Big names, local stars, including Phil Scott (Wharf Revue), Mark Treverrow, James Arno, and iOTA to name a few.
- HELD – AUSTRALIAN DANCE THEATRE
HELD is a work that explores the nature of everyday physics, perception and the body-in-action via the nexus of dance and live photography. HELD was made in collaboration with one of the most New York-based photographer Lois Greenfield, who captures live dance onstage throughout the performance.
On-Demand from 26th June
- ENSEMBLE CONVERSATIONS
Sydney’s Ensemble Theatre has been producing a weekly Facebook Live series hosted by Artistic Director Mark Kilmurry. Each week they feature interviews with prominent actors and creatives, exclusive scene reads, interactive Q&A’s and more. Lots to watch!
On-Demand – please donate
www.ensemble.com.au & FACEBOOK LIVE
- 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.
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
- 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.
Check it out here.
- 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.
- THE LINE – PUBLIC THEATER
A new play by Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen created in the award-winning documentary style that produced The Exonerated and Coal Country. Crafted from firsthand interviews with New York City medical first responders during the pandemic, this made-for-online work cuts through the noise to reveal the lived experiences of frontline medical workers. Not to be missed.
- HOT! FESTIVAL
Dixon Place’s annual queer culture celebration is online this year and that means we can all get a fix of great gay theatre. Don’t miss Marga Gomez’s Spanking Machine (on until July 25) amongst others.
On-Demand & various
- SCOTS OF THE SPANISH CIVIL WAR – WONDER FOOLS
Set against the divisions of the UK in 2017, Jack Nurse and Robbie Gordon’s play revisits the true story of four miners from East Lothian who volunteered for the Spanish Civil War’s International Brigades in 1936.
On-Demand until July 31
- THE DEEP BLUE SEA – NATIONAL THEATRE
The Deep Blue Sea stars Helen McCrory as Hester Collyer, one of contemporary drama’s greatest female roles in Terence Rattigan’s masterpiece, set in a flat in West London in 1952.
from Thursday July 9 at 7pm BST or Friday July 10 at 4am AEST.
- ROMEO & JULIET – STRATFORD FESTIVAL
Scott Wentworth directed this 2017 production of Shakespeare’s family-feud tragedy, in which rebellious teens become star-crossed lovers with tragic consequences. Antoine Yared and Sara Farb play the title roles.
On-Demand until July 30
- ASHPUTTEL – BARK AT A CROW
An interactive, 45-minute version of the Cinderella story, based on a Grimm fairytale, and invites the audience to assist Ashputtel in completing her chores, partying at the palace and dealing with her sneaky stepsisters.
On-Demand 16-18 July
- RIGHTS OF PASSAGE – FOUR WALLS THEATER
Four Walls Theater, a company created specifically to rise to the challenges of the coronavirus crisis, presents a live reading of Michelle Tyrene Johnson’s drama Rights of Passage, in which A white police officer seeks legal counsel after killing an unarmed Black youngster. Sibyl Rolle directs.
On-Demand until July 24
- NINE LIVES -ZODWA NYONI
Poet and Playwright Nyoni was born in Zimbabwe and grew up in Yorkshire – both locations influence this one-hour solo performance about a young gay African who flees the violence of his homeland for asylum in the UK.
- WE ARE DYING HERE – COVID ZERO
Share in three women’s responses to the prevalence of the violent culture of harassment, abuse, rape and femicide in South Africa and around the world. This is a journey of catharsis which uses poetry, music, and theatre to share deeply personal experiences.
On-Demand until July 13
- JOSEPH & THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT
The Show Must Go On is set on repeat as they screen Joseph once more. This 1999 film version is pure camp and a good deal of fun. Donny Osmond has the central role, and is frequently sans-coat.
From 2pm EDT for 48 hours
AUSTRALIAN THEATRE PODCASTS
- Form Dance Theatre
- Griffin Theatre Company
- Run The Show – Milke
- The Stage Show – ABC Radio National
- Producing Heroes – Circa
- Sydney Theatre Company
- Theatre Mates Melbourne
- Citizen Theatre Podcast
- The Aside Podcast
- The Green Room
- Talking Sock
- WESTWORDS VARUNA RESIDENCIES
WestWords and Varuna the Writers’ House are offering four western Sydney emerging writers from diverse backgrounds the opportunity of a six-day residency at Varuna. Joining them will be a live-in mentor who will be chosen in response to the successful candidates so that the mentorship offered is tailored to the people and their work. Be quick! Applications close midnight 16 July, 2020. www.westwords.com.au
- FREE ARTS CREATION SPACES – BLACKTOWN ARTS
Sydney’s Blacktown Arts are offering performance space free to independent performers, writers and film makers. The free offer is available for the months July to September for short creative development periods. They open the doors, turn on the lights and heaters, you do the rest. www.blacktownarts.com.au
- HWY – LA BOITE THEATRE
In a push to support local theatre-makers and boost artist employment, Queensland’s La Boite Theatre Company has introduced six new paid opportunities through its annual development program HWY. Applications close 13th July. www.laboite.com.au
- 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
- BLACKWRIGHTS – ILBIJERRI
ILBIJERRI’s BlackWrights program is back! Applications are open now and they’re on the hunt for three First Nations writers to cook up three wildly spectacular radio lockdown plays. Entries close 10th July www.ilbejerri.com.au
- SF3 – SMARTPHONE FLICK FEST
SF3 is calling for shorts up to 20 mins, feature films, kids films, VR/360 films and entries for our brand new Iso Category – films up to 3 mins shot within your local lockdown laws. Entries close August 1. www.sf3.com.au/www.westwords.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
SAVE THE DATE
These are the future streams that are high on our list – get them into your diary now!
- FRI JULY 17 – ALINTA & THE JAZZ EMPORERS
Alinta and the Jazz Emperors preside over a soulful empire of jazz. We’re talking five very fine musicians in a band that is always more than the sum of its parts. Inspired by the old greats of Coltrane, Ella and Miles. Alinta is a charismatic vocalist/actress/songwriter who has just finished touring in Chicago the musical as the famed Velma Kelly and has also starred in West Side Story, Hugh Jackman’s – Broadway to Oz, Wentworth and many more.
- SAT JULY 18 – ROOMWORKS
An initiative of ATYP and Nightingale Content, RoomWorks saw 10 young actors and 10 young writers write and perform an original 1-2 minute monologue in teams of two, (and they were each paid $400 to do so!). With one week to complete the task, the 20 young artists chosen attended online workshops and were given feedback by industry professionals throughout their process. Now it’s time to see the fruits of their creative labour!
- TUES JULY 21 – UNSUNG HEROES
Unsung Heroes is a collection of tour-de-force solo performances featuring 5 untold stories about 5 extraordinary Western Australians. This will be a wonderful collection of new WA works, presented by Black Swan State Theatre Company.
EDUCATION / ACTIVITIES
- Jump Start Youth Theatre
Some great online workshops planned for the school holidays, suitable for students in years 5-12 (ages 10-18). This dynamic young company is helmed by award-winning actor Emma Wright and New Ghosts Theatre Artistic Director Lucy Clements.
- Curious Legends Workshops
Newcastle’s Curious Legends have a series of free, previously live-streamed, workshops for kids available on their site. 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
- 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. Teachers and home-teachers should check out this great 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. Your child will engage with a carefully-planned, professionally-produced and, most importantly, super-fun 30 minutes of creative play, at home with 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
- 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. All the details at 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 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