Theater to Stream: A World of Fringe and More Apples


Theater is a physical art form, but it is becoming increasingly obvious that its expanded online presence is here to stay, especially as the web smooths out issues of collaboration and access, both financial and physical.

In Australia, for example, the Sydney Fringe Festival is expecting its new virtual event to be more than a stopgap measure. For the festival’s chief executive and director, Kerri Glasscock, the Global Fringe initiative is not so much a replacement for the live festival as “a new project that will hopefully continue beyond the pandemic,” she wrote in an email. “It opens up a doorway for festivals like ours to support and present a wider selection of works annually, to push form and function and develop new ways of presentation, and to ensure that our audiences are getting to see the best work from around the globe.”

Sydney’s Global Fringe project includes both livestreams (including some from Sweden, thanks to a partnership with the Stockholm Fringe Festival) and shows recorded in Australia, Britain, Israel, New Zealand and the United States. “What is remarkably ironic is that while all of our physical borders remain closed, our relationships with our international partners and colleagues have been strengthened,” Glasscock said. (Sept. 2-27. Go to for more information. “Pay what you feel.”)

Fringe festivals tend to be sprawling affairs, but luckily the virtual world can accommodate a lot of shows. In addition to the recorded productions available on Zoo TV, in lieu of the Edinburgh subfestival known as the Zoo, the Edinburgh hub theSpaceUK offers live and on-demand shows via its virtual portal, [email protected] (Through Aug. 30 at Free.)

The actor Jelani Alladin (“Frozen,” “Hercules”) has created a company, Dumont Millennial Production, to amplify “the unheard voices of first-generation Americans.” Its first initiative is a reading of B.J. Tindal’s “Goodnight, Tyler” — about loss and legacy in the aftermath of a police killing — starring Alladin, Johanna Braddy, Michele Shay, Danielle Deadwyler, Jack Quaid and Alex Gibson. (Thursday at 7 p.m. on YouTube; available until Aug. 31. Free, but donations to the National Black Theater are encouraged.)

A chronicle of love in the Women’s Army Corps during World War II, Em Weinstein and Emily Johnson-Erday’s new musical “Soldiergirls” has enrolled quite the roster of participants for its online concert version, starting with Jenn Colella (“Come From Away”), Lilli Cooper (“Tootsie”) and Chilina Kennedy (“Beautiful”). While registration is free, the stream benefits the Service Members, Partners, Allies for Respect and Tolerance for All organization (SPART*A) and donations are encouraged. (Aug. 31 at 7 p.m. and then up for four days at

Theater of War Productions looks at current issues through the prism of classic texts, and it often returns to Sophocles’s “Oedipus the King” as a way to consider the current pandemic. A thrilling Britain-based cast — including Damian Lewis, Lesley Sharp, Clarke Peters and Kathryn Hunter — makes the next installment of “The Oedipus Project” a can’t-miss. (Sept. 3 at 2 p.m. at Live only. Free.)

Like Qui Nguyen’s wildly popular “She Kills Monsters,” Madhuri Shekar’s “In Love and Warcraft” explores the interaction between real life and video games — with a dash of “Cyrano de Bergerac”-inspired shenanigans. Exploring virtual worlds is a fitting way for the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco to start off its fall season, with a cast drawn from students in the company’s M.F.A. program. (Live Sept. 4-12, on demand Sept. 18-25 at $15-$20.)


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