Here are the Chicago theater productions you can stream at home this weekend

Some theaters are selling “tickets” to stream new productions, while others offer archived recordings for free.

Last updated: Tuesday, March 24 at 2pm CDT

Find newer updates here.

Osblando Antunez, Stephany Perez and Jose Mata in a scene from Albany Park Theater Project’s Feast, which you can stream at home this weekend for free. Photograph: courtesy APTP

Okay, so y’all are not into the open discussion thread feature. Noted.

But with Illinois officially under a “stay-at-home order” from the unexpectedly effective Gov. J.B. Pritzker starting Saturday at 5pm, I do want to round up the streaming options being offered up by Chicago theaters, as more companies are starting to get up to speed. Please let me know of any I’m missing, and I’ll add them to the list.

  • Theater Wit wisely scrapped the live option for its production of Teenage Dick (which would have become moot with the governor’s order today anyway), but you can still stream a recording of the invite-only performance that took place on March 16. Streams are available at the production’s erstwhile curtain times (Thu–Sat at 8pm; Sun at 2:30pm); tickets are $28, and a virtual post-show discussion follows every “performance.” See theaterwit.org for more.

  • 16th Street Theater has arranged a streaming option to replace its live staging of writer-performer Steven Strafford’s solo play Methtacular!, with streaming availability also following the planned performance schedule (Thu, Fri at 7:30pm; Sat at 4 and 8pm; Sun [March 29 only] at 3pm). Tickets are $12. Strafford will host Zoom talkbacks following Thursday and Friday shows.

  • The Goodman Theatre would like to remind you that its 2016 adaptation of Roberto Bolaño’s novel 2666 is available to stream on demand for free—all five-plus hours of it. Find the Vimeo links and more information here.

  • Albany Park Theater Project has unlocked free access to two Vimeo clips: a full recording of Feast, the youth company’s devised production about immigrant food culture; and “The Conjuring,” a dance sequence excerpted from APTP’s Ofrenda. The company promises more to come next week.

  • On the audio-drama front, the fiction podcast Unwell is in the middle of its second season and features a voice cast, writers’ room and production team all drawn largely from Chicago theater.

  • The WBEZ podcast drama PleasureTown also features a plethora of Chicago theater talent on the mics and behind the scenes. The show concluded its run after three seasons, but the archives are still there waiting for your ear holes.

  • The Neo-Futurists are taking their weekly show digital with The Infinite Wrench Goes Viral. The weekly stream of “30 Digital Plays in 60 Analog Minutes” is available to Patreon subscribers, with membership tiers starting at $3 a week.

  • Chicago Danztheatre Ensemble has some short works available for viewing on its YouTube channel.

  • Hell in a Handbag Productions has posted a full-length video of its 2012 production of Sexy Baby to YouTube.

  • The Paper Machete has, of course, suspended its weekly live shows at the Green Mill. But it’s not letting the news go uncommented upon—the show has begun posting original video content on IGTV.

  • Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s 2017 production of Pass Over, as filmed by Spike Lee, is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video. The company also announced the launch of Half Hour, an interview podcast hosted by ensemble members Audrey Francis, Caroline Neff, Cliff Chamberlain and Glenn Davis, coming in early April. And it made public a video retrospective created for Steppenwolf’s 40th-anniversary gala in 2016; you can view it on YouTube.

  • ComedySportz Chicago is broadcasting multiple shows: ReCeSz, a daily 30-minute study break for kids, can be viewed at noon on Zoom and Facebook Live; Virtual Vino Veritas, a storytelling show, will commence at 7pm on Wednesday, March 25 on Zoom; and you can dial into one of four virtual matches of the theater’s flagship competitive comedy show on Friday and Saturday. Find details at the ComedySportz website.

  • Over the last several years Silk Road Rising has created a number of “video plays,” which the company describe as “neither a filmed play nor a feature film, but rather a marriage of genres combining the language, staging and aesthetics of theatre with the intimacy and permanence of digital filmmaking.” All are free to stream on YouTube; you can find links and descriptions on Silk Road’s website.


Thanks for reading! This is the free edition of Storefront Rebellion, a newsletter about Chicago theater by Kris Vire. Send tips and feedback to kris@krisvire.com, and if you know someone you think would enjoy this newsletter, feel free to forward this to a friend.