American Conservatory Theater, as promised, is offering theater fans a way to see the most recent two productions of its aborted season from the comfort of their own homes. Berkeley Rep, another Tony Award-winning regional theater, is planning to do something similar in the coming days with its two productions that were cut short.
Gloria, the play by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins that had been playing ACT's Strand Theater when the COVID-19 shutdown arrived, is available for viewing here through April 5 for donations starting at $15 — but theater patrons should consider giving as much as they're able. (You can download the program for the play here to learn more.)
Toni Stone, the play by Lydia R. Diamond about one of the best baseball players in the Negro League who ultimately played with the men on the Indianapolis Clowns, is also available for streaming. Find it here through April 5, for a donation.
Both shows are being made available through BroadwayHD, the streaming platform that offers recorded versions of dozens of past Broadway and off-Broadway productions for a $9 per month subscription. Other theaters around the country are doing similar things with their productions, like the Syracuse Stage, which is offering a recording of its production of Amadeus for $35 through Sunday.
Berkeley Rep artistic director Johanna Pfaelzer announced this week that they are also partnering with Broadway HD to deliver streams of its last two productions: Culture Clash (Still) In America and School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play. Information about those video options can be found soon on the BerkeleyRep site.
As SFist reported this week, ACT was forced to lay off or furlough 230 workers, and Berkeley Rep has had to make similar moves to preserve its nonprofit budget.
Here are some other donation links for small local theaters:
California Shakespeare Theater — This week the theater announced the cancellation of its entire 2020 season, which was set to begin in May
Photo of School Girls; or The African Mean Girls Play courtesy of Kevin Berne/Berkeley Repertory Theatre