Theater and democracy are both communal and participatory: we’re all in it together. Although we haven’t been able to gather under the Tent this election season, we’ve rounded up a selection of online theater performances to remind us that, in a government of, by, and for the people, we all have an important role to play.
1. What the Constitution Means to Me
Heidi Schreck’s boundary-breaking play examines the founding document that has shaped our lives. The timely and invigorating play received two Tony Award nominations and tremendous applause during the Broadway run last year. You can now stream the show directly to your home for free with Amazon Prime.
2. It Can’t Happen Here
Sinclair Lewis’ cautionary tale about the fragility of democracy follows the rise of a charismatic leader who becomes President after promising to save the nation and return the country to glory. In 2016, Berkeley Rep performed a new stage adaptation of the novel. Now, they have reprised the production as a radio play in four episodes. Listen to the show — available online for free through November 8.
3. American Utopia
Even casual fans of David Byrne and the Talking Heads will enjoy Spike Lee’s skillfully directed version of the Broadway rock-spectacle. Byrne and his band exemplify the promise of a society that embraces inclusion.
Available to stream for free on HBO Max. Watch the trailer here.
Originally planned to be a staged production as part of The Public’s 2020 season, SHIPWRECK has been reimagined as an audio experience. Saheem Ali directs this harrowing and hilarious story about race, religion, family, and the fallout of the American experiment. Listen to it here.
(Ali also directed The Public’s gripping audio production of RICHARD II.)
5. Russian Troll Farm: A Workplace Comedy
Dunder Mifflin meets conspiracy theories in Sarah Gancher’s timely and darkly comical new play. The New York Times Critic Pick is available to stream for $20.20, with a live chat and watch along on Monday, November 2 at 7:30PM EST.