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Plays for the People Recommended The Short List (Theater) Online

7/8-11/8: see website for complete schedule

Buy Tickets$22 approximately (£19.62)


Black Lives, Black Words International Project produces an online season of seven plays celebrating African American and African experience. The pieces will be performed live over Zoom for a period of five days, with audiences limited to 50 people per performance. The second day of each run will also feature a Q&A chaired by BLBW cofounders Reginald Edmund and Simeilia Hodge-Dallaway. The schedule is as follows:

7/8-7/12: Ride Share by Reginald Edmund, directed by Simeilia Hodge-Dallaway. A young African American Uber driver rides with a dark specter as he discovers the unsavory aspects of humanity. 

8/13-8/16: Proof of Love by Chisa Hutchinson, directed by Kyle Haden. A well-off Black woman learns some things about both herself and her husband when a car accident leaves the latter comatose. 

8/20-8/23: Buttafly Precinct, written and directed by Sha Cage, in which "two young girls struggle to survive on the streets carrying a dark secret and a jar of butterflies across the city of Minneapolis on the eve of George Perry Floyd's murder." 

8/24-8/30: Cell Surface by Dominic Taylor, directed by Jerrell Henderson, described as "a play about making a play in Zoom about two amazing African-American scientists, Dr. E.E. Just and Dr. Roger Young." 

9/16-9/20: The Immortal Goats by Idris Goodwin, directed by Tiffany Nicole Greene. After the removal of statues honoring colonizers, a committee has to determine who should be recognized in their place—within the running time of the play. 

10/12-10/17: Call for the Wailing Women by Katrina D. Richard, directed by Valerie Curtis-Newton. A modern-day Afrocentric retelling of Euripides's The Suppliants, about a group of grieving women in wartime desperate to bury their dead. 

11/2-11/8: The Emancipation of Yankee Oluwale by Wole Oguntokun, based on the story of David Oluwale, a British Nigerian whose body was found in the River Aire in Leeds in 1969, leading to an investigation of how the homeless and mentally ill man had been tormented by the police.

A War of the Worlds Recommended The Short List (Theater) Online

10/15-11/21: Tue-Sat 8 PM CST, Sun 7 PM CST

Buy TicketsPay what you can, but $20-$25 suggested donation


Theatre in the Dark, which specializes in chilling drama presented without visuals (relying instead on recorded sound, live foley effects, and the actors' voices, a la classic radio dramas) returns with this adaptation of H.G. Wells's Martian invasion tale by company founders Corey Bradberry and Mack Gordon. It will be performed online live six shows a week.

45 Plays for America's First Ladies Recommended The Short List (Theater) Online

10/8-11/2: livestreamed performances with audience participation Thu-Fri 10/8 and 10/9, 7:30 PM CDT and Sun 10/11 2 PM CDT; available online anytime 10/13-11/2

Buy Tickets$15


The Neo-Futurists present a digital companion piece to their hit 43 Plays for 43 Presidents, which premiered in 2004 and was remounted in 2012. In this look at the women who were FLOTUS (written by Neo-Futurists alumni Andy Bayiates, Bilal Dardai, Genevra Gallo-Bayiates, Sharon Greene, and Chloe Johnston and directed by Denise Yvette Serna), the focus is on using the office of First Lady "as a lens to examine the roles that women and other marginalized individuals have played in the development of America."

Run the Beast Down Recommended Closing (Theater and Galleries) The Short List (Theater) Online

10/2-10/25: a donation provides a Vimeo link for a one-time viewing. See website for details.

Buy TicketsPay what you can ($5 minimum)


Strawdog Theatre opens its all-virtual 33rd season with the U.S. digital premiere of Titas Halder's solo play, directed by Elly Green. Gage Wallace stars as Charlie, a Londoner who, in the wake of an international economic meltdown, has lost his job and his girlfriend, and who believes he is being haunted by a fox. Halder's dystopic vigilante thriller has been filmed as a series of single shots, with Kamille Dawkins serving as director of photograhy, editing by Kyle Hamman, and sound designed by Daniel Etti-Williams. Fifty percent of the revenues will be donated by Strawdog to Lakeview Pantry.

Home/Land Recommended Free The Short List (Theater)

Available anytime through Vimeo


Albany Park Theater Project offers a streaming version of their critically lauded 2012 production about undocumented immigrants, written and performed by the teen ensemble and directed by APTP producing artistic director David Feiner.

Artists Run Chicago 2.0 Recommended Free

Through 11/2: Tues-Wed noon-6 PM, Thu 1-5:30 PM, Fri 10 AM-4 PM
Hyde Park Art Center 5020 S. Cornell Ave., Chicago Hyde Park

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An exhibition celebrating the work of 50 local artist-run spaces. This is the second iteration of this exhibition, which first appeared in 2009.

Exhibition viewing is available with timed reservations and limited walk-ins, and masks are required. 773-324-5520

Windows to the World Recommended Free All Ages

Through Oct. 30
6018 North 6018 N Kenmore, Chicago Edgewater

6018North has been working with curators, artists, and neighbors on how to respond to COVID-19, institutional racism, police brutality, and economic inequality. Curators Wisdom Baty, Ciera McKissick, Caroline K. Ng, Ji Yang, and S.Y Lim worked on the street-facing "Windows to the World" exhibition that features work in the gallery's windows and exterior spaces by Rohan Ayinde, Jane Georges, Efrat Hakimi, Jiwon Ham, Mashaun Ali Hendricks, Tshab Her, Audra Jacot, Angela Lopez, AJ McClenon, Dorian Sylvain, and Sadie Woods.

Viewers can stop by 6018North and view the works from the sidewalk or yard. Masks and social distancing are required.

Anthem Recommended Agenda Online

Through 12/19
Weinberg/Newton Gallery 688 N. Milwaukee, Chicago River West

Work by Bethany Collins, Jaclyn Conley, Eve L. Ewing, Mike Gibisser, Naima Green, Ellen Rothenberg, and Sanaz Sohrabi available on the gallery's website with special portions of the exhibition viewable in the gallery's storefront windows. The exhibition was created with the the 2020 presidential election in mind and is presented in partnership with the American Civil Liberties Union. 312-529-5090

Feast Recommended Free The Short List (Theater)

Available anytime on Vimeo


As a gift to the community during the COVID-19 pandemic, Albany Park Theater Project offers a free streaming Vimeo version of this show, first created in 2010 and revived in 2015 at the Goodman about immigrant communities, food, and the politics surrounding those topics. Feast was created by the APTP youth ensemble and directed by artistic director David Feiner.

There Is a Happiness That Morning Is Recommended Free The Short List (Theater)

Available any time through YouTube


Houston's Catastrophic Theatre has had a long relationship with Chicago playwright and Theater Oobleck cofounder Mickle Maher. During the COVID-19 shutdown, they are sharing some past productions of his work through their YouTube channel. They kicked off with The Hunchback Variations, and now add their 2013 production of this play, originally staged by Oobleck in Chicago in 2011. Two William Blake scholars and longtime lovers, Ellen and Bernard, deliver lectures on the poet's Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience and struggle with the demand by their dean that they apologize for having public sex on the quad.

Of Dice and Men Recommended The Short List (Theater)

Opens Fri 7/31, 7 PM CDT; free through 8/14, then on a paid basis


Otherworld Theatre offers a show designed for digital performance, written by Cameron McNary and directed by James Martineau. The story follows a Dungeons and Dragons master, James Francis, who finds his life turned topsy-turvy when one of his friends enlists in the military and his romantic relationship going nowhere. The show is free via Otherworld's YouTube channel from July 31 to August 14, and then afterward on a paid basis through their Patreon. Recommended for ages 14+.

Still/Here Recommended Free Agenda The Short List (Theater) Online

Available online anytime through Vimeo

Free Street offers a free streaming version of this 2019 show (subtitled Manifestos for Joy and Survival), in which survivors of an apocalyptic event in Chicago provide memories of the struggles that defined their lives before the catastrophe, including fighting gentrification and racism. The narrative is drawn from interviews conducted with over 400 Chicago community members.

. . . And I Am Not Afraid Recommended Free The Short List (Theater)

Available anytime through Prop Thtr website


Prop Thtr presents a free streaming version of this production from fall of 2019, presented then under the title I Am Going to Die Alone and I Am Not Afraid. Devised by the ensemble and directed by Anna Gelman, with music by Alec Phan, the play uses the Holocaust and its legacy as a lens for exploring bravery and tenacity in the face of violence and oppression. Reader critic Dmitry Samarov wrote "In a time when so many societal forces are hell-bent on dividing us along tribal lines, this powerful piece of theater shows how sharing the tribulations of one people must give all people pause."

The Infinite Wrench Goes Viral Recommended The Short List (Theater)

Available in streaming format through Patreon anytime.


The Neo-Futurists take their signature show, featuring 30 plays in 60 minutes, online during the COVID-19 crisis. The Neos offer five membership levels ranging from $3 ("Elbow Bump"), which comes with a link to a website where you can set your own timer for 60 minutes and watch all 30 plays, to $100 ("An Extended, Almost Uncomfortable Hug"), which brings a full array of perks including a customized play on a subject of your choosing. The menu includes older archival plays as well as new ones that are being created in quarantine by the ensemble.

Sexy Baby Recommended Free The Short List (Theater) Online

Available anytime on YouTube

Buy TicketsFree


Hell in a Handbag offers up a free YouTube stream of their 2012 musical, a satire of child beauty queen pageants created by artistic director David Cerda and Scott Lamberty that former Reader critic Zac Thompson called "biting" and "hysterical." The show was chosen by the members of the company as one of their favorites and is presented free as a gift to the community during the COVID-19 shutdown, though donations to Hell in a Handbag are of course welcome.

Medusa Undone Recommended Free The Short List (Theater)

Available anytime through company website or YouTube channel


Otherworld Theatre offers a free streaming version of last spring's production of a play by Bella Poynton, directed by Tiffany Keane Schaefer, that retells the story of the legendary gorgon as a critique of rape culture, with Medusa caught in a love triangle between Athena and Poseidon. Reader critic Josh Flanders wrote "The god-human relationship here is a metaphor for celebrity idolatry and the lack of consequence so many with power have maintained, as well as the dangers of living for others versus ourselves."

Parched Recommended Free The Short List (Theater)

Available anytime through Vimeo


Free Street Theater offers a free streaming version of their 2019 show about the politics of water, pollution, and corporate theft of resources. Reader critic KT Hawbaker wrote of that production "Devised over the course of ten months by Free Street's youth ensemble, students aged 14-19, Parched is driven by vignettes drawn from interviews with researchers, activists, and community members. In that respect, it's a combo of journalism and performance, resulting in passionate storytelling that feels informed and brave."

The Other Art Fair presents AMFM Recommended Free Online


The Other Art Fair's Online Studios is a digital hub for artists meant to exhibit in the 2020 Spring fairs. The fair launched an online exhibition of 10 artists curated by AMFM's founder Ciera McKissick.

What 4 Free Early Warnings (Music)

Tue., Oct. 20, 7 p.m.
FitzGerald’s 6615 Roosevelt, Berwyn Berwyn

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Bob Weir & Wolf Bros All Ages Early Warnings (Music) Canceled

Tue., Oct. 20, 7 p.m.
Chicago Theatre 175 N. State St., Chicago Loop

Buy from Ticketmaster

canceled 312-462-6300

Pabllo Vittar, Tatiana Hazel 18+ Early Warnings (Music) Canceled

Tue., Oct. 20, 9 p.m.
Metro 3730 N. Clark St., Chicago Wrigleyville

Buy Tickets

canceled 773-549-0203

Aaron Lee Tasjan All Ages Early Warnings (Music) Online

Tue., Oct. 20, 7 p.m. and Tue., Oct. 27, 7 p.m.

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Livestream at Noonchorus; access provided after ticket purchase.

SOAR Farmer's Market Free All Ages Agenda

Tuesdays, 7 a.m.-2 p.m. Continues through Oct. 28

, , ,
The Streeterville Organization of Active Residents has organized this farmers' market on the front plaza of the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago since 2015. 9 AM-10 AM is reserved for seniors. Vendors include local farmers and producers offering fresh produce, cheeses, drinks, plants, baked goods, and more.

Dance Buffet Online

Through 10/26: see website for schedule and details of events

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The Dance Center of Columbia College continues a virtual season in this series of classes and performances, which include topics such as financial management and lighting design as well as dance.

Other Rockpools Free

Tue 10/20, 7:30 PM CDT

Buy TicketsFree, but donations to Chicago Votes suggested


The New Colony presents a virtual reading of a new play by coartistic director Fin Coe, directed by Elyse Dolan, which was originally scheduled to premiere this past summer. It's 2001 and a renowned physicist invites three strangers, all horrified by the recent presidential election, to her family's cabin. There, a machine that promises to remove them from their current timeline awaits completion. The company suggests donations to Chicago Votes, a nonprofit dedicated to increasing the voices of young voters.

We Still Dream: The 5th Annual Peacebook and Utopian Ball Online

10/17-11/14: see website for complete schedule

Buy TicketsFree for festival; benefit tickets 11/14 $25-$250

Collaboraction presents its annual festival of short plays on seeking peaceful resolution to conflicts (personal and political) via streaming videos, created by 10 different Chicago artist-activists. These are broken into two programs. Program one, Essential Perspectives, features work self-taped and edited by Jasmin Cardenas, Mia Park, Teh’Ray Hale Jr. (aka PHENOM), Sami Ismat, and Willie Round. The focus for these pieces is on how their communities have shown resilience during the pandemic. Program two, Visions of Peace, selected from over 75 submissions, will premiere five new works by Ada Cheng, Darling Shear, Matthew LaChappelle, Luzzo, and Vernon B. Gooden. There is also related programming, including a screening from last winter's Encounter festival of Lift Every Voice by G. Riley Mills and Willie Round and Zoom discussions with the Peacebook creative teams. The festival concludes on Saturday, November 14, with the "Utopian Ball," a virtual benefit chaired by Chicago casting director Claire Simon.

Black Joy Online

10/16-10/31: premiere on Facebook free, available streaming for donation anytime afterward

Buy Ticketspay what you can

Clock Productions offers an online streaming version of this annual festival of songs, scenes, and spoken word, adapted and directed by Kayla V. White, that takes audiences on "a physical and emotional journey through the seasons, sharing stories about being Black in America."

Broadway by the Decade Closing (Theater and Galleries) The Short List (Theater)

9/25-10/25: available streaming anytime for 72 hours after purchase

Buy Tickets$15-$50


Porchlight Music Theatre kicks off its virtual season with this "guided tour" of Broadway's musical history, from the late 1800s to the present. Artistic director Michael Weber serves as the guide, with musical direction by Michael McBride and videography and editing by Austin Packard. A cast of Porchlight favorites perform numbers specially reconfigured for this event. Some of the highlighted shows include Show Boat, Girl Crazy, Funny Girl, Les Misérables, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, and Waitress.

Animal Farm Free Online

10/19-11/20: contact theater for reservation information

Buy TicketsFree to school groups

Steppenwolf for Young Adults offers a streaming radio play version of George Orwell's classic dystopic political allegory. Originally adapted by Althos Low for a stage version produced by SYA in 2014, it has been further adapted for this presentation by Steve Pickering, and is directed by Lili-Anne Brown. It's recommended for grades 8+.