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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 sydneyfringe.com 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, Online@thespaceUK. (Through Aug. 30 at online.thespaceuk.com. Free.)

As for the Shedinburgh Fringe Festival, it is streaming live performances, including Nassim Soleimanpour’s “White Rabbit Red Rabbit,” out of shed spaces set up at Edinburgh’s Traverse Theater and London’s Soho Theater, as well as in performers’ homes. (Through Sept. 5 at shedinburgh.com. Live only. Donations start around $5.)

Think of it as the Off Broadway answer to the Marvel Cinematic Universe: In “Incidental Moments of the Day,” the conclusion to his trilogy “The Apple Family: Life on Zoom,” Richard Nelson introduces a crossover with another of his theatrical franchises as Charlotte Bydwell’s dancer character from “The Michaels” joins the Apple gang. (Sept. 10 at 7:30 p.m. on YouTube and theapplefamilyplays.com; available until Nov. 5. Free, but viewers are encouraged to donate to the Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation in the U.S. or the Theater Artists Fund in the U.K.)

To celebrate its latest Emmy nomination in the outstanding documentary or nonfiction series category, the PBS institution “American Masters” is making a few complete features available on its website. Of particular interest is last year’s “Terrence McNally: Every Act of Life,” about the late playwright and his nearly six decades in theater. (Through Aug. 31 at pbs.org/americanmasters. Free.) Note that on Wednesday at 8 p.m., the documentary’s director, Jeff Kaufman, and producer, Marcia Ross, will participate in a live discussion with the actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson and the playwrights Jeremy O. Harris and Matthew Lopez. (Register at everyactoflife.com. 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 soldiergirls.org.)

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 theaterofwar.com. 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 act-sf.org. $15-$20.)

San Diego Repertory Theater and Amigos del REP are taking the fourth edition of the annual San Diego REP Latinx New Play Festival online. This year features four staged readings as well as the Marga Gomez autobiographical solo “Spanking Machine.” (Sept. 4-6 at sdrep.org. Live only. Pay what you can; $50 suggested for a festival pass.)

In Los Angeles, the Latino Theater Company is making available an archival stream of its 2009 production of Evelina Fern├índez’s “Solitude,” inspired by Octavio Paz’s “The Labyrinth of Solitude.” (Through Sept. 3 at thelatc.org/live. Free.) Next up is a reading of the 1990 play “August 29,” which is named for the day, in 1970, when the Los Angeles Times reporter Ruben Salazar was killed. (Friday at 10 p.m. through Sept. 6. Free.)

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