Bored, anxious or got the blues during the global pandemic? The online community is sharing performances, events and activities designed to stimulate the mind, soothe the psyche and keep the body active. Florida Weekly offers these top picks to keep you occupied during COVID-19. To submit items for possible future publication, email plain text or Word documents to firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Waterfront Playhouse Goes Digital – Following the highly successful broadcast of “The 39 Steps: A Radio Play,” the Waterfront Playhouse will present a radio treatment of “Sunset Boulevard” on Saturday, May 16, at 8 p.m. on US1Radio 104.1 FM (us1radio.com). The radio broadcast features Christopher Peterson, Brandon Beach, Laura Richardson, Willie Alsedek, David Black and John McDonald. The broadcast is free to the public, but any donations to help fund these events can be made by visiting www.waterfrontplayhouse.org/donate-online.
2. Film Chat – The Fort Myers Film Festival presents Thank God for Indie Mondays (T.G.I.M.) online at 7 p.m. every Monday with host Eric Raddatz. Enjoy a film chat about what is fresh to streaming plus banter with special guests and weigh in on your favorites you are watching. www.facebook.com/fortmyersfilmfestival/.
3. Florida Freakshow – A new, locally produced podcast called “Florida Freakshow” celebrates the Sunshine State’s strange news stories. “Florida Freakshow,” hosted by award-winning former journalists Cory and Kirsten O’Donnell of Cape Coral, shares humorous takes on Florida’s weirdest news. Follow it on Twitter (@ FlaFreakshow) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/flafreakshow) or on the podcast’s website, www.FloridaFreakshow.com.
4. Nature Programs – Audubon Florida offers an Everglades Care Package with links to videos sharing the sights, sounds and stories of the Florida Everglades. Here’s one from Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary: www.facebook.com/watch/ live/?v=245213386868254&ref=watch_ permalink&emci=173da930-7f8c-ea11-86e9- 00155d03b5dd&emdi=68be9d5c-968c-ea11- 86e9-00155d03b5dd&ceid=3327272. And another of Pedestrian Wanderlust at Long Pine Key: www.facebook.com/nationalwaterdance/ videos/646059189293324/?v=64 6059189293324&emci=173da930-7f8c-ea11- 86e9-00155d03b5dd&emdi=68be9d5c-968cea11 86e9-00155d03b5dd&ceid=3327272.
5. Flamingo Cam – Get a bird’s eye view of the gorgeous flamingos at Everglades Wonder Gardens in Bonita Springs with constant streaming at www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rv1Z8_ gK_ A0.
6. Virtual Activities – The J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge honors Endangered Species Day on May 15 with a virtual activities broadcast through the refuge’s official Facebook page all week. In keeping with the weekly #DingatHome series of learning exercises for those staying safer at home, Endangered Species Week introduces a daily themed activity based on one of Florida’s endangered species. Each day’s activity posts at 10 a.m. through Friday, May 15. For the schedule: dingdarlingsociety.org/ articles/ding-at-home.
7. Eagle Cam – Dick Pritchett Real Estate has provided a hugely popular live look into the Southwest Florida bald eagle nest for eight seasons. Viewers can catch the action of Harriet, M15 and their offspring via four cameras that stream the birds 24/7 live directly to the site. www.dickpritchettrealestate.com/eagle-feed. html.
8. Birthday Parties – The IMAG History & Science Center is offering Virtual Birthday Celebrations for Adults, no kids allowed! Celebrants can gather virtually with up to 15 guests for a unique experience using Zoom for a video and audio party connection.
IMAG offers various party themes, including Beers & Gears, a Harry Potter-inspired Wizards’ University, and Star Wars-inspired Happy Hour at Oga’s Cantina. Using the IMAG TV studio green screen, costumes and props, the IMAG staff puts on an interactive show and activity for parties lasting 20-30 minutes. www.theIMAG.org.
9. Museum Challenge – The Getty Museum Challenge, featuring artwork recreated with household items, is sweeping the nation. The challenge: re-create your favorite art using just three objects lying around home, photograph your re-creation, and share it through social media. www.blogs.getty.edu/iris/getty-artworks-recreated with-household-items-by-creative-geniuses-the-world-over/.
10. Museums & Galleries – Virtually visit museums and art galleries via The Google Art Project, which has partnered with more than 1,200 cultural institutions from around the world to archive and document priceless pieces of art and to provide virtual tours of museums using Google Street View technology. After following the link, scroll to about the middle of the options to find the museums and galleries: www.artsandculture.google.com.
11. Music Online – Listen to music online via NPR Music, which is compiling live audio and video streams from around the world, with links out to streaming platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. Some require registration or a subscription, but most are free, often with digital tip jars and opportunities to directly support artists by buying music and merchandise. www.npr.org/2020/03/17/816504058/a-list-of-live-virtual concerts-to-watch-during-the-coronavirus shutdown.
12. Virtual 5K – Registration is underway for the Babcock Ranch QuaRUNtine 5K, a fun, safe, virtual race that encourages participants to “Run your own race, at your place, time and pace.” Runners and walkers are welcome to participate wherever they would like, whether it’s their own neighborhood or their treadmill. Complete the 5K (3.1 miles) anytime through Saturday, May 30, then submit your best finishing time by emailing events@BabcockRanch.com. Awards will be given for overall best male and female time, and for first and second-place finishers in numerous age categories. An entry fee of $12 for residents and $20 for non-residents includes a Dri-Fit race shirt. Register at bit.ly/BRQua- RUNtine5K. For details, email events@ BabcockRanch.com.
13. Talk Back Series – Florida Repertory Theatre is pioneering new ways to engage with patrons virtually. The latest online offering is a free weekly talk back series, Stage@Home, hosted live on Zoom and streamed to Facebook each week. To participate in the discussion on Zoom, sign up in advance on the theater’s website at www.floridarep.org/florida-rep-launchesvirtual series-stagehome/. In addition to the talk back series, Florida Rep’s Education department is also offering weekly virtual classes for students of all ages.
14. Symphony Sessions – Gulf Coast Symphony has videoed a Q&A session with Maestro Andrew Kurtz discussing the symphony’s next season and addressing musical questions, as well as a performance of Puccini’s “Tosca” and a YouTube video of Mahler Symphony N. 5 Bernstein VPO (1987 Live in London). Check them out at www.facebook.com/ gulfcoastsymphony/.
15. Opera Online – Opera companies across North America offer content online for listeners to enjoy while they stay home. Here’s a sampling: Weekdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. CDT, from May 18-30, Opera Steamboat will be offering Real-Life Opera, a vocal training program for young artists, at www.operasteamboat.org/real-lifeopera/. Seattle Opera’s past performances will be featured every Saturday through July 25 on Seattle Opera Mornings, broadcast by KING FM at 10 a.m. PDT at www.seattleopera.org/kingfm. ¦