The Show Goes On for These Resourceful Rhode Island Musicians & Theaters

The Rhode Island music and theater scene is alive and well thanks to digital venues and loyal fans

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Almost three months into social distancing practices, the deeper human-tech-cloud merger is at hand; our interactions and connection are explicitly through screens. Whereas once there was the luxury of “staying in tonight,” there is now no other choice. But fear not, for in the midst of isolation, the creative types are doing what they do best: Finding ways to bring art to the people. Here are ways to support your favorite local artists, stay involved with the Rhode Island music scene, or maybe catch up on what you’ve been missing from the comfort of your couch.

• by Adam Hogue

MadCap Monday: MadCap Monday is a music and art jam, an open-mic showcase that started at The Spot but has since found a home at Dusk. I’m sure that even if the world succumbed to a zombie apocalypse, there would still be MadCap Monday, so for Nate Cozzolino, Nic “Supe” Hallenbeck, and the MadCap crew, this COVID-19 business is nothing but a challenge to be more creative. MadCap continues to offer live, curated performance art and music every Monday starting at 7pm for the MadCap Monday Facebook “live quaranstream.”

The News Cafe: While your bedroom might lack the ambiance of a local bar/venue like The News Cafe, you can still listen to regulars on Bandcamp. The project was conceived by James Toomey, creator of the podcast Where the Living Room Used to Be, and curated by Justin Foster.

The Galactic Theatre: David Podsnap of The Galactic Theatre is in the midst of adding a flatbread setup and an ice cream parlor whilst keeping fans satiated musically, too. “I am planning on hosting online streaming solo concerts from our website or Instagram or Facebook,” says Podsnap. “There will be a PayPal and/or Venmo link per concert stream and all tips will go to performers.” Slated to start concerts this month, keep an eye on their Facebook page

Big Nice Studio Thursdays: Maybe you’re ready to turn those quarantine demos into more refined projects. Brad Krieger of Big Nice Studio in Lincoln is still taking on remote mixing and mastering projects, as well as collaborating with artists to produce tracks remotely. “One thing I have going in the meantime while treading water for the moment is a new Twitch stream,” Krieger says. “Every Thursday night I host two bands...the bands come on to hang out.” Find it on Twitch.

Bartholomewtown Podcast: Silverteeth’s Bill Bartholomew has been able to fully embrace his citizen-guerilla local journalism with his Bartholomewtown podcast. Bartholomew has been at every one of Gov. Raimondo’s press conferences, and he streams protests via Facebook live and interviews creatives and policy-makers. He says, “I have tried to use my press credential as a public servant, asking questions that come from my ‘eyes and ears wide open’ approach to journalism.” Find Bartholomewtown on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and more.

New Roz Raskin: Just a few short weeks ago, Roz Raskin released the new NOVA ONE record lovable in the midst of isolation. It’s a personal record released at what has become a personal time for everyone. “I think it is some of my most honest music and I feel proud to be loud about my gender, sexuality, and my general healing practices,” Raskin says. “For folks going through difficulty with healing, especially during this time of so much isolation, I see you and feel you.”

• by Robert Isenberg

Epic Theatre Co.: Since the quarantine, the scrappy Cranston company has developed several #StayInStaySafe series, including “Midnight Monologues” on Facebook Live, an Instragram discussion of musical albums called “Listen Up!”, and “The Epic Writers Club,” which provides writing prompts to participants, who then compose their own 10-minute plays. 

FringePVD: Fringe Festivals have always been a place for performing artists to experiment, so it makes sense that FringePVD will still take place, entirely in digital form, with its diverse lineup of monologuists, musicians, street artists, and other inventive thespians. 

The Gamm: Try online courses like Script Analysis, Scene Study, and Comedic Monologue Workshops. Look for performances to resume in January.

Trinity Repertory Company: While the stage might be still, Trinity Rep is hard at work keeping theater alive online, including classes and a weekly "Your Half Hour with Curt", a 30-minute Facebook Live discussion featuring host and Artistic Director Curt Columbus and special guests. 

The United Theatre: A series of virtual screenings, most of which are independent or foreign films,  helps the century-old Westerly theater maintain support as they continue to renovate their mixed-use complex. To help you pick your movie and understand their context, the United also hosts a podcast, Cabin Fever Curation, presented by artistic director Tony Nunes. 

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