Housebound and looking for something to do? Local events are happening online

Tribute to classic Dungeons & Dragons art. — Shane O’Shaughnessy

From Netflix Party to online streaming concerts, Americans have joined the rest of the world in recent days figuring out ways to connect and engage — from a distance.

The eastern Iowa community has been making some of these same moves, too. On St. Patrick’s Day, over 400 people at any one time were glued to a livestreamed concert from local favorites Wylde Nept. But virtual togetherness is not just for holidays. Here are some fantastic opportunities for online experiences from local artists and performers that you can enjoy this weekend:

See a Play Reading

Mirrorbox Theatre has postponed — and rescheduled — their spring show, In the Canyon (now opening July 23), but that hasn’t stopped them from fulfilling their mission of bringing the eastern Iowa area fresh, thoughtful, contemporary plays. Their new series, Out of the Box, kicks off tomorrow, Friday, March 20, with a livestreamed reading of Ghost Light, a new play by Mirrorbox artistic director Cavan Hallman.

The reading will take place over Zoom, and the event is free, but registration is required. One feature of doing this over the Zoom platform is that, in addition to area actors Aaron Murphy, Jo Jordan, Matthew James and Lauren Galliart, New York City-based actor Mike Spara is joining the cast as well.

Learn to Play D&D

Iowa City artist (and occasional LV contributor) Shane O’Shaughnessy works (or did, before the schools closed) as a paraeducator at Mann Elementary, where he was teaching some students to play Dungeons & Dragons casually over lunch. He was scheduled to make it more formal with camp at Willowwind School this summer, which is now up in the air. When classes in the ICCSD were postponed, O’Shaughnessy decided to take things online, opening it up to other newcomers to the game, both parents and kids.

He’ll be running weekly sessions for first-time players of all ages, using, available via his Facebook page D&D 4 All, as well as posting regular educational videos. O’Shaughnessy is also willing to run one-on-one sessions for a small fee. But his main goal is to continue to provide the same engagement as he did pre-COVID. There will be links to other available resources on his page as well.

Watch a Short Film

Combined Efforts Theatre specializes in working with actors of all abilities, so imagining creative ways to engage in the new normal is second nature to them. They’ve produced a video, which went live on March 17, of the witches scene from Shakespeare’s Macbeth: each line was recorded separately by each actor, on their personal cellphone. The film as a whole was directed and compiled by Janet Schlapkohl.

Listen to a Story

The Iowa City Public Library and Cedar Rapids Public Library are among the professional readers posting videos of story times for kids and older — check out the CRPL’s teen-and-adult version below.