My two month long Quarantine break hasn’t consisted of only reading, animal crossing, and painting nature- it’s also included attending Zoom meetings of improv shows and Poetry readings. The Second City’s Improv House Party occurs every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. The sessions consist of mad lib- like games where the audience requests a theme, word, or situation and the players incorporate it into their skits. The shows basically consist of “Whose Line is It Anyway” type of games as opposed to elaborate productions, but they are charming shows that last only a half hour. Today, I attended a poetry reading show that is streaming on Youtube. It’s an event that honors the 20th year of The Still Waters Collective, an artistic and poetry collective based in Milwaukee. There were many bright writers who presented including Nikki Janzen with her young son, Niles who recited some poetry of his own. Nick Demske, meanwhile, talked about his volunteering as a poetry teacher in prisons and read a poem tribute to one of the students he met there. The celebration is continuing until midnight tonight and can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I8aVrx94Hvk&feature=youtu.be
John Bloner Jr. is particularly active in the online events field, holding an artist coffee collective ever 10 AM on Thursdays, and helping put together a Zoom Poets Live every two weeks on Saturdays with the Spectrum Art Gallery. The Racine Art Museum is also getting in on the trend with a virtual happy hour that is set to occur tomorrow evening. While Zoom meetings and streaming may seem a bit intimidating at first, it’s always fun to try something new with friends who are close to you. Virtual meetups are fun, refreshing, and a great way to avoid loneliness. I highly recommend them.