Whether it was a regular date night with your spouse or a monthly girl’s night out for dinner and a show, we’re all missing those special evenings at the theater that had once been a part of our regular routines. But just because there aren’t live shows in our theaters doesn’t mean you can’t plan a fun evening to enjoy from the comfort of your own home! Streaming concerts and live streams are quickly becoming a way to still experience theater and music while live shows are paused. But you don’t have to treat it like sitting down to an episode of your favorite TV show. Here are some tips for making your night in still feel like a festive evening out on the town.
Okay, we know a typical trip to the theater might include heavy traffic or a long wait at a restaurant forcing you to sprint to your theater to catch the show on time. Don't let your technology delay your streaming event!
We will be sending out instructions for accessing your streaming event at least 24 hours in advance of your show. We encourage you to review the information well before the show starts. Better yet, get your stream up on your TV 15 minutes early so you're ready to go when the "curtain" goes up.
We get it, sweats are comfortable. And while they’re appropriate for almost everything these days, from lounging to working from home to picking up take out … we’re pretty sure they wouldn’t be your go-to outfit for a dinner in person at your favorite restaurant. Dust off that little black dress or the tie collection you were so proud of back in 2019. Dig your favorite heels out of the back of the closet. Treat the night as if you were going out to see and be seen.
So many restaurants offer ordering options that allow you to pick the date and time for pickup, which makes it super easy to plan ahead. Decide on a restaurant ahead of time and send a menu link to your group or date a few days before the event, so that meals can be selected and orders placed well in advance. We may never want to stand in line for a table again!
Bonus: Get the whole family involved on a special date night with your spouse by asking the kids to be your at-home restaurant crew. Have them meet you at the door and show you to your (dining room) table, then let them serve you your take out entrees and condiments as if you were truly dining out. Just don’t forget to invite them to join you for dinner… and tip them well with some extra screen time afterwards!
Inviting a small group over for the stream? Why not make it fun and give them a theme to work from? And while this can of course include costumes, there are so many other fun ways to incorporate your theme into the evening that you may not be able to do for a live performance. Instead of ordering out, have everyone bring a food dish or beverage choice coordinated to the show. Give each of your guests a small gift bag with little treasures to remind them of the evening like wineglass charms, DIY photo frames or branded face masks. You can also use the pre/post show time for fun trivia contests, or create “intermission” games to keep the party lively.
Not comfortable having people over? Have friends purchase the same streaming event to view at their own home, and set up a pre/post show Zoom so that you can still see one another and chat about the show without actually being together. You can dine together virtually, then take your seats in your own living rooms, and meet back up online after the event ends. You don’t talk to one another during a performance anyway, right?
While we’ve never claimed theater seats to be more comfortable than our couches, there is something to be said for re-creating the atmosphere of the theater. Find a red slipcover or blanket to cover the furniture in the same shade as our theater seats. Dim the lights at the start of the show. And be sure to put away those cell phones! Remove distractions and give the streaming event your full attention, just as you would the real live show.
Trust us when we say we miss seeing you at the theater as much as you miss coming down for shows. But until we can be together again, we hope you enjoy these suggestions for a special night in your own home. Don’t forget to tag us in your social posts celebrating these unique experiences!
Excited to try these out? Here are some upcoming streaming events presented by Playhouse Square: