BTL COVID-19 Resource Guide

As the world continues to learn more about coronavirus and its spread, it's vital to stay up-to-date on the latest developments. However, it's also important to make sure that the information being distributed is from credible sources. To that end, Between The Lines has compiled, [...]

Stay Home, Stay Safe, Stay Entertained

By | 2020-05-15T10:18:51-04:00 April 15th, 2020|COVID-19, Michigan, News|

Whether working from home or not working at all, most people have extra time on their hands as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. And while it’s true in theory that one could pen their memoir or scrub the house from top to bottom, perhaps it’s best to give oneself a break and remember a stay-at-home order is not the same as a staycation. With that in mind, Between The Lines offers the following opportunities for viewing pleasure without leaving the couch — or bed, to set the bar low.

Shelling out just $10 to watch a live Hollywood drag show might sound like a thing of the distant past, but with “PEG Presents: Digital Drag Fest,” such reasonably-priced shows are available now. Currently offered through the end of April, tickets are limited for each event and feature drag icons from “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and other LGBTQ entertainers.

“Drag is about resilience, and this festival is meant to share that message during a challenging time in our world,” said David Charpentier, Founder and President of PEG. “We want to give fans an opportunity to continue supporting their favorite queens and provide a welcome distraction for drag lovers around the globe.”

Another recurring show for drag fans is the “Do it For Betty Drag Brunch,” which is exactly what it sounds like — and this one’s free. Catch it on Facebook live, every Sunday, noon to 1:30 p.m. To quote host Schwa de Vivre, “Join me for a fabulous Live-Streamed Drag Brunch Variety Show where we’re gonna TURN IT OUT while STAYING INSIDE! We are self-quarantining and social distancing for all the Betty’s in our lives – especially BETTY WHITE.” Home audience members supply their own bagels, lox and mimosas.

“Stars in the House” was launched in mid-March by Sirius XM Broadway host Seth Rudestsky and his husband, producer James Wesley. It’s a twice-daily stream of what’s billed as “online mini performances and sassy chats” with stars of stage and screen. This project promotes support for the Actors Fund’s services for those most vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19. “Stars In The House” airs at 2 and 8 p.m., and it can be viewed online as well as on its website, Playbill.com and BroadwayWorld.com. Donations, which are tax-deductible, are encouraged. For more details including a list of performers click here.

In response to the LGBTQ community’s need for a safe, affirming space in this time of crisis, themfest was created by Conde Nast’s them. network. Available daily on them.’s Instagram live, check out their lineup of queer artists of all stripes.

Creative Capital supports innovative and adventurous artists across the country in various ways. Now, the organization has a vast selection of online options to choose from on its regularly updated COVID-19 webpage. For example, their carefully curated collection includes a link to livestreamed performances of “Trump Lear Online” every night through May 1, perhaps intended to supplement the daily evening press briefings. Links to live chats with authors and artists, the Met Opera nightly streams and numerous film offerings are also available from one convenient online location.

For those missing their regular fix of visual art, free virtual access to 2,500 world-class galleries and museums might be just the thing to satisfy that craving — no shoes required. Google Arts & Culture’s easy-to-browse pages is where to head for that. Michigan museums in the collection include the usual suspects like the Detroit Institute of Arts and the University of Michigan Museum of Art, but also the lesser-known but equally-worth-perusing American Museum of Magic in Marshall can be found there as well.

If one does choose to get up off the couch it’s certainly a great time for outdoor exercise. But if the weather doesn’t allow or being reclusive sounds more appealing right now, staying active indoors is possible, too. There’s no shortage of online yoga and workout videos, but perhaps tap dance is more your fancy. For those with interest in dance and the space to practice it, check out the offerings from New York’s Gibney Dance. Pay-what-you-can (and free) classes, from ballet to hip-hop to vogue, plus free resources are available.

Finally, for those with $180 to spare, MasterClass is offering a buy-one-get-one annual subscription right now that provides access to their streaming platform which makes it possible to watch or listen to hundreds of video lessons from the world’s best. From photography to music to sports, there’s something in their catalog of more than 80 classes to appeal to everyone. Why not start with David Sedaris’ class on storytelling and humor? If anyone can provide the inspiration to complete a memoir during this pandemic, he can.

About the Author:

Ellen Shanna Knoppow
Ellen Knoppow is a writer, editor and activist.