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Nowhere to go, but lots to do


Even while in isolation, there’s still plenty to do in Rochester. Now that we’re getting the hang of social distancing, local musicians and arts organizations have stepped up their online game so we can all get through this together, virtually. Here are a few of this week’s highlights:

Let’s start with the kids. There’s no shortage of story times, and kids can watch live or save some for later. Ganondagan State Historic Site interpreters Tonia Galban (Mohawk) & Michael Galban (Washoe/Paiute) keep the oral tradition alive every weekday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. For the curious child, Rochester Museum & Science Center’s website has loads of activities, plus Science Storytime every Tuesday afternoon at 3 p.m. Of course, local libraries continue their story times, such as Frederick Douglass Community Library’s Stories & Songs with Miss Sarah (weekdays, 10 a.m.; Tuesdays, 6 p.m.); Gates Library Story Times (Mary Jo on Mondays, 10:15 a.m.; Hannah on Tuesdays, 10:15 a.m. and Wednesdays, 7 p.m.), and Lincoln Library’s Streaming Storytimes (Tuesdays, in Spanish, and Thursdays, 10:30 a.m.).

For kids who’d like to step onto the stage themselves, they can share their talents this Friday on Magical Journey Thru Stages’ Virtual Open Mic, where they can sing, dance, share jokes, poetry, or anything they imagine (April 17, 7 p.m.).

If you’ve been missing the coziness of local open mics, Naples musician Mike Joseph hosts his Open Mic twice each week — every Wednesday and Sunday at 7 p.m. Recent performers have included Johnny Bauer, Lisa Winter, and Mary Israel. For the poets, Sulfur Books invites participants of Open Mic Mondays to post their readings on Instagram.

The stage comes to screen as local theater retains its power to transport. JCC Artistic Director Ralph Meranto has responded swiftly with his intimate adaptation of “Social Distancing: A Monologue Play,” by Jason Odell Williams (playwright of “Division Street,” recently staged at JCC’s Hart Theatre). This week is also the final curtain call for Geva Theatre’s digital presentations of “Once” and “Cry it Out,” both available for viewing through April 15 ($35). For further insight to these productions, read an interview with Andrew Wilhelm, sound designer for “Once,” as well as an essay on the “unknown evolution of the common cry,” both up now on the Geva Journal.

Stay tuned next week for more highlights, including film and literary events.

For full listings of local online events check out the CITY Events Calendar. Do you have an event you wish to include? You can submit online, or email event information to [email protected].