Virtual entertainment: Local events and activities to check out online  

Courtesy image

All of the treasured paintings in the Addison Gallery of American Art's collection, including this piece by John Singleton Copley, are available for viewing via its website at The gallery is based on the campus of Phillips Academy in Andover.  

A wealth of American art to discover at the Addison

The Addison Gallery of American Art on the campus of Phillips Academy in Andover is said to have one of the most comprehensive collections of American art in the world, including more than 23,000 objects spanning the 18th century to the present.

All of those items can now be viewed at the museum's website by searching for particular works, artists, themes or periods. There are suggestions at the website for art-related projects and activities that families can do together and a link to virtual tours of 10 great museums around the world.

In addition, the exhibits currently on display at the Addison can be viewed in a virtual tour on the website, where visitors can also watch interviews with museum staff.

Check it out at

Gardening, history and more with Trustees

Virtual events are being hosted nearly every day of the week by Trustees of Reservations properties across the state.

Events include history chats via Facebook Live at the Crane Estate in Ipswich on Wednesdays from noon to 1 p.m. and Steward Saturdays, an online garden Q&A at the Stevens-Coolidge Estate in North Andover on Saturdays from 10 to 10:30 a.m. that attempts to answer everyone’s gardening questions.

In addition, the Stevens-Coolidge Place is offering a virtual firsthand look into the collection of Helen and John Coolidge’s personal archives and life on Ashdale Farm in weekly teas on Thursdays at 2 p.m. through the end of the month.

Virtual events are free, but donations are appreciated to support the nonprofit organization. To see the full schedule, visit

Fun fare from Theater in the Open

Theater in the Open in Newburyport is launching "Adventures in Zoomland: A Stay-at-Home Panto!" this weekend.

Touted as a "virtual romp through Zoom," it will feature local actors in short segments premiering live every Sunday at 4 p.m. on YouTube.

Theater in the Open, which has been performing family-friendly productions in Maudslay State Park for 40 years, also continues to stream daily storytelling sessions, music, jokes and theatrical performances online.

Dubbed “Social Distancing Storytime,” the offerings include artistic director Teddy Speck, joined by his daughters, reading and talking about both classic and lesser-known children’s books.

Tune in every day at 11 a.m. via

Whale watches, museum tours with Discover Gloucester

Discover Gloucester is sharing a selection of virtual tours that offer entertainment, art, history and education from the comfort of your own home.

Cape Ann Museum may be toured virtually at The museum's Vimeo page offers access to past lectures, such as “Judith Sargent Murray: A Complicated Woman," available via There is free access to the museum's library and archives, which boasts digital resources available to researchers such as Fitz Henry Lane Online and the Digital Commonwealth, the historical collections from libraries, museums and archives across the state. Go to for more details.

Cape Ann Whale Watch, which offers guaranteed whale sightings for every whale-watching tour out to Stellwagen Bank off the coast of Gloucester, is offering virtual tours at, or catch some whales at

Music Man keeps entertaining children

Wenham musician Brian Doser performs children's music live on Facebook every weekday at 10 a.m.

Doser, better known as The Music Man, normally performs a drop-in music program for children three days a week at The Community House in Hamilton.

He is joined by his daughter Hannah, who sings and plays various instruments, for the 45-minute segments.

Doser has also been offering shows geared toward adults on weekends, featuring popular cover songs and some original tunes.

To check out his shows, visit

Poetic pair reading new works

The Stevens-Coolidge Place in North Andover is holding a live poetry reading featuring two Massachusetts writers on Tuesday, April 28, from 3 to 3:45 p.m.

Lynne Viti, a native of Baltimore, is the author of two poetry collections — "The Baltimore Girls" (2017) and "The Glamorganshire Bible" (2018) — and a short story collection, "Going Too Fast" (2020). Her poetry, nonfiction and fiction have appeared in over 150 journals and anthologies and have been nominated for the Best of the Net Anthology and the Massachusetts Book Award. She is a lecturer emerita in the writing program at Wellesley College.

Heather Corbally Bryant is the author of "How Will the Heart Endure: Elizabeth Bowen and the Landscape of War," as well as nine books of poetry. Her most recent book, "Practicing Yoga in a Former Shoe Factory," is due out this summer. Her poems have been nominated for a Massachusetts Book Award and a Pushcart Prize. She teaches in the writing program at Wellesley College.

Registration is required; a $5 donation is suggested. Visit to sign up and to receive a Zoom link to access the event, or email for more information.

Getting through with a sense of humor

A Gloucester resident's comic one-woman show about the agony of adoption can now be streamed online.

"Too Fat for China" was taped from the cartoonist and storyteller's debut of the work at Gloucester Stage last fall. This work is a sequel to her 2010 graphic memoir, "Good Eggs," which chronicles her journey with infertility and endless rounds of treatments and miscarriages that she and her husband faced. But there is a happy ending.

Streaming tickets are $9. Proceeds will be donated to Gloucester's Backyard Growers, which provides resources and support to establish vegetable gardens.

Visit to gain access through Sunday, April 26.

Stories, music and more with Creative North Shore

Creative North Shore is keeping busy with a series of livestreams.

"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Reading" is a series being held Tuesdays from 3 to 4 p.m., through May 12. Part English class, part dramatic reading, part reflection, Tolkien's classic is being explored chapter by chapter as the group contemplates how the text can inspire today. Visit

Kati Nalbandian hosts "Reasonably Well" every Wednesday, through May 27, from 11 to 11:45 a.m. She will focus on how COVID-19 and social distancing is reteaching and reimagining life. Visit

Costume story times and singalongs take place Mondays and Wednesdays from 2 to 2:30 p.m., and Salem singer-songwriter Ashley Skeffington leads a solo acoustic hour of blues, folk and classic rock on Wednesdays and Fridays.

Visit for details and more events.

Solace and inspiration from the sea

In an effort to provide some solace from the sea to those marooned at home, the staff and board of the Schooner Adventure in Gloucester have put together a list of nautical literature to enjoy. The list includes something for everyone, young and old, sailors, history buffs and landlubbers alike. All these books will inspire you with tales of the seven seas. Check out the list at

The crew of the Adventure has also teamed up to support local, independent bookstores to provide the titles. Partners in the effort include The Bookstore of Gloucester and The Book Shop of Beverly Farms for new books and Dogtown Books in Gloucester and Manchester by the Book for used titles.

The Adventure is compiling a list of the public's favorite nautical books. Email to have your pick included on the list and be entered into a drawing for a copy of "Adventure: The Last of the Great Dory-Fishing Schooners" by Joseph Garland.

Virtual crafting at Haverhill library

The Haverhill Public Library is hosting a virtual crafting hour through Zoom on Fridays at 2 p.m. The meetings let crafters working on projects at home connect with others and draw inspiration from their work.

To receive the Zoom invite to access the sessions, visit, or contact Brendan Kieran at to learn more.

Newburyport Youth Services hosting virtual hangouts

The Newburyport Rec Center may be closed, but the Newburyport Youth Services staff has not stopped working to engage children and families.

The organization will host "Rec Center Zoom Hangouts and Games" on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 2 p.m. All middle and high school members are invited to socialize, join in on games and answer trivia questions. Weekly prizes are awarded for top trivia winners. For the Zoom ID, email

Newburyport Youth Services is also celebrating "Star Wars" with the "May the 4th Be With You Virtual Family Party." Play trivia, participate in the costume contest and build your own droid.

Staff will provide ideas and inspiration for "Star Wars"-themed arts and crafts, recipes, and suggestions on media to consume. End the day with a group viewing of "Solo: A Star Wars Story" via Netflix Party. Email or call 978-465-4434 for times and ID information.

Bringing the Beverly library home

Beverly Public Library is connecting with the community through social media. Offerings include Facebook Live sessions of "Tea Time Children's Classics," featuring readings of chapters from classic children's literature, on Tuesdays at 4 p.m. and "Musical Mondays," with rhymes, songs and special guests, on Mondays at 10 a.m.

The library is also celebrating National Poetry Month with "Shelter in Verse," YouTube videos of staff members reading their favorite poems. And it has been using Zoom to host various book and film discussion groups. To check out the events, visit or

Additionally, the library, in conjunction with Beverly Public Schools’ librarians, is launching Beverly Keeps Reading, a citywide challenge to read 5,000 books this spring. All ages can take part using the Beanstack app, which rewards readers with badges and keeps track of the collective goal. Participants will have a chance to win gift certificates to local businesses provided by the Friends of the Beverly Public Library. For details, check

Cape Ann Museum offers lectures

Cape Ann Museum seeks to continue its mission to tell the stories of the community and its contributions to American art and industry even though its doors are temporarily closed.

During this period, the Gloucester museum is sharing some of its offerings online. To take a virtual tour, visit

To access previous lectures, visit From this link, viewers can find programs such as "Redefining Women: The Impact of the Revolution on Gender Ideology," recorded on March 7; "Promises and Limits of the New Republic," recorded on Feb. 29; and "Judith Sargent Murray: A Complicated Woman," recorded on Jan. 25, among many other options.

Anna Solomon to give book reading

Gloucester native Anna Solomon will read from her new third novel, “The Book of V.,” at 7 p.m. on Monday, May 4, in Harvard Book Store’s virtual event series.

The story is a retelling of the Bible’s Book of Esther, with characters set in contemporary Brooklyn, New York; in the 1970s in Washington, D.C.; and in ancient Persia.

The free event can be accessed by going to For more information, call 800-542-READ.

Explore the Peabody Essex Museum

The Peabody Essex Museum in Salem now features a range of digital content at its website that allows visitors to explore its collection remotely.

Podcasts discuss recent exhibits and museum history, while stories reflect on the value and impact of art. There are also suggestions for crafts and activities for the whole family.

Clicking on the “Explore Art” button at allows viewers to examine highlights from several periods and categories in the museum’s international collection, while postings of art and objects at respond to each day at hand.

Be heard in Oral History Project

The Lawrence History Center is collecting stories about coming together in crisis.

“Remote Oral History: Physically Distanced. Socially Connected” highlights the lives of community members in a way that reflects the current reality.

File a two-minute story, a full-length interview via Zoom or submit a written story and photos to the center’s Dropbox account.

For more information, visit

Going backstage with Stage 284

Stage 284, the theater program at The Community House in Hamilton, is hosting a series on Facebook called “Backstage at 284” that looks at what happens behind the scenes and off the stage in a production.

This features live, 30-minute “Lunch and Learn” sessions on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at noon with directors, performers, choreographers, lighting designers, sound designers and more.

Then on Tuesdays and Thursdays, viewers can dance along with performers or do yoga at 1 p.m. in sessions that last between 20 minutes and one hour.

All of the videos stay online at, so they can be accessed any time.

Lighten up with Memorial Hall Library

For anyone looking to lighten the mood, Memorial Hall Library in Andover is offering links through its website to comic strips, comedies on film and TV, collections of jokes, laughter yoga, and strange stories on NPR.

In addition, the library has contact information for online Dungeons & Dragons games being held for ages 6 through 12, virtual dementia dialogues for caregivers and people with dementia, virtual book chats, and much more. Access varies, with some programs available just to Memorial Hall Library cardholders, others to cardholders from any library in the Merrimack Valley Library Consortium. Visit

Also, all Massachusetts residents have access to Boston Public Library resources with an e-card available at

If you have an event to add to this roundup, please email the details to Ann Reily, managing editor of features, at

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