This post was written by Ethan Sawyer and his screenwriter friends Ed and Whit. Thanks, y’all.

Looking for something to do while keeping yourself (and others!) healthy by social-distancing? Check out this list my friends created.

PODCASTS

  • Tunnel 29 by the BBC. About the Berlin Wall. It’s sensational. I tried to get the movie rights. So did everyone else.

  • Bodies Season two just dropped, but Season One is great too. There is just so much the world hasn’t bothered to learn about women’s health, and this gets into a lot. Highly recommend.

  • LA Theatre Works Friends, this is such a delight. They’ve recorded the readings that LA Theatre Works has done over the years, and you can listen to a lot of them through the podcast (and others through Libby, the LA Library App). It’s a real treat for us theater nerds.

FILMS & TV SHOWS

  • Do you know about Kanopy? LA Library’s film catalogue. Watch great indies, foreign films, and more for free. (More info under “Apps”)

  • We’ve rewatched 10 Cloverfield Lane since isolating. It’s still pretty great.

  • I’ve been sick and exhausted (hopefully not the other big C), so I took up watching Schitts’ Creek because it’s amusing while also perfectly suited to falling asleep at any point then waking up at any point and feeling like you don’t really need to go back to see how you got from A to B.

  • PBS Passport has all of Antiques Roadshow (more info under Apps).

  • There is a collection of series that combine reality television with history, put out by BBC/Channel 4/PBS, and they are delightful! You’ll have to search to see where you can watch them (YouTube frequently has them, though not sure if they’re there legally) – last resort is to buy them on Amazon. They are: Manor House*Regency House PartyFrontier House*1900 HouseThe 1940’s HouseThe Edwardian House, and Country House. (*Manor House and Frontier House are so good)

THEATER & MUSIC PERFORMANCE

  • There’s a live recording of Newsies on Broadway that you can watch on Amazon Prime (not sure if it’s still free or if you have to rent).

  • PBS Passport Thirteen Passport (not sure what the difference is, so do a little digging) have a handful of live recordings of musicals and plays to watch. (See Apps for more info.)

  • The Met is releasing live recordings of operas from past years for free. A new one drops every night and is available to watch for 24 hours on their homepage, https://www.metopera.org. As of this morning, March 17, Carmen is currently available.

  • Amazon Prime has an Add-On called BroadwayHD (free 7-day trial – also available separately at www.broadwayhd.com) through which you can stream a ton of recorded-live Broadway shows. Some are even avail through Amazon Prime alone. Combined titles include: Live from Lincoln Center – Carousel (Prime), Miss Saigon: 25th Anniversary Performance (free with BroadwayHD), Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall (free with BroadwayHD), Newsies (rent), PBS Great Performances: Driving Miss Daisy (Prime), Macbeth with Sir Patrick Stewart (Prime), Tommy at the Royal Albert Hall (Prime), Rent: Filmed Live on Broadway (for purchase – meh), Burried Child (free with BroadwayHD). Go to broadwayhd.com for complete list with their subscription service.

  • Broadwayworld.com is broadcasting “living room concerts” — big-time Broadway performers singing from their homes, often accompanying themselves. You can sign up on their website to receive alerts when new ones drop.

ARTS

BOOKS/AUDIO BOOKS

  • Again, Libby is my favorite app for audio and e-books – they have most things for free to listen to; no need for Audible unless you don’t feel like dealing with a wait list for a couple of the more popular titles. And if you don’t have a Library Card already, you can digitally apply for and receive a digital-only version, good for both Libby and Kanopy. No need to leave your house.

  • Most of you friends have read most new, acclaimed, literary fiction, as well as most of the more recent socially and politically relevant titles (you’re all wonderful nerds), so here are some lighter reads:

  • Born Standing Up Steve Martin’s autobiography. Read this one a while ago, and granted, I’m a big fan, but I enjoyed it.

  • Bossypants Just in case you haven’t read Tina Fey’s book.

  • Inside Delta Force I remember LOVING this. But again, read it a long time ago.

  • Into Thin Air Same with this one, loved it.

  • Brain on Fire Great book, crazy story.

  • White Rage Okay, this is a political one. But it seems to be less widely read than things like White Fragility or Between The World and Me, and I found it to be an excellent primer on the history of systemic, institutionalized racism, while not being at all text-book like (read: dry). Highly recommend.

  • The Uninhabitable Earth Climate change (sorry, another serious one, but it’s relevant to pandemics, so…)

  • Cadillac Desert This is one of Ed’s favorites and is on my list to read. About how we should…ah…definitely not be living in Los Angeles.

TWO-PERSON GAMES

You can order games on Amazon and then let sit untouched for four days to be sure any of the virus that may have been on the packaging has died (3-day life span on certain surfaces)

  • Hanamikoji This is about winning over geisha’s, but Ed and I aren’t comfortable with that, so we refer to it as making friends.

  • 7 Wonders Duel A little more involved but a good one.

  • The Game Easy to learn, fast, we play it almost every day, I’m not kidding.

  • Monopoly Deal An easy, superior version of Monopoly as a simple card game.

  • Clank Can play with more people. More complicated than others, but now is the time to learn!

  • Lords of Waterdeep Also more involved, but very fun. Can play with more people.

  • Rummikub Great game, 2-4 players (Elliott might enjoy this one already!)

PUZZLES

  • We really like Buffalo Games brand for jigsaw. You can order from Amazon and then let the package sit for 4 days to ensure the virus is completely dead.

APPS

  • Active by POPSUGAR Free at-home workout tutorials

  • Sweat App For workout stuff; most of it is subscription, but many offer extended free trials, and a lot of trainers are moving to home workouts right now, run-on sentence.

  • Libby LA Public Library digital and audiobook app. You can digitally request and receive a digital-only library card without even leaving your home.

  • Kanopy LA Public Library video app. You can digitally request and receive a digital-only library card without even leaving your home.

  • 7 Little Words

  • TED App TED talks

  • Duolingo Learn a language!

  • iTunes U Free university level courses and lectures!

CLASSES & LEARNING

  • Duolingo Learn a language!

  • iTunes U Free university level courses and lectures!

  • @WendyMac on Instagram is offering live drawing classes for kids every day this week at 10am PST in case you want to pass this info on to folks with kids.

FITNESS

  • Active by PopSugar They’ve just released hundreds of free at-home workouts via the app.

  • Sweat App Lots of trainers on this app; there is a fee for programs, but there are also frequent free trials; many trainers are moving to home workouts. Check out Kelsey Wells Pwr Program (you can also check out Kelsey’s Instagram page for previews).

  • Alexia Clark is an absolute beast of a trainer and offers new home workouts every single day. Go to Alexia-Clark.com for more info or check out her Instagram.

  • For the time being, Tiler Peck (principal dancer with NYC Ballet) is teaching a ballet class every day through Instagram Live at 10am PST/1pm EST. You can do it in your kitchen.

  • Go for a hike! (Provided you can.) Try to go at off-hours (sunrise, folks) so that you can easily maintain 6 feet of distance from all other people.

  • DATE IDEAS

  • Chopped Challenge with items in your pantry, then get dressed up (gown and tux if you own one), and dine by candlelight.

  • Go for a drive. If you get out of the car, stay at least 6 feet away from all other humans and be cautious about using too much gas – never know when you may need a tank to get somewhere.

Any new ideas? Let us know so we can include them!

Bettina Weil

Founder, Weil College Advising, LLC.

Weil College Advising

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