Literature comes to life with these plays you can rent or purchase online.

By Andrea Romano
Updated April 06, 2020
Joe Daniel Price/Getty Images

To stream or not to stream, that is the question.

Of course, if you’re asking, the answer is definitely “to stream.”

As many people are staying home in order to help slow the spread of coronavirus, cultural institutions like museums, libraries, theaters and other venues are closing their doors. In order to keep the masses engaged, some have also decided to provide virtual tours and streamed performances online.

According to Londonist, the famous Globe Theatre in London is also joining other institutions to give the people what they crave the most: incredible performances of Shakespeare’s plays.

For all the would-be theatergoers out there, the Globe has pre-recorded tapings of many of its past plays, including "Twelfth Night" with Stephen Fry ("Wilde," "A Bit of Fry & Laurie") and Mark Rylance ("Dunkirk,"Bridge of Spies"), a version of "Coriolanus" from renowned Japanese theater company Motoi Miura, a female-led production of "Hamlet," and a production of "Merchant of Venice" starring Jonathan Pryce ("The Two Popes," "Game of Thrones," "Evita").

Overall, there are 74 productions that are available on the theater’s online streaming service, Globe Player.

Sadly, these recordings are not free. Instead, you can either rent a title for £5.99 ($6.91 USD) or buy it and keep it forever for £11.99 ($13.82). That’s about as much as (or lower than) what you might pay to rent or own a new release on iTunes or Amazon Prime, and it’s also far less than a live theater ticket. Plus you'll still be supporting the arts financially. There is some free content available on Globe Player, but it’s mostly short documentary videos.

Not only are these productions incredibly entertaining for any audience member, but they are also valuable educational content for students who need to keep up with their curriculum while schools are closed.

Globe Player offers a free account, so all you have to pay for are the plays you love. For more information, visit the Globe Player website.

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