Connection Corner: Stay-At-Home Opportunities

As a way to help build connections while our community is living with Stay-at-Home restrictions, Campus Connections will feature faculty/staff recommendations. This issue’s topic is recommended opportunities for entertainment and enrichment made possible during the pandemic.

Professor of English Garry Walton shared about online opportunities to watch theatre performances.

“I have been delighted by the wealth of performances that theaters have made available online, even though they are no longer able to offer live productions for us to attend. Thanks to the cooperation of Actors’ Equity, many shows that would not have been released are now available to online viewers. One of the first companies to make their entire season available virtually was the American Shakespeare Center in Staunton Va., where students and I have visited for decades.  A month ago they started offering their productions for as little as $10 – as a way to support the furloughed actors and to keep the theater from going under.”

Interested viewers can see favorite Shakespeare plays like Midsummer Night’s Dream, Much Ado About Nothing, and Henry IV, as well as new classics like The Grapes of Wrath – by logging in to American Shakespeare Center website.

Other theatres are also making performances available, including two that are familiar to many who have studied abroad in the United Kingdom. Shakespeare’s Globe is making productions available on YouTube each week, as is the National Theatre through its National Theater Live at Home program.

Several Meredith community members mentioned actor John Krasinski’s “Some Good News” broadcasts each week. “They are so uplifting,” said Communication Instructor Angela Smedley. “Spoiler: Episode 2 featured a zoom performance from the original cast of Hamilton!”

Joe Mazzola reports that the I/O Psychology graduate program has held online trivia nights for students in the program. The students played as individuals, small prizes went to the top three each time. On a personal level, Mazzola said his family has been enjoying doing virtual dinner parties. These virtual social events are “with people we likely wouldn’t have seen/visited otherwise including most of our wedding party and friends I normally see once a year at conferences.”

Special playlists and poetry are helpful to Sallie Hedrick Bowman, ’03,  department administrator for several departments in the School of Arts and Humanities,

“Music has always brought me so much joy, so in the spirit of spreading joy, I made a playlist for all the faculty I support across my four departments. It sounds like folks have really appreciated it and I’m happy to share it with everyone,” Bowman said. “It’s chill, epic, evocative, and absolutely gorgeous. The songs I chose are from my very favorite film scores. I hope this mix brings everyone light and inspiration, fuels the spirit, and empowers us all in ways we never knew possible. My wish for everyone is peace. Music is the best tonic I can offer.” Access Bowman’s “Shelter in Place” playlist on Spotify

Bowman also mentioned that poetry has been a comfort. She feels this part from Tennyson’s “Ulysses” is wonderfully fitting:

“We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are,
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”
(Alfred, Lord Tennyson, 1809-1892)

Meredith’s Library continues to add content to the Fun Things to Do guide for those times you need a break or a distraction!  Recent additions include an Interactive Jigsaw Puzzle from The State Archives and Records Authority of New South Wales and a Hogwarts Digital Escape Room from The Peters Township Public Library in McMurray, Pennsylvania.

Museums around the world are making some of their resources available online during Stay-at-Home. The North Carolina Museum of History and the North Carolina Museum of Art are among those offering “Museum from Home” content on their websites.

Further afield, Smithsonian Magazine lists ten museums offering virtual visits. Travel + Leisure also features twelve museums in different parts of the world offering virtual tours.

For next week’s Connection Corner: What books would you recommend others read during Stay-At-Home? These can be recent favorites or something you think is particularly appropriate for this time. Send your recommendations, with a brief explanation of why you recommend it, to Melyssa Allen, Campus Connections editor, at


Melyssa Allen

News Director
316 Johnson Hall
(919) 760-8087
Fax: (919) 760-8330