BIRD DETECTIVE Ever wanted to be a detective? How about a bird detective? Now you and your kids have a chance with one of the Golden Gate Audubon Society’s sheltering-at-home activities. Your family can look out your window or stand in your yard on the hunt for some birds, identifying them by size, color, location and behavior. After you take some field notes, you can draw the birds, write a story about them, and even indulge the ornithologist in you by identifying your winged friends’ species through an app from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Other activities offered by the Audubon Society include Bingo played with nature sounds, Hummingbird crafts, and a Hummingbird math worksheet. Free. Details at Golden Gate Audubon Society.
SHOTGUN PODCAST Berkeley’s Shotgun Players are channeling their creativity in a different way, from the stage to the speaker. After having to suspend their season, they turned to the podcast format to keep their audiences entertained. Posting every week, the players will provide performances of sonnets, audio recordings of past plays and artist interviews. You can also watch their past live performances of Kill The Debbie Downers, Kill Them, Kill Them, Kill Them Off and Yes Yes to Moscow on YouTube. The content is free, but donations are welcome. Details at Shotgun Players.
JAZZ IT UP Under coronavirus, we’re all practicing a little improvisation. After 20 years of in-person classes, the Jazzschool at the California Jazz Conservatory made the quick jump into distance learning. The music school is offering a full repertory of online classes that will be conducted live via Zoom. They have courses for beginners and advanced musicians alike, including beginning guitar, neo-soul harmony and improv for keyboardists, the glorious Pastorious bass class and songwriting. It’s an opportunity to hone your skills, take your mind off the news, and focus on the music. $375 for nine weeks of classes, schedules vary by class. Classes start on April 6. Details at Jazzschool at the California Jazz Conservatory.
BOOK RELIEF Despite the interruptions from coronavirus, the city of Berkeley is rallying to support its community. While the Bay Area Book Festival was cancelled this year, its founder and director, Cherilyn Parsons, is hosting an online event on YouTube to support the Berkeley Relief Fund that helps small businesses, nonprofits and residential tenants affected by COVID-19 shutdowns. The program will feature local authors, including Michael Pollan and Adam Mansbach, and owners of local bookstores who will offer advice and stories on how to manage during this uncomfortable time. Donations will go towards matching the $3 million emergency relief grant approved by the Berkeley City Council. Sunday, April 5, 3 pm on YouTube. See Berkeley Relief Fund on YouTube.
PLAYS AT HOME The theaters are closed, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the immersive experience of wonderful plays. The National Theatre in London is offering its full-length plays to stream for free to your home during this cloistered time. Every Thursday, the NT Live will upload a play on its YouTube channel, which will be available for a week. Up first is comedy One Man, Two Guvnors starring James Corden, which will be available starting April 2 for seven days. Curl up on your couch, laugh and cry along with your favorite characters. Details at National Theatre At Home.