Major Jackson is part of a program broadcasting on Friday. Courtesy photo

The Broad Stage has provided live entertainment to Southern California’s residents and tourists for more than a decade, and the famed performing arts center doesn’t intend to allow the recent pandemic to stop the fun anytime soon.

Thanks to its upcoming programs like the Red Hen Press Poetry Hour, thousands of people across the world will have the ability to stream live music and poetry readings from the comfort — and safety — of their homes.

“While everyone is safer at home, we remain committed to sharing and advocating for exceptional work and ideas from performing artists across the spectrum,” said Rob Bailis, Artistic and Executive Director of The Broad Stage. “It’s critically important that we support our artist community and continue to provide ways for creativity to thrive with an audience. I’m thrilled to introduce our digital platform The Broad Stage at Home, which does exactly that.”

Red Hen Press Poetry Hour

Streaming on The Broad Stage’s Facebook Page at 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 4, the event aims to give viewers a reprieve from the stresses of daily life.

“Last week was the launch event with Dana Gioia, who has been the poet laureate of California. He talked about the effect of poetry on our lives and then we had four poets calling in and reading some poems from some part of their house,” said Kate Gale, co-founder and Managing Editor of RPH. “It was a fun time.”

This week, Red Hen Press Poetry Hour will feature award-winning poet Major Jackson and many other prestigious guests, according to Gale, and Richard Blanco, a former presidential inaugural poet, will join the livestream next Saturday.

“I think sometimes people think of poetry as a sort of insular academic kind of a thing, but each of the poems that will be read are really what I think of as ‘public poetry,’” Gale said. “We’re really thinking of this as a public conversation and something that’s a great way to get poetry out into the world.”

“I’m choosing poets who are invitational — in the sense that you could climb inside these poems and understand them, whether you normally read poetry or not,” Gale added. “I want everyone who listens to this, or sees this, to be able to understand what’s going on and get excited about it and just find it to be an entertaining and interesting hour of dialogue and poetry.”

With the national emergency happening right now, “I think that poetry is something that will help people get through it,” Gale said. “And I think it’s wonderful The Broad Stage is giving people the opportunity to breathe and remind ourselves that there are still creative and beautiful moments in the world.”

Residents who are interested in watching the upcoming poetry readings can find more information on the program at

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