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The Chicago Symphony Orchestra's "Home for the Holidays" concert will be available to view online. (Todd Rosenberg / Chicago Symphony Orchestra)

Ready or not, the holidays have arrived. Here’s how some of Chicago’s most beloved traditions and experiences have adapted to the coronavirus pandemic to help bring some holiday cheer to 2020.

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Pictured (from left): Steppenwolf ensemble members K. Todd Freeman and Jon Michael Hill in Steppenwolf’s virtual production of “What Is Left, Burns” by James Ijames, directed by Whitney White. (Photography and design by Lowell Thomas)

James Ijames’ 20-minute play marks the opening salvo in Steppenwolf Now — a series of six virtual productions designed to serve as placeholders until there is a return to live theater — a return that seems ever more elusive.

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“Spamalot.” (Credit: Brett Beiner)

This year’s announcement of the 2020 Jeff Awards, which honor excellence in Chicago’s Equity contract theaters, took the form of a virtual event. Here is a list of the top award winners.

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A scene from a protest in Chicago on June 4, 2020. (WTTW News)

Chicago takes part in a nationwide listening party for a new audio play that uses the words of protesters, activists, immigrants and survivors to explore recent social and protest movements. We go for a listen.

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Hilary Asare in a play about Lady Bird Johnson, in the world premiere of “45 Plays for America’s First Ladies.” (Courtesy of The Neo-Futurists)

The Neo-Futurists go virtual with “45 Plays for America’s First Ladies,” a 100-minute world premiere collage created by the company of writer-directors that was established in Chicago in 1988.

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A still image from Manual Cinema’s trailer for “Candyman.” (WTTW News via Manual Cinema)

A trailer for the film uses only handmade animation – not scenes from the movie – to set up the story of a supernatural killer in a Chicago housing project and his horrifying backstory. We meet the artists behind the work.

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(Courtesy of The Neo-Futurists)

We meet some of the first ladies – and the young theater makers who carry on the tradition of a theater troupe called the Neo-Futurists.

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Theater seats are empty across the city in the age of COVID-19. (WTTW News)

Performing arts venues closed by the coronavirus pandemic can apply for $10,000 grants from the city starting Monday, city officials announced.

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Neala Barron (left) and Lucy Godinez perform “My Own Best Friend” from “Chicago” in “Broadway By the Decade” from Porchlight Music Theatre. (Courtesy of Porchlight Music Theatre)

The 45-minute “Broadway By the Decade,” performed by a gifted six-person cast, features representative songs from musicals spanning 10 decades.

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(WTTW News)

A local theater artist goes on house calls and takes his puppets on the road in Chicago neighborhoods.

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Cara Marie Gary in “The Nutcracker.” (Photo by Cheryl Mann)

This fall was to mark the Joffrey’s first season in its new home on the Lyric Opera stage after many years of residence at the Auditorium Theatre.

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(Courtesy of Writers Theatre)

How do you design a pandemic-era theater season? The Glencoe-based theater has devised a multifaceted plan that combines a degree of certainty with the option of built-in flexibility, with the ultimate goal of keeping live theater alive.

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A promotional image for “Il Postino (The Postman).” (Credit: Joe Mazza)

Amid all the dire warnings that live performances might not start up again until 2021, the news that the richly creative company plans to begin its three-production season in November comes as an enormous spirit-raiser.

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(thisismyurl / Pixabay)

It’s said laughter is the best medicine, and while that might not be part of the CDC’s official guidelines, comedians everywhere are reaching out to audiences online, hoping for some connection and a lot of laughter.

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(Courtesy of Goodman Theatre)

With all the uncertainty facing theaters and their audiences, the Goodman Theatre is postponing the four productions remaining in its current spring and summer 2020 season, and will announce additional shows for the coming season at a later date.

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Theater seats are empty across the city in the age of COVID-19. (WTTW News)

The pandemic has put a record number of people out of work. How are artists making ends meet, and what are the city’s arts groups doing to survive the stay-at-home order and the economic downturn?

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