"Prison Dancer"

Looking for a Theater Adventure? Boston's ArtsEmerson Sets 24/25 Season


ArtsEmerson, Boston's leading presenter of contemporary world theater and film, and the professional presenting and producing organization of Emerson College, announces its 2024/25 Season, featuring nine live stage events. The new season continues ArtsEmerson's commitment to international work and celebrating differences, reflecting the vital diversity of our city, and deepening our connection to each other.

"For fourteen years, ArtsEmerson has been Boston's home for contemporary theatre that is the prompt, and conversation that is the point," says ArtsEmerson Interim Executive Director Ronee Penoi. "Following a historic season of four sold out shows, our 24-25 Season includes a slate of remarkable pieces that make good on our commitment to be a home for difficult conversations around race, incarceration, conflict, our role in the global ecosystem and more, inspired by incredible artists from around the globe. Our hope this season is that all of Boston feels that sense of welcome and invitation to join us on that journey."

The 24/25 Season consists of nine theatrical events: "Rough Magic" (Christopher Rivas), "Fight Night" (Ontroerend Goed), "In the Same Tongue" (Dianne McIntyre, Octopus Theatricals), "On the Eve of Abolition" (Papel Machete, Jorge Díaz), "Life & Times of Michael K" (Baxter Theatre Centre, Handspring Puppet Company), "Prison Dancer: The Musical" (produced by Ana Serrano, Carla Serrano, Jonathan and Hillary Reinis), "It's a Motherf**king Pleasure" (FlawBored), and co-presentations of the World Premiere of "The Seasons" along with the Boston Lyric Opera and "Utopian Hotline" (Theater Mitu, Octopus Theatricals) along with the Museum of Science.

"In The Same Tongue"

24/25 ArtsEmerson Season Overview

ArtsEmerson's 24/25 Season will kick off with a special summer engagement and the return of Christopher Rivas ("The Real James Bond... Was Dominican") with his project "Rough Magic," which arrives at ArtsEmerson July 12 – 13, 2024. Rivas and Annie Gonzalez harness the gigantic chemistry of this "Is it Love?"-story with a seamless mastery as they take audiences through the maze of a tangled relationship in the new play.

The official season opener will commence with a two-night event, "Fight Night" by Ontroerend Goed, from September 20 - 21, 2024. Through a series of guided prompts and questions, "Fight Night" takes the audience on a journey to choose the best candidate. As each round progresses, the audience learns more information about each candidate that will inform their vote. Random checks, voting signposts, coalitions, campaigns, debates, consultants, exit polls, spin doctors, opinion gauges, list pushers, and referendums will inform the vote – it's an evening mixed with humor and sharp political commentary.

Later in September, a dance legend and a celebrated composer collaborate to explore the powerful connections between and across forms, languages, and histories. From September 26 - 29, 2024, Dianne McIntyre's "In the Same Tongue" will hit the ArtsEmerson stage, reviving the spirit of McIntyre's internationally celebrated company Sounds in Motion. Featuring the poetry of Obie-winning playwright Ntozake Shange, "In the Same Tongue" is a vibrant full-length movement, sound, and language-based work uniting a vigorous company of dancers and musicians to explore how dance and music "speak" to each other, exploring a legacy like that of 1920s Harlem salons and the Black Arts Movement of the '60s and '70s.

Arriving at ArtsEmerson October 31 - November 3, "On the Eve of Abolition" is set in 2047 and draws from the realities of present-day United States and Puerto Rico. In this bilingual, multimedia performance, puppets, video projection, and miniature sets intertwine to transport audiences to a future where prison abolitionists have created the conditions to end the prison industrial complex in the transnational liberated lands of Southern North America. The story imagines abolition camps, formerly incarcerated people, families, and organizers working in coalition to end all prisons. Developed and performed by artists and collaborators of Papel Machete, this project incorporates community engagement with abolitionist organizations and currently and formerly incarcerated people and their families to create a vision of an abolitionist future. Through partnerships with groups like Prison Radio, "On the Eve of Abolition" offers pathways to engage in real-time organizing toward the abolition of the prison industrial complex.

"Life & Times of Michael K"

2025 will kick-off with lifelike marionettes coming alive on stage to depict the trials and tribulations faced by Michael K and his family as they seek to escape political turmoil in "Life & Times of Michael K" at ArtsEmerson from January 31 - February 9, 2025. Lara Foot's adaptation of Booker Prize-winning novel "Life & Times of Michael K," written by J.M. Coetzee, is a poignant piece depicting the arduous struggles that result from intense political conflict. Adapted for the stage by Lara Foot in collaboration withTony Award-winning Handspring Puppet Company ("War Horse"), protagonist Michael K is charged with the daunting task of moving his ailing mother, Anna, away from their war-torn hometown to the rural South African countryside where she spent her youth. Multi-layered theatrical staging that combines puppetry, performance, film, and evocative music bring the celebrated novel to the stage.

Next up arrives the highly anticipated "Prison Dancer: The Musical" following its blockbuster, sold-out run at Ottawa's National Arts Centre (NAC), with ArtsEmerson presenting the musical on its journey to Broadway for a three-week run February 22 - March 16, 2025. From Broadway World to Intermission Magazine the reviewers are raving: "Prison Dancer is mesmerizing... the musical is one you will not soon forget"; "The music is ultra catchy with some songs still stuck in my head"; and, "Don't think twice: go see 'Prison Dancer.' It is incredible in ways that can only be enjoyed in a theatre." Romeo Candido (composer and book writer) and Carmen De Jesus (book writer) took inspiration from one of the world's first YouTube viral videos to bring audiences inside the redemption, suffering, and joy that embodies the story told in this incredible new musical. "Prison Dancer" is a modern musical, inspired by a true story, about how fears can hold us captive and the power of art and connection can set us free through dance!

Based on "The Four Seasons" – with additional arias and ensembles by Vivaldi – "The Seasons" makes its World Premiere in a co-presentation with Boston Lyric Opera March 12 - 16, 2025. A group of contemporary artists gathers at a nature retreat to make their art. But extreme weather impacts them without warning and changes their lives forever. "The Seasons" is a meditation on the relationship between our contemporary moment and Vivaldi's iconic music, which appreciated the harmonious seasons. Vivaldi's violin masterpiece becomes a launch point from which to see our own disordered seasons more clearly. Co-conceived by Tony Award-winning playwright Sarah Ruhl ("Eurydice") and Grammy-winning countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo, "The Seasons" features a new libretto by Ruhl, and Costanzo in a starring role. Directed by Zack Winokur, with choreography by Pam Tanowitz. Produced by Boston Lyric Opera, AMOC* (American Modern Opera Company), and SCENE.

"It's a Motherf**king Pleasure"

Hot off the back of their smash hit VAULT Festival and Soho Theatre runs, multi award-winning, disability-led theatre company FlawBored will present a scathing satire on the monetization of identity politics that spares no one at ArtsEmerson called "It's a Motherf**king Pleasure" from April 2 - 13, 2025.

The 24/25 Season closes out May 1 - 18, 2025 at the Charles Hayden Planetarium at the Museum of Science with "Utopian Hotline." ArtsEmerson and Museum of Science present Theater Mitu's Utopian Hotline produced in association with Octopus Theatricals, a piece inspired by the 1977 NASA Voyager mission, which launched the Golden Record into interstellar space, as well as the uncertainty and isolations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. A collaboration with the Museum of Science, this experimental performance begs the question: If we were to send another message into the distant future, what message would we send? Part telephone hotline, vinyl record, and live performance, "Utopian Hotline" uses voicemails and interviews with NASA astronauts, astrophysicists, astronomers, and middle school students to create a moment of community, while inviting audience members to re-imagine our shared future by leaving their own messages on the public telephone hotline.

"Rough Magic"

24/25 ArtsEmerson Season Packages

ArtsEmerson Season Packages are available for purchase now, providing the public with access to the best seats at the best prices. Full Season Packages save up to 35% off the cost of single tickets, and Choose Your Own 4 Show Packages save up to 20% off the cost of single tickets. "The Seasons" and "Utopian Hotline" are not yet available for inclusion in packages; information of ticketing availability for those productions will be announced at a later date. "Rough Magic" is available as an option for the 4 Show Package and can be added on to any Full Season Package at the discounted price of $16.25 per ticket. Priority access is also now available to those wishing to purchase a group of 10+ tickets for any single performance. To purchase, visit ArtsEmerson.org or call the ArtsEmerson Box Office at 617-824-8400 (open Tue-Sat from 12:00 pm ET - 6:00 pm ET). Those desiring walk-up service may visit the Paramount Center Box Office (559 Washington Street, Boston) Thu-Sat from 12:00 pm ET - 6:00 pm ET.

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