ArtsEmerson Announces 2013-2014 Program

Fourth Season Starts September 17

By: - Apr 12, 2013


ArtsEmerson announces the first half of its fourth theatre season, beginning in the fall of 2013. This announcement covers productions into January of 2014, with more winter/spring productions to be announced later. Tickets for these productions go on sale to ArtsEmerson members on April 12, and to the general public on May 3. For information about membership and ticket sales, visit or call 617-824-8400.

According to ArtsEmerson Executive Director Rob Orchard, “Reflecting back on the first three seasons and looking forward to our fourth, I'm struck by two fundamental truths. First, we are indeed adding to the cultural choices for this great community and using our four venues to both develop and present work that's new to Boston. It means SO MUCH to me to be able to play a role in introducing a range of voices and cultures to our audiences in this forever interconnected world. And second, there's something for EVERYONE at ArtsEmerson. We're including work for families, embracing young artists showcasing  their distinctive voices and hosting mature artists and institutions who have made history. We resist the trivial and inconsequential; language and content is important. We'll tickle your funny bone, stimulate your mind and massage your heart.”

2013-14 SEASON

Sept. 17 –29, 2013


American Theater Company (Chicago)

by the United States Theatre Project
Written by Stephen Karam & PJ Paparelli
Dramaturgy by Patricia Hersch
Conceived and Directed by PJ Paparelli

The Jackie Liebergott Black Box at the Paramount Center

In Littleton, Colorado, in 1999, two teenagers devastated a community and shocked the country when they walked into their suburban high school and killed 12 students and one teacher. Based on interviews with teenagers across the country, as well as with the survivors and community members in Littleton, this poignant drama weaves together these testimonies with excerpts from diaries and home video footage to bring to light the dark recesses of American adolescence. Director PJ Paparelli returns to Littleton, CO ten years later to conduct new interviews and add additional material to this gut-wrenching and highly theatrical production. Without answering, columbinus lays out the circumstances and lets the audience grapple with the ultimate question: “why?”

American Theater Company is an ensemble of artists committed to producing new and classic American stories that ask the question: "What does it mean to be an American?" They provide an intimate home for the community to experience meaningful stories by fostering a nurturing environment for artists to take risks and create essential work. ATC produces Chicago's most innovative work by nationally renowned, Pulitzer and Tony-winning playwrights within an intimate 107-seat space that is truly Chicago's public theatre, a home for diverse audiences.

Oct. 8 – 20, 2013

Back to Baritone: An Unauthorized History. In Song.

Marc Kudisch & Friends (NYC)

Conceived by Marc Kudisch

Created by Marc Kudisch with Merwin Foard, Jeff Mattsey and Tim Splain

Performed by Marc Kudisch, Jeff Mattsey, Merwin Foard, accompanied by Tim Splain on piano

Music direction by Tim Splain

Directed by David Dower

Production Design by Alexander V. Nichols

Paramount Center Mainstage

In this brand new musical event conceived by Broadway leading man Marc Kudisch, three dynamite baritones take the stage to give us a captivating musical tour of the baritone voice throughout history. Veteran singers Merwin Foard and Jeff Mattsey join Kudisch in an illuminating performance studded with classics from Broadway, opera and beyond. From Gregorian chants to well-known arias (“Ah persempre,” “Largo”) including show tunes (“I am a Pirate King,” “Oh What a Beautiful Morning,” “Pretty Women”) and popular music (“It Was a Very Good Year,” “It’s Now or Never”), Back to Baritone: An Unauthorized History. In Song. is a celebration of the baritone voice and its emergence as the revolutionary sound of the common man, in one enchanted evening ringing with music, laughter and showmanship.

Marc Kudisch garnered critical acclaim as well as his third Tony and fourth Drama Desk Award nominations in his most recent Broadway stint creating the role of Franklin Hart in the Dolly Parton Broadway musical 9 to 5. Merwin Foard has appeared with symphony orchestras and in numerous Broadway productions, including the revivals of Annie, Sweeney Todd and Assassins, among others. You can hear his voice work on eight Disney films. Jeff Mattsey is renowned worldwide, appearing regularly at the Metropolitan Opera and at opera companies across the U.S., in Canada and in Europe. Music Director Tim Splain’s work includes productions Off-Broadway at the Lincoln Center, Roundabout and Minetta Lane Theatres.

Oct. 10 –12, 2013

Kiss & Cry

Charleroi Danses (Belgium)

Based on an original idea by Michèle Anne De Mey & Jaco Van Dormael

In collective creation with Grégory Grosjean, Thomas Gunzig, Julien Lambert, Sylvie Olivé, Nicolas Olivier

Directed by Jaco Van Dormael

Performed & choreographed by Michèle Anne De Mey & Gregory Grosjean
Performed in English with the voice of Toby Regbo

Production Charleroi Danses, Centre chorégraphique de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles / le manège.mons, Centre Dramatique 

Co-production Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg

Cutler Majestic Theatre

A poetic piece that blurs the boundaries between artistic disciplines, Kiss & Cry brings together a diverse group of Belgian artists to create this sweeping, romantic work. A woman near the end of her life reminisces and recounts her greatest loves, starting with her first and truest: a boy whose hand she touched for a few seconds only on a crowded train when she was 12 years old. Hands visually portray these main characters and are projected with a beautifully engaging sensual presence, moving around a set of miniatures with absolute precision. In this blend of film, dance, text and theatre, the audience witnesses a film screened and simultaneously made in front of their eyes. A unique event told with tender and poignant eloquence, Kiss & Cry is an unforgettable experience.

Belgian choreographer Michèle Anne De Mey is an Associate Artist at Charleroi Danses, the Choreographic Centre of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation. Her early work took contemporary dance in a new direction, and her career spans over 30 years in stage and film. Her seminal piece Sinfonia Eroica has been performed more than 100 times around the world. Her husband, Belgian filmmaker Jaco Van Dormael has written and directed short films, documentaries and feature films, including Toto the Hero (1991 Camera d'Or at Cannes), The Eighth Day with Daniel Auteuil and Pascal Duquenne (double Best Actor award at Cannes, 1996) and Mr. Nobody (2009, Venice Film Festival prize) starring Jared Leto, Sarah Polley and Diane Kruger. He also directs theatre and opera.

Oct. 31 – Nov. 10, 2013

Waiting for Godot

Gare St Lazare Players Ireland (Ireland)

Directed by Judy Hegarty Lovett

Starring Conor Lovett

Paramount Center Mainstage

Samuel Beckett ranks among the great artists of the Western world and Waiting for Godot is considered by many to be his masterpiece. On a country road towards the end of day, two friends wait for a man named Godot to arrive. By nightfall he hasn't arrived.

No one does Beckett better than those from his native land, and Gare St Lazare Players Ireland is internationally recognized among the foremost interpreters of Beckett's work. Director Judy Hegarty Lovett and actor Conor Lovett have 17 Beckett titles in their repertory. In 2011 the company performed their solo adaptation of Moby Dick by Herman Melville at ArtsEmerson and now they return with the play that changed the course of modern theatre, in its 60th anniversary year. This humorous production comes to ArtsEmerson directly from its premiere at Dublin's Gaiety Theatre.

Run by artistic directors Conor Lovett & Judy Hegarty Lovett, Gare St Lazare Players Ireland have toured to over 80 cities outside their native Ireland. Over the last 14 years GSLPI has built a repertory of work that includes 17 Samuel Beckett titles, gaining them an international reputation as leading interpreters of Beckett's work, as well as plays by Conor McPherson, Michael Harding and Will Eno. The company has also received awards in Ireland, China, the U.S. and Germany.

Nov. 7 – 9, 2013

Step Afrika! (Washington, D.C.)

Cutler Majestic Theatre

If you liked STOMP! then you’ll love the astounding energy of Step Afrika! Like a tap dance without shoes, or a band without instruments, stepping is percussive dance that uses kicks, stomps, claps and chants – all linked to African and modern dance traditions. As the first professional company devoted to stepping, the world-renowned Step Afrika! brings a high-energy performance to the stage in this feast for both the eyes and ears.

Step Afrika! is the first professional company in the world dedicated to the tradition of stepping. Founded in December 1994, the company is celebrated internationally for its efforts to promote an appreciation for stepping and the dance tradition’s use as an educational tool for young people. Step Afrika! reaches tens of thousands of Americans each year and has performed on many stages in North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Caribbean.
Nov. 13 –17, 2013

Sleeping Beauty

Colla Marionette (Italy)

Created by Compagnia Marionettistica Carlo Colla e Figli - Colla Marionette

Adapted and Directed by Eugenio Monti Colla

Music by Tchaikovsky

Produced by the Associazione Grupporiani

Performed in English

Paramount Center Mainstage

Sleeping Beauty is a part of the 2013 Year of Italian Culture.

Journey into the fantastical land of fairy tales as Colla Marionette’s incredible puppetry takes on Sleeping Beauty. This legendary Italian marionette company – considered the best in the world – depicts the beloved classic, using Tchaikovsky’s score and intricately involved puppet technique to breathe new life into the story. Fantastic visions unfold showing visual movement that no book of fairy tales has ever contained, such as a luxuriant forest that rises up to protect Sleeping Beauty’s world. Dozens of intricate puppets and settings will make theatregoers of all ages delight in the vast and lush landscape of this colorful and spectacular rendition. This is a rare opportunity for the whole family to experience the stunning vistas of the lost art of marionette theatre.

Founded by Giovanbattista Colla in 1835, Carlo Colla and Sons have become a representative for Italian culture and one of the most recognized puppet theatres in the world. Based in Milan, since 1980 the company has toured five continents, participating in prestigious festivals in Edinburgh, Paris, Berlin, Sydney, Melbourne, Charleston and Mexico City, among others. In 2007, the company received accolades in the U.S. for their co-production of Macbeth with the Chicago Shakespeare Theater. In 1984, the new generation of puppeteers created the Associazione Grupporiani under the artistic direction of Eugenio Monti Colla.

Nov. 30 –Dec. 8, 2013

Mies Julie

Farber Foundry (South Africa)

Written and Directed by Yael Farber

Based on Miss Julie by August Strindberg

Paramount Center Mainstage

South African-born and internationally acclaimed director Yael Farber sets her explosive new adaptation of Strindberg’s classic Miss Julie in the smoldering kitchen of a remote estate 18 years after the end of apartheid. In a brutal and tender single night we witness the shifting dynamics between a black farm laborer, his “master’s” daughter, and the woman who has raised them both. The visceral struggles of contemporary South Africa are revealed in a deadly battle over power, sexuality, memory, mothers and land. Haunting and violent, intimate and heartbreaking, the struggles take place among the characters and with their ancestors, laying bare questions of what restitution and freedom can really mean and what losses can and cannot ever be recovered. 

The Farber Foundry encompasses the productions created by Yael Farber in collaboration with South African and internationally-based artists since 2004, reaching every corner of the globe. Farber's brilliant work in the post-apartheid theatre movement of South Africa brought her worldwide attention, and the company has not stopped building and shaping its essential body of work since. They range from deeply personal testimonies to radical re-envisionings of the classics through which audiences are offered a rare glimpse into the rich political and cultural tapestry of the pre- and post-Apartheid eras in South Africa, and subsequently, the world. 

Jan. 30 –  Feb. 2, 2014

Inspired by The Grapes of Wrath

The Builders Association (NYC)

Directed by Marianne Weems

Cutler Majestic Theatre

An incisive and bold examination of the American Dream, HOUSE / DIVIDED juxtaposes scenes from the current mortgage crisis with passages drawn from John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, revealing how deeply the foreclosure crisis has affected and undermined our collective sense of American character and identity. In a set constructed from the bones of an actual foreclosed home, The Builders Association interweaves the Joads’ struggles on their way west with the perpetrators and participants in our own fast-moving, mediated and leveraged banking and housing systems. A highly immersive theatre experience, HOUSE / DIVIDED presents a shifting sense of place while tracing a line through American experience – a modern theatrical allegory of finding and losing refuge from Oklahoma all the way to our media-saturated, precariously financed global society.

The Builders Association is a New York-based performance and media company that creates original productions based on stories drawn from contemporary life. The company uses the richness of new and old tools to extend the boundaries of theatre. Based on innovative collaborations, Builders’ productions blend stage performance, text, video, sound and architecture to tell stories about human experience in the 21st century. From BAM to Bogota, Singapore to Melbourne, Minneapolis and Los Angeles to Budapest, The Builders Association’s OBIE Award-winning shows have performed in major venues the world over.


ArtsEmerson is pleased to announce some details of the second half of the 2013-14 Season. Tickets for these and other productions to be announced will go on sale in the fall, once final arrangements have been made.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Bristol Old Vic/Handspring Puppet Company (England)

The team responsible for creating the internationally acclaimed War Horse reunites for Shakespeare's irresistible A Midsummer Night's Dream. In this Midsummer, it’s not just the lovers, foes, and fairies who are spellbound. Trees, objects and tools all pulse and tingle with the possibility of existence in a world where, thanks to the magic of Handspring Puppet Company alongside a brilliant company of actors, all objects are granted the right to life.

Brief Encounter

Kneehigh Theatre (England)

After sold-out performances in London, San Francisco and New York, England's acclaimed Kneehigh Theatre transforms Noël Coward's iconic love story into a jaw-dropping fusion of theatre, film and song. Forbidden passion brews in a 1938 railway station tearoom as a suburban housewife, over a series of stolen afternoons, falls madly in love with a married doctor. In this groundbreaking theatrical event – ingeniously crafted with whimsical humor, dreamy romance and stunning multimedia effects –the lives and loves of three couples are played out in the train station as a grand entertainment. This breathtaking, funny and tear-inducing show with live musicians on stage, uses the words (some newly set to original music) and familiar songs of Noël Coward.


Jakop Ahlbom (Netherlands)

Two men, one tiny room. That’s just about all this remarkable live-action silent movie needs to create a joyful, surprising and virtuosic evening of theatre. That, and the doll they’ve conscripted for cleaning duties. But this doll has a mind of her own, and soon a merry mayhem descends. With a knowing nod to Buster Keaton, creator Jakop Ahlbom along with a supremely gifted cast and the band Alamo Race Track have fashioned a classic that is as fresh as the paint on their faces.


Lucidity Suitcase Intercontinental (Philadelphia)
Philadelphia-based director/performer Thaddeus Phillips teams up with the Minneapolis-based musical duo Wilhelm Bros. & Co. to create an action-opera that follows the odd details surrounding Edgar Allen Poe’s mysterious last days. Informed by 19th century train routes, historical accounts and Poe’s letters to his mother-in-law Muddy, RED-EYE to HAVRE de GRACE comments on the nature of being an artist in America, while casting Poe in a new light by exploring his writings on the gold rush, fools, furniture and the universe.

Man in a Case
Annie-B Parson & Paul Lazar/Big Dance Theater (NYC)

Featuring Mikhail Baryshnikov

Drawing from material as varied as surveillance footage, folk dance, instructional hunting videos, and interviews with the cast, Man in a Case creates a bridge between our time and that of two brilliant 19th-century anti-love stories by Anton Chekhov: The Man in a Case and About Love. Annie-B Parson and Paul Lazar, the team behind the internationally acclaimed Big Dance Theater, bring their signature style – fusing theatre, dance, music and video – to this world premiere adaptation starring Mikhail Baryshnikov.