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Delightfully gothic, beautiful and emotionally complex, Ada/Ava utilizes special-effect techniques from the early age of cinema — shadow puppetry, live-action silhouettes and overhead projection — to conjure a magic spell of multimedia storytelling, complete with a live musical score. Driven by innovation, the masterful technicians of Chicago-based Manual Cinema are one of the hottest rising ensembles in America, with audiences marveling at their creations even as their methods are plainly revealed.
Beside a lighthouse somewhere on the New England coastline, twin sisters tend to the tower's guiding light and to each other, until Ava unexpectedly dies. Here, the unrestrained imagination moves the melancholy act of mourning through of journey across the thresholds of life and death.
Is there life before death? That's the big question posed by the surprisingly funny and whimsical new show from the troupe behind ArtsEmerson's 2013 word-of-mouth phenomenon, Kiss & Cry. Utilizing that same theatrical magic — cinematic techniques, miniature sets, dancing hands and a poetic voice-over — Cold Blood cycles through a series of different lives (and deaths) in a hypnotic dreamlike state. You'll laugh, you'll cry — you'll never look at your hands the same way again. Join us for a celebration of life, the senses, love and the final moments of light.
Under the direction of Belgian choreographer and dancer Michèle Anne De Mey and the award-winning filmmaker Jaco Van Dormael, master artists use live film projection on stage to bring miniature worlds into full view of the audience.
He is a dark, enigmatic prince obsessed with seeking revenge for his father's death. She is a steadfast rebel who challenged the powers of the Church to restore France to greatness. Iconic figures from two great dramatic classics — Hamlet and Saint Joan — are brought vividly to life in two riveting, unexpectedly funny, stripped-down stagings by four actors from Bedlam, the acclaimed New York City theater company, directed by Eric Tucker. Behold William Shakespeare and George Bernard Shaw's most famous creations side by side, in repertory, in Hamlet / Saint Joan.
In 2011, democratic uprisings erupted all over the Arab world. Citizens challenged their leadership and questioned regimes. From internationally acclaimed Anglo-Kuwaiti writer and director Sulayman Al-Bassam, In the Eruptive Mode presents six monologues of ordinary citizens — all women — caught in the violence and chaos of the Arab Spring. These visceral, poetic monologues with song capture unheard voices, each at their own precarious tipping point.
Internationally acclaimed Anglo-Kuwaiti writer and director Sulayman Al-Bassam brought his inventive satire The Speaker's Progress to ArtsEmerson in 2011. Now he returns with a powerful new production. Through voice, music, and sound, In the Eruptive Mode embraces contemporary language and new dramatic forms to respond to the challenges that still reign across much of the Arab world. Raw, brutally satirical and entirely original: These are voices of the Arab Spring.
Step Afrika! triumphantly returns to Boston with The Migration, a multimedia powerhouse production that chronicles and celebrates the paths of the brave men and women who left the American South searching for better opportunities. Inspired by painter Jacob Lawrence's groundbreaking series about "The Great Migration," the company transforms the work into a textured, interdisciplinary movement piece incorporating South African gumboot, Western African dance, vocals, drumming, and audience participation.
In this stunning world premiere, The White Card unfolds a meticulously crafted story, raising uncomfortable questions about what is — and who are — on display. Exploring contemporary headlines and cultural touchstones, Claudia Rankine's The White Card refuses to remain "just a play," safely entrenched on the stage. Like her 2014 New York Times best-selling book of poetry entitled Citizen: An American Lyric, this new play unpacks the insidious ways in which racism manifests itself in everyday situations, prompting the question, "Can American society progress if whiteness stays invisible?"
In the elegant loft of a powerful, well-intentioned white couple in the New York City art world, a black artist named Charlotte Cummings arrives in the hopes of selling her new work. When the couple's activist son joins them for dinner, tensions arise, truths are interrogated, and the notion of intent — both conscious and unconscious — becomes paramount.
Raised by a schizophrenic single mother fueled by political conspiracy and family dysfunction, award-winning filmmaker Clyde Petersen's adolescent years unfolded in a series of baffling and hallucinated events. Based on a true story, Torrey Pines tells a trans-queer-punk coming-of-age story, rich with '90s pop-culture references in the likes of Star Trek, Nintendo and MTV. The Seattle band Your Heart Breaks performs the vivid score live in tandem with the film, with original music recorded in collaboration with Kimya Dawson and Chris Walla (Death Cab for Cutie).
In the summer of 2016, Cuisine & Confessions wowed Boston audiences nightly with The 7 Fingers' trademark acrobatic and choreographic prowess combined with on-stage cooking. Now, the company returns with Reversible, in which eight virtuosic performers travel through time and space to honor their elders.
Reversible shines a spotlight on the poetry of the human form and linking every ending to a new beginning. Through an electrifying mix of theater, illusion, dance, music, and acrobatics, Reversible is dedicated to past generations whose stories might hold the key to a better tomorrow.
With explosive taiko drumming and innovative, acrobatic choreography, TAO: Drum Heart offers a breathtaking, vibrantly modern twist on a traditional art form — and a visual and sonic tour de force! This all-new production captures the best of TAO's extraordinary precision, energy, and stamina.