ArtsEmerson Announces Launch Of New Digital Series: TOGETHER APART
ArtsEmerson is excited to announce that today it will launch its newest digital initiative, Together Apart: Explore New Worlds from Your Home, a curated series of performances previously presented by the organization in Boston, as well as new video conversations with bold and imaginative artists associated with those creations.
The digital series will offer regularly posted content via TogetherApartAE.com, an opportunity for audiences to view past ArtsEmerson performances at home. ArtsEmerson is asking interested participants to register for the series here so that they will receive updated access links and viewing reminders for all online events.
ArtsEmerson, the professional presenting and producing organization at Emerson College, was in the midst of its 10th Anniversary Season when the difficult decision was made to cancel or postpone all remaining programming. To celebrate that milestone, the organization had programmed ten engagements - five new commissions and five reprises of shows from past seasons. The fifth and final new commission of the season, Plata Quemada, completed two performances before closing early to protect the health and safety of audiences, artists and staff. Of the season's three remaining shows, all reprises of past engagements, Octavia E. Butler's Parable of the Sower was rescheduled to Fall 2020, while both 69º S. and Metamorphosis were cancelled.
The Together Apart digital series begins with a recorded video conversation about the play Mala, which had its world premiere at ArtsEmerson in Fall of 2016. The play's writer and star, Melinda Lopez, and its director, David Dower, talk about the experience of bringing this personal and poignant drama to life on stage. The conversation is available for viewing here and was produced in response to the recently-announced collaboration between WGBH TV, Huntington Theatre Company and ArtsEmerson which is bringing a televised version of the play into homes on WGBH 2 and YouTube TV Thursday, April 09 at 10pm.
While recordings of the cancelled performances were not available for inclusion in this series, over the following weeks, Together Apart will include streamed performances of four other shows that represent ArtsEmerson's past. In addition to Mala, there will be two-week windows to view Sequence 8 (The 7 Fingers, Montreal), Torrey Pines (Clyde Petersen, Seattle) and See You Yesterday (Global Arts Corps, Cambodia). The digital series will include performances and conversation with The 7 Fingers, Clyde Petersen of Torrey Pines, and the Global Arts Corps.
Survey data being compiled by Americans For The Arts shows that within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 95% of arts organizations have canceled events due to the COVID-19 pandemic. "While much attention has been placed on the staggering economic impact to the Commonwealth's arts organizations, ArtsEmerson is choosing to focus attention on the less measurable impact on the void created in the lives of audience members," states David C. Howse, Executive Director of ArtsEmerson. "That's why we have decided to make all experiences in the Together Apart online series free-of-charge. It's a gift for our audiences during this time of physical distance, and just as importantly, a gift for our neighbors here in Boston, and beyond those borders who have yet to join us at the theater. All are welcome here."
Led by Artistic Director David Dower, a team of ArtsEmerson staff curates this series of offerings to reflect the boldness, breadth and diversity that are hallmarks of the organization's brand of eclectic contemporary programming and in-depth audience engagement work. "From the outset, ArtsEmerson has sought to foster connection across difference, and that sort of connectedness takes on greater urgency in this moment of social distance. Our purpose is the same," Dower says, "but our platform has pivoted. This online series signifies our best effort to continue that sense of connection between artists, audiences, and our staff, and to hold space for the important conversations that can happen in response to the art. We fully expect to find ourselves, once again, gathering in our beautiful venues, but until then we are grateful to our participating artists for helping us stand with our community as we stand apart."
Together Apart Event Calendar
Wednesday, April 08
Conversation with Mala playwright/star Melinda Lopez and director David Dower
In the four years since Mala's premiere at ArtsEmerson, it has been performed at two other theatres, published, recorded for Audible, translated into Spanish and is now airing via WGBH. ArtsEmerson Associate Producer Kevin Becerra convenes David Dower and Melinda Lopez to reflect on that journey as well as the experience of Mala reaching new audiences in this very specific moment.
Thursday, April 09 @ 10 PM (and available through Saturday, May 10)
Live broadcast April 09 @ 10 PM on WGBH 2 and streaming live on YouTube TV
Following the live broadcast, available for streamed viewing here.
Set during a winter of epic snowfall in 2015, Mala is inspired by notes Lopez frantically typed to herself on an iPhone while she cared for her increasingly frail and consistently fierce mother. These short missives ultimately create a moving and generous portrait of the way taking care of family tests, deepens, and changes our bonds to the ones we love. Lopez, a regular on Boston stages, also performs the play, directed by ArtsEmerson's Artistic Director, David Dower. Although the performance was taped in 2018, it will be broadcast for the first time on April 09. Viewers will be able to experience the humor, honesty, and ultimately cathartic experience of this award-winning play by a celebrated local artist.
Monday, April 13 (and available through Sunday, April 26)
Based out of Montreal, The 7 Fingers contemporary circus troupe has been presented by ArtsEmerson more than any other artistic company, and these creative artists have come to see Boston as their second home. With its trademark acrobatic and choreographic prowess, the company came to ArtsEmerson in Fall 2012 with Sequence 8, a series of awe-inspiring feats of balance and beauty. Through graceful trapeze stunts, improbable juggling tricks, explosive physical exploits, and quirky antics, these performers explore the courage and limitations of our own humanity.
Friday, April 17 @ 12 Noon
Town Hall #1 with "The Davids"
Over the years ArtsEmerson has found our friends and neighbors that make up our audience to be our strongest collaborators. From focus groups, to town halls, to being pulled aside in the theatre lobby we shape how we do our work from what we hear from you. In this tradition, Artistic Director David Dower and Executive Director David C. Howse are checking in to see what is on people's minds and how an arts organization can be of service at this time.
Thursday, April 23 @ Time TBD
Conversation with Gypsy Snider of The 7 Fingers
Join one of the company's seven founders, Gypsy Snider and ArtsEmerson Artistic Director David Dower as they connect with audiences in conversation about how the Montreal-based circus troupe created Sequence 8 and how they are navigating their global tours at the moment. The 7 Fingers has become internationally acclaimed and a Boston favorite for its ability to strip down spectacle to its thrilling essence. Submit questions via the blog or #TogetherApartAE on Twitter.
Monday, April 27 (and available through Sunday, May 10)
It's an animated film. It's a live pop-rock band. It's a queer, coming-of-age road trip like none other. It's Torrey Pines, originally presented at ArtsEmerson in Winter 2018. Raised by a schizophrenic single mother who was consumed by conspiracy theories and family dysfunction, award-winning filmmaker Clyde Petersen's adolescent years unfolded like a surreal and confusing dream. Based on a true story, Torrey Pines tells a trans-queer-punk, coming-of-age story, rich with '90s pop culture references-everything from Star Trek to Nintendo. Seattle's own Your Heart Breaks performs the quirky, catchy, and moving score, featuring cellist Lori Goldston, a one-time member of such beloved bands such as Nirvana and Mirah.
Friday, May 1 @ 6 PM
Town Hall #2 with "The Davids"
Over the years ArtsEmerson has found our friends and neighbors that make up our audience to be our strongest collaborators. From focus groups, to town halls, to being pulled aside in the theatre lobby we shape how we do our work from what we hear from you. In this tradition, Artistic Director David Dower and Executive Director David C. Howse are checking in to imagine how we gather again. What is the future that we want to build together and how does a cultural institution like ArtsEmerson contribute to that effort?
Thursday, May 7 @ Time TBD
Conversation with Clyde Petersen, creator of Torrey Pines
Two years ago Clyde Petersen came to the Emerson Paramount Center Jackie Liebergott Black Box with a group of musicians and an incredible Foley artist for a live scored presentation of Torrey Pines. Audiences were delighted by the experience and the show's merchandise can be spotted on the backs of laptops and t-shirts around Boston. Join Artistic Director David Dower and Associate Producer Kevin Becerra as they chat with Clyde, learning about where he's been and what he's been up to. Submit questions via the blog or #TogetherApartAE on Twitter.
Monday, May 11 (and available through Sunday, May 24)
See You Yesterday
Nineteen Cambodian performers utilize their extraordinary physical skills, including acrobatics and circus arts, to travel back in time and shatter a legacy of silence. Performed by second-generation survivors of the Khmer Rouge genocide, See You Yesterday, originally presented at ArtsEmerson in Spring 2019, explores the fragmented narratives these young artists have inherited from their parents and grandparents. Since 2012, Global Arts Corps-whose celebrated work brings together people from opposite sides of violent conflicts-have collaborated with these young Cambodian artists as they grappled with the painful history of their country's genocide. While details of the four-year horror have largely gone unexplored by younger generations of Cambodians, the cast of See You Yesterday interviewed their elders (and even a former Khmer Rouge child soldier) to build a stunning performance that is both beautiful and cathartic. The final result is a visually striking theatre experience.
Thursday, May 21 @ Time TBD
Conversation with members of Global Arts Corps, creator of See You Yesterday
Anyone who has been to a Global Arts Corps performance or film screening knows how their powerful conversations around art serve as a tool for transformation. This shared value has made them a close collaborator and thought partner to ArtsEmerson since they first came in 2013. We were thrilled and unsurprised when our presentation of their piece See You Yesterday developed with Cambodian circus Phare inspired fantastic discussions in the theatre that rippled out across the city. Don't miss the opportunity to connect with members of Global Arts Corps and ArtsEmerson Artistic Director David Dower as they reflect on the impact of touring See You Yesterday and what they've learned from their conversations around the world. Submit questions via the blog or #TogetherApartAE on Twitter.
All dates/times subject to change.
For up-to-date information, please visit http://togetherapartae.com/