PRISON DANCER and More Set For ArtsEmerson's 2024/25 Season

Learn more about the lineup here!

By: May. 23, 2024
PRISON DANCER and More Set For ArtsEmerson's 2024/25 Season
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ArtsEmerson has announced its 2024/25 Season, featuring nine live stage events. 

"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.

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 12:00PM ET - 6:00PM ET). Those desiring walk-up service may visit the Paramount Center Box Office (559 Washington Street, Boston) Thu-Sat from 12:00PM ET - 6:00PM ET.

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 1920’s Harlem salons and the Black Arts Movement of the 60’s & 70’s.

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.

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 which 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.

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.

Commitment to Film and Engagement Programming

The 24/25 Season will continue ArtsEmerson’s mission of using the expanded programming of film offerings and screening events at the Emerson Paramount Center’s state-of-the-art Bright Family Screening Room. Film programming will include narrative and documentary work screened as part of Shared Stories (in partnership with Boston Asian American Film Festival, CineFest Latino Boston, and Roxbury International Film Festival) and Projecting Connections: Chinese American Experiences (in partnership with Boston Asian American Film Festival).

ArtsEmerson will also continue its longstanding partnerships with many of New England’s premiere film festivals, hosting screenings of Boston Asian American Film Festival, CineFest Latino Boston, Roxbury International Film Festival, and Wicked Queer: the Boston LGBTQ+ Film Festival.

The Play Reading Book Club, a dynamic theatre literacy and community education program that provides unique and radical access to scripts, artists, and conversations, will also be returning, marking its 10th Anniversary. PRBC will take place at the Roxbury branch of Boston Public Library and other neighborhood locations and there will also be opportunities to join and participate in virtual clubs during the 24/25 Season.

ArtsEmerson’s mission is not only to present extraordinary artists and performances from around the world, but to engage diverse multi-generational Boston audiences in thinking and talking about issues that address the concerns and challenges of the contemporary moment. Art is the prompt, and conversation is the point. The 23/24 Season will include signature ArtsEmerson The Point events. ArtsEmerson will also continue to use its public-facing platforms – venue marquees, email communications, social media networks and its online journal, to expand public discourse around topics of urgency to our city, our nation, and our world.

Specific programming and scheduling for these and additional civic engagement activities will be announced at a later date.




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