Emerson College Productions

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Emerson College

Emerson College


Arts Emerson: The World On Stage
Fresh Sound Foundation support directly impacted the following productions:

In the Footprint“In the Footprint” – Fresh Sound’s Artists-in-Residence grant supported the visit to Boston by the Civilians, a NYC company that uses “investigative theater” to develop dramatic plays from current issues, personal interviews, and journalistic investigation. The Civilians were “in residence” at Emerson in the fall of 2010 to complete the piece, with students participating in rehearsals and in stage management jobs, before the Civilians performed the finished work in Brooklyn, returning to Boston to present it in Jan. 2011 in ArtsEmerson’s first season.

“Common Ground Revisited” – In the fall of 2011, the Civilians were again at Emerson, also with funding support from Fresh Sound’s grant, to work with an Adaptation class in Performing Arts, taught by the department chair, Melia Bensussen. The class included not only theater majors, but also students from Writing, Literature & Publishing and Journalism. Applying investigative theater techniques shared by the Civilians, the class explored the long-term effects from the Boston busing crisis of the 1970’s by interviewing the families, descendants, and key protagonists portrayed in Anthony Lukas’ Pulitzer Prize-winning “Common Ground.” The first workshop performances of this evolving work were presented in the student performance series, Emerson Stage, but the exploration will continue over the next two years, creating a fully-developed work for professional presentation in ArtsEmerson’s 2013-14 season, directed by Obie Award-winner Melia Bensussen, and written by playwright and adjunct Emerson professor Kirsten Greenidge.

“Café Variations” – Anne Bogart is the renowned, NY-based founder of the SITI Company, and came Emerson with her company during the 2011-12 season as a Visiting Artist, supported by an endowment whose donors have so far preferred to remain anonymous. The SITI Company’s visit was another collaboration with Emerson students, developing a new work called “Café Variations,” a portrayal of café life using the music of George Gershwin and a script adapted from the plays of Charles Mee. ArtsEmerson presented the world premiere in April 2012 as part of its 2011-12 season, performed by 8 members of the SITI Company and 16 Emerson musical theater students. Many in the audience found it difficult to determine who were SITI professionals and who were the students. For the students, working with SITI was a rare opportunity to experience the discipline, collaboration, and physical training techniques of a long-established professional theater group.

Both SITI Company and the Civilians will return in the 2012-13 season, deepening the impact they are having on the College and on Boston audiences.


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