Friday, February 14, 2014

ArtsEmerson Continues To Challenge And Delight Boston Audiences

I mentioned in a Blog post last week that the Boston theater scene is a mosaic comprised of many tiles of various shapes, sizes and colors.  A significant tile in that mosaic is ArtsEmerson - The World On Stage.

In the past few weeks, I have been challenged, informed and delighted by three very different programs presented under the umbrella of ArtsEmerson.  I reviewed in The White Rhino Report the remarkable play "We Are Proud To Present a Presentation .. ." (See link below to  the review)

White Rhino Report Review of "We Are Proud To Present. . ."

Then I attended a fascinating multi-media presentation called "House Divided," presented by The Builders Association out of New York City.  In this work, this theater troupe presented a story that tied together the dynamics of the Oklahoma Dust Bowl and John Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath" with the story of the recent meltdown of the mortgage industry.  Innovative video projection was used to turn a simple set into a realistic looking house, a commodities trading floor, a flood-ravaged California.  One of the most moving moments for me was a video  projection of the floods that plagued California, robbing the migrant workers of a chance to earn even the meager wages that had been paid working in the fields.  While images and sounds of a real flood were portrayed, one of the actors was describing the current mortgage crisis while proclaiming "the value of most of these homes is 'under water.'"  It was a stunning juxtaposition.

Presented by The Builders Association - NYC 
An immersive multimedia experience inspired by The Grapes of Wrath 

Last week, I attended a screening of a fascinating documentary film: "Haiti - Where Did The Money Go?" produced by Film At Eleven.  Filmmaker Michele Mitchell  was present at the screening to preside over an audience talk back and Q&A session about the situation in post-earthquake Haiti.

What do these three events have in  common?  Each one is an embodiment and fulfillment of the ArtsEmerson's Mission, articulated on the website as follows:

ArtsEmerson showcases first-class performances from all over the world, providing new opportunities for the Boston community to experience culturally enriching theatre, film, and music. Our home is in the heart of Boston’s historic theatre district. The facilities include:
  • The newly opened Paramount Center, with its three performance venues: the remarkably reconfigured Paramount Theatre, the brand new intimate Black Box Theatre and the state-of-the-art Bright Family Screening Room, and
  • The magnificently restored Cutler Majestic Theatre
ArtsEmerson is committed to bringing many of the world’s legendary and pioneering artists to Boston, presenting work from this country and abroad you’ve never had an opportunity to see—at least, not without first heading to the airport.
We’ve grouped these artists into two programming streams:
LEGENDS: Established, highly regarded institutions and artists whose work is seen and celebrated around the world—and now in Boston
PIONEERS: A new generation of acclaimed artists whose ideas are redefining the theatre and pointing to the future.
I encourage you to check out the website and highlight upcoming events that are of interest to you,  your family and your friends.

ArtsEmerson Website