Emerson College will host a live taping of the podcast How to Survive the End of the World, a show featuring sister hosts Autumn Brown and adrienne maree brown (Emergent Strategy), who will interview composer and performer Toshi Reagon about the subject of climate apocalypse and transformative responses to climate change at a special event at the Emerson Cutler Majestic Theatre on Monday, December 2, from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Reagon is the librettist, composer and music director of the musical adaptation of the classic Afrofuturist novel, Octavia E. Butler’s Parable of the Sower, which returns to ArtsEmerson March 26 – 29 as a part of the 10th anniversary season. The show was first presented at ArtsEmerson as a concert experience in 2017, receiving critical and audience acclaim.
A collaboration between Emerson College’s Office of Intercultural Student Affairs, the Social Justice Center, and student theatre troupe, Flawless Brown, in association with ArtsEmerson, the event is free and open to the public, and includes a live performance from Emerson student a cappella group The SkinTones.
“The Brown sisters’ approach to justice work is of great benefit to the Emerson community – especially our students of color and LGBTQIA+ students. We are so pleased to have received this fortuitous opportunity to have the incomparable Toshi Reagon as a guest on the podcast. This is an opportunity of a lifetime for the Emerson and Boston community to experience their insightful perspectives,” said Tamia Jordan, Director of Intercultural Student Affairs.
How to Survive the End of the World podcast cohosts and creators Autumn Brown and adrienne maree brown are both writers, activists, and facilitators who provide a guide on how to navigate and survive the world with grace, rigor, and curiosity. The sisters lead discussions with featured guests about ways to follow your own path and survive in a society that exists under an umbrella of oppression.
“We are thrilled to be in conversation with Toshi Reagon, a genius of our times, and a brilliant interpreter of Octavia Butler’s work,” said Autumn Brown. “As listeners of our podcast know, we place our work and our conversations in the lineage of the great Octavia E. Butler, particularly her use of science fiction to confront the most challenging crises of our times. Toshi’s adaptation of Butler’s master work to the stage has been a gift to our generation.”
“How to survive the end of the world podcast aligns with one of my favorite Octavia E. Butler’s Earthseed messages, ‘Chaos is god’s most dangerous face… Shape chaos, shape God, Act!’, said Toshi Reagon. “In believing, and out loud saying what you know is true, there is an opportunity to bend against the destructive forces of human intention and grow something more in alignment with the planet.”
Considered a one-woman celebration of all that’s dynamic, progressive and uplifting in American music, singer, songwriter, and musician Toshi Reagon has been a mainstay in the entertainment and music industry for more than 30 years. Reagon’s honors include a 2009 Out Music Award, the 2007 Black Lily Award for Outstanding Performance, and a 2004 New York Foundation for the Arts award for music composition.
Reagon’s musical adaptation, with her mother Bernice Johnson Reagon,ofthesci-fi, Afrofuturist masterpiece Octavia E. Butler’s Parable of the Sower brings together over 30 original musical anthems and requiems drawn from 200 years of black music. It tells the story of a young woman who lives in a not-so-distant America where climate change has driven society to violence and the brink of extinction. When she loses both family and home, she ventures out into the unknown.
About Emerson College
Based in Boston, Massachusetts, opposite the historic Boston Common and in the heart of the city’s Theatre District, Emerson College educates individuals who will solve problems and change the world through engaged leadership in communication and the arts, a mission informed by liberal learning. The College has 3,780 undergraduates and 670 graduate students from across the United States and 50 countries. Supported by state-of-the-art facilities and a renowned faculty, students participate in more than 90 student organizations and performance groups. Emerson is known for its experiential learning programs in Los Angeles, Washington, DC, the Netherlands, London, China, and the Czech Republic as well as its new Global Portals, with the first program launching this fall in Paris. The College has an active network of 39,000 alumni who hold leadership positions in communication and the arts. For more information, visit emerson.edu.
ArtsEmerson is Boston’s leading presenter of contemporary world theatre. Our mission is to bring people together to experience powerful performances that delight, provoke, and inspire, celebrating both our differences and common humanity. Founded in 2010 by Robert J. Orchard — the year the U.S. Census confirmed there was no single cultural majority in Boston — we committed to building a cultural institution that reflects the diversity of our city. Our imaginative season of globe-spanning performances, film, and dialogue invites each of us to be part of a Boston that is more creative, equitable, and connected. ArtsEmerson is led by Artistic Director, David Dower and Executive Director, David Howse. For more information, visit ArtsEmerson.org.