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Emerson to Host ‘How to Survive the End of the World’ Podcast, with Toshi Reagon

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Sisters Autumn Brown and adrienne maree brown, hosts of “How to Survive the End of the World,” will interview composer Toshi Reagon at the Emerson Cutler Majestic Theatre on December 2.

Emerson College will host a live recording 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 climate apocalypse and transformative responses to climate change at the Emerson Cutler Majestic Theatre on Monday, December 2.

Reagon is the librettist, composer, and music director of the musical adaptation of Octavia E. Butler’s classic Afrofuturist novel, 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 the Office of Intercultural Student Affairs, the Social Justice Center, and student arts organization 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. It will take place from 6:00-8:00 pm.

“The Brown sisters’ approach to justice work is of great benefit to the Emerson community – especially our students of color and LGBTQIA+ students,” said tamia jordan, director of Intercultural Student Affairs. “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.”

How to Survive the End of the World cohosts and creators Autumn Brown and adrienne maree brown are both writers, activists, and facilitators whose podcast explores 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 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, of Octavia E. Butler’s Parable of the Sower brings together more than 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.  

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