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ArtsEmerson announces 2012-13 season

(BOSTON) After two critically-acclaimed seasons of programming from all over the world, ArtsEmerson announces its third theatre season beginning in the fall of 2012. Tickets for these productions go on sale to ArtsEmerson members on April 13 and to non-members on May 29. For information about membership and ticket sales, visit or call 617-824-8400.

This season marks a departure in programming philosophy. The organization is announcing eight productions now, with more to be added later. According to Executive Director Rob Orchard, “As a theatre producer, the constraints of the calendar are one of my greatest challenges. If I see something I’m excited about in September, I’d like the freedom to program it sooner rather than later. By leaving time in the calendar, we allow for work that can be presented with shorter planning horizons. This enables us to bring to Boston the freshest, most exciting productions, and to react quickly to what’s happening in the theatre world, both near and far.”

Orchard also plans a two-week festival of new works early in 2013. He says, “The festival allows us to present just a few performances each of relatively unknown productions, giving audiences the opportunity to sample a range of theatrical gestures bubbling up from a younger generation.”

PARTIAL 2012-2013 THEATRE SEASON (as of April 2012)

Sept. 20—21, 2012
Paris Commune
The Civilians

Created by Steven Cosson and Michael Friedman
Paramount Center Mainstage
Running Time: TBA
Recommended for ages 12 and up

In 1871, working-class Parisians took to the streets and overthrew the French government, declaring their city autonomous and launching an effort to radically reinvent society. The Civilians brings these explosive events to life in this new musical play. Using found texts and original songs from this extraordinary period, Paris Commune tells the story of Europe’s first socialist revolution, bringing alive the idealism, elation and eventual tragic downfall of this uprising. Boston audiences have the special opportunity to see this world premiere by The Civilians, who were part of ArtsEmerson’s first and second seasons with You Better Sit Down: Tales From My Parents’ Divorce and In The Footprint: The Battle Over Atlantic Yards, before it heads to New York.
This playfully clever Brooklyn-based theatre company has toured extensively with presentations in over 40 cities nationally and internationally. The Civilians has also received Lucille Lortel, Drama Desk and Drama Guild nominations.

Sept. 27—Oct. 7, 2012
Sequence 8

Les 7 doigts de la main
Directed by Shana Carroll and Sébastien Soldevila
Co-Production with Les Nuits de Fourvière/Département du Rhône, Lyon (Fr) and TOHU (Montréal, Canada)
Commissioning partner: ArtsEmerson
Cutler Majestic Theatre
Running Time: TBA
Recommended for ages 7 and up

After blowing the minds of Boston audiences with PSY, Les 7 doigts de la main returns with their sixth and newest creation, Sequence 8, giving Boston another chance to witness their incredible movement-based artistry. In Sequence 8, emotions heighten until they spring into action and relationships transform and evolve until they create actual velocity. Set not in a specific time or place but rather on a vertical canvas of sorts, this acrobatic dance and theatre piece contemplates the role of the “other”, and how we define ourselves through and against it. For their 10th anniversary production, Les 7 doigts de la main combines explosive physical exploits with a thoughtful depiction of human relationships for an unforgettable performance.

Winner of numerous accolades, including the Gold Medal, Silver Medal and Nikouline Trophy (Festival Mondial du Cirque de demain); Gold Medal and Audience Awards (SOLyCIRCO Festival); Argus Award (Brighton Festival); and nominated for two Drama Desk awards, Montreal-based Les 7 doigts has been making waves in the circus world and beyond since its founding in 2002.

Oct. 9—Oct. 21, 2012
Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre

Written by William Shakespeare
Directed by Dominic Dromgoole and Bill Buckhurst
Paramount Center Mainstage
Running time: 2 hours and 30 minutes
Recommended for ages 12 and up

From Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London, a handful of players perform this timeless classic. Hamlet explores political intrigue and sexual obsession, philosophical reflection and violent action, tragic depth and wild humor. 21-year-old actor Joshua McGuire in the title role captures the youthful and less jaded aspects of Hamlet’s personality rarely seen in more traditional interpretations. In just two and a half hours, this production embraces the theatre of Shakespeare’s day by returning to the roots of performance, with actors playing multiple characters. Humorous and boisterous, the Globe Company packs an emotional wallop with their inherent theatricality.

Shakespeare's Globe is a faithful reconstruction of the open-air playhouse designed in 1599 and a unique international resource dedicated to the exploration of Shakespeare's work and the playhouse for which he wrote. Each year Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre rediscovers the dynamic relationship between the audience and the actor in this unique space. Audiences experience the “wooden O” either sitting in a gallery or standing informally as groundlings in the yard, just as they would have done 400 years ago.

Dec. 5—Dec. 9, 2012
La belle et la bête (Beauty and the Beast)
Lemieux Pilon 4D Art

Conceived and directed by Michel Lemieux and Victor Pilon
Text by Pierre Yves Lemieux
Paramount Center Mainstage
Running Time: 90 minutes with no intermission; performed in English
Recommended for ages 14 and up

In this contemporary take on the original tale, the great love story of Beauty and the Beast gets reworked in an astonishing new multi-disciplinary performance. Masters of osmosis, blending real and virtual imagery, Michel Lemieux and Victor Pilon set a new standard in multimedia performance with this production. The intense, luminous characters manage to transcend their broken hearts through their inexhaustible thirst for life. Audiences will be spellbound as all theatrical elements – from Belle's paintings to the characters’ dramatic transformations – spring to life, breaking the boundaries between real and virtual. With added passion and virtuosity, Lemieux and Pilon reimagine this universal story of resilience and the redemptive power of love against all odds.

Founded in 1983, Montreal-based Lemieux Pilon 4D Art is a multi-disciplinary company with more than 30 original productions to its credit. Michel Lemieux and Victor Pilon, the driving artistic forces of the company, masterfully integrate theatre, film, dance, poetry, visual arts, music and sound into their productions, resulting in rich, immersive storytelling that both delight and amaze audiences. Their bold productions have toured extensively throughout the world.

Jan. 29—Feb. 10, 2013
The Servant of Two Masters
By Carlo Goldoni

Adapted by Constance Congdon from a translation by Christina Sibul
Directed by Christopher Bayes
Paramount Center Mainstage
Running Time: 2 hours and 30 minutes with an intermission
Recommended for ages 14 and up

Identities are mistaken, engagements are broken and lovers are reunited in Carlo Goldoni’s commedia dell’arte masterpiece. Mayhem erupts when the wily—and chronically hungry—servant Truffaldino (played by acclaimed actor Steven Epp) hatches a zany scheme to double his wages (and his meals) by serving two masters at once. The virtuosic physical comedy of The Servant of Two Masters is directed by Christopher Bayes, whose hilarious choreography is featured in the hit stage production of Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps.

Christopher Bayes’ credits include six years as an actor, director, composer, designer and artistic associate at Theatre de la Jeune Lune. In 1989 he joined the acting company of the Guthrie for more than 20 productions. New York and regional directing credits include Juilliard, P.S. 122, Intiman, Court, and Yale Rep. He is a 2000 Fox Fellow, and currently the Head of Physical Acting at the Yale School of Drama.

Actor Steven Epp was last seen in Boston in The Miser, Don Juan Giovanni and Figaro at the American Repertory Theater. He is the recipient of a 1999 Fox Fellowship. He was a member of Theatre de la Jeune Lune and has also performed at La Jolla Playhouse, New Victory Theatre, the Alley Theatre, Actors' Theatre of Louisville, Yale Repertory Theatre, Trinity Repertory Theatre, the Shakespeare Theatre and Berkeley Repertory Theatre.

Feb. 27—March 3, 2013
Vesturport Theatre and Lyric Hammersmith Theatre

Adapted and directed by Gisli Örn Gardarsson and David Farr
Music by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis
Paramount Center Mainstage
Running Time: 85 minutes with no intermission
Recommended for ages 12 and up

Kafka’s terrifying but bizarrely comic story bursts onto the stage in this theatrically explosive new version. Fantastic and horrific, surprisingly funny and poignant, the ordinary, unremarkable life of the Samsa family turns upside down when their son, Gregor, emerges one morning to find himself inexplicably transformed into a gigantic bug. Combining breathtaking physicality and daring aerial action, the recently transformed Gregor lithely negotiates a gravity-defying split level set in this hugely acclaimed production directed and adapted by Gisli Örn Gardarsson and David Farr. With evocative original music composed by world-renowned musician and lyricist Nick Cave and long-time collaborator Warren Ellis from The Bad Seeds, the music emphasizes Kafka’s dream-like vision and turns it into an electrifying reality.

Founded by 13 artists in 2001, Iceland-based Vesturport Theatre rose to international prominence when their Romeo & Juliet became a hit first at the Young Vic and later the West End in London. In April 2011, Vesturport was awarded the Europe Prize New Theatrical Realities XII in St. Petersburg where Faust and Metamorphosis were performed in connection with the award ceremony.

The Lyric Hammersmith is a theatre in London built in 1895, which takes pride in its original, “groundbreaking” productions. It has two main performance areas: the Main House, a 550-seat 19th-century auditorium maintaining the original design which hosts its main productions; and the 120-seat Studio, which houses smaller productions by up-and-coming companies.

April 3 – 7, 2013
ArtsEmerson presents The New York Public Theater’s production of Neva
Written and directed by Guillermo Calderón

The Jackie Liebergott Black Box Theatre at the Paramount Center
Running Time: 80 minutes with no intermission
English language premiere production
Recommended for ages 14 and up

In a politically charged, haunting meditation on theatre and the revolutionary impulse, Chilean writer-director Guillermo Calderón’s Neva tells the story of Anton Chekhov’s widow, the actress Olga Knipper, who arrives in a dimly lit rehearsal room in St. Petersburg in the winter of 1905. As Olga and two other actors await the rest of the cast, they huddle together, act out scenes from their lives and muse on their art form and love—while, unseen, striking workers are being gunned down in the streets by the Tsarist regime. This satirical yet intense performance savagely examines the relationship between theatre and historical context.

A playwright and director based in Santiago, Chile, Guillermo Calderón has written and directed several international hits. His productions have been presented in 25 countries and festivals, including the Wiener Festwochen, Under the Radar Festival in New York City, Seoul Performing Arts Festival, Chekhov Festival in Moscow and the Edinburgh International Festival. He studied theatre at the New School and Dell´Arte School of Physical Theater. Calderón attended the Royal Court Theatre International Playwriting Residency in 2009.

Founded by Joseph Papp as The Shakespeare Workshop and now one of the nation’s preeminent cultural institutions, The Public is an American theatre in which all the country’s voices, rhythms, and cultures converge. The Public Theater has won 42 Tony Awards, 149 Obies, 40 Drama Desk Awards, 24 Lucille Lortel Awards and 4 Pulitzer Prizes. In 2005, The Public Theater received a special Drama Desk Award in celebration of its 50th anniversary.

April 17—20, 2013
Trojan Women (After Euripides)
Created and performed by SITI Company

Directed by Anne Bogart
Adapted by Jocelyn Clarke
Paramount Center Mainstage
Running Time: 90 minutes with no intermission
Recommended for ages 14 and up

In the ruins of their burning city, the royal women of Troy—still mourning the slaughter of their husbands and sons—await enslavement and exile. Among the greatest of all antiwar dramas, Trojan Women (After Euripides) meditates on the moments of individual choice that separate death and life, despair and hope, future and past. In a contemporary adaptation by Jocelyn Clarke, characters such as Odysseus who were formerly seen but not heard appear, and live original music underscores the timeless tale. Acclaimed director Anne Bogart and her SITI Company return to ArtsEmerson after this spring’s Café Variations with this vital production of Euripides’ classic.

SITI Company's production of Trojan Women was commissioned by the J. Paul Getty Museum and first presented at the Getty Villa in Los Angeles, California, in September 2011.

SITI Company is an ensemble-based theatre, founded by Anne Bogart and Japanese theatre artist Tadashi Suzuki. SITI has received American Theatre Wing, Elliot Norton and Obie awards, among many others. Bogart is the recipient of two Obie Awards and a Bessie Award, as well as Guggenheim and Rockefeller fellowships. Bogart also runs the Graduate Directing Program at Columbia University.

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