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Welcome Party Celebrating I Dream: Boston Launch

ArtsEmerson: The World On Stage Announces A Welcome Party Celebrating Both The Launch of Daniel Beaty’s “I Dream: Boston” Initiative and Welcoming the Cast of His Play, Breath & Imagination, to Boston

  • Featuring Performances by Daniel Beaty, the Roland Hayes School of Music, Boston Poet Laureate Danielle Legros, Philip Lima, and more
  • Free, Open to the Public with Reservation Emerson/Paramount Center, Boston
  • January 12, 2015, 7 pm
  • Reserve a complimentary spot »
  • Email for high resolution images.

[BOSTON, MA – January 7, 2014] ArtsEmerson: The World On Stage announces a welcome party celebrating both the launch of Daniel Beaty’s “I Dream: Boston” initiative as well as welcoming the cast of his play Breath & Imagination to Boston. The event, featuring performances by Daniel Beaty, The Roland Hayes School of Music, Boston Poet Laureate Danielle Legros, and Philip Lima will take place Monday, January 12, at 7:00 pm, at the Emerson/Paramount Mainstage located at 559 Washington Street in Boston’s historic Theatre District. The celebration is open to the public and free with reservation either online at or by calling 617-824-8400.

Last March, Emerson College announced “I Dream: Boston,” a three-year civic engagement program and artist-in-residency with award-winning writer/performer Daniel Beaty. Featuring multiple components, the initiative includes presentations of his work by ArtsEmerson: The World On Stage; deep engagement with members of the campus community and organizations around the city, led by the Office of Diversity & Inclusion; and the documentation and distribution of the activities of the “I Dream: Boston” project through HowlRound: A Commons by and for People who Make Performance. Beaty’s “I Dream: Boston” is supported by a $350,000 grant from the Barr Foundation.

The mission of “I Dream” is to empower individuals and communities to rewrite the story of race and class inequity in America, and to build a movement to make that new story real one person, and one city at a time.  Over time, the “I Dream” model can be used to address other forms of inequity, however, the first priority is to address race and class equity.

The event, in the spirit of artist, educator and activist Elma Lewis, is presented in partnership with I Dream: Boston, The Office of Diversity at Emerson College, New England Blacks in Philanthropy, Outside the Box, The Word Boston, Discover Roxbury, Art is Life Itself, and the NAACP Boston Branch.

Breath & Imagination, by Daniel Beaty, featuring Elijah Rock, is directed by David Dower for a two-week limited engagement. Performances take place January 27 through February 8, 2015 at the Emerson/Paramount Center Main Stage. Tickets, from $25-$79, are on sale now at or by phone at 617-824-8400. Group, student, and senior discounts are available.

About Breath & Imagination

Before there was Marian Anderson and Paul Robeson, there was Roland Hayes – the first world-renowned African-American classical vocalist. Born the son of a slave in Georgia, Roland discovered his voice as a young boy singing spirituals in church. Breath & Imagination is a musical play that renders the life of his amazing journey from the plantation in Georgia to singing before kings and queens in Europe and becoming the first African-American soloist to perform with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Employing spirituals and classical music, Breath & Imagination is an inspirational exploration of one man’s determination to be an artist despite seemingly insurmountable odds. Created by celebrated artist Daniel Beaty (Emergency) and starring award-winning actor Elijah Rock— reprising his role as Roland Hayes for which he received the NAACP Theatre Award for Best Performer in 2014.

About Elijah Rock

Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Elijah Rock is an award-winning actor, singer, writer, producer and entrepreneur.  He is the 2014 NAACP Theatre Award recipient for Best Male Equity performer in Breath & Imagination staged in Burbank, CA. Latest credits include Rock as a recurring guest star in the second season of Masters of Sex (Showtime). Rock’s short film Lunch with Jeremiah is currently making the film festival rounds and he is co-producing and starring in the biopic film Lincoln Perry to be directed by the award-winning writer/director, Antwone Fisher. As a recording artist, he released Elijah Rock Preacher of Love. Vol 1., That First Time, and Elijah Rock LIVE in Hollywood. Also a professional tap dancer, Rock resides both in California and New York.

About Playwright Daniel Beaty

Daniel Beaty is an award-winning actor, singer, writer, and motivational speaker. His critically acclaimed plays Through the Night, Emergency, Mr. Joy, and The Tallest Tree in the ForestPaul Robeson, have been performed at venues ranging from Lincoln Center to the White House, and garnered numerous awards including an Obie Award for writing and performance and two NAACP Theater Awards. Beaty has worked throughout the U.S., Europe, and Africa speaking and performing on programs with luminaries such as Deepak Chopra, Hill Harper, Jill Scott, Donnie McClurkin, and Ruby Dee. In fall 2013, Beaty launched a nationwide initiative using the tools of storytelling to help individuals and communities heal trauma funded by W.K. Kellogg and Ford Foundations among others. He holds a BA with Honors in English and Music from Yale University and an MFA in Acting from the American Conservatory Theatre. His poem “Knock Knock” became an internet sensation receiving millions of views and has been transformed into a children's book, also titled Knock Knock, published by Little Brown Books. Penguin-Random House published his empowerment book Transforming Pain to Power in March 2014.

About Director David Dower

Before joining ArtsEmerson in the spring of 2012, David Dower spent six seasons as Associate Artistic Director at Arena Stage, where he directed the Artistic Development team and founded the American Voices New Play Institute (AVNPI), the precursor to The Center for the Theater Commons now located at Emerson College. He served as the Artistic Producer on Arena’s offerings from 2007 – 2011, including the Tony/Pulitzer-winning Next to Normal. Prior to joining Arena he was the founding Artistic Director of The Z Space (a theatre development center focused on new plays) and a founder of its predecessor, the producing ensemble The Z Collective, both in San Francisco. He has directed plays around the country, including at Arena Stage, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Seattle’s Intiman, and dozens of world premiere productions in the Bay Area.

Breath & Imagination
January 27 – February 8, 2015
Featuring Elijah Rock
Written by Daniel Beaty
Directed by David Dower
Emerson/Paramount Center Main Stage

Performance Schedule
Tuesday, January 27, 2015  7:30PM
Wednesday, January 28, 2015  7:00PM
Thursday, January 29, 2015  7:30PM
Friday, January 30, 2015  8:00PM
Saturday, January 31, 2015  8:00PM
Sunday, February 1, 2015  2:00PM
Tuesday, February 3, 2015  7:30PM
Wednesday, February 4, 2015  7:00PM
Thursday, February 5, 2015  11:00AM
Thursday, February 5, 2015  7:30PM
Friday, February 6, 2015  8:00PM
Saturday, February 7, 2015  8:00PM
Sunday, February 8, 2015  2:00PM

About ArtsEmerson: The World On Stage

ArtsEmerson was established by Emerson College to program the beautifully restored 590‐seat Emerson/Paramount Center Mainstage; the versatile, intimate Jackie Liebergott Black Box Theatre (“The Jackie”), which can seat up to 150 people; the state‐of‐the‐art 170‐seat Bright Family Screening Room (all located within the Emerson/Paramount Center, a cornerstone in the revitalization of downtown Boston); and the beloved, historic 1,186‐seat Emerson/Cutler Majestic Theatre in the heart of the Theatre District, fully restored by Emerson in 2003. ArtsEmerson brings both American and international theatre, film and music, providing audiences a global perspective on a local platform its its four distinct venues. For more information, visit

About the Office of Diversity & Inclusion

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion leads Inclusive Excellence at Emerson College.The primary goal is to ensure access and success for everyone at Emerson. It provides resources and support to faculty, staff, and students using Inclusive Excellence as the foundation for all other goals at Emerson. It believes Inclusive Excellence leads to academic excellence. There are many dimensions of diversity that exist together and impact each other. Gender-identity can intersect with race, which can connect to social and economic class differences; spiritual belief can impact sexual orientation, and so on. At Emerson, diversity leads to inclusion when people are able to bring their full selves to work, study, learn, create, innovate, and engage with one another at the highest level of performance.

About HowlRound

HowlRound, located in the Office of the Arts at Emerson College, designs and develops online communication platforms and in-person gatherings that promote access, participation, organizational collaboration, field-wide research, and new teaching practices to illuminate the breadth, diversity, and impact of a commons-based approach to theater practice. For more information, visit

About Emerson College

Located 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 3,750 undergraduates and 750 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 60 student organizations and performance groups. Emerson is known for its study and internship programs in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., the Netherlands, London, China, and the Czech Republic. A new, permanent facility on Sunset Boulevard for its L.A.-based program opened in January 2014. For more information, visit

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