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April 25, 2019 | Theatre, Notes From Leadership,

Hello World: Artistic Director David Dower on the Final Two Shows of the 18/19 Season

Those of you who have become regulars around here will recognize /peh-LO-tah/ and See You Yesterday as prime examples of what we offer to Boston. From the outset we have aimed to bring revelatory and relevant stories from around the world that connect audiences to the diverse cultures that make up this vibrant city.

If you are new to us, ArtsEmerson aims to present programs that help you explore the world, and discover your own, without having to leave the city.

/peh-LO-tah/ and See You Yesterday take us to places and inside the stories of communities that are woven deeply into the fabric of contemporary Boston, though they focus on cultures that are seldom in the spotlight.

Marc Bamuthi Joseph’s signature is a high-energy, visually and emotionally ravishing, poetic style that weaves elements of hip-hop culture, contemporary dance, spoken word and his Haitian-American roots into powerful and moving odes to black joy. Here he’s set his signature style on the world’s most popular sport, and created an event that celebrates futbol’s power to bring us together. In the same breath, he shares the risk, the pain and the challenges that confront him on and off the field in a culture determined to separate us.

Global Arts Corps creates theatre in conflict zones all over the world that aims to foster reconciliation. Here they are working with a community of circus artists from Phnom Penh as they attempt to break through generations of silence around the Cambodian genocide. Global Arts Corps asks the question, “Can we forgive the past to survive the future?”—and the performers of See You Yesterday embody that effort.

We are about to announce our 10th season. Its ten projects create a year-long celebration of where we’ve come from and where we are going. I hope you will join us for the whole ride. You can get the party started by joining us for a free kickoff event on Monday, May 20th at 6:30 pm at the Paramount Center. Performances by Toshi Reagon, 7 Fingers and Mr. Joy’s Debra Walton will animate the evening. And you’ll get a chance to meet your fellow travelers as we circle the globe, all from the comfort of these downtown venues.

-David Dower, Artistic Director

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