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December 3, 2019 | News, Theatre, Race and Equity,

Announcing Parable Read: A Citywide Book Club

During our 2017/2018 Season, we co-produced The White Card written by Claudia Rankine with the American Repertory Theatre. A monumental work of theatre, Rankine’s words resonated with audiences and prompted inquisitive questioning showcasing the power of a skilled writer. As we inched closer to opening night, ArtsEmerson had conducted a book club of Rankine’s work to offer audiences an even deeper experience called Citizen Read. Gathering communities from Boston and Cambridge, nearly 1300 people all read Citizen: An American Lyric — the inspiration piece behind The White Card — in the three months leading up to the production. It was an opportunity for audiences to discuss Rankine’s writing and delve into topics of race and identity in America.

After the resounding success of Citizen Read, we are proud to present Parable Read in conjunction with our performance of Parable of the Sower (MAR 26-29). Audiences will have the opportunity to join together in their communities and read Octavia E. Butler’s best-selling 1994 novel, which serves as the basis for the the upcoming productions.

Artistic Director, David Dower introduces Parable Read at a live taping of the podcast How to Survive the End of the World featuring Toshi Reagon as a special guest.

The novel 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. What begins as a desperate fight for survival leads to something much more profound: a startling vision of human destiny that births the seeds of a new faith.

Registration for Parable Read will open on JAN 19. To find out more information, head to

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