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January 21, 2020 | Theatre, Notes From Leadership,

Happy New Year by Artistic Director David Dower

So glad you have chosen to start of the new decade at ArtsEmerson. We kick off the second half of our 10th season with Australia’s Back to Back Theatre. We have been working to get this company to Boston for years and they arrive now with a new work co-commissioned by ArtsEmerson. We are proud to be presenting their Boston debut.

Back to Back has been making theatre in Gelong, Australia for 30 years. Some of the company of The Shadow Whose Prey The Hunter Becomes have been together for over a decade. They are professional actors, each with some degree of intellectual disability, and each committed to challenging assumptions about what is possible in theatre, who makes it and who it is for. In the process, they are confronting our assumptions about the world, about difference and about perceptions of disability.

Everything we do at ArtsEmerson is designed to help connect us across our differences. We believe that the arts belong to everyone, and that through shared experience of art we have the potential to unlock the power of those differences to create a thriving world. A thriving world, for us, is one where each of us has the equal opportunity to achieve our fullest potential. To dream, to build, to fly.

Back to Back embodies this notion, for us. They’ve unlocked the latent power in their individual differences, as well as their total dependence on each other, to forge a new path for the entire community around them. And, in Hunter, they’ve crafted a sly, artful, funny and startling show that upends our settled sense of world order, and of our own presumptions of ability. We have entered the age of AI. Artificial Intelligence is vastly superior to mere Human Intelligence. How do we live in a world where our traditional notions of intellectual ability are no longer the standard? Back to Back has learned a thing or two about living with intellectual disability. They’re here to help us explore that world, and discover our own in the process.

We couldn’t ask for better, or more winning, guides.

– David Dower, Artistic Director

Joins us for The Shadow Whose Prey the Hunter Becomes (JAN 23-26) at the Emerson Paramount Center.

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