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April 29, 2024 | Events, General, Theatre,

A Recap of Our 23/24 Season

As we prepare to announce our 24/25 Season during our live Season Preview Party on May 22, let’s take a look back at what our most recent season entailed! The 23/24 Season featured amazing performances from all over the world, including shows from Rwanda, Norway, and the Dominican Republic, and audiences saw everything from larger-than-life puppets to full orchestras and choruses and even a shout-out from Boston legend Big Papi!

The 23/24 Season opened in an atypical way as this event did not take place in any of our usual theatre spaces! On September 7, Little Amal, the 12-foot puppet representing a young refugee named Amal moved through the streets of Boston, symbolizing the journey of refugees through engaging street theater. Amal has toured around the world and works to heighten awareness surrounding the current refugee crisis. 

Little Amal was followed by our first in-venue performance of the season, We Are The Land, which had a sold-0ut run at the Cutler Majestic Theatre from September 29-30. This unique production, which was part pageant and part play, celebrated the story of the Massachusetts Wampanoag people over four centuries. Through song, dance, and spoken word, the show explored the Wampanoags enduring relationship with their land and their ongoing cultural revival.

From October 18-22, ArtsEmerson delved into Rwanda’s complex history and its journey towards healing and reconciliation after the genocide with the powerful performance of The Book of Life.Through a fusion of original music by Rwanda’s pioneering women’s drumming group, evocative letters from Rwandans, and a visual fable using animal characters, the show reflected themes of memory, resilience, and renewal.

2023 wrapped with The Real James Bond… Was Dominican, a theatrical performance that explored the life of Porfirio Rubirosa, a Dominican diplomat and the real-life inspiration behind Ian Fleming’s James Bond. Performed by Christopher Rivas, this one-man show combined storytelling with multimedia elements to delve into themes of identity and legacy. It ran from November 8 to November 12, 2023, at the Emerson Paramount Center in Boston, MA. The production included a 70-minute performance followed by a 45-minute post-show discussion circle.’

Christopher Rivas sitting

ArtsEmerson kicked off the new year with a classic story told anew: Moby Dick,which ran from from January 23-28 during another sold-out engagement. This stunning visual adaptation of Herman Melville’s classic novel was brought to life by Plexus Polaire and featured a blend of live actors, fifty puppets, video projections, and dramatic soundscapes. The narrative delved deep into the haunting obsessions and existential themes of the novel, with a life-sized whale and a drowned orchestra enhancing the theatrical experience. 

Captain Ahab

The second half of the 23/24 season continued with the return of fan favorites The 7 Fingers with the U.S. premiere of their newest circus performance, Duel Reality. This exhilarating acrobatic performance was inspired by the tale of the Montagues and Capulets, mirroring the story of Romeo and Juliet and was staged at the Emerson Cutler Majestic Theatre in Boston from February 7-18. The show combined playful competition with serious conflicts, exploring themes of love and rivalry through a captivating circus arts display.

From March 27-April 7, ArtsEmerson welcomed Mrs. Krishnan’s Party to the stage of the Jackie Liebergott Black Box Theatre. This immersive theater experience invited audiences to become apart of a Onam celebration. Set in the backroom of Mrs. Krishnan’s convenience store, this interactive show combines live music, dance, and cooking, allowing the audience to partake in the festivities. As the story unfolded, attendees experienced the cultural significance of Onam, all while engaging directly with the performance and each other, creating a unique communal atmosphere.

Fans Cheering for DJ Jimmy

The 23/24 Season wrapped in April with Book of Mountains and Seas, a theatrical performance that ran from April 19-21 at the Emerson Paramount Center. The show used large-scale puppets, music, and percussion to tell a story based on ancient Chinese myths. This story explored the connection between humanity and the natural world, and how the respect for nature in those myths can inform our current environmental efforts.

Brown puppet in Book of Mountains and Seas

Did you have a favorite show from the 23/24 Season? Let us know in the comments! If this past season excited you, be sure not to miss the reveal for what is in store for our next season — all are welcome to join us on May 22 for our 24/25 Season Preview Party! This event is free and open to the public with an RSVP and is sure to be an exciting night where Executive Director and Director of Artistic Programming Ronee Penoi will unveil the upcoming season alongside some special guests and with performances from around the world. We can’t wait to see you there!

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