May 22 - 24, 2013

Daniel Beaty portrays a cast of over 25 characters in this explosive and funny tour-de-force featuring slam poetry, multi-character transformation and song. In the midst of the finals for the nationally televised spoken word competition, “America’s Next Top Poet,” a slave ship mysteriously emerges in front of the Statue of Liberty, sending New York City into a whirl of emotion and self-examination. Seen through the lens of one of the contestants and his family at the center of the maelstrom, Beaty delightfully teases out his tale with the colorful commentary of neighbors and bystanders. Juxtaposed against the powerful poetry of the other contestants, the responses to this surreal happening and varied testimonies on identity and personal freedom weave a stirring commentary on what it is to be human and the longing to be free.

Funnier than most serious plays and vastly smarter than most funny plays, Daniel Beaty’s Emergency is the most intriguing new show of the season. Its premise is inspired.”-New York Magazine


Daniel Beaty is an award-winning actor, singer, writer and composer. He has received Lucille Lortel, Drama Desk, Drama League and Outer Critics Circle nominations, the 2010 AUDELCO Award for Outstanding Solo Performance and the 2010 Ovation Award for Best Male Lead Actor. He received the 2007 Obie Award for Excellence in Off-Broadway Theater for Writing & Performing and the 2007 AUDELCO Award for Solo Performance for Emergency. He is the recipient of the 2007 Scotsman Fringe First Award for the best new writer at the Edinburgh Festival. He has worked with artists such as Ruby Dee, Ossie Davis, Jill Scott, Sonia Sanchez, MC Lyte, Mos Def, Tracy Chapman, Deepak Chopra and Phylicia Rashad. Beaty has also worked with organizations headquartered in Boston such as City Year and Year Up, presenting keynote presentations at all staff retreats.

“Daniel Beaty’s explosive, affecting solo play Emergency may be the most important new American drama since Angels in America”

This presentation of Beaty’s signature work on the stage of the Majestic will be the culminating celebration of a year-long residency that supports the continued life of four of his plays, puts Beaty in the classroom with Emerson College students, creates open rehearsal opportunities for students and ArtsEmerson Members, and brings Beaty’s work to communities around the city. In addition to the performances of Emergency, the projects at the center of this residency include Breath and Imagination, an ensemble play about the life of the black opera singer Roland Hayes that premiered in 2013 at Hartford Stage, Mr. Joy, the solo-play follow up to Emergency, a solo work about the life of Paul Robeson, The Tallest Tree in the Forest, and his hit production of Through The Night, which had a long Off-Broadway run last season.


Huey Calhoun Adam Pascal
Felicia Farrell Montego Glover
Gator Derrick Baskin
Delray Jones J. Bernard Calloway
Bobby James Monroe Iglehart
Gladys Calhoun Nancy Opel
Mr. Simmons John Jellison


Written by William Shakespeare
Directed by Dominic Dromgoole and Bill Buckhurst
Series Legend
Ages 12+
Running Time 2 hours and 30 minutes plus one intermission


  • Location: Emerson/Cutler Majestic Theatre
  • Created by: Daniel Beaty
  • Starring: Joshua McGuire
  • Ages: 12+
  • Running Time: 75 minutes with no intermission