ArtsEmerson premieres The White Card by CLAUDIA RANKINE

In this stunning world premiere at ArtsEmerson, The White Card unfolds a meticulously crafted story, raising uncomfortable questions about what — and who — are on display.

Exploring contemporary headlines and cultural touchstones, CLAUDIA RANKINE‘s The White Card refuses to remain “just a play,” safely entrenched on the stage. Like her 2014 New York Times bestselling book of poetry entitled Citizen: An American Lyric, this new play unpacks the insidious ways in which racism manifests itself in everyday situations, prompting the question, “Can American society progress if whiteness stays invisible?”

In the elegant loft of a powerful, well-intentioned white couple in the New York City art world, a black artist named Charlotte Cummings arrives in the hopes of selling her new work. When the couple’s activist son joins them for dinner, tensions arise, truths are interrogated and the notion of intent — both conscious and unconscious — becomes paramount.


ArtsEmerson presents Bangsokol: A Requiem for Cambodia

ArtsEmerson is pleased to present Bangsokol: A Requiem for Cambodia.

Bangsokol: A Requiem for Cambodia is an extraordinary new composition fusing music, film, voice and movement. It is the first major symphonic work that addresses the traumas that occurred in Cambodia in the late seventies, and is the first collaboration between the Oscar-nominated director Rithy Panh and lauded composer Him Sophy — both survivors of the Khmer Rouge and now at the forefront of Cambodia’s cultural renaissance. Anchored in “bangsokol” — a ritual for the dead or soon to be deceased — the performance intertwines traditional Khmer instruments with The Metropolis Ensemble orchestra and the Taipei Philharmonic Chamber Choir. All together, they create something innately Cambodian but relatable to audiences everywhere.

Bangsokol is an act of cultural renewal, aiming to return the arts to their place at the heart of Cambodian society. While the world continues to witness new genocides, wars and destruction, Bangsokol urges us to express our scars from the past in order to forge a new path forward.


Albert Camus’ THE STATE OF SIEGE at ArtsEmerson

Written by Nobel Prize–winning author Albert Camus, staged by leading avant-garde French director Emmanuel Demarcy-Mota and produced by the celebrated Paris theatre company Théâtre de la Ville, The State of Siege is set to take the country by storm this fall on its first visit to the United States. The rarely staged work, penned in 1948, weaves a tale of paranoia, endurance and political struggle resulting in a dizzying modern metaphor. With a renowned ensemble working on an epic scale, The State of Siege (L’État de siège) explores how art can serve as a way to process – and to resist – human atrocities. What role can art play in the face of peril? Faced with imminent danger, can the human spirit remain focused on the beauty of life?


ArtsEmerson: KISS

When a young, aspirational theatre troupe discovers and performs what they believe is a Syrian soap opera, they come to realize just how much they got wrong. Kiss is a brilliant play-within-a-play that shows how misunderstanding cultural cues can reveal blind spots you never knew you had. Chilean playwright and director Guillermo Calderón brings his masterful sensibility to this intense, tightly wound new production where naiveté can turn out to be the kiss of death.


Actor/author KARL GEARY reads his first novel: Montpelier Parade

Brookline Booksmith hosts novelist KARL GEARY for his first-time novel, Montpelier Parade.

The house is on Montpelier Parade: just across town, but it might as well be a different world.  Working on the garden with his father one Saturday in Dublin, Sonny is full of curiosity.  Then the back door eases open and she comes down the path towards him. Vera.

Chance meetings become shy arrangements, and soon Sonny is in love for the first time. Casting off his lonely life of dreams and quiet violence for this new, intoxicating encounter, he longs to know Vera, even to save her. But what is it that Vera isn’t telling him?

This event is free and open to the public.