Paris Commune at ArtsEmerson
Season Open Septrember 20
By: ArtsEmerson - 08/13/2012
ArtsEmerson: The World On Stage opens with the world premiere of The Civilians’ Paris Commune, a musical play that centers on a two month period in France during the Industrial Revolution, when workers take control of Paris in a popular uprising. Performances take place September 20 – 23, 2013 at The Paramount Center Mainstage (559 Washington Street in Boston’s Theatre District). Tickets, from $25 –$65, are on sale now at www.artsemerson.org or by phone at (617) 824-8400.
In 1871, working-class Parisians took to the streets and overthrew the French government, declaring their city autonomous and launching an effort to radically reinvent society. They governed the city for a short time, attempting to institute socialist policies, before falling to the Army of Versailles, in battles that killed tens of thousands of people. In addition, thousands more were arrested or deported. The Civilians brings these explosive events to life in this new musical play. Using found texts and songs from this historic period, Paris Commune tells the story of Europe’s first socialist revolution, bringing alive the idealism, elation and eventual tragic downfall of this popular uprising.
Boston audiences have the special opportunity to see this world premiere by The Civilians before it heads to New York. This Boston run continues the company’s long-term partnership with ArtsEmerson. In the first and second seasons, The Civilians presented You Better Sit Down: Tales From My Parents’ Divorce and In The Footprint: The Battle Over Atlantic Yards. Paris Commune has been in development at ArtsEmerson and elsewhere for the past several years.
The Civilians, based in Brooklyn, is the center for investigative theater, supporting the development and production of new theater from creative inquiries into the most vital questions of the present. The Civilians expands the scope of American theater and champions innovation by tackling complex and under-explored subjects, enabling artists to enrich their processes through in-depth interaction with their topics, diversifying artistic voices and audiences, and integrating theater with new media. Development often involves community residencies, travel, face-to-face conversations, and extensive research. This high degree of engagement with the public continues into production, inviting the audience to be active participants through ongoing channels of dialogue. The company provides a home for a multi-disciplinary group of artists and partners with regional theater and arts presenters in New York, nationally, and internationally. This playfully clever Brooklyn-based theatre company has toured extensively with presentations in over 40 cities nationally and internationally. The Civilians has also received Lucille Lortel, Drama Desk and Drama Guild nominations.
Sept. 20—23, 2012
Created by Steven Cosson and Michael Friedman
Paramount Center Mainstage
Running Time: 90 minutes with no intermission
Recommended for ages 14 and up
Thursday, Sept. 20, 7 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 21, 8 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 22, 8 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 23, 2 p.m.
Paris Commune On Film
In celebration of ArtsEmerson’s presentation of The Civilians’ musical play Paris Commune on the Paramount Center Mainstage Sept. 20-23, we take a cinematic look at the short-lived revolution, and its influence, as well as an iconic American director’s take on utopias. Films are screened at Emerson College’s Paramount Center (559 Washington St., Boston), in the Bright Family Screening Room. Tickets are $10, or $7.50 for members, and are available in advance at www.ArtsEmerson.org, or by calling 617-824-8400. Discounted tickets for seniors are $7.50, and $5 for all students with valid ID and children under 18. Discounted tickets are available in person at the Box Office only. For more information visit www.ArtsEmerson.org
The New Babylon—2009 Restoration
Directed by Grigori Kozintsev, Leonid Trauberg
With Special Introduction by Marek Pytel
1929, SD on DV Cam, B&W, 93 minutes
Considered today to be the culminating achievement of the Soviet silent film era, historical epic The New Babylon was filmmakers’ Grigori Kozintsev and Leonid Trauberg’s final silent work. Set during the 1871 Paris Commune, the New Babylon luxury store clerk Louise joins the Communards to fight for the cause, highlighting the clash and contrast between Parisian workers and the bourgeoisie, capitalist functionaries and soldiers manning barricades. Kozintsev and Trauberg depict this revolutionary time with impressionistic cutting and metaphorical compositions in this dazzling work. The original score by Dimitri Shostakovich uses period French music and features an arrangement of “La Marseillaise.”
Friday, Sept. 14, 9 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 16, 1 p.m.
Babette’s Feast – 2003 Archival Print
Directed by Gabriel Axel
1987, 35mm, color, 102 minutes
Winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film, this jewel from Denmark is based on a short story by Isak Dinesen, who also wrote Out of Africa. In late 19th century Denmark, two pious sisters are given a chance to leave and experience the world, but both decide to stay with their father, a revered local pastor in their tiny village. After his death, Babette, a refugee from the post-Paris Commune massacre, arrives on their doorstep with a letter from the past and they take her in as a housekeeper where she works diligently for many years. When Babette wins the lottery, the sisters assume she will return to Paris, but instead she pleads with them to let her cook a real French meal for once. Despite their fears, Babette cooks them a most remarkable feast that changes all of their lives.
Saturday, Sept. 15, 1 p.m.
Directed by Frank Capra
1937, DVD, B&W, 132 minutes
Fleeing a Chinese revolution, four civilians crash-land their hijacked plane in the Himalayas and are rescued by the people of Shangri-la. Shrouded in mystery, they discover a hidden world of peace and harmony in this enchanted paradise where time stands still. Based on the best-selling novel by James Hilton, director Frank Capra’s masterpiece stars Ronald Colman and Jane Wyatt, and was a box office hit at the time of its release. Lost Horizon won Academy Awards for Art Direction (Set Design) and Film Editing, and was widely circulated among the armed services during World War II.
Saturday, Sept. 15, 5 p.m.
La Commune: Paris, 1871
Directed by Peter Watkins
2000, BetaSP, B&W, 345 minutes
Director Peter Watkins crafted this docudrama as a historical re-enactment in the style of a documentary, shot in a mere 13 days in an abandoned factory on the outskirts of Paris. Using a mainly non-professional cast, many of whom knew nothing about the Commune, the actors did much of their own research for the massive project – which runs over five hours in its uncut version. In the spirit of the Commune, Watkins has said he wanted the actors “to reflect on the links between the events of the Commune and society today. In this way, we were asking the cast to contribute directly to the manner of telling their own history.”
On sale now at ArtsEmerson:
September 20—23, 2012, PARIS COMMUNE – The Civilians – World Premiere, Paramount Center Mainstage
September 27—October 7, 2012, SEQUENCE 8 – Les 7 doigts de la main, Cutler Majestic Theatre
October 9—21, 2012, HAMLET – Globe Theatre, Paramount Center Mainstage
November 8—18, 2012, TED HUGHES’ TALES FROM OVID – Whistler in the Dark, Jackie Liebergott Black Box, Paramount Center
November 23—December 16, 2012, Mona Golabek in THE PIANIST OF WILLESDEN LANE, Jackie Liebergott Black Box, Paramount Center
December 5—8, 2012, LA BELLE ET LA BÊTE – Lemieux Pilon 4D Art, Cutler Majestic Theatre
January 26—27, 2013, FAMILY HAPPINESS – Fomenko Theatre, Cutler Majestic Theatre
January 29—February 10, 2013, THE SERVANT OF TWO MASTERS, Paramount Center Mainstage
February 27—March 3, 2013, METAMORPHOSIS – Vesturport Theatre, Paramount Center Mainstage
March 22—24, 2013, EMERGENCY, Daniel Beaty, Cutler Majestic Theatre
April 3—7, 2013, NEVA, Guillermo Calderón, Jackie Liebergott Black Box, Paramount Center
April 17—21, 2013, TROJAN WOMEN – SITI Company, Paramount Center Mainstage