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UNIVERSES: The Next Thing

I left the theatre literally dancing and singing. I was in my own blues musical as I walked down the street; as I skipped my way across Boylston and Tremont, I passed the usual mass of people I know, determined to make a difference in the world.

party peopleUNIVERSES’ most recent production, Party People, explores the Black Panther and the Young Lords movements of the 1970s, discovering the different dimensions we seem to have forgotten about, so that , as they say, “history does not seem as black and white as it sometimes reads in history books.”

Spring Training is similarly stimulating. The work will “explore  Stravinsky’s groundbreaking composition [The Rite of Spring] and create a daring 21st century soundtrack on ritual and revolution.” In an American landscape that has just experienced one of the most divisive elections in its history and is still in the midst of social, economic and political struggles, this work again will speak to the people’s—our—identity.

UNIVERSES is The Next Thing because their work tackles subjects we may think removed from our national experience and uses our universal (what a convenient choice of words) humanity to make them relevant. What they present then acts as a mirror through which we can see ourselves as a society, and the reins are handed back to us as we are charged to take action. It is easy to get caught up in our own worlds, to succumb to our everyday trials and tribulations; their work gives us new perspective: we are not alone. Everything we do affects other people and we have to think of the collective as well as the American ideal we have become accustomed to, Individualism. I don’t know if that is what I was supposed to take from seeing them a year ago, but I will say that never have I had a theatrical experience that so much made me feel a part of a community and connected to the world around me.

The Spring Training workshop is FREE and open to the general public! Learn more here

If you’d like to see anything else in the Festival, the  festival pass admits you to see all of the groundbreaking companies and works: Vision Disturbance by New York City Players, Blood Play by The Debate Society, A (radically condensed and expanded) Supposedly Funny Thing I’ll Never Do Again after David Foster Wallace by Daniel Fish and Birth Breath Bride Elizabeth by Sleeping Weazel, as well as a concert with The Army of Broken ToysThe Shakespearean Jazz Show, films, workshops and more!

Andrea Gordillo is an Emerson BFA Acting’14 student and a Dramaturgy & Outreach Assistant at ArtsEmerson.

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