Sure, you could check off your holiday gift list with Snuggies, fidget spinners, and Apple watches, OR you could get them tickets to an experience that they’ll never forget. It’s easy to take the idea for granted, but it remains true: There is no gift that compares to an unforgettable experience with the ones you care about. We guarantee you, long after the gifted gadgets of Holiday Season 2017 break, you’ll still be thinking about shows like Ada/Ava or In The Eruptive Mode. And the best news? Whether you get a pair of tickets, a gift certificate, or one of our new 3-show packages, one of our upcoming shows will be perfect for all the uniquely different kinds of people who are on your present list! Here’s a breakdown of shows and their potential super-fans to help you waltz through this gift-buying season.
1. For those with a thing for Etsy:
Beside a lighthouse somewhere on the New England coastline, twin sisters tend to the tower’s guiding light and to each other, until Ava unexpectedly dies. Here, the unrestrained imagination moves the melancholy act of mourning through of journey across the thresholds of life and death. Delightfully gothic, beautiful and emotionally complex, Ada/Ava utilizes special effect techniques from the early age of cinema — shadow puppetry, live-action silhouettes and overhead projection — to conjure a magic spell of multimedia storytelling, complete with a live musical score.
The member of your family with the hip Etsy shop is absolutely going to be blown away by this inventive, brilliant show. JAN 10 – 14. Get tickets now.
2. For those who strive to move beyond the tweets:
In 2011, democratic uprisings erupted all over the Arab world. Citizens challenged their leadership and questioned regimes. From internationally acclaimed Anglo-Kuwaiti writer and director Sulayman Al-Bassam, In the Eruptive Mode presents six monologues of ordinary citizens — all women — caught in the violence and chaos of the Arab Spring. These visceral, poetic monologues with song capture unheard voices, each at their own precarious tipping point.
As an earlier part of our Middle Eastern programming block (Guillermo Calderón’s Kiss) so vividly elucidated, it’s enormously difficult to truly understand another culture from half a world away. But when we’re able to bring artists and a production from places like Kuwait, we all get a little closer to beginning to grasp the truth of the situations. Internationally acclaimed Anglo-Kuwaiti writer and director Sulayman Al-Bassam brought his inventive satire The Speaker’s Progress to ArtsEmerson in 2011. Now he returns with a powerful new production. Don’t settle for political pundits, go straight to the primary sources. JAN 24 – 28. Get tickets now!
3. For the roadtrippers, grunge lovers, and gender non-conformers:
Raised by a schizophrenic single mother fueled by political conspiracy and family dysfunction, award-winning filmmaker Clyde Petersen’s adolescent years unfolded in a series of baffling and hallucinated events. Based on a true story, Torrey Pines tells a trans-queer-punk coming-of-age story, rich with ‘90s pop-culture references in the likes of Star Trek, Nintendo and MTV. The Seattle band Your Heart Breaks performs the vivid score live in tandem with the film, featuring cellist Lori Goldstein who toured as part of legendary band Nirvana in the early 90’s.
Perfect for: those nostalgic for the 90’s, those longing to hop in the car and just drive, or those who recall their awkward years with half mortification and half fondness. FEB 14 – 17. Get tickets now!
4. For those who like their tragic tales to come in pairs:
2 Plays, 4 Actors, 49 Characters: Behold William Shakespeare and George Bernard Shaw’s most famous creations side by side, in repertory, in Hamlet and Saint Joan. Iconic figures are brought vividly to life in two riveting, unexpectedly funny, stripped-down stagings by four actors from Bedlam, the acclaimed New York City theater company, and directed by Eric Tucker.
We all know how Hamlet ends, and yet, we keep showing up to see how it all goes down year after year. Why? The plot resolution is not the point, it’s the tragic familiarity of the human experience that keeps us rushing back to see how Shakespeare lays it all out on the table, highlighting our failures, triumphs, humor and melancholy. This is a one-of-a-kind double feature in which Bedlam, whose fans can only be described as fanatics, come to Boston with two incredible shows they’ll perform in repertory most of March. Not to be missed and the perfect gift for the theatre aficionado in your life! MAR 7 – 25. Get tickets now!