ArtsEmerson is an international home for performers worldwide and Boston audiences, bringing together our local communities with global storytelling. As we celebrate 10 Years Bold with our upcoming 10th Anniversary Season, we’ve been fortunate enough to have folks who have been with us since the beginning – and then bringing along their friends, family members, and maybe even their future soulmates.
Teri Groome moved downtown from the suburbs of Boston in 2010. As she started to readjust to her new life amidst the looming buildings and bustling sidewalks, a certain marquee caught her eye. Compelled by the glistening lights of the Paramount, Teri bought her first ticket to an ArtsEmerson show, and then in 2011 bought her first season long package. Not only has Teri been a season package buyer ever since, bringing along her now husband, Paul.
“In 2011 I bought my first package and that November I met Paul. Paul didn’t know anything about ArtEmerson and still lived in the suburbs,” Teri explained. “He would come in (to the city) specifically to see shows with me.”
Married just last year, Teri and Paul began their relationship as audience members in our venues, mesmerized by the unique productions on our stages and the conversations they sparked. “At the end of a production, we can always have a conversation. It’s always thought provoking. We don’t always get that at other events.” Furthermore, these conversations deepened Terri’s relationship with Paul early on, as they discussed topics surrounding Shakespeare, politics, artistic expression, and the many themes we bring to our stages.
Teri has a background in the arts, having previously taught speech and drama. Paul, however, was new to the world of performing arts. “Paul hadn’t read a lot of theatre or seen a lot of theatre,” Terri mentioned. “He’s wonderful because he comes in with no preconceived notions, especially in contrast in to those of us who hyper analyze it before we walk in the door. It’s probably a purer experience for him.”
With each passing season, Paul would come as Teri’s guest as part of her package. When things became more serious, Paul started buying his own packages. “He was no longer my guest but a full participant,” Terri gushed. As their relationship grew, so did their connection to ArtsEmerson. “I wanted to expand my education in weaker areas, like Shakespeare. I saw it as an educational opportunity for me, in some respects,” Paul texted in to the interview.
By walking into our spaces, Terri and Paul were able to find connection between each other and their larger community. “There is something about the community that is watching the show and the stage. And then there is a further level of community with you and your co-audience members. You’re going to be sitting with people who in your day to day life you would not run across.”
Of course, we had to ask what their favorite ArtsEmerson shows are, after experiencing all nine previous seasons. For Teri, Metamorphosis was the technical masterpiece that kept her coming back for more. “You believed what you were seeing. You believed he was hanging from the ceiling, turning into a cockroach, suspending your belief. That was early on after that you hooked me for every show. “
For Paul, Bedlam’s Hamlet stuck out and “also any show from The 7 Fingers and the projections of The End of TV!”
ArtsEmerson tells many stories and we’re incredibly proud of the work we bring to Boston, but perhaps more so, we’re proud of the communities and partnerships we create right here in our city. Whether it’s our Welcome to Boston Cast Parties, Play Reading Book Clubs, or even the union of two audience members, we’re honored to play a role in each audience member’s story in one way or another.