Each academic year, Emerson Stage strives to present a diverse body of work to suit the educational needs of a wide variety of degree programs. The Emerson Stage Season Selection Committee works each year to discuss the upcoming season, and is inclusive of Performing Arts student representatives, faculty, and staff.

This season includes six plays, two musicals, and new works festival designed to offer Emerson College Performing Arts students hundreds of performance, design, production, and management roles, as well as countless opportunities to build their skills in preparation for a career in the industry. Please join us as we showcase the artists of tomorrow on stage today. 

photo credits: Craig Bailey/Perspective Photo

Purchase Tickets

Good Breeding Show graphic

Good Breeding

By Robert O’Hara
Directed by Elaine Vaan Hogue
February 20–23, 2020
Semel Theater
Tickets: $12 General Admission | $8 Emerson Community

Good Breeding is a highly theatrical and contemporary retelling of The Oresteia, where Aeschylus' timeless trilogy of revenge and justice meets our current collective unconscious. The language shifts seamlessly back and forth between poetic Greek in translation and almost "action-movie" style catch phrasing, allowing us to travel from the heights of Mt. Olympus to the depths of the underworld, from the house of Atreus to the battlefields of Troy. The adaptation retains the original story's central conflict between humanity and the gods while wrestling with the concept of divine intervention and abandonment in surprising, darkly comic, and often brutal ways. Content warning: Good Breeding contains material relating to situations such as sex, rape, and violence. 

Show poster for NewFest

NewFest New Works Festival

Artistic Direction by Joe Antoun
March 12–29, 2020
Greene and Semel Theaters

The NewFest New Works Festival is a three-week celebration of creativity, featuring a new full-length play by the winner of the Rod Parker Playwriting Award*, a workshop production of a new play by a professional playwright, and other short plays and readings written, directed, and performed by Emerson students.

NewFest Rod Parker Playwriting Award Production
Squeaky Fromme Love Song
By James La Bella
Directed by Joe Antoun
March 12–15, 2020
1975. Chicky Baby's brother is dead, his best friend Celeste thinks she's pregnant with the Messiah, and the Squeaky Fromme trial is in full swing. Chicky's quest for new philosophy spirals into chaos in this pitch-black comedy about the fetish of destruction hiding in our search for meaning.

NewFest New Play Workshop
Amanuensis, or The Miltons
By LM Feldman
Directed by Annie G. Levy
March 26–29, 2020
Poetic and playful, fantastic and unflinching, this play interrogates the relationship between privilege and education, authorship and history, gender and opportunity, as it tells the story of three children growing up in the shadow of genius, of society, and of its cultural and historical legacies. It’s not about what got erased from history. It’s about what never got written.

*Production of the NewFest play is made possible by the generous support of Rod Parker ‘51.

Spring Awakening show graphic

Spring Awakening

Book and Lyrics by Steven Sater
Music by Duncan Sheik
Based on the play by Frank Wedekind
Directed by Timothy Douglas
Music Direction by Sariva Goetz
April 16–18, 2020
Cutler Majestic Theater
Tickets: $20 General Admission | $10 Emerson Community

Based on the true story of conjoined twins Violet and Daisy Hilton who became stars during the Great Depression, Side Show is a moving portrait of two women joined at the hip whose extraordinary bondage brings them fame but denies them love. Told almost entirely in song, the show follows their progression from England to America, around the vaudeville circuit and to Hollywood on the eve of their appearance in the 1932 movie Freaks.

Side Show (2014 Broadway Revival) is presented by special arrangement with SAMUEL FRENCH, INC.

Show poster for The Last Days of Judas Iscariot

The Last Days of Judas Iscariot

By Stephen Adly Guirgis
Directed by Clay Hopper
January 30–February 2, 2020
Greene Theater
Tickets: $12 General Admission | $8 Emerson Community

Set in a time-bending, darkly comic world between heaven and hell this play by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis reexamines the plight and fate of the New Testament's most infamous and unexplained sinner.

Last Days of Judas

Show poster for 10 out of 12

10 Out of 12

By Anne Washburn
Directed by Maureen Shea
November 21–24, 2019
Semel Theater
Tickets: $12 General Admission | $8 Emerson Community

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to tech. Around you, a company of 14 is engaged in the very peculiar—and peculiarly impossible—task of making a new play. You’ll have a seat next to the sound designer as he mixes cues. You’ll eavesdrop on backstage gossip as it happens over headset. You’ll watch the director struggle to contain the uncontainable.

Anne Washburn took notes during her tech rehearsals over the years. 10 Out of 12 is a wry and absorbing look at how work forms us and deforms us.

10 Out of 12 is presented by special arrangement with SAMUEL FRENCH, INC.

crew members on stage for 10 Out of 12

Show poster for Flora, the Red Menace

Flora, The Red Menace

Book by David Thompson
Music by John Kander​
Lyrics by Fred Ebb​
Directed and Choreographed by Larry Sousa​
Music Direction by Jonathan Goldberg​
October 31–November 3, 2019​
Greene Theater
Tickets: $12 General Admission | $8 Emerson Community

This Kander and Ebb musical is set in 1935 when the world faces an uncertain political and economic future. At the height of the Great Depression, the government-funded Federal Theatre Project gathers a group of performers to tell the story of optimistic Flora Meszaros, a newly graduated art student. She embarks on a career as a fashion illustrator in Manhattan and soon falls in love with Harry, a fellow artist. But Harry has a secret—he turns out to be an idealistic communist. Is Flora herself a “red menace” or just that good ol' classic Broadway standby—a gal in love? Flora, The Red Menace is the first collaboration between the creators of Cabaret and Chicago. Although the original Broadway production ran for only 87 performances, critics and the public alike were enchanted by the show's 19-year-old star, Liza Minnelli, whose breakout performance in the title role won her a Tony Award.

Flora, The Red Menace is presented by special arrangement with SAMUEL FRENCH, INC.

students performing in Flora, The Red Menace

Show poster for Augusta and Noble

Augusta and Noble

By Carlos Murillo
Directed by Michelle Aguillon
October 17–20, 2019
Robert J. Orchard Stage
Tickets: $12 General Admission | $8 Emerson Community

Augusta and Noble strikes a familiar chord among families of undocumented immigrants, including those living in Chicago. The play centers on West Town teenager Gabi Castillo who is admitted to a selective enrollment high school. Her parents fear the crosstown journey will expose their undocumented status and expose Gabi to unforeseen dangers. This play for young audiences tackles family secrets and immigration from all sides.

Produced by special arrangement with THE DRAMATIC PUBLISHING COMPANY of Woodstock, Illinois.

Commissioned by Adventures Stage Chicago, Tom Arvetis, Artistic Director. Premiered in April 2013.

student cast of Augusta and Noble

Show poster for Stupid F##king Bird

Stupid F##king Bird

By Aaron Posner
Directed by Rebecca Bradshaw
September 26–29, 2019
Jackie Liebergott Black Box Theater
Tickets: $12 General Admission | $8 Emerson Community

An aspiring young director rampages against the art created by his mother’s generation. A nubile young actress wrestles with an aging Hollywood star for the affections of a renowned novelist. And everyone discovers just how disappointing love, art, and growing up can be. In this irreverent, contemporary, and very funny remix of Chekhov’s The Seagull, Aaron Posner stages a timeless battle between young and old, past and present, in search of the true meaning of it all. Original songs composed by James Sugg draw the famously subtextual inner thoughts of Chekhov’s characters explicitly to the surface. Stupid F##cking Bird will tickle, tantalize, and incite you to consider how art, love, and revolution fuel your own pursuit of happiness.

students performing in Stupid F##king Bird