Company One Theatre Ushers Audiences Toward 'A Better Future' with Season 22

Friday October 2, 2020

Company One Theatre Ushers Audiences Toward 'A Better Future' with Season 22

A virtual exploration of undocumented life in Boston. A local favorite filmed up-close-and-personal for a national audience. A technicolor comic-book world brought to life on stage. Company One Theatre's Season 22 digs deep and doubles down: Focusing on long-term relationships with artists and partners, making space for both collective action and community-fueled joy, and recommitting to C1's vision of a Boston defined by justice, equity, and artistic innovation. As we process this year of disconnection, Season 22 reminds us of the power of people coming together to work Toward a Better Future.

"2020 has only confirmed what we've always known: We must use art as a tool to work toward justice," said C1 Associate Artistic Director Summer L. Williams. "Justice for Black lives stolen, brutalized, and victimized by white oppressive systems. Justice for immigrants terrorized by the specter of deportation. Justice for all those ignored by what's perceived to be the dominant American culture. With Season 22, we hope to energize our community toward changemaking — and, after a year of heartbreak, to be intentional about making space for human connection and hope."

C1's Season 22 begins with October's "Downtown Crossing," the culmination of C1's two-year Boston (un)Documented Project, during which C1 PlayLab alum David Valdes interviewed immigrants and immigrant rights advocates throughout the city's neighborhoods, produced in partnership with Northeastern University and Boston Public Library. Next, a new cinematic recording of Idris Goodwin's "Hype Man" will be broadcast this winter in partnership with an exciting cohort of partner organizations to be announced soon, bringing this timely story of protest and friendship to a national audience. Finally, C1 returns to Dorchester's Strand Theatre in Summer 2021 with Inda Craig-Galván's "Black Super Hero Magic Mama," a powerful refutation of the disproportionate expectations placed on Black mothers and their sons.

"In planning this year, we've been looking at a very intentional progression, with public health in mind," said C1 Artistic Director Shawn LaCount. "From a production that's fully virtual for both actors and audience to a newly filmed production streamed nationwide, to our socially distanced return to in-person performance next summer, we'll be keeping the health of our artists, staff, and audiences in mind at every step of the way. We are also working with the city to secure space for an outdoor production of 'Black Super Hero Magic Mama' if it is not yet safe to convene indoors by next summer."

Beyond these productions, Season 22 will also see the return of the Better Future Series, delving into the needs of underrepresented communities in Boston and across the country. In addition to the main conversation series, C1 will launch the Better Future: Joy & Wellness Program, with events and participatory workshops geared toward health, relaxation, and artistically-fueled joy to get us through the winter.

This year, C1 will also expand its PlayLab program, now known as C1 PlayLab Circuit, and bring its Stage One education program to more students than ever before through virtual residencies in eight Boston Public Schools.

"Resident playwrights working on commissions and community-focused new play development processes will be part of the C1 Circuit Flux Lab, and early-career writers refining their craft will be part of the C1 Circuit Volt Lab," said Director of New Work Ilana M. Brownstein. "We'll also continue to host experiences available to all, like our Virtual Open-Writes, as part of our new C1 Open Circuit series."

"The pandemic has completely changed education in America and the effects of these changes will be felt for years to come," said Education Director Mark VanDerzee. "At C1, we have reimagined how our Stage One classes operate, revising our practices and curriculum in order to develop community with the students and schools we work with, respond to their needs, and modify our work inside 'new' school cultures and climates."

"At C1, our mission is to build community at the intersection of art and social change," said Managing Director Karthik Subramanian. "We remain committed to this work here in Boston — in our schools, on our stages, and online. We hope you'll join us in the fight. Together, we can forge a better future."

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