ARE YOU SOMEONE TO SOMEBODY?
A New Devised Piece
Conceived of and Directed by
Created by the Company
A confluence of text, movement, abstract design, and media, this new work will be concerned with the personal and emotional landscape of the general human experience, conflating "highly emotional" with the extremely mundane.
DECEMBER 8–11, 2022
All performances open to the public
Run Time: Approximately 100 minutes with no intermission.
Content Advisory: This play includes harsh language, mentions of substance abuse and eating disorders, and depictions of complex family relationships.
Sensory Advisory: This production contains flashing lights.
A note on COVID safety: Please know that as an audience member for any of our performances, you will be required to wear a mask and present your vaccination card or a recent negative Covid test before entering the performance space. Additional safety requirements may be added at any time at the discretion of Emerson College, the City of Boston, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Any prospective ticket buyer with concerns about health safety protocols is encouraged to call our Box Office at 617-824-8400.
Are You Someone to Somebody?
A note from the
DIRECTOR, Lindsay Beamish
In its essence, devising theatre is a process in which you create a piece of theatre without the starting place of a script. Unlike directing a play – where your launch pad is the text and the script of the play itself – in the world of devising we start with the biggest and most blank canvas. Some devisers begin with a theme. Some begin with a prompt of some sort. In my personal style of devising, we start from a true place of nothing. No ideas; no defined “themes” as a starting place. And definitely no ideas about characters or “story.” So where do we start? We get in the rehearsal room, we get on our feet, and we start playing around and improvising.
But the tight schedule of Emerson Stage presented us with a unique challenge: the show needed to be designed before the show existed. Design plans (lighting, costumes, sound) needed to be finalized over the summer, but we wouldn’t start devising the show until September. To solve this conundrum, we decided to create a scenic and costume design concept, and then then we would devise a piece of theatre that justified this design. For our scenic (and lighting) design, we settled on a sort of 1980s game show world (that had the visual potential to implode somewhat), and the world of three “boxes” with different levels of confinement. In the world of costumes, we decided on two game show host outfits, a “uniform” worn by everyone, and undergarments that could be revealed under the main costumes. And that’s all we knew when we first all came together in our first rehearsal in September. We knew there would be a game show of some kind, two game show hosts, and three differently sized and confined boxes. And from there, we got on our feet and started to experiment. And that’s how we begin the long and painstaking and joyous and sometimes miserable and deeply fulfilling and totally maddening process of creating a piece of theatre from the ground up. What you will see when watching Are You Someone to Somebody? is the outcome of three months of truly intensive work deep from within the trenches of that process.
Almost everything you see in this piece came from a little spark myself or the assistant directors saw in something the actors did. It might have been a two-second part of a bigger piece they presented. It might have been something they improvised based on an impulse. It might have been a little moment in between moments of actual “acting” when I glimpsed them doing something that sparked an idea or new pathway, or that broke open something we were struggling to figure out. My job as the director/writer of a piece like this feels akin to that of a prospector or someone mining for gold. There was so much material presented that we experimented with, all of which I navigated with the highly unscientific system of digging in to something when it “felt right.” As a deviser, I listen for the “ding” sound in my head/body when we are rooting through the material the ensemble is creating. And when the ding goes off, we bore deep into the direction of whatever small spark set that bell off. And in this process of searching for the “ding,” everything is fair game. The climax for the character of game show host Pat Martin (played by Luke Morrison) came from watching Luke onstage in a moment of boredom. He was sitting at one of the gameshow podiums while we were focusing on something that didn’t involve him, and when I looked over he was sort of muttering to himself and pretending to be a contestant for his own amusement. I felt the ding loudly, and from there, we dove into that behavior for his character and we uncovered the end of the show.
I want to offer my biggest thanks and appreciation to everyone who worked on this show. It was a risky deep dive into the unknown, and everyone on the team truly gave it everything they had. A special thanks to those who spent a million hours in the rehearsal room making this show a reality: the cast, the assistant directors, our sound designer, our understudy, and our stage management team. Your blood, sweat, and tears are the backbone of this show. And my greatest appreciation to the cast: as we say, “you left it all on the floor,” and I couldn’t be more appreciative or proud of how much of yourselves you all gave. In devising this show, felt like I got to “paint” with all of your profound talent, and it was a true gift to do so. And a final special thanks to the late great Bob Colby and the late great Maureen Shea—two giants of the Emerson Performing Arts Department, who both advocated hard for this show to be reality. We owe you both so much gratitude.
ABOUT THE DIRECTOR
Lindsay Beamish has been a professional film, television, and theater actress and creator for over 25 years. Notable film work includes “Forgetting the Girl” for which her performance received favorable reviews in The New York Times and Variety. Before that she appeared in the independent film “The Greatest,” starring Pierce Brosnan, Susan Sarandon, and Carey Mulligan, which premiered at Sundance Film Festival. Other film work of note includes the seminal film “Nest of Tens “directed by Miranda July, and John Cameron Mitchell's “Shortbus,” which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. Lindsay's performance in “Shortbus” was notably reviewed by David Ansen in Newsweek and Tom Carrao in Film Monthly, was awarded the Lulu Award for Best Supporting Actress, and was nominated for a Gotham Award (NYC).
Recent devising/directing work includes her original theater piece “The Institute for the Opposite of Longing,” which premiered at the Hollywood Fringe Festival, where it won the 2Cents Theatre Distinctive Voices Award, the Producers Encore Award for artistic and commercial excellence, was nominated for the Inkwell Theater Playwright’s Promise Award, and went on to win a grant from Boston Foundation’s Open-Door Grants via Apollinaire Theatre for its east coast/Boston premiere. Other devising work includes multi-media full-length performance “38 ½,” as well as “Wigs,” which premiered at the NYC Fringe Festival. Other selected stage performances include Winter’s Solstice (Boston), Desire (Boston), The Man Who Never Yet Saw Women’s Nakedness (LA) and The Faust Projeckt (LA). Other film and television acting work includes performances on/in Don’t Look Up, CSI, Gilmore Girls, Six Feet Under, The Pretender, Jimmy and Judy, and Strong Medicine. Her film directing work includes the experimental short “In Can Can Descent,” which was nominated for Best Experimental Short at the South by Southwest Film Festival, and played at the NY and Chicago Underground Film Festivals.
Recognition for Lindsay's creative writing includes the 2011 Iron Horse Discovered Voices Award, and she was the Iron Horse nominee for the 2012 Pushcart Anthology. In her graduate studies at UC Davis, Lindsay received the Provost's Fellowship for the Arts and The John Shields Award in Acting. She holds an MFA in Acting from UC Davis, an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Wyoming, and a BA in Theatre Arts from UC Santa Cruz. Lindsay is a proud member of SAG/AFTRA and is currently an Associate Professor of Acting at Emerson College in Boston.
A note from
the Dramaturg, Clara Livingston
The prize is something you'll never forget. Perhaps it's something you haven't forgotten. Something that you might be remembering at this very moment. And if you did forget it, perhaps it's not a prize at all.
At its core, this is a piece is about memory. It is about childhood and family and how we become who we are.
Early in our rehearsal process, Lindsay asked each cast member to create an individual devised piece. Many of those early creations revolved around memories of family and growing up. While they don't appear directly in the show you see today, these early pieces were essential in guiding us throughout the process and shaping our final piece.
This is a show about parents and children. What does it mean to have a shared past with another person? How do two different people remember the same moment? The experiences that shape us are never only about us. Maybe this is a story about one child and their parents remembering the same moment - choosing to relive it or forcing themselves to repress it, always trying to get at what's underneath the facade. Reckoning with our past is the only way we can move forward. It is the only way to know who we are.
ARE YOU SOMEONE TO SOMEBODY? might be a merging of different stories and different lives - intersecting characters and relationships that create a spider web of connections, across continents, generations, and languages. Or maybe it is all part of the same story; different ways of remembering the same moment, understanding the past, and coming to terms with the present.
That's part of the beauty of devising – everything is inherently intersecting and tied together because it came out of the same generative space and collective ensemble. Every time I watch the piece I notice something new, a different moment stands out, a new connection is made. As you watch the piece, you'll find your own connections, maybe in the text, the movement, or something else entirely. Those connections may have been intentional or entirely coincidental and what they mean is up to you - there's no right answer or one way to interpret this show. As you watch the piece, I hope you find moments that move you, that spark an idea or stir a feeling, a moment of connection in this strange, wacky, wonderful world we have created.
Artistic and Production Staff
Assistant Director CLARA LIVINGSTON
Assistant Director ERIN WILSON
Fight Choreographer TED HEWLETT
Assistant Scenic/Props Designer EVONNE JOHNSON
Assistant Costume Designer MEGAN DECKER
Wardrobe Supervisor MUNROE SHEARER
Hair & Makeup Supervisor EM SALZMAN
Hair & Makeup Assistant TANNER LLOYD
Assistant Lighting Designer JO WILLIAMS
Production Electrician JUANMA SUAREZ
Lead Electrician MIA MOORE
Assistant Lead Electrician DAVIS KRANCHALK
Production Sound Engineer SHELBY MARSH
Assistant Production Sound Engineer LUIS MENA
Assistant Stage Manager JAMIE NICKERSON
2nd Assistant Stage Manager ALAYNA DOMBOSKI
2nd Assistant Stage Manager SUSAN WEINHARDT
Production Supervisor CARLEIGH ALLEN
Associate Production Supervisor KAILEY PELLETIER
Assistant Production Supervisor KAYLA COPPING
Company Manager ESTHER CHILSON
Assistant Company Manager CIARA BERARDI
HEIDI KEITHAHN, SOPHIA O'QUEST, ANTON SANTIAGO, GEORGIANNE TEN EYCK, LINDSEY WETTSTEIN, SYDNEY HOFFMAN, EM SALZMAN, ELLA NORMAN, JENNA THOMAS, CARLI BERTONNEAU, MAX HUNTER, ADAM KAMER, TANNER LLOYD, LAURA SARRAZIN, CLEMENTINE VONNEGUT, MADISON WRIGHT
MATEO BAILEY (he/him)—Ensemble
BFA '25 Theatre & Performance. Emerson Stage credit: NewFest Short Works: 'Til Death Do Us Part (Father Robert). Thank you to my family and friends for all of the support! Instagram/Facebook: @mateo.bailey
ANAÏS CRESPIN (she/her)—Ensemble
BFA '23 Acting. Emerson Stage credits: Baltimore (Rachel), Marisol (Woman with Furs), and NewFest Short Works: 'Til Death Do Us Part (Marianne). Emerson College credits: Full Fathom's Fefu and Her Friends (Julia, EVVY Award Win for Outstanding Lead Performer in a Play); Musical Theatre Against the Grain’s The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Assistant Stage Manager); and Mercutio Troupe's 3 Wild Mangos on a Mountain (Producer). Anaïs would like to thank her lovely friends, roommates, Randy, and this wonderful ensemble of artists. I had the time of my life devising with you all.
BFA '25 Theatre & Performance. Emerson Stage credit: NewFest Short Works: Where The Fireworks Come From (Tony). Emerson College credits: RareWorks Theatre Company’s To The End Of The World (Assistant Director); and Mercutio Troupe’s Compensation (Sound Designer) and All Night: a party in the suburbs (Theo). Thank you to my family, friends, teachers, and the incredible team that is a part of this project. I am incredibly grateful for the help and support. All love forever.
BFA '25 Theatre Education & Performance. Emerson Stage credit: As You Like It (Assistant Director). Emerson College credits: Full Fathom’s Incompleteness TheoREM (Palmer) and RareWorks Theatre Company’s To The End Of The World (Director). Thank you to Lindsay for this incredible experience, the entire cast for allowing play to take on a new meaning, the ADs, SMs, and Miller for their constant support, and my girlfriend Sophia who has been my biggest supporter and #1 fan through it all.
ZOE HALPERIN (she/her)—Ensemble
BFA '24 Theatre & Performance. Emerson Stage credit: NewFest Short Works: Sometimes a Soul (Kaila). Emerson College credits: Mercutio Troupe's Spooktacular (Announcer/Dianne); Musical Theatre Society’s Emerson Fights AIDS Cabaret (Performer); emShakes' Cornflower Blue (Assistant Director) and Company Board Member; and Musical Theatre Against the Grain’s Dream Cabaret (Performer) and The 25th Annual...Spelling Bee (Dani Mom). Thank you so much to this incredible team. It has been an honor and a privilege learning from and creating this piece of art with you all.
MOLLY HOWARD (she/her)—Ensemble
BFA '25 Theatre & Performance. Emerson Stage debut! Emerson College credit: Musical Theater Against the Grain’s The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Assistant Director). Regional credits: Imagination Stage Performance Ensemble’s She Kills Monsters (Agnes), Mamma Mia! (Donna), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Oberon), and Pippin (Berthe). Upcoming: Emerson Stage’s Paris (Maxine). Special thanks to her family for all their support and to every cast and crew member that brought this piece to life, enjoy the show!
SOPHIA INEZ (she/her)—Ensemble
BFA '24 Acting. Emerson Stage credit: RAGE (Conflagration Ensemble/Understudy, Jaz). Emerson College credits: Mercutio Troupe's Dance Nation (Ashlee) and Much Ado About Nothing (Benedick); Floor 13 (Stevie); Kidding Around's Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime (Siobhan); Full Fathom's Incompleteness TheoREM (Devin); and Cabaret of Color (Director). Incredibly grateful to the entire team for this magical experience, and to my family for their love and support. @thesophiainez
BFA '23 Theatre Education & Performance. Emerson Stage debut! Emerson College theatre credit: RareWorks Theatre Company's Buck Woods Is A Good Man (Guitar Man). Thank you to my mother, father, brother, "Nasty" Nestor Cortes of the New York Yankees.
CLAUDIA WHITEHEAD (she/her)—Ensemble
BFA '24 Theatre & Performance. Emerson Stage debut! Emerson College credits: Musical Theatre Against the Grain’s Dream Cabaret (Featured); Emerson Independent Videos’ Pinewood Gardens (Lily), I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For (Grace); and Women in Motion’s Greenware (Bianca). Regional credits: Celebrity Sonnets (Old Globe Theater) and Brooklyn, Ruthless! (Moxie Theater). Other credits: Into the Woods (Little Red), The Addams Family (Alice), Oklahoma! (Ado Annie), and Little Women (Jo March). Thanks to my family, friends, Lindsay, and this amazing cast and crew! claudiawhitehead.com
ABBY GRIFFITH (she/her)—Understudy
BFA '24 Theatre & Performance. Emerson Stage credits: The Wolves (#11), RAGE (Ensemble/Understudy). Emerson College credits: National Broadcasting Society’s Undecided (Riley) and Time of Death (Laura); Kidding Around; and Swomo. Special thanks to her friends, family, and this amazing cast!
ERIN WILSON—Understudy/Assistant Director
BFA '23 Theatre Education & Performance. Emerson Stage debut! Emerson College credit: Artistic Director of Mercutio Troupe. Other credits:
Education Intern for Apollinaire PlayLab at Apollinaire Theatre and
Drama Specialist at Brimmer and May School Summer Program. Thank you to my partner, my homies and this company for all the support.
BLU XU (he/him)—Ensemble
BFA '23 Theatre & Performance. Emerson Stage debut! Emerson College credit: The Orphan of Zhao (Tibetan Mastiff). Thanks to everyone’s hard work and talents!
Creative Team Bios
JULIA WONKKA—Scenic Designer & Props Lead
BFA '22 Theatre Design/Technology. Emerson Stage credits: Into the Woods (Paint Charge), Three Romances for the Unwell and Otherwise (Scenic Designer), Marie Antoinette (Props Lead), This Girl Laughs… (Scenic Artist), Interior of the Artist Without Her Sister (Props Lead), Marisol (Assistant Scenic Designer), The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (Assistant Scenic Designer), and The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (Assistant Props Lead). Emerson College credits: OPIA (Props Lead); Mercutio Troupe’s The Room in the Attic (Writer/Director) and The Painted Handgun (Scenic Designer); EVVY40 (Props Lead); and Emerson Independent Video’s Man in the Box (Props Lead). Other credit: REV Theatre Props Intern 2021 Season.
DOM LETTERII (they/them)—Costume Designer
BFA '22 Theatre Design/Technology. Emerson Stage credits: This Girl Laughs, This Girl Cries, This Girl Does Nothing (Costume Designer), Men on Boats (Assistant Costume Designer), Into The Woods (Wardrobe Supervisor), Marie Antoinette (Wardrobe Supervisor), Baltimore (Wardrobe Supervisor), Going to California (Wardrobe Supervisor), The Spitfire Grill (Wardrobe Supervisor), The Wolves (Wardrobe Supervisor), Good Breeding (Assistant Wardrobe Supervisor), and Stupid F*cking Bird (Dresser). Emerson College credits: Mercutio Troupe’s All Night: At a Party in the Suburbs (Costume Designer); The Moors (Costume Designer), Antigone (Wardrobe Supervisor), and You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown (Assistant Director) Thanks to Mom, Dad, Kyle, Claire, Kirby, Kell, Austin, Lucas and all my friends who I love. Max, I couldn’t have done it without you.
HENRY KACIK (he/any)—Lighting Designer
BFA '24 Theatre Design/Technology. Emerson Stage credits: The Spitfire Grill (Lead Electrician), This Girl Laughs...Nothing (Assistant Lighting Designer), and As You Like It (Assistant Lead Electrican). Emerson College credits: emShakes's Humble Boy (Lighting Designer); The 42nd Annual EVVY Awards (Lighting Designer); Inside Joke's Macbeth Jukebox Musical (Lighting Designer) and David Z. Winklemeyer: The Clown Who Hated Everything (Lighting Designer). Huge thanks to my mom and dad for lifting me to the heavens and my wonderful friends for keeping my feet on the ground. www.henrykacik.com
MILLER KOPPANG (any pronouns)—Sound Designer
BFA '22 Theatre Design/Technology and Theatre and Performance. Emerson Stage credits: The Wolves (Lighting Designer), Into the Woods (Assistant Lighting Designer), RAGE (Co-Production Electrician), and This Girl Laughs... (Assistant Sound Designer). Emerson College credit: Mercutio Troupe's When Her Art is No Longer Her Own (Lighting Designer). Other credit: Central Square Theatre's The Half Life of Marie Curie (Assistant Sound Designer). An incredibly special thank you to their family, and their best friends Baz and Lisa for their continued support and unconditional love, as well as Alex Tawid, their stage manager, friend, and studio roomate. @m.koppang
ALEX TAWID DI MAGGIO (she/her)—Stage Manager
BFA '23 Stage & Production Management. Emerson Stage select credits: NewFest Short Works '22 (Production Supervisor), Next to Normal (Production Supervisor), Marie Antoinette (1st Assistant Stage Manager), Marisol (2nd Assistant Stage Manager), Corduroy (Assistant Production Supervisor), Augusta and Noble (Production Assistant), The Spitfire Grill (Assistant Lighting Designer), Into the Woods (Assistant Props Lead), NewFest '22 (Company Manager), and Spring Awakening (Props Lead). Emerson College select credits: RareWorks Theatre Company’s Buck Woods is a Good Man (Stage Manager) and To the End of the World (Producer). Regional credit: Trinity Rep/Rhode Island Latino Arts’ La Mancha (Stage Manager). The biggest thank you to Lindsay and this amazing company for one of the most beautiful experiences I've ever been a part of, to Jamie, Alayna and Susan for being the best shoulders to lean on, and to my mami; todo lo hago por ti!
CLARA LIVINGSTON—Dramaturg/Assistant Director
BFA '23 Theatre & Performance. Emerson Stage credit: This Girl Laughs, This Girl Cries, This Girl Does Nothing (Carmen). Select Emerson College credits: Executive Director of emShakes Theatre Company, emShakes’ Cymbeline (Co-Director), Macbeth (Assistant Director), The Fog Around Us (Angel), and Much Ado About Nothing (Leonato); Kidding Around’s Seussical (Executive Producer); and Musical Theatre Against the Grain’s Rock of Ages. Thank you to Lindsay and the whole ES4 Team for the opportunity to be a part of this work.
Emerson Stage Staff
Artistic Director—Annie G. Levy
General Manager—David Colfer
Assistant General Manager—Joshua M. Feder
Production Manager—Timothey Sullivan
Interim Production Manager—Deb Sullivan
Technical Director—Kristin Knutson
Props Director—Ryan Bates
Costume Shop Supervisor—Richelle Devereaux-Murray
Resident Sound Designer—Elizabeth Cahill
Head Carpenter—Connor Thompson
Scenic Painter—Joe Keener
Sound Technician—Steven Deptula
Assistant Costume Shop Supervisor—Becky Thorogood
Assistant Properties Manager—Lauren Corcuera
Stage and Production Management—Debra A. Acquavella
Interim Stage and Production Management—Cate Agis
Scenic Design—Luciana Stecconi
Scenic Painting—Joe Keener
Costume Design—Tristan Raines
Lighting Design—Scott Pinkney
Sound Design—Elizabeth Cahill
Interim Dramaturgy—Alexandra Juckno
Emerson Stage Office Assistants— Alex Tawid Di Maggio, Jake Tolentino, Esther Chilson, Karli Fisher, Carly Mentis, Samantha Duggan
Production Management Assistants—Carleigh Allen, Olivia Tighe, Blake Berggren
Videographers—Xiao Chen and Juanes Serrano
Scenic Technicians—Casper Apodaca, Jonah Barricklo, Sean Dougherty, Marco Giacona, Emerson Hart, Davis Kranchalk, Dylan Norris, Mercy Suarez, Elise Tuckwood
Scenic Artists/Painters—Sofia Goldfarb, Fernando Rueda, Elizabeth Fuire, David Staats, Katherine Kendrick, Sarah Stevens, Alex Mollo
Paint Shop Assistant—Sophie Hartstein
Prop Shop Assistant—Delene Beauchamp, Amaya Gonzalez-Mollmann, Oliver Hawke, Mariel Richardson, Ava Scanlon, Mercy Suarez
Stitchers—Amaris Rios, Ava-Sofia Settoon, David Estabrooks, Dom Letterii, Greta Morgan, Lorence Jones-Perpich, Munroe Shearer, Tayla Dixon, Trixie Ward
Costume Shop Office Assistant—Zhiyan Jin
Laundry Assistants—Angelina Parillo
Stock Attendants—Lucile Lyon, Megan Decker, and Aleah Bloom