By Kirsten Greenidge
Directed by Timothy Douglas
Baltimore tells the story of Shelby Wilson, a Black resident advisor for a group of first year students at a college in New England. Shelby is focused on rebuilding her résumé after losing her job in the athletics department. But when a racist caricature is drawn on the dorm door of one of her residents, she is forced to reevaluate her naive belief that she lives in a post-racial society, and she must help strive for peace on campus.
We are pleased to invite you to stay after the performances on Thursday and Saturday for a talkback led by various members of the Emerson community and cast members.
OCTOBER 28-31, 2021
All performances open to the public
Produced by special arrangement with Playscripts, Inc. (www.playscripts.com)
Content Advisory: This play includes references to police aggression, homophobia, racism, internalized racism, and depiction of onstage intimacy (kissing and grabbing). There is a scene that explores memories of aggressions and micro-aggressions using derogatory names including the n-word.
Maddie Hanley & Juanma Suárez Teissionniere
A note from the
Director, Timothy Douglas
A note from the
Dramaturg, Omar Mardini
Baltimore follows a group of college students after a racial incident occurs on their predominantly white campus. Considering the social climate of our community, we wanted to bring this story to life with extreme care and caution, and also a sense of adventure. In one respect, Baltimore asks us to engage deeply with the colonial and capitalistic roots of predominantly white institutions (PWI) and the impact that these roots might have on students of color attending these colleges and universities today. But as we began the rehearsal process, we found that the play also asked us to dig deep into the knowledge and experiences that we carry within ourselves.
Working on Baltimore has been such a thoughtful and rewarding experience. From the moment I found out Emerson Stage would be producing Baltimore, I knew I wanted to be involved in any way, shape, or form. I think the reason is because, reading the script, I saw how realistic this show was, and how it parallels my own experiences attending a PWI. As an international, third-culture, Middle Eastern, Muslim student, I’ve been able to experience the intricacies of U.S. higher education myself. The feeling of standing out while walking down the hallways of Walker, the subtle micro aggressions I hear from some of my own professors, the pure erasure of my background after being able to “fit in” a little too well with the environment and culture around me—these experiences are real. They are not just stories we hear on the news, or from a friend at another university, but right here on our own campus too.
In preparation for this production, I really didn’t know what to expect. It’s difficult to research a topic that is so modern, so prevalent to the world we live in today. A lot of my research didn’t come from traditional academic or historical sources, but rather through the intimate and vulnerable conversations we would have as a company. In a contemporary show about college students, we learned more from each other than we ever would reading a textbook about what it means to be a student of color functioning at a predominantly white institution.
Through those discussions, we were able to discover the heart of the show; the message that playwright Kirsten Greenidge offers to both artists and audiences. At our first rehearsal, we read through the play together. Immediately, the authenticity of this story became apparent to us. While we had found the script compelling on paper, we found that actually speaking these words, embodying this story for our own community, carried an even greater significance.
For the first few rehearsals, we continued to explore the integrity of this show, and the ways in which it resonated with our own experiences as college students. We continued to look into the motivations behind these characters and their actions, the hidden connections that weren’t necessarily said in the script, but were able to be revealed through dialogue, research, and the wisdom of what we know now living in 2021. Sometimes, news from racial incidents on other campuses would enter our rehearsal room, and we would stop to discuss and really understand the connection of this play to our reality, and how present the topic of this show really is, even though it was only written in 2016. These conversations continued, and in some way will always continue, because we are still living through the themes this play presents in our world today.
When we all step out of the Semel today, what do we do next? How do we continue these conversations outside of the theater? How do we include those in the discussion who haven’t yet had a chance to join in? What actions must we take as a community to change the experience of higher education for those who come after us? These are questions that I will continue to ask myself as I wrap up my time here at Emerson and enter the professional field. Baltimore hones in on the question of conversation: the characters wrestle with questions of when to speak and who to speak with—or sometimes they feel a strong temptation to escape the situation and stay silent. Change cannot happen overnight, nor can it be done alone, but Baltimore shows that a community tapping into a discussion like this can create momentum for a different kind of higher education experience than the one we see right now, “to listen and to attend,” as Dean Hernandez says so eloquently in the play. So I hope you join me, and the rest of this company of Baltimore, in the conversation that is going on right now.
Bryant — ZION AMPARO
Alyssa — NAJA NICOLE BROWN
Dean Hernandez — McKENNEN CAMPBELL
Leigh — SYDNIE COOPER
Rachel — ANAÏS CRESPIN
Fiona — ALYSSA FREY
Shelby Wilson –– JASMINE HAWKINS
Carson –– CARL KLEIFGEN
Grace –– ISABEL MOON
Fiona — CHRISTINE STRONG
Grace — HANNAH BISHOP
Artistic and Production Staff
Assistant Director –– OMAR MARDINI
Vocal Coach –– VAL MADDEN
Assistant Scenic Designer –– EVONNE JOHNSON
Scenic Artist –– MARIEL RICHARDSON
Assistant Costume Designer –– TRIXIE WARD
Wardrobe Supervisor –– DOM LETTERII
Associate Lighting Designer –– FELIX CLARKE
Assistant Lighting Designer –– OLIVER HAWKE
Production Electrician –– GRACE TUCHMAN
Lead Electrician –– JOE MORALES
Assistant Lead Electrician –– LAUREN HODGKINS
Production Sound Engineer –– BAZ KOUBA
Assistant Production Sound Engineer –– SARAH MILLER
Assistant Technical Director –– HARLEY NOVY
Assistant Stage Manager –– KYLIE BERRY
2nd Assistant Stage Manager –– JAMIE NICKERSON
Production Assistant –– HALLE HART
Production Supervisor –– CARLY ZAMOST
Assistant Production Supervisor –– DELENE BEAUCHAMP
Company Manager –– SOPHIE KLOKINIS
Associate Company Manager –– CHANDLER DAVID
Assistant Company Manager –– MICHAEL MENOR
HANNAH BOSSANGE, DIEGO CHINA, FIBY DICHTER, GIUSEPPE FUSCA, AURORA HAN, CATHY HEBERT, MACKENZIE LEWIS, JONATHAN LOPEZ, SYDNEY LOWRY, MILO LUBIN, JADA MURPHY, LISA PARKER FELT, BEN RUIGOMEZ, ALISSA SCHOPP, SUSAN WEINHARDT, CORINNE WILSON
ZION AMPARO — Bryant
BFA ’23 Musical Theatre. Emerson Stage Debut! Want to thank my momma, Todd, & everyone who has supported, motivated, or inspired me along the way. Seb this one’s for you. (& Marco)
NAJA NICOLE BROWN — Alyssa
BFA ’23 Musical Theatre. Emerson Stage credit: This Golden Day (Understudy). Emerson College credit: Kidding Around’s 13: The Musical (Cassie). Thanks to Mom and Shani for your endless support!
McKENNEN CAMPBELL — Dean Hernandez
BFA ’23 Theatre & Performance. Emerson Stage credits: Marisol (Dramaturg) and Squeaky Fromme Love Song (Deck Crew). Emerson College credits: Mercutio Troupe’s The Trial of Errors (Playwright/Director) and The Painted Handgun (Co-Dramaturg/Music Composer); Musical Theatre Society’s Cabaret of Color (Performer). McKennen is also a performing arts senator for the cultural organization, POWER. McKennen would like to share his gratitude to the artists working on this production for collaborating to tell such an enthralling and momentous story.
SYDNIE COOPER — Leigh
BFA ’22 Acting. Emerson Stage credits: The Last Days Of Judas Iscariot (Saint Monica) and Men on Boats (Seneca Howland/ The Bishop). Special Thanks to this talented cast for being very supportive, and hardworking. Thank you to the crew for doing all that you guys did to create this amazing show, and thank you Timothy for allowing us the space to have numerous conversations. Last, thank you to friends and family that support me no matter what I do! Love you all!
ANAÏS CRESPIN — Rachel
BFA ’23 Acting. Emerson Stage credit: Marisol (Woman with Furs). Emerson College credits: Emerson Independent Video’s Three Wild Mangos on A Mountain (Producer) and Man in the Box (News Reporter). Thank you to all of my theatre educators in Singapore for believing in me. Gracias a mama y papa, los amo.
ALYSSA FREY — Fiona
BFA ’23 Acting. Emerson Stage credits: Deliberation Room (Cher). Emerson College credits: Mercutio Troupe’s When Her Art is No Longer Her Own (Devising Ensemble) and Emerson Channel’s 707: A Sitcom (Bailey). Big thanks to Mom, Dad, and Amanda for their unwavering support and to those in my life who push to see a change in the world: you inspire me. https://alyssanf4.wixsite.com/actor
JASMINE HAWKINS — Shelby Wilson
BFA ’23 Acting. Emerson Stage Debut! Emerson College credits: Flawless Brown’s Loud (Actress and Writer) and Emerson Independent Video’s Smoking Jackets (Christine). Thank you to my parents, friends, and faculty for all of your support!
CARL KLEIFGEN — Carson
BFA ’23 Theatre & Performance. Emerson Stage Debut! Emerson College credit: Kidding Around’s 13: The Musical (Archie). Thanks to my mom, dad, sister, and friends for all the love and support.
ISABEL MOON — Grace
BFA ’23 Theatre & Performance. Emerson Stage Debut! Emerson College credits: Flawless Stage’s I Was Baked for All of WWIII (Zander) and Emerson Shakespeare Society’s [Enter Messenger] (ensemble). Thanks to A.S.I.A., the SkinTones, and the cheer team for the love and support!
HANNAH BISHOP — U/S Grace
BFA ’24 Theatre & Performance. Emerson Stage Debut! Thank you to Mom, Dad, Andrew, Chloe and Wrigley for the love and support!
CHRISTINE BISHOP — U/S Fiona
BFA ’23 Acting. Emerson Stage credits: Newfest Shorts: Kings (Gwen) and Fatchly (ensemble). Emerson College credits: Kidding Around’s Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime (Roger/ensemble); Mercutio Troupe’s Together Under Sunshine (ensemble); and Emerson Shakespeare Society’s Much Ado About Nothing (Ursula/Watchman). Upcoming: Full Fathom’s Fefu and her Friends (Christina). Thanks to friends, family, and a wonderful cast and crew.
Creative Team Bios
TIMOTHY DOUGLAS — Director
Distinguished Artist in Residence at Emerson. Directed The Resistible Rise Of Arturo Ui for Emerson Stage, as well as productions for Actors Theatre of Louisville, American Conservatory Theater, Arena Stage, Berkshire Theatre Group, Shakespeare Theatre Company, The Great Theatre of China, Juilliard School, The Kennedy Center, Off-Broadway, Guthrie Theater, Yale Rep, and many others. Upcoming: Champion for Boston Lyric Opera and the world premiere of Something Happened In Our Town for the Children’s Theatre Company of Minneapolis. timothydouglas.org
SARABETH SPECTOR — Scenic Designer
BFA ’21 Theatre Design & Technology. Emerson Stage credits: The Late Wedding (Props Lead), Marisol (Props Lead), Men on Boats (Scenic Designer), The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (Props Lead), Flora, the Red Menace (Assistant Scenic Designer), and Mad Moon (Assistant Scenic Designer). Emerson College credits: Rareworks Theatre Company’s What Every Girl Should Know (Scenic Designer) and EVVY38 (Props Lead). Sarabeth would like to thank her friends and family for their unwavering support throughout her undergraduate education. sarabethspector.com
MAX SEMRAU — Costume Designer
BFA ’21 Theatre Design & Technology. Emerson Stage credits: Flora, the Red Menace (Second Assistant Costume Designer) and The Late Wedding (Assistant Costume Designer). Other credits: Lil Baby for GQ Magazine (Production Assistant), Future for YOHO!BOY Magazine (Assistant Wardrobe Stylist), Caroline Arapoglou PR (Lead Wardrobe Stylist), Cardi B & Offset for Rolling Stone (Assistant Prop Stylist), InStyle Magazine: Atlanta Creative Class (Assistant Prop Stylist). Thank you, Mom, Dad, Kenzie, Ollie, Bleu, Bixby, Gran, Pop, Nonno, and Nonna for the love and support I receive every day from ATL and for the wonderful opportunities I’ve had in my education. And a special thank you to my incredible assistant, Trixie Ward, I couldn’t have done it without you!
JOSIE BUCKON — Lighting Designer
BFA ’22 Theatre Design & Technology. Emerson Stage credits: This Golden Day (Lighting Designer), Men On Boats (Production Electrician), The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (Assistant Lighting Designer), Augusta and Noble (Assistant Lighting Designer), Mad Moon (Assistant Lead Electrician), and What Remains Hidden (Is Still Known) (Assistant Lighting Designer). Emerson College credits: EVVY40 (Co-Lighting Designer); EVVY39 (Assistant Lighting Designer); EVVY38 (Assistant Lead Electrician); Index Magazine’s Skins (Lighting Designer) and Digital Disco (Lighting Designer). Thank you to the show’s Production Electricians, Grace and Joe, for the pleasure of working together and bringing my design to life! This design could not have come together without the hard work of all of the Electrics Team.
MADDIE HANLEY — Sound Designer
BFA ’23 Theatre Design & Technology. Emerson Stage credits: The Late Wedding (Production Electrician), Spring Awakening (Mix Engineer), Interior of the Artist Without Her Sister (Production Sound Engineer), This Golden Day (Co-Production Sound Engineer), Men On Boats (Assistant Production Sound Engineer), and The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (Assistant Sound Designer). Emerson College credits: Musical Theatre Society’s La Cage Aux Folles (Co-Sound Designer) and Ordinary Days (Sound Designer). Thank you to my family, my roommates, the PSE team, the Emerson Stage sound department, and my amazing co-designer and friend, Juanma. Your support means everything to me.
JUANMA SUÁREZ TEISSIONNIERE — Sound Designer
BFA ’23 Theatre Design & Technology. Emerson Stage credits: This Girl Laughs, This Girl Cries, This Girl Does Nothing (Associate Lighting Designer), Spring Awakening (Production Sound Engineer), Everybody (Assistant Lighting Designer), This Golden Day (Production Sound Engineer/Mix Engineer), The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (Assistant Master Electrician), Men on Boats (Production Sound Engineer), Good Breeding (Assistant Lighting Designer), and The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (Assistant Master Electrician). Thank you to my chosen family and friends here in Boston, y gracias a mi familia hermosa Mami, Papi, JD, y Panda… Los Amo, gracias por simpre creer en mi!
EVY BURCH — Props Lead
BFA ’22 Theatre & Performance. Emerson Stage credits: Stupid F##king Bird (Assistant Props Lead) and Marisol (Assistant Props Lead). Emerson College credits: Emerson Shakespeare Society’s The Winter’s Tale (Mopsa); Emerson Independent Video’s Floor 13 (Production Designer); and Mercutio Troupe’s The Trial of Errors (Props Lead). Thank you to everyone in the prop shop, I would be truly lost without you.
SARAH BORD — Stage Manager
BFA ’21 Stage & Production Management. Emerson Stage credits: Lucky Stiff (Production Assistant), NewFest Readings and Shorts (Production Assistant), Flora, the Red Menace (2nd Assistant Stage Manager), Good Breeding (Assistant Production Supervisor), Men on Boats (1st Assistant Stage Manager), This Golden Day (Production Supervisor), Everybody (Production Supervisor), and Going to California (Production Supervisor). Thanks to Mom for answering every phone call, and to Dad for making sure every dream could be pursued.
OMAR MARDINI — Dramaturg
BFA ’21 Theatre. Emerson Stage credits: Everybody (Assistant Director), This Golden Day (Understudy), The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (Saint Matthew), and Spring Awakening (Assistant Company Manager). Emerson College credits: Kidding Around’s 13: The Musical (Assistant Director); Musical Theatre Society’s Children of Eden (Ensemble); and RareWorks Theatre Company’s Elephant’s Graveyard (Strongman). Thank you Tim for being a great mentor, and to my family, friends, Samara and Madison, and everyone at Emerson who has helped shape me into the person I am today.
Emerson Stage Staff
Artistic Director — Annie G. Levy
General Manager — David Colfer
Assistant General Manager — Alix Bigley
Production Manager — Timothey Sullivan
Technical Director — Kristin Knutson
Head Carpenter — Connor Thompson
Scenic Painter — Joe Keener
Props Director — Ryan Bates
Assistant Properties Manager — Lauren Corcuera
Costume Shop Supervisor — Richelle Devereaux-Murray
Assistant Costume Shop Supervisor — Brian Choinski
Draper/Cutter — Laurie Bramhall
Resident Sound Designer — Elizabeth Cahill
Sound Technician — Steven Deptula
Advisors FOR THIS PRODUCTION
Stage and Production Management — Debra A. Acquavella
Scenic Design — Debra Booth
Scenic Painting — Joe Keener
Costume Design — Chelsea Kerl
Lighting Design — Scott Pinkney
Sound Design — Elizabeth Cahill
Fight & Intimacy — Ted Hewlett
Dramaturgy — Robert Duffley
Emerson Stage Office Assistants — Casper Apodaca, Shannon Horsey, Alex Tawid Di Maggio, Jake Tolentino
Production Management Assistants — Carleigh Allen and Anthony Feola
Videographers — Benjamin Bernard and Jacqueline Thom
Scenic Technicians — Jonah Barricklo, Sean Dougherty, Marco Giacona, Emerson Hart, Sam Kisthardt, Baz Kouba, Dylan Norris
Scenic Artists/Painters — Emily Curtis, Sofia Goldfarb, Serino Nakayama, Kimberly Ndegwa, Fernando Rueda, Garrett Traer
Paint Shop Assistant — Matthew Baynes and Leah Heath
Prop Shop Assistant — Delene Beauchamp, Evy Burch, Briana Figarella, Oliver Hawke, Mariel Richardson, Ava Scanlon, Mercedes Suarez
Stitchers — Tayla Dixon, David Estabrooks, Grace Fitzgerald, Emily Geldermann, Caitlin Johnson, Lorence Jones-Perpich, Dominic Letterii, Justina MacNeil, Molly Shaughnessy, Munroe Shearer, Trixie Ward
Laundry Assistants — Aleah Bloom and Angelina Parillo
Stock Attendants — Megan Decker, Jessica Immel, Lucile Lyon
Crafts — Madeline Yazel