Annual Theatre for Young Audiences Production

Adapted by José Cruz González
From the Book by C. Anne Scott
Directed by Joshua Streeter

Old Jake is a lonely pumpkin farmer, until he and his dog find an old trunk filled with calico skirts beside the road. They take the trunk home and with every skirt—and the imaginative ways he uses them—color begins to slowly creep back into Jake’s world. 

November 9–13, 2022
Semel Theater

November 12 & 13 performances are open to the public

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

Run Time: This production runs approximately 55 minutes. 

Content Advisory: This play includes references to the death of a parent.

Sensory Advisory: This production contains a scene with colorful 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.

View Production Media

Production Photos by Craig Bailey/Perspective Photo. View full album.

Creative Team

Scenic Design

Tim Scalzo

Costume Design

Rachel Padula-Shufelt

Lighting Design

Narissa Kelliher

Sound Design

Baz Kouba

Co-Props Lead

Lauren Corcuera

Co-Props Lead

Mariel Richardson

Puppet Design

Steven Doucette

Stage Manager

Madison Selby


Kayla Tomas

A note from the
Director, Joshua Streeter

At its core, Old Jake’s Skirts is about community. While “community” is defined differently for each person and evolves and changes based on context, community within this theatrical process and specific play is about people – the diverse people that make up a whole. When the fragmented pieces come together to create a unified and cohesive tapestry, we experience the challenges and joys of collaboration, uncover hidden histories and vibrant stories that emerge as a result of the work, and discover the ways the play and its people connect to the current contemporary.

The directing concept for this piece is built on four questions that I ask of any theatrical piece: How is convention and innovation at play? How does the work engage in beauty and little death? How am I achieving economy and cohesion? How does the work engage and acknowledge young people (their experiences, identity, etc.)?[1] In my process, I borrow methods from devised theatre, physical theatre, and new work development to co-construct a dramaturgical and directing practice. Therefore, this piece is collectively ours – a community of artists (designers, dramaturg, directors, stage managers, actors, technicians, education/engagement team) imagined how we might tell this story together.

[1] Questions borrowed from Theatre for Young Audiences scholar, director, and dramaturg Megan Alrutz. 

About the Director

Joshua Rashon Streeter is an Assistant Professor of Theatre Education at Emerson College. His teaching focuses on critical pedagogy, K-16 pre-service and in-service education, drama and theatre education, Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA), musical theatre, and arts integration. Joshua was named the 2015 Winifred Ward Scholar (AATE), received the 2021 Ann Flagg Multicultural Award (AATE) and the 2021 Provost’s Award for Excellence in Inclusivity (JMU), and was a national finalist for the Ernest A. Lynton Award for the Scholarship of Engagement for Early Career Faculty. As a theatre-maker, Joshua loves to make work that is aesthetically and narratively driven – playing with light, objects, movement, and music. He was a 2021 finalist in the Reimagine: New Plays in TYA initiative and in 2022 was commissioned to write a new play, Birds of a Feather, for Arts on the Horizon (a professional Theatre for the Very Young company in the D.C. metro area).

A note from the
Dramaturg, Kayla Tomas

“It’s about coming from a frame of reference that the idea of magic is possible: it’s a faster way to the heart.”
          – José Cruz González (Playwright)

Tapping into the imagination, playwright José Cruz González’s use of Magical Realism is a trademark in his work, often used to explore the fictitious while confronting mature themes head-on for young audiences. Born to migrant workers in Calexico, California, González was inspired by the surrounding nature and stories his family brought home from the fields. Prevalent in his work, imaginary lands and extraordinary characters run parallel to everyday experiences children face.

Adapted from C. Anne Scott’s narrative and David Slonim’s impressionistic illustrations, Old Jake’s Skirts explores this concept of Magical Realism, offering an invitation to challenge the imagination of the young audience and lean into magic through an accessible and relatable medium.

Coined in 1925 by German Art Critic Franz Roh, Magical Realism was used to classify art that strayed from the ordinary. We later see this artistic movement in 1940s Latin America, primarily employed as a literary device. Today, Magical Realism is widely associated with works of authors from marginalized groups, artistically challenging the status quo.

Stillwaters Farm serves as the backdrop for Old Jake’s Skirts, portraying a realistic setting of rolling hills and farmland. It is never explicitly disclosed regionally where the play is set, but it is recognizable and exudes a sense of timelessness. There is a conventional depiction of characters that coexist amongst real and fantasy that come to life through the modalites explored in this piece: devising, foley, puppetry and more. Told from the perspective of our play’s narrator, the unique plot structure unfolds from a place of memory. Much of the text remains unchanged from the original story, pairing limited information with magical elements to tap into the fantastical, including dark superstitions and symbols of good fortune; elements often explored in Magical Realism. Without revealing too much, the audience is provided with space to fill in the gaps and summon the imagination, all while wrestling with an indirect societal critique.

Old Jake’s Skirts presents audiences with the dichotomy of reality and magic. While the target audience is young people, it reaches adults the same. No matter how colorfully the world of the play is painted, grief can still exist. Put simply, Old Jake’s Skirts invites us all to find the beauty among loss. That is what reminds us that magic is possible.

Resources from the
Education & Engagement Team

Want to continue the conversation? Please join us for post-show engagement directly following each performance:
Saturday/Sunday Matinees: Storytelling with Objects and Sound Mini Workshops
Saturday Evening: Post Show Theatre for Young Audiences Talkback with Artists and members of Education/Engagement Team

Meet the

Shoestring — ARI BIRD
E.B. Sweeney, Good Samaritan, Storyteller/Ensemble — CONALL SAHLER
Ellis, Good Samaritan, Storyteller/Ensemble — ISAN GHARAJEH
Clarence, Good Samaritan, Storyteller/Ensemble — CELINA BURGUEÑO
Otis Brown, Good Samaritan, Storyteller/Ensemble — JONAH BARRICKLO
Storyteller/Ensemble — EVELYN ALUMBREROS
Storyteller/Ensemble (Understudy, Shoestring) — ERICH PHELPS
Storyteller/Ensemble — GRACE LENORE
Understudy, Characters/Storytellers — SOPHIE BEERS-ARTHUR
Understudy, Characters/Storyteller — CHAD FRUSCIONE
Understudy, Characters/Storyteller — HALEY FAITH COLLIER
Understudy, Old Jake, Storyteller/Ensemble — ANDREW BOVA
Understudy, Sarah, Storyteller/Ensemble — ALLY ANNA MCLEAN

Meet the
Artistic and Production Staff

Assistant Director — ERIN MAITLAND
Assistant Scenic Designer — LIV MILLER
Scenic Artist — HARVEY JOHNSON
Assistant Props Lead — LUIS MENA
Assistant Costume Designer — ARIANA DOOKHRAN
Wardrobe Supervisor — TRIXIE WARD
Assistant Lighting Designer — OAK WALKER
Production Electrician — SHELBY MARSH
Lead Electrician — HANNAH FORSBERG
Assistant Lead Electrician — ELI GOLDBERG
Production Sound Engineer — LAUREN HODGKINS
Assistant Production Sound Engineer — BEN REUIGOMEZ
Assistant Technical Director — HARLEY NOVY
Assistant Stage Manager — AMIRA ALLAWI
2nd Assistant Stage Manager — ALEX LEWIS
Production Assistant — ELIZABETH TIPPENS
Production Supervisor — CARLY ZAMOST
Associate Production Supervisor — MINA-CLAIRE PAZ-LE DRAOULEC
Education Director — MACMILLAN LESLIE
Education Director — SOFIA GALLOWAY
Education/Engagement Team — JULIA WHITTEN
Education/Engagement Team — MARY BAILEY
Education/Engagement Team — KASEY MCFERREN
Company Manager — ESTHER CHILSON
Assistant Company Manager — CIARA BERARDI
Run Crew

Cast Bios

EVELYN ALUMBREROSStoryteller/Ensemble

BFA ’25 Musical Theatre. Emerson Stage debut! Emerson College credits: Musical Theater Society’s EFA Cabaret and Musical Theater Against the Grain’s Dream Cabaret. Other Theater credits: Into the Woods (Little Red), Something Rotten! (Portia), Pippin (Catherine), and In Transit (Kathy). I want to thank my family and friends for their endless love and support!

JONAH BARRICKLO (he/him)Otis Brown/Good Samaritan/Storyteller/Ensemble

BFA ’23 Musical Theatre. Emerson Stage credits: This Girl… (Father/Old Man), Into the Woods (Prince/Wolf Swing). Emerson College credit: Musical Theatre Society’s Ordinary Days (Featured Dancer). Some of his favorite credits include Xanadu (Sonny Malone) for The Prizery, the online concert premiere of Sticks and Stones, and Generation Wrecks, a new film featured at Dances With Films LA 2021. He owes everything to his friends and family for their love and support.

SOPHIE BEERS-ARTHUR (she/her)Understudy, Characters/Storyteller

BFA ’24 Theatre and Performance. Emerson Stage debut! Emerson College credit: Full Fathoms’ Mr. Burns: A Post Electric Play (Jenny/Itchy). Regional credits: Maryland Ensemble Theatre’s A Christmas Carol (Junior Ensemble), Barbara and Gregory’s 2nd Annual Holiday Bazaar (Skylar), and Sherlock! The Musical (Moony); and Missoula Children’s Theatre’s Rapunzel (Rapunzel). Film Credits: Red Cross Instructional Video (Casey), True Crimes (Young Destiny), National Prevention Week Promotional Film (Teen), Small Talk (Bellamy), and A Gamble No Less (Teen). Thanks to my wonderful family and friends for the support.

ARI BIRD (he/him)Shoestring

BFA ’25 Theatre and Performance. Emerson Stage debut! Previous credits: Peter and the Starcatcher (Peter), Annapurna (Ulysses), The Stonewater Rapture (Whitney), and As You Like It (Touchstone). So thankful for all the support from friends, family, as well as the cast and crew.

ANDREW BOVA (he/him)Understudy, Old Jake/Storyteller/Ensemble

BFA ’25 Musical Theatre. Emerson Stage debut! Emerson College credits: Urinetown (Bobby Strong), Heathers (Kurt Kelly), Buck Woods is a Good Man (Buck Woods), and La Cage Aux Folles (Dindon). Thanks to mom, dad, and Ally for the support.

CELINA BURGUEÑO (she/her)Clarence/Good Samaritan/Storyteller/Ensemble

MA ’23 Theatre Education. Emerson Stage debut! Excited to be back on stage for the first time since 2010. Celina currently splits her time between Emerson and Franklin Park Zoo, where she is a zookeeper in the Tropical Forest – for everyone considering a career change!

HALEY FAITH COLLIER (she/her)Understudy, Characters/Storyteller

BFA ’25 Theatre and Performance. Emerson Stage debut! Emerson College credits: Musical Theatre Society’s La Cage Aux Folles (Francis) and EFA Cabaret (Performer). Break a leg to the rest of the cast and crew.

SPENCER DANIEL (he/him)Old Jake

BFA ’24 Theatre and Performance. Emerson Stage credits: NewFest Short Works’ Sometimes A Soul (Derek), This Girl Laughs, This Girl Cries, This Girl Does Nothing (Man/2/Peter), Marie Antoinette (Understudy, Joseph/Mr. Sauce/Axel), and Three Romances for the Unwell and Otherwise (Understudy, Robert). Emerson College credits: Full Fathom’s Life, Death, Bowling (Darryl); emShakes’ [Enter Messenger] (Chorus), and Interior with Peder and Marie (Peder). Thanks to Mom, Dads, Campbell, and James. Love you all lots.

CHAD FRUSCIONE (he/they)Understudy, Characters/Storyteller

BFA ’25 Musical Theatre. Emerson Stage debut! Emerson College credits: Big Fish (Edward Bloom) and The Moors (The Mastiff). Regional credits: You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (Charlie Brown), Spring Awakening (Otto), and DNA (Richard). Much love to all.

ISAN GHARAJEH (she/her)Ellis/Good Samaritan/Ensemble/Storyteller

BFA ’25 Musical Theatre. Emerson Stage credit: NewFest Short Works: Vampire Therapy (Charlene). Emerson College credits: Musical Theatre Society’s La Cage aux Folles (Cagelle) and Cabaret of Color (Music Director). Thank you mom and dad for being the most awesome parents ever.

GRACE LENORE (she/her)Ensemble/Storyteller

BFA ’25 Theatre Education & Performance. Emerson Stage debut! Emerson College credits: Musical Theatre Society’s Tavern Song (Saorise) and emShake’s The Moors. So much love to the cast & crew, & many thanks to my family for their endless support throughout this process.

ALLY ANNA MCLEAN (she/her)Understudy, Sarah/Storyteller/Ensemble

BFA ’25 Musical Theatre. Emerson Stage debut! Emerson College credits: Musical Theatre Against the Grain’s Rock of Ages (Ensemble) and Musical Theatre Society’s Urinetown (Soupy Sue). Special thanks to Ryan and Mom for the love and support.

ERICH PHELPS (any pronouns) — Storyteller/Ensemble (Understudy, Shoestring)

BFA ’25 Musical Theatre. Emerson Stage debut! Emerson College credits: Musical Theatre Against the Grain’s Rock of Ages (Dennis) and Musical Theatre Society’s Urinetown (Ensemble). Thanks to Mom, Dad and friends for the support. 

CONALL SAHLER (he/him)E.B. Sweeney/Good Samaritan/Ensemble 

BFA ’24 Acting. Emerson Stage credits: RAGE (Conflagration Ensemble/Understudy, Leveler/Ballzindorf), This Girl Laughs…Does Nothing (Male Understudy), and NewFest Short Works: Where the Fireworks Come From (Gabe) and Vampire Therapy (Doctor). Emerson College credit: emShakes’ Ismene: Staged Reading (Polynices/Creon). Regional credits: Footloose (Willard), Beauty and The Beast (Gaston), Pippin (Charlemagne), The Little Mermaid (Prince Eric), and Mamma Mia! (Harry Bright). I would like to thank my family and friends for their love and support.

ROBIN-SAILOR ZANDER (she/her) — Sarah

BFA ’23 Theatre and Performance. Emerson Stage credit: Three Romances for the Unwell and Otherwise (Clara). Emerson College credits: Full Fathom Productions’ Mr Burns: A Post Electric Play (Colleen/Moe/Lisa) and emShakes’ The Fog Around Us (Officer/Painter). Other credits: Rock Meets Classic with Alice Cooper (Vocals) and Zander Family Band (Musician). Sending all my love to my mom, dad, and brother Robin, who inspire and support me, always.

Creative Team Bios

TIM SCALZO (they/them) — Scenic Designer
BFA ’23 Theatre Design/Technology. Emerson Stage credits: 2023 Rod Parker Production (Sound Designer), Paris (Production Electrician), Three Romances for the Unwell and Otherwise (Props Lead), RAGE (Co-Production Electrician/Programmer), and This Girl Laughs, This Girl Cries, This Girl Does Nothing (Fly Chief). Emerson College credit: 2022 Emerson Recognition & Achievement Awards (Co-Technical Director/Scenic Designer/Production Electrician). Many thanks to my parents for always believing in me and supporting my passions. tjscalzo.com

Lauren is a Boston-area theater designer and technician who has found a home with props – particularly at Emerson where she is the assistant prop director. Past Emerson Stage credits include: Stupid F***ing Bird, Next to Normal, and Into the Woods. Other select prop credits: Little Shop of Horrors, The Cake, The Treasurer, Be Here Now, The Last Five Years, The Light, Fabulation or the Re-education… (Lyric Stage); Barefoot in the Park, Tiny Beautiful Things, Seared, Mr. Fullerton, Between the Sheets, Grand Horizons (Gloucester Stage), Circle Mirror Transformation (Brandeis University), Pippin (Reagle Music Theater).

BFA ’24 Theater Design/Technology. Emerson Stage credits: The Wolves (Assistant Scenic Designer), Into the Woods (Assistant Props), Baltimore (Scenic Painter), RAGE (Assistant Scenic Designer). Emerson College Credits: RareWorks Theatre Company’s sub (Props Lead) and Full Fathom’s Fefu and Her Friends (Props Lead). Thank you to my friends for the support!

Rachel is a graduate of Emerson College. Recent costume design credits include: Fabulation, Be Here Now, Thanksgiving Play at Lyric Stage; The 39 Steps at Greater Boston Stage Company; Heroes Of The Fourth Turning, The Children, Choir Boy, Once, Shakespeare In Love, Men On Boats at Speakeasy Stage; Young Nerds Of Color, Frankenstein at Central Square Theatre; Oliver, 1776 at New Rep Theatre; Macbeth, Edward II (Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Design) at Actor’s Shakespeare Project; Charlotte’s Web at American Repertory Theatre; Gloria, Barefoot In The Park, Trad and Crimes Of The Heart at Gloucester Stage Company.

NARISSA KELLIHER Lighting Designer
BFA ’23 Theatre Design/Technology. Emerson Stage credits: Next to Normal (Lighting Designer), The Wolves (Production Electrician), Into the Woods (Lead Electrician), Marisol (Assistant Lighting Designer), Interior of the Artist Without Her Sister (Assistant Lighting Designer), Corduroy (vMix Technician), and This Golden Day (Assistant Lead Electrician). Emerson College credits: RareWorks Theatre Company’s sub (Lighting Designer); Full Fathom Productions’ Fefu and Her Friends (Lighting Designer); Mercutio Troupe’s Spooktacular (Lighting Designer); and emShakes’ Helen (Lighting Designer). Upcoming: emShakes’ A Midsummer Night’s Dream! (Lighting Designer). 

BAZ KOUBA (he/him) Sound Designer
BFA ’23 Theatre Design/Technology. Emerson Stage credits: The Wolves (Lighting Programmer), Three Romances for the Unwell and Otherwise (Sound Designer), As You Like It (Production Electrician), Baltimore (Production Sound Engineer), and The Late Wedding (Assistant Lighting Designer). Outside credits: Commonwealth Shakespeare Company’s Much Ado About Nothing (Assistant Master Electrician), PDM’s Stones to Rainbows (Projection Operator), Global Arts Live (Run Crew Electric), and Educational Theatre Collective’s Carousel (Assistant Technical Director).

MADISON SELBY (she/her) Stage Manager
BFA ’23 Stage and Production Management. Emerson Stage credits: The Late Wedding (1st Assistant Stage Manager), Everybody (1st Assistant Stage Manager), Three Romances for the Unwell and Otherwise (Production Supervisor), and Spring Awakening (Associate Production Supervisor). Emerson College credits: To the End of the World (Associate Producer) and EFA Cabaret (Stage Manager). A huge thank you to Amira, Alex, Tippens, Cate and Deb, and, of course, to my wonderful family and friends.

KAYLA TOMAS (she/her) Dramaturg 
MFA ’24 Theatre Education and Applied Theatre. Emerson Stage debut! 2022-23 Cutler Fellow in the Artistic Engagement Department of ArtsEmerson. Educational Programs Coordinator at NEMPAC, a non-profit community music school #musicforall. Freelance Teaching Artist. BA Theatre from Florida State University. Grateful for this opportunity to stretch and explore.

ERIN MAITLAND (she/her) Assistant Director & Education/Engagement Team
MA/MFA Theatre Education and Applied Theatre. Erin is thrilled to be a part of the Old Jake skirts team and making her Emerson Stage debut! Alumni of Wheelock College with her BA in Performing Arts and MS in Organizational Leadership in Higher Education. She currently works at UMass Lowell as the Assistant Director of Community Building in the Honors College. Erin is in her second year of the MA/MFA Theatre Education and Applied Theatre program, where she plans to focus on Directing, Acting, Design, and using theatre as a tool for social justice. She wants to thank Joshua Streeter for his mentorship, the cast and crew for their amazing talents, and her friends and family for being there to support her. Always. She hopes you all enjoy the show!

SOFIA GALLOWAY Education/Engagement Director
MA/MFA Theatre Education and Applied Theatre. Sofia is an educator, scholar, and theatre maker. She is in her second year of the MA/MFA Theatre Education and Applied Theatre program, focusing on Arts Integration, TYA, Accessibility, Directing, and Producing. Before moving to Boston, Sofia was the Education Outreach Programs Coordinator at The Bakken Museum in Minneapolis, where she used theatre and storytelling to engage young people in STEM. While living in Minnesota, she was also a freelance director/theatre maker, an educator, and the Associate Artistic Director of Collective Unconscious Performance. www.sofialindgrengalloway.com

KASEY MCFERREN (she/her) Education/Engagement Team 
MA Applied Theatre and Theatre Education. Kasey was ecstatic to hear about a show set in rural Appalachia, because that’s her home! An alumna of Appalachian State University with her BA in Theatre Education and former member of the Appalachian Young People’s Theatre, she is eager about all things storytelling. She taught high school theatre in North Carolina before coming to Emerson College, where she is now a MFA Candidate in Applied Theatre and Theatre Education.

MARY BAILEY (she/her) Education/Engagement Team
MA Theatre Education. Mary is very excited to be a part of the Old Jake’s Skirts team! A graduate of Shenandoah Conservatory in Virginia with a BA in Acting, she is here at Emerson completing her MA in Theatre Education. Mary is pleased to be a part of a theatre for young audiences show as she fell in love with the genre over the summer during a class with Professor Streeter.

Meet the
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 Carpenter –– Raven Whyles
Scenic Painter — Joe Keener
Sound Technician — Steven Deptula
Assistant Costume Shop Supervisor — Becky Thorogood
Draper/Cutter — Laurie Bramhall
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
Fight/Intimacy — Ted Hewlett
Dramaturgy — ​Marissa Friedman

Student Staff

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