2021 Year-End Projects

Performing Arts

Spring Mainstage Musical: The Drowsy Chaperone (trailer)

Directed by Megan Schy Gleeson
Music direction by Michael Bennett
Choreography by Amy Spencer P’13

Alone and stuck at home, the character Man in Chair conjures his favorite 1928 musical, “The Drowsy Chaperone” – and magically those over-the-top characters come to life!  This “musical within a comedy” parodies the old style 1920’s American musical, while also contemplating present-day questions Man in Chair grapples with. Winner of five Tony Awards, Drowsy is a meta-theatrical, joyful celebration of how we get through difficult moments in our lives.

Ahhh, the roaring 1920s — touted as a time of exorbitant freedom, social and political change, innovation, and prosperity (“for the wealthy, anyway,” to quote the character Man in Chair). Some say we’re heading into our own version of the 1920s. Looking at both the excitement and turmoil from that time, can we learn from the past to create a kinder, more just, more equitable, more compassionate future?

Read the full program notes.

CA Dance Project: Line Drawing

Conceived and directed by Amy Spencer P’13
Presented on May 14, 2021

This past winter, CA Dance Project embarked on its first process specifically intended for video presentation. Central to the work from the beginning was the recognition that art-makers have a responsibility to respond to the social and political times we are living in.

The exploration began with a writing prompt: “Describe three instances in which a line was crossed or a line was drawn that would have been inconceivable to you prior to the 2016 election.” Immediately following the 2020 election, under the working title Line Drawing, CA Dance Project began itscreative reflection, using the responses to that prompt as source material.

To broaden their understanding, the dancers’ process included free writing, drawing exercises, and movement explorations, as well as readings on social amnesia, the relationship between perpetrator and bystander, and the universal symbol of the circle — the loop of history repeating itself. The aftermath of the election was always a presence in their process, and the Capitol riots erupted mid-way through their journey.

Members of Boston Dance Theater collaborated with individual dancers to develop movement and choreography around these themes, and CA Dance Project dancers created their own movement to add to the mix. The material was filmed in various locations: Japan, China, the Czech Republic, and our own CA dance studio.  

Serendipity guided their practice. Being prepared and open-minded, the members of the collaboration trusted the process, which enabled them to take a leap of imagination. Artists Jack Colton, video editor, and Sakshi Jain, animator, made it possible to weave all the elements of thought, response, and movement collaboration together to create this new work. 

“We hope you find the work meaningful and that you recognize the commitment, energy and artistry of all those involved in creating it,” says Amy Spencer. “But most of all, we hope it makes you think, and never forget.”

Winter Mainstage Production: Baltimore

Directed by Shelley Bolman

Filmed during the winter, this production of Kirsten Greenidge’s play Baltimore —CA’s first full-length virtual theater performance — premiered on May 22 and 23. Director Shelley Bolman says the play helped continue a dialogue on race and racism and “offered all of us an opportunity to learn and grow together.” Read about the performance.

Spring Music Concert

The following performances were shared on May 7.

Advanced Jazz Ensemble: “Blackbird”

Advanced Jazz Ensemble: “It’s Been a Long, Long Time”

Advanced Jazz Ensemble: “Thing of Gold”

Advanced Jazz Ensemble: “Uman”

CA Singers: “Deep River”

CA Singers: “Esta Tierra”

Chamber Music Ensembles: Spring Performance

Vocal Jazz and Pop Ensemble: “A Change is Gonna Come”

Vocal Jazz and Pop Ensemble: “It Gets Funkier”

Vocal Jazz and Pop Ensemble: “Still Into You”

Vocal Jazz and Pop Ensemble: “You’re No Good”