Career Jam 2021 Career Jam 2021

You Oughta Know...Jagged Little Pill: the Road from Boston to Broadway

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Diane Paulus
American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.), Artistic Director

Diane Paulus is the Terrie and Bradley Bloom Artistic Director of the American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) at Harvard University. Broadway: Jagged Little Pill (15 Tony Award Nominations), Waitress (Broadway and US national tour), Pippin (Tony Award, Best Revival and Best Director); Finding Neverland; The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess (Tony Award, Best Revival; NAACP Award, Best Direction); HAIR (Tony Award, Best Revival). West End: Waitress; HAIR. Off-Broadway: Gloria: A Life at the Daryl Roth Theatre; In the Body of the World (Drama League nomination) at Manhattan Theatre Club; Invisible Thread at Second Stage. Upcoming: 1776 at A.R.T. and Roundabout Theatre Company. At A.R.T.: Gloria: A Life, ExtraOrdinary, The White Card by Claudia Rankine, Crossing, Witness Uganda, Prometheus Bound, Death and the Powers: The Robots’ Opera, Best of Both Worlds, and The Donkey Show. Other recent work includes Cirque du Soleil’s Amaluna. Paulus is a professor of the practice in both Harvard University’s English Department and Department of Theater, Dance, and Media. She was selected for the 2014 Time 100, Time magazine’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world; as one of Variety’s “Trailblazing Women in Entertainment for 2014”; Boston Magazine’s “50 Thought Leaders of 2014”; and Boston Magazine’s 2018 “100 Most Influential People in Boston.”

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui
Royal Ballet Flanders, Eastman, Artistic Director

Honored with a Fred & Adele Astaire Award for Outstanding Choreographer in a Feature Film in 2013 (Joe Wright’s Anna Karenina) and a UK Music Video Award for Best Choreography in 2013 (Sigur Rós’ Valtari), Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui choreographs for companies and artists including Beyoncé (Apesh*t By The Carter’s, Spirit, Tidal X 1015 Charity Concert, Grammy Awards 2017), Cirque du Soleil (Michael Jackson ONE, Kurios), Joe Wright (A Season in the Congo), Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet (Orbo Novo), Pilobolus (Automaton), Benjamin Millepied’s L.A. Dance Project (Harbor Me), and Martha Graham Dance Company (Mosaic). He has received ballet commissions from Paris Opera Ballet, Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, and The Royal Ballet in London. Cherkaoui is artistic director of Royal Ballet Flanders and his own company, Eastman. Sidi is also the Movement Director & Choreographer for Broadway's Jagged Little Pill.

Ebony Williams B.F.A. ’05

Ebony Williams began her career as a dancer and choreographer at a very young age. Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Ebony discovered her enthusiasm for dance in all genres, doing hip-hop with the neighborhood kids while studying jazz and tap at the Roxbury Center for the Performing Arts.

Exhibiting extraordinary talent with little to no ballet training. Ebony was selected to train in the Citi Dance Program. Soon after, Boston Ballet recognized her talent as remarkable, therefore promoting her from the Citi Dance Program to the Boston Ballet School as a full scholarship student.

In 2005, after graduating from the Boson Conservatory with a B.F.A. in dance, Ebony signed a contract with the renowned Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet as the company’s first African American female dancer. Performing works by Hofesh Shechter, Crysal Pite, Alexander Ekman, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Ohad Naharin, and Jiri Kylian, as well as a host of others, establishing herself as an extremely versatile artist. As a 10-year member of Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, Ebony was featured in the movie Adjustment Bureau staring Matt Damon and Emily Blunt, So You Think You Can Dance, and Ohad Naharin’s documentary Out of Focus.

Broadway: Jagged Little Pill. Off-Broadway: KPOP (Ars Nova). Regional: Jagged Little Pill (A.R.T.). Dance: Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, Beyonce’s Formation World Tour. Music Videos: Beyonce’s "Single Ladies," Lemonade, "Formation," and "Countdown"; Jennifer Hudson, Ciara, and Justin Timberlake. TV/Film: Adjustment Bureau, Vinyl, The Get Down. Choreography: Milk Makeup (feat. Teyana Taylor) and Jacob’s Pillow.

Broadway: Jagged Little Pill. Regional credits: The American Repertory Theater, The Old Globe, and Theaterworks Hartford. Graduate of Boston Conservatory, B.F.A.

Scott Edmiston
Boston Conservatory at Berklee, Dean of Theater

Scott Edmiston brings more than 35 years of experience as a theater artist and educator to his role as dean of theater at Boston Conservatory at Berklee. Hailed as “one of Boston’s finest directors” by the Boston Globe, he is the recipient of the Elliot Norton Prize for Sustained Excellence (2011) for his artistic body of work and cultural contributions to the region. Originally from Pennsylvania, he relocated to Boston in 1997 and has directed more than 60 productions at theaters, universities, and opera companies, including the American Repertory Theater, SpeakEasy Stage Company, Lyric Stage Company, Central Square Theater, New Repertory Theatre, and Huntington Theatre Company, where he was the artistic associate for seven years.

Edmiston is best known for his bold reimagining of classic American plays and musicals. These include the first U.S. revival of the opera Nixon in China (2004), hailed as “musically deft and deeply touching” by The New York Times; Five by Tenn (2006), an original composition of rediscovered Tennessee Williams plays; an interracial adaption of Eugene O’Neill’s 1924 Pulitzer Prize-winner Anna Christie (2017); and a feminist reinterpretation of Lillian Hellman’s 1939 play The Little Foxes (2019). Edmiston has also directed 25 New England premieres, most recently Shakespeare in Love (2017) and The Thanksgiving Play (2019).

Eight of his productions have been honored with the Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Play or Musical including Constellations (2018), Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (2017), and My Fair Lady (2016). My Fair Lady was also named among the "best theater of 2015" by The Wall Street Journal. He has received numerous awards for his direction, notably for The History Boys (2008), The Light in the Piazza (2008), and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (2009).

Prior to joining the Conservatory, he served as chair of the Department of Theatre at Northeastern University, where he received the Excellence in Research and Creative Activity Faculty Award (2017). He has taught at Boston University’s School of Theatre Arts, Brown University’s M.F.A. program, and Brandeis University, where he was the inaugural director of the Office of the Arts, overseeing the visual and performing arts for 11 years. His areas of teaching and expertise include directing, modern drama, queer theater, musical theater/film history, the films of Fred Astaire, and the plays of Eugene O’Neill and Tennessee Williams.

As a professional dramaturg, he worked with playwrights such as August Wilson and Jon Robin Baitz and directors Mary Zimmerman and Kenny Leon. Among his many articles and publications, he is the author of “Acting Misbegotten: The Creative Journey to Eugene O’Neill” in Critical Insights: Eugene O’Neill (Salem Press, 2012).

A noted arts advocate, Edmiston served as president of StageSource, the Greater Boston Theatre Alliance (1997–2004), contributing to the rise of Boston’s mid-sized AEA theater community. Prior to moving to New England, he was a freelance director and served as artistic director of the Pennsylvania Stage Company. He holds an M.F.A. in directing from Boston University and a B.F.A. in acting from Penn State, who honored him with their Distinguished Alumni Award (2012).

Jagged Little Pill is inspired by Alanis Morissette’s 1995 Grammy-winning album of the same name. Join members of the creative team and cast as they pull back the curtain and share their stories about creating and performing the Tony award-nominated and Grammy-winning rock musical.  

Moderated by: Scott Edmiston, Dean of Theater