This week, WGBH News’ Arts Editor Jared Bowen tours an exhibition of artist Ericka Beckman at the MIT List Visual Arts Center and reviews two new theater productions in Boston: “Yerma” and “The View Upstairs.”
“Ericka Beckman: Double Reverse,” on view at the MIT List Visual Arts Center through July 28.
A retrospective of artist Ericka Beckman is now on view at the MIT List Visual Arts Center. With origins in the 1970s California arts scene, Beckman creates brightly colored art with toy-like props meant to remind viewers of fairy tales and children’s games. Through this seemingly innocuous imagery, she addresses issues of gender, power, and role-playing. A common thread throughout the four films in this exhibition is Beckman’s interest in the ties between games and gambling, as well as issues surrounding money and labor inequality.
“She structured her films very deliberately around games and gaming, rather than following traditional dramatic structure or any kind of narrative.” said director of exhibitions and curator Henriette Huldisch.
“Yerma,” presented by the Huntington Theatre Company Through June 30.
A new adaption of Federico García Lorca’s 1934 play “Yerma” is now running at the Huntington Theatre Company. The story follows Yerma, a newly married woman whose singular desire is to have a child. When fate keeps her from achieving motherhood, Yerma begins to question her own value as a woman and her passion turns to obsession. Adapted and translated by Elliot Norton Award-winner Melidna Lopez, “Yerma” features flamenco-inspired music and has been reimagined for contemporary audiences.
Jared describes the production as “a beautifully rendered elegy about life and longing.”
“The View Upstairs,” presented by SpeakEasy Stage Company through June 22.
“The View Upstairs” makes its Massachusetts debut at SpeakEasy Stage Company. The production is inspired by the 1973 firebombing of the UpStairs Lounge in New Orleans — the deadliest attack on the gay community prior to the Pulse Nightclub shooting in 2016. This transportive musical by Max Vernon revisits this tragic moment in gay history through Wes, a young fashion designer who buys the burnt-out UpStairs Lounge and is transported back in time to 1973, where he meets the ghosts of the club’s vibrant denizens.