A Kiss from Chile’s Calderón


ArtsEmerson proudly announces Kiss, the dramatic comedy by Guillermo Calderón, Chile’s most acclaimed playwright/director of the last two decades. Through the voice of young, earnest, committed protagonists, Kiss accentuates the dangers the comfortably distancing ourselves from the problems of others. Directed by ArtsEmerson’s co-artistic director David Dower, Kiss’s creative team of actors and designers are comprised of talent from Emerson College.

When a young, aspirational theatre troupe discovers and performs what they believe is a Syrian soap opera, they come to realize just how much they got wrong. Kiss is a brilliant play-within-a-play that shows how misunderstanding cultural cues can reveal blind spots you never knew you had. Chilean playwright and director Guillermo Calderón brings his masterful sensibility to this intense, tightly wound new production where naiveté can turn out to be the kiss of death.

“Kiss is a profound piece of writing,” says ArtsEmerson co-artistic director P. Carl, “from Chilean born playwright Guillermo Calderón about what happens when the most well-intentioned American artists misinterpret a play from Syria. It gets at the heart of the thorny questions around cultural appropriation that divide us in our creative and political lives. It asks if we truly inhabit realities that are not our own?”

“Guillermo’s written a sneaky play,” shares director David Dower, “that on the one hand celebrates the power of theater to change the world, and on the other acts like a cautionary tale for young artists wielding that power. I was immediately drawn to the notion of staging the play with student actors from Emerson College, who I see every day here on our campus, and who are filled with the same hope and resolve as Guillermo’s characters. I am working again with the same design team that created Mr. Joy and Mala with me for ArtsEmerson, and we’re looking forward to giving both the company and the audience an unforgettable ride.”


Kiss will be performed through Nov. 19 at the Emerson Paramount Center’s Jackie Liebergott Black Box, located at 559 Washington Street in Boston’s downtown theatre district. Tickets, on sale now, are $60 and may be purchased online at www.artsemerson.org, by phone at 617.824.8400, or in person at the box office.