How The Light Gets In | Boston Court Pasadena

Boston Court Pasadena Presents The World Premiere of "How The Light Gets In" By E.M. Lewis, Directed by Emilie Pascale Beck | September 19 – October 27, Opening Night September 28, 2019

PHOTO: Craig Schwartz | South Pasadena News | Ryun Yu and Amy Sloan in "How The Light Gets In" at Boston Court Pasadena

Boston Court Pasadena continues their 2019 theatre season with the world premiere of E.M. Lewis’s How The Light Gets In, directed by Emilie Pascale Beck, September 19 – October 27 (Opening Night September 28). How The Light Gets In features Amy Sloan as Grace, Ryun Yu as Haruki, Chelsea Kurtz as Kat and Dieterich Gray as Tommy Z.

“There is a crack, a crack in everything

That’s how the light gets in.”

- Advertisement -

–Leonard Cohen

A travel writer who never travels. A Japanese architect who can’t figure out how to build a simple tea house. A gifted tattoo artist who resists the power of his talents. And a homeless girl who lives under a weeping willow tree in the Japanese Garden. Four lonely people, their stories written on paper, earth, and skin, find each other when one of them falls apart. Together they realize the heart is as strong as it is fragile, and that the safety of home might be found in the most fearsome explorations.  A beautiful, haunting, and richly human world premiere from the author of The Gun Show and Song of Extinction.

Quotes from the New Play Exchange praise How the Light Gets In as “classic E.M. Lewis–lyrical, theatrical, and personal. Lewis knows how to distill humanity to its essence, and she does it beautifully here while also imbuing the experience with gorgeous language and symbolism.”

Last year, How the Light Gets In was one of the four plays workshopped at Boston Court Pasadena’s New Play Reading Festival. Director Emilie Pascale Beck, who directed both the Boston Court Pasadena workshop as well as a recent workshop at Chautauqua Theatre Company said, “E.M. Lewis and I have been looking to partner on a project for years. This script has personal resonance for both of us. Ellen sent it to me when it wasn’t even a fully formed play yet, and it’s been exhilarating to collaborate with her as story, characters, and theme have  deepened and found their surprising connections. I’m eager to get in the room with our wonderful actors and give it all the dimension it deserves.”

E.M. Lewis adds, “Director Emilie Pascale Beck and I had a wonderful experience workshopping the play last summer at Boston Court Pasadena and again at Chautauqua Theater Company, this past July.  In both rehearsal rooms, there was such a sense of excitement and discovery.”  As far as her connection to Leonard Cohen and how he has influenced her artistically, the playwright says, “I love him. In his songs, he delves into spiritual questions and human frailties in a way that resonate for me.  His song Anthem has a line that has always stuck with me, and ended up becoming the title of this very personal play of mine.   ‘Ring the bells that still can ring,’ he says.  ‘Forget your perfect offering.  There’s a crack in everything.  That’s how the light gets in.’”

Single tickets range from $20 – $39 and are available now. Visit or call 626.683.6801 to subscribe or purchase single tickets.

About Boston Court Pasadena

Located in Pasadena, California, Boston Court Pasadena is nonprofit arts center primarily dedicated to new and original work by living artists. Founded in 2003 by philanthropist Z. Clark Branson, Boston Court features a state-of-the-art, intimate facility designed to bring audiences and artists closer together. The 80-seat Marjorie Branson Performance Space and the 99-seat Main Stage serve as homes for Boston Court’s season of bold, adventurous theatre and its eclectic, diverse music series. Boston Court is also the home of an annual new play reading festival, an Emerging Artists Series, as well as Art Upfront, a rotating visual arts program. Boston Court is led by Artistic Directors Jessica Kubzansky and Michael Michetti (Theatre), and Mark Saltzman (Music).

Key funding is provided by Los Angeles County Arts Commission, The Harold & Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, The Shubert Foundation, The Colburn Foundation, Lazy L Foundation, Pasadena Arts & Cultural Commission and the City of Pasadena Cultural Affairs Division, The Amphion Foundation, and the Z. Clark Branson Foundation. The 2019 theatre season is sponsored by the S. Mark Taper Foundation.

Performance Schedule:

Thursdays through Saturdays at 8:00pm; Sundays at 2:00pm; Community Matinee: Saturday, October 5 at 2:00pm (all tickets $5)

Running Time: Approximately 90 minutes, no intermission

Prices: $20 – $39

Artist Biographies

E.M. Lewis (Playwright) is an award-winning playwright, teacher, and opera librettist.  Her work has been produced around the world, and published by Samuel French.  Lewis received an Edgerton Award for the world premiere of her epic Antartica play Magellanicaat Artists Repertory Theater, the Steinberg Award for Song of Extinction and the Primus Prize for Heads from the American Theater Critics Association, the Ted Schmitt Award from the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle for outstanding writing of a world premiere play, a Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University, a playwriting fellowship from the New Jersey State Arts Commission, and the 2016 Oregon Literary Fellowship in Drama.  Plays by Lewis include: Apple Season (currently receiving a rolling world premiere at New Jersey Repertory Theater, Riverside Theater in Iowa, and Moving Arts in Los Angeles), The Gun Show (which has had more than 30 productions across the country, and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland), Dorothy’s DictionaryTrue Story, Infinite Black SuitcaseYou Can See All the Stars (a play for college students commissioned by the Kennedy Center), and How the Light Gets In (a semi-finalist for the O’Neill).  Lewis was commissioned to write the opera Town Hall for University of Maryland’s Maryland Opera Studio with composer Theo Popov, and it was also performed at Willamette University.  She is currently working on a children’s opera commission with composer Evan Meier called Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Fallen Giant, and a big, new political play called The Great Divide.  Lewis is a proud member of LineStorm Playwrights, Opera America, and the Dramatists Guild.  She lives on her family’s farm in Oregon.

Emilie Pascale Beck (Director) is the Literary Manager at Boston Court Pasadena, where she has directed Cassiopeia by David Wiener and Shiv by Aditi Kapil, as well as numerous workshops and readings. Other directing credits include Miss Keller Has No Second Book at Gulfshore Playhouse in Florida, Block Nine at the Elephant Theatre, Because They Have No Words at the Lounge Theatre in Los Angeles and the Piven Theatre Workshop in Chicago, and Number of People at the Piven Theatre Workshop, among others. Her productions have received Ovation, Joseph Jefferson, and L.A. Weekly awards. Also a playwright, her plays include Number of People, Sovereign Body, And Let the Skies Fall, and Habeas Corpus. At Boston Court Emilie has served as Dramaturg for The Children, Heavier Than, Alcestis, RII, Everything You Touch, The House in Scarsdale, and Everything That Never Happened, and she curates and produces the annual New Play Reading Series. Her fiction and non-fiction writing has been published in Colorado Review, Los Angeles Review of Books, and online in Waxwing, Howlround, and LA Stage. Most recently Emilie directed a workshop of How the Light Gets In at the Chautauqua Theatre Company.