Above: Art Walk paintings from the 2021 BC Arts Festival (Caitlin Cunningham)
With the theme of “New Nostalgia,” the 24th annual Boston College Arts Festival will bring together University community members to explore tradition and innovation. More than 1,400 University artists will participate in the three-day showcase April 28-30, and some 50 events will display the expansive talents of BC students, faculty, and alumni in music, theater, dance, creative writing, film, painting, sculpture, and more.
A highlight will be appearances by special guest alumnus Jeff Augustin ‘08, an award-winning playwright and screenwriter whose plays have been performed at high-profile festivals and venues across the country. Augustin’s television credits include The Morning Show (Apple TV+) and The Good Lord Bird (Showtime). During the festival, Augustin will be presented with the Boston College Arts Council Alumni Award for Distinguished Achievement.
"We are thrilled to return to a vibrant live 2022 Arts Festival after two years of social distancing,” said Arts Council Chair and Associate Professor of Theatre Crystal Tiala. “This year’s alumni award recipient, Jeff Augustin, is a Haitian-American writing about how people heal, cope, and shape our own narratives. He is taking a short break from his movie in production in the Dominican Republic to participate in our festival.”
This year’s theme was developed by Arts Festival student leaders thinking of how to "bring back" the Arts Festival to its pre-COVID presentation, organizers say: New Nostalgia "pays homage to tradition and innovation as we move forward in a new world, while we long for what we knew before. The 2022 Arts Festival shines a spotlight on what we haven't lost—our drive to create, express, and contribute through the arts. The Boston College community is rich with writers, actors, musicians, artists, and creators of all kinds; we provide the stage and walls and the arts take over.”
A prolific writer, alumni honoree Jeff Augustin’s plays include Where the Mountain Meets the Sea (Humana Festival of New American Plays); The New Englanders (Manhattan Theatre Club); Little Children Dream of God (Roundabout Theatre Company); The Last Tiger in Haiti (La Jolla Playhouse and Berkeley Rep); and Cry Old Kingdom (Humana Festival).
He co-authored That High Lonesome Sound and The Many Deaths of Nathan Stubblefield (Humana Festival), and translated Our Town into Haitian Creole for a Miami multilingual production. Augustin was a playwright-in-residence at Playwrights Horizons and Roundabout Theatre, and an alumnus of the New York Theatre Workshop 2050 Fellowship; Rita Goldberg Playwright’s Workshop at the Lark; and The Working Farm at SPACE on Ryder Farm. His professional honors include the Steinberg Playwriting Award, Rella Lossy Playwright Award, and Barrie and Bernice Stavis Playwright Award; his works have been widely commissioned. His television credits also include: Saint X (Hulu, upcoming), and Claws (TNT). He has been nominated for two Writer’s Guild of America Awards and has current projects in development with Fox Searchlight/Disney/Barry Jenkins; Netflix; and Element Pictures.
Augustin—who entered BC as a political science and economics major—switched his major after taking an introductory theater course and earned a bachelor’s degree in theater, followed by an M.F.A. from University of California, San Diego. At BC, “I discovered the theater,” he said in a BroadwayWorld interview. “I thought that acting was all there really was to theater,” until he took playwrighting with BC Professor Scott T. Cummings. “A brilliant man, Scott's the one who really pushed me into writing.”
Augustin will participate in a career-related interview program titled “Inside the BC Studio,” modeled after Bravo’s Inside the Actor’s Studio, on Friday, April 29, at 1 p.m. in the Plaza at O’Neill Library Performance Tent, during which he will be interviewed by Cummings, who also will present him with the Boston College Arts Council Alumni Award for Distinguished Achievement at an awards ceremony beginning at 4:30 p.m. in Gasson Hall 100.
Also at the ceremony, awards will be presented to this year’s faculty honoree, Associate Professor of the Practice, costume designer, and educator Jacqueline Dalley, who joined BC in 1997 as the Theatre Department costume designer and costume shop supervisor, and assumed a faculty position 2004. She has designed costumes for 88 BC productions, and has done freelance work in major cities across the U.S.
Student Awards will be given to: Lauren Burd ’22; Michael Pelosi ’23; Xinying Wang ’22; Patrick Beck ’22; Kaylee Drew ’22; and Yifan Wang '22, who will receive the Jeffery Howe Art History Award. Group awards will be presented to the Boston College Marching Band and Vandy Quartet.
The Arts Festival is open to the public; most events are free. For details, schedule information, and registration where required, visit the Boston College Arts Festival website.
Rosanne Pellegrini | University Communications | April 2022