Boston University College of Fine Arts Presents Camille

in CFA, Theatre
October 12th, 2012

16th Annual Fringe Festival: “The Ladies of the Camellias” continues this weekend
with a modern translation from the School of Theatre of the 1984 Pam Gems’ play

Boston, MA– For 16 years the Boston University College of Fine Arts (CFA)’s annual Fringe Festival has continued to be a popular fixture in the CFA’s fall event schedule. A collaboration between the School of Music Opera Institute and the School of Theatre, this year’s festival runs October 6-26 at Boston University Theatre. Kicking off the second week of the 16th Annual Fringe Festival: “The Ladies of the Camellias” is a modern adaptation of Pam Gems’ Camille, running October 13-20.


Pam Gems, playwright
Judy Braha, director
Based on ‘La Dame aux Camèlias’ by Alexandre Dumas

Run Dates

Saturday, October 13, 2pm*, 8pm
Sunday, October 14, 2pm*
Wednesday, October 17, 7:30pm
Thursday, October 18, 7:30pm
Friday, October 19, 8pm
Saturday, October 20, 2pm, 8pm

* Afternoon performance includes a post-show discussion with the directors, cast, and design team.

BU Theatre, Lane-Comley Studio 210

Directed by CFA’s Judy Braha, this year’s festival continues with a modern adaptation of Camille, the 1984 full-length play by Pam Gems. Camille, based on La Dame aux Camélias by Alexandre Dumas, is the tale of a doomed love affair between a Parisian courtesan and a country nobleman.

“Gems, a 20th century British playwright, wrote her adaptation of the Alexandre Dumas, fils novel in the thick of Thatcher’s England,” says Judy Braha, Head of the MFA Directing Program and Assistant Directing and Acting Professor at the College of Fine Arts at Boston University, and Director of Camille. “Although she set the play in the 1840s, Gems chose to ‘use the bones’ of the original while refocusing the piece on the tragedy of ‘social and economic placement, and the futile ambition to transcend it.’”

Referred to by Alexandre Dumas as a demi-monde, describing his idea of a half-world, or a world of very high-priced courtesans and beautiful people who live in sort of an underworld instead of an up and up environment, Camille has been rediscovered in this modern-day adaptation as the story of a hopeful quest of the 99% to rise in a world dominated by the 1%. “It’s a huge roller-coaster ride, and it’s a really good time for the audience to see what happens to this beautiful woman and the man who loves her in this inhospitable society,” says Braha when commenting on the script.

The 16th Annual Fringe Festival: “The Ladies of the Camellias” kicked-off on October 6 with Le Portrait de Manon, the sequel to Massenet’s beloved Manon. In its’ second week, audiences will have the opportunity to continue to explore the story through this modern-day adaptation of Gems’ Camille. On October 26, the festival will conclude with a unique presentation featuring extensive portions of Verdi’s La Traviata combined with excerpts from Gems’ Camille.

“We are so fortunate in the BU Fringe Festival to be able to experience the same story from three points of view: those of Verdi, Massenet and Bayer, and Pam Gems,” says Judy Braha, Head of the MFA Directing Program and Assistant Directing and Acting Professor at the College of Fine Arts at Boston University, and Director of Camille. “As we have
The BU Fall Fringe Festival was founded in 1997 with the goal of cultivating a broader audience for opera. A collaborative effort between designers, directors, singers, and actors from BU’s School of Music Opera Institute and School of Theatre, the Festival was built around the desire to present an unconventional repertoire within a distinguished performance experience.

All performances will tie into CFA’s Keyword Initiative, commencing its second year, which focuses on the theme of resilience. Performances, lectures, collaborations, and discussion will explore the buoyancy of the human spirit in times of war, tragedy, hardship, suffering, and oppression – including the longitudinal vitality of Camille in the face of a doomed love affair, a presentation of Vik Muniz’s photographic portraits made from trash and captured in the Academy Award-nominated documentary, Waste Land (10/5,) and a BU Symphony Orchestra and Symphonic Chorus concert depicting the tenacious fortitude and patriotism displayed by Americans through wartime and political turmoil (11/19.)

Learn more about the 16th Annual Fringe Festival at


Tickets now on sale: $7 General Admission. BU community: One free ticket with BU ID at the door, day of performance, subject to availability. Box Office: or 617.933.8600.


Boston University Theatre
264 Huntington Avenue, Boston

Getting There:

T Green Line, E line, Symphony stop
T Orange Line, Mass Ave stop


Founded in 1839, Boston University is an internationally recognized private research university with more than 30,000 students participating in undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. BU consists of 17 colleges and schools along with a number of multi-disciplinary centers and institutes which are central to the school’s research and teaching mission. The Boston University College of Fine Arts was created in 1954 to bring together the School of Music, the School of Theatre, and the School of Visual Arts. The University’s vision was to create a community of artists in a conservatory-style school offering professional training in the arts to both undergraduate and graduate students, complemented by a liberal arts curriculum for undergraduate students. Since those early days, education at the College of Fine Arts has begun on the BU campus and extended into the city of Boston, a rich center of cultural, artistic and intellectual activity.