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Founder of Office of Arts directs ‘Far From Heaven’

Published: September 19, 2014
Section: Arts, Etc.


Scott Edminston, founder and former director of the Brandeis Office of Arts, has found a new home at Northeastern University. Edminston is now the first professor of the practice and chair of the theater department at the Boston school. The move took place after 11 years at Brandeis.

However, some parts of Edminston’s career have remained the same. He has served as the president of the Greater Boston Theater Alliance StageSource for seven years. He has directed countless performances with groups such as SpeakEasy Stage Company.

On Sept. 12, Edminston directed the first of many performances of his latest show with Speakeasy, “Far From Heaven,” a musical that debuted in 2012. The score was written by the pair of Scott Frankel and Michael Korie and the dialogue by Richard Greenberg. The musical is based off of a movie of the same name from 2002, which starred Julianne Moore.

The performance features Cathy Whitaker, a wealthy, ’50s housewife who learns that her husband has been cheating on her with young men. The story follows the tumultuous path of the family as their idyllic lifestyle falls apart.

The Boston Globe reviewed SpeakEasy Stage Company’s performance, and while they were impressed with lead actress Jennifer Ellis, they seemed to find that the rest of the show was somewhat lackluster. “‘Far From Heaven’ itself could be better. Much better. This shallow musical adaptation of the 2002 film by Todd Haynes never really develops its own signature, despite the best efforts of talented SpeakEasy director Scott Edmiston.”

However, WBUR, Boston’s NPR news station, wrote of the show that it “does full justice to the lushness of its source material.”

Before Brandeis, Edminston graduated from Penn State with a BFA, then went on to Boston University for an MFA. He began his teaching career at the University of Michigan, and later went on to chair the MFA directing program at Boston University, as well as teach at Brown University.

“I had a great job [at Brandeis] involved in all of the arts,” Edminston said to The Needham Times, “but I wanted to come home just to the theater. Northeastern University has come so far in recent years and moved up so much in the rankings. The opportunity to lead the theater department and move it along as well is very compelling.”

Edminston still lives in Waltham with his husband Thom Miller, in the house that they bought two years ago. “I have a life in which I can see swans floating by on the Charles River while I’m having breakfast at home and then head into my office at Northeastern, on the Avenue of the Arts in Boston, and be just up the street from Symphony Hall, the B.U. Theatre and Jordan Hall,” Edminston said to The Metrowest Daily News.

Edminston’s “Far from Heaven” will be playing at the Roberts Studio Theatre at the Boston Center for the Arts through Oct. 11. Tickets can be purchased for $25 at BostonTheatreScene.com or at 617-933-8600.