Culture Calendar: Seven Must-See Arts and Entertainment Events in Boston, December 2014

Theater

ArtsEmerson hosts a South African production of Strindberg’s Mies Julie that sets the story of a noblewoman wooing her servant in post-apartheid Cape Town. This powerful interpretation merges the classic tale of sex and class with that nation’s troubled racial history. 11/30–12/8

Literature

Local author Roland Merullo’s books often feature characters searching for faith. In his latest, Vatican Waltz, a Revere woman has visions that she has been divinely chosen to be the Catholic Church’s first female priest. Undeterred by her local diocese, she takes her case directly to Rome. Crown Books, out 12/3

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Illustration by Steven Stankiewicz

Crafts

The roving Cultural Survival Bazaar hits town again this year, offering spectacular crafts and traditional arts from indigenous peoples across four continents. The bazaars allow native artisans to sell directly to the public—the ultimate in fair trade — so you can do your holiday shopping and spread a little social justice at the same time. Plus, take in storytelling performances, craft demos, music, and dance. Starting at Cambridge College, the bazaar travels to Harvard, then to the Pru. 12/6–12/8, 12/14–12/15, 12/20–12/22

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Illustration by Steven Stankiewicz

Science

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Boston Athenaeum’s Conservation Laboratory, the venerable library is holding a rare open house. Bibliophiles will get a behind-the-scenes look at how the Athenaeum’s curators restore and rebind its printed treasures—like a first edition of On the Origin of Species—using modern science and antique tools. The lab also trains conservators; four of its alumni host a panel in the afternoon. 12/7

Theater

Director Gisli Örn Garðarsson and writer David Farr premiered The Heart of Robin Hood with the Royal Shakespeare Company in 2011, and they’re bringing it over to the A.R.T. this month. The story, which could have been written by the cocky young bard in Shakespeare in Love, follows a high-spirited Maid Marian disguised as a boy swashbuckling her way through an enchanted forest that’s as much Arden as Sherwood. 12/10–1/19

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Illustration by Steven Stankiewicz

Despair

If the red and green of the holiday season fills you with melancholy and one more Christmas sweater might send you over the edge, head to T. T. the Bear’s for Xmortis’s annual ball,“Über: A Gothic Formal,” to join revelers dressed in funereal suits and gowns. Here, every color is welcome, as long as it’s black. 12/13

Music

Before the Dropkick Murphys, the Mighty Mighty Bosstones were the city’s house band. Fittingly, they’re playing a series of shows at the House of Blues that they’ve tagged the Hometown Throwdown. Come skank it up with the plaid avengers. 12/27–12/29