Among the offerings are works by Anna Deavere Smith, Anne Washburn, Christine Evans, David Mamet as well as Beckett and Chekhov classics and an evening of illusion and magic titled Aurélia's Oratorio.
In a statement A.R.T. acting artistic director Gideon Lester stated, "The season plays to all the A.R.T.'s strengths. It includes two world premieres by leading young playwrights, innovative productions of great plays by Chekhov, Beckett, and Mamet, strong roles for the A.R.T. resident actors, directors, and designers; virtuosic performances by Anna Deavere Smith and Aurélia Thierrée; and the work of fine directors from Boston and across the U.S., as well as France and Hungary. There is something here for everyone — young and old, fans of new plays and classics, and those who enjoy our continuing conversations about the intersection of theatre and the world we live in. I'm particularly proud that this is a season that features women artists so prominently — playwrights, directors, and performers. I look forward to welcoming our audiences to these seven wonderful productions."
A.R.T.'s complete season follows:
Let Me Down Easy
Sept. 12-Oct. 11 on the Loeb Stage
Written and performed by Anna Deavere Smith
"[Anna Deavere Smith] explores the resilience, vulnerability, and beauty of the human body. Channeling a dramatic range of interview subjects, from supermodels and athletes to doctors and survivors of the Rwandan genocide, Anna Deavere Smith will change the way we think about our bodies – bodies in motion and bodies in pain, the body politic and the body beautiful."
The Communist Dracula Pageant
Oct. 18-Nov. 9 on the Zero Arrow Stage
By Anne Washburn, directed by Anne Kauffman
In this world premiere, "it is 1989, and one of the most vicious regimes of all time is falling as Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu stand trial in Romania. And it is 1976, and the Ceausescus, at the height of their powers, mount a pageant to celebrate the glory of the Romanian nation. And it is the 15th century, and Vlad Tepes – the original Count Dracula – steps out of the dark mists and swings his cape about him. He looks around him and his eyes gleam red. The Communist Dracula Pageant is a wild and offbeat romp through the web of Romanian myth and history, drawn from the imagination of one of this country’s most lauded young writers." Aurélia's Oratorio
Nov. 28-Dec. 28 on the Loeb Stage
Written and directed by Victoria Thierrée Chaplin
Starring Aurélia Thierrée
"Behind the red velvet curtain lies a topsy-turvy world of surreal surprises, tricks, and transformations, where dreams come to life and the impossible happens before your very eyes…."
Jan. 10, 2009-Feb. 1, 2009 on the Loeb Stage
By Anton Chekhov, directed by János Szász
"In a garden by a lake, a family assembles to watch a play. Little can they guess how that performance will change their lives."
Feb. 14, 2009-March 15, 2009 on the Loeb Stage
By Samuel Beckett, directed by Marcus Stern
"Both an existential comedy and a domestic tragedy, [Endgame] charts a day in the life of a family fallen on mysteriously hard times – blind and chair-bound Hamm, his beleaguered servant Clove, his parents Nagg and Nell, who live in two ashbins and long for sugar-plums, and a black toy dog with a missing leg."
March 28, 2009-April 19, 2009 on the Zero Arrow Stage
By Christine Evans, directed by Carmel O'Reilly
In this world premiere, "Lotte Jones, a doll repair expert, needs a vacation. She books herself on a cultural tour for singles and travels with them to modern-day Troy, where she finds more of a change of scene than she'd bargained for – in the midst of an attack by the Greek army threatening to destroy the last fragments of a mighty civilization. Part contemporary drama, part homage to Euripides' Trojan Women, Trojan Barbie tells the perpetually moving tale of Priam's widow, Hecuba, and her defenseless family, recast against the vivid reality of modern warfare."
May 9-31, 2009 on the Loeb Stage
By David Mamet, directed by Scott Zigler
"It's hay fever season, and in the courthouse a judge is popping antihistamines like candy. The case unfolding before him involves a motley bunch of chauvinists and eccentrics, attorneys and clients alike, whose petty prejudices threaten to unravel the legal process. And then the defendant, who is either a chiropodist or a chiropractor, lands on an ingenious way to bring peace to the Middle East…"
The Loeb Drama Center is located at 64 Brattle Street, and the Zero Arrow Theatre can be found on the corner of Arrow Street and Massachusetts Avenue in Harvard Square, Cambridge. For ticket information visit www.amrep.org or call (617) 547-8300.
Founded by Robert Brustein, The American Repertory Theatre is now in its 28th year at Harvard University. A.R.T. draws its repertory "from new American plays, neglected works from the past, and reexamined classical texts." A.R.T. is the recipient of the Pulitzer Prize, the Jujamcyn Award, the Tony Award, the Best in France Award, and recently was cited as the third best theatre in the country by Time Magazine.