Diane Paulus, who has earned critical acclaim for her staging of the Broadway revival of Hair, begins her inaugural season as the new artistic director of A.R.T. The season has been programmed in a series of festivals, including "Shakespeare Exploded!"; "America: Boom, Bust, and Baseball"; and "Emerging America Festival." A.R.T. will collaborate with Boston-area arts institutions and new off-site performance venues.
"As a director, my driving source of inspiration is the audience," Paulus stated. "Theatre is more than simply a play on the stage: it's a ritual, a social occasion for people to come together and experience community. Our new initiative, 'Experience the A.R.T.,' seeks to revolutionize the theatre experience by giving audiences a voice, a sense of ownership, and a feeling of importance in the theatrical event.
"Shakespeare Exploded!" will launch the season with Paulus and Randy Weiner's Off-Broadway disco musical The Donkey Show (opening Aug. 21 at the Zero Arrow Theater); Britain's Punchdrunk will offer their Macbeth-inspired Sleep No More (opening Oct. 8); followed by the R&B gospel-infused take on A Winter's Tale, entitled Best of Both Worlds, that features book and lyrics by Randy Weiner, music by Deirdre Murray and direction by co-writer Diana Paulus (opening Nov. 21 on the Loeb Stage).
"America: Boom, Bust, and Baseball" will include Elevator Repair Service's Gatz: Parts 1 and 2, a staged reading of Fitzgerald's "Great Gatsby" (opening Jan. 8, 2010 on the Loeb Stage); Daniel Fish will direct Clifford Odets' Paradise Lost (opening Feb. 27, 2010 on the Loeb Stage); and Paulus will direct the world premiere of Red Sox Nation, which has a book by Richard Dresser, music by Robert Reale and lyrics by Willie Reale (opening May 8 on the Loeb Stage).
The A.R.T. season concludes with the "Emerging America Festival," offering new works from American playwrights in collaboration with the Huntington Theatre Company and the Institute of Contemporary Art (May 14-16, 2010). For more information, visit A.R.T.'s new website AmericanRepertoryTheater.org. A.R.T. is located at 64 Brattle Street in Cambridge, MA.