American Repertory Theater at Harvard University will welcome audiences back for live performances in August with the world premiere of The Arboretum Experience. Created by playwright Kirsten Greenidge, musician Tim Hall, choreographer Jill Johnson, and director Summer L. Williams, the collaboration between the A.R.T. and the Arboretum features audio plays written and performed by artists from Boston and beyond.
The 2021–2022 season will continue in September and October with tap dancer Ayodele Casel, who will capture the spark of connection and creation in Chasing Magic, performed live for the first time since its virtual premiere. Torya Beard directs.
The world premiere of Macbeth in Stride will follow in October and November. Created and performed by Obie winner Whitney White, the production, featuring a live band, examines what it means to be an ambitious Black woman through the lens of one of Shakespeare’s most iconic characters. Tyler Dobrowsky and Taibi Magar co-direct the first of White’s five-part series excavating Shakespeare’s women, commissioned by the A.R.T.
From November 19–21, Silkroad Ensemble will debut Phoenix Rising, featuring more than 25 Silkroad artists alongside Artistic Director and Grammy winner Rhiannon Giddens. The production aims to unite audiences through varied cultural experiences to create a more peaceful and just world.
In December, the Massachusetts venue will present the world premiere of Wild in Concert starring Tony winner Idina Menzel as a single mother struggling to hold on to her family farm and connect with her teenage daughter. Menzel also contributed to the production created by Tony and Obie-winning playwright V (formerly Eve Ensler), Grammy and Golden Globe-nominated songwriter Justin Tranter, and songwriter Caroline Pennell. Artistic director Diane Paulus directs.
Jack and the Beanstalk: A Musical Adventure, featuring a book, music, and lyrics by Julia Riew, will also be seen in December following its digital world premiere in 2020. Orchestrations and music direction are by Ian Chan with direction by Rebecca Aparicio.
In February and March 2022, the A.R.T. will offer the world premiere of the music theatre experience Ocean Filibuster, created by PearlDamour and written by Lisa D’Amour with music by Sxip Shirey and direction by Katie Pearl. Jennifer Kidwell is featured in the production, which is set inside the Senate chamber of a global governing body, as Mr. Majority introduces an “End of Ocean Bill” designed to shrink the Earth’s oceans into a more manageable collection. When the floor is opened for debate, the Ocean arrives to speak in its own defense.
The long-awaited revival of the Tony-winning musical 1776 is now scheduled to premiere in May and continue through July. Jeffrey L. Page and Paulus will direct the Peter Stone-Sherman Edwards musical with choreography by Page. The upcoming production re-examines the signing of the Declaration of Independence with a cast that reflects multiple representations of race, gender, and ethnicity. Following its A.R.T. run, 1776 will be presented on Broadway with Roundabout Theatre Company in fall 2022 and begin a national tour in February 2023.
“It has been a long time since we were all together in a theatre, and we need this now more than ever—artists and audiences alike,” says Paulus. “We have spent the last year in deep learning and reflection at the A.R.T., and we are excited to share our 2021–2022 programming, which welcomes audiences back in person and reflects our core values, from centering anti-racism to embracing regenerative practice that promotes the health of our planet, our organization, and each other.”
The theatre will continue to offer digital programming and live-streams for audiences to enjoy from anywhere in the world. For more information click here.