Orchard Resigns as Executive Director of American Repertory Theater

News   Orchard Resigns as Executive Director of American Repertory Theater
American Repertory Theater executive director Robert J. Orchard, who has held his position since the company's founding in 1970, has announced that he will retire at the conclusion of the 2009 season.

Tony nominee Diane Paulus (Hair) recently assumed duties as artistic director of the Cambridge, MA institution. Orchard has agreed to stay on to assist Paulus in launching her first season at A.R.T.

"July marks the 30th year of my time here in Cambridge as well as my 40th with the organization going back to the Yale years. Thanks to the quality of the Board, staff, Diane's vision, and Harvard's increased commitment and interest in all the arts, the A.R.T.'s future is in excellent hands," Orchard said in a letter to the A.R.T. board.

In a statement, Paulus commented, "Rob has been an esteemed and extremely valued colleague of mine since my arrival. He and I have been in close contact about his decision to retire early, and I am very grateful that he has agreed to stay on as a Special Advisor to me in launching my first season."

The newly conceived A.R.T. season launches with "Shakespeare Exploded!," which includes 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), which will be 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).

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