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American Repertory Theater Announces the 2014/15 Season: FINDING NEVERLAND • O.P.C. • FATHER COMES HOME FROM THE WARS (PARTS 1, 2, & 3) • AN APOCALYPTIC VAUDEVILLE • A NEW AMERICAN OPERA • THE LIGHT PRINCESS
For Immediate Release: March 27, 2014
Revised April 28, 2014
Contact: Kati Mitchell 617-495-2668
American Repertory Theater
Announces the 2014/15 Season:
FINDING NEVERLAND • O.P.C.
• FATHER COMES HOME FROM THE WARS (PARTS 1, 2, & 3)
• AN APOCALYPTIC VAUDEVILLE
• A NEW AMERICAN OPERA • THE LIGHT PRINCESS
Cambridge, Mass — The American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) at Harvard University, under the leadership of Artistic Director Diane Paulus and Managing Director William Russo, is pleased to announce its 2014/15 Season.
• Finding Neverland a new musical about Peter Pan author J.M. Barrie, directed by Diane Paulus, with music and lyrics by Gary Barlow and Eliot Kennedy, book by James Graham, and choreography by Mia Michaels; based on the Miramax film written by David Magee and presented by special arrangement with Harvey Weinstein; begins performances in July 2014 at the Loeb Drama Center
• O.P.C., a new play by Eve Ensler, directed by Pesha Rudnick; begins performances in November 2014 at the Loeb Drama Center
• Father Comes Home From The Wars (Parts 1, 2, & 3) a new play by Suzan-Lori Parks, directed by Jo Bonney; begins performances January 2014
• The Last Two People on Earth: An Apocalyptic Vaudeville starring the legendary performers Mandy Patinkin and Taylor Mac, directed and choreographed by Susan Stroman; begins performances in May 2015
• A New American Opera with music and libretto by Matthew Aucoin and directed by Diane Paulus, featuring the Boston-based chamber orchestra A Far Cry; begins performances in May 2015
• At OBERON, the A.R.T. will present The Hypocrites’ Mikado, pool (no water), Shida, and Ruby Wax in her new show Sane New World, among other events that will be added throughout the year
•The Light Princess returns following its successful 2013 A.R.T. premiere with a book by Lila Rose Kaplan, music and lyrics by Mike Pettry, and direction by Allegra Libonati; begins performance in December 2014
“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to direct two productions this season,” stated Diane Paulus. “Since first hearing his music several years ago, I have been eager to collaborate with the young composer Matthew Aucoin and introduce him to our A.R.T. audiences. I am also fortunate to work with an extraordinary creative team on Finding Neverland. This beautiful story and captivating production will speak to our young audiences as well as the young at heart.”
“Last season our audiences continued to grow, packing the theater for epic new plays and musicals alike,” said Billy Russo. “Their enthusiastic response to our diverse series of programming was palpable, and this season offers nothing less with these ambitious world premieres.”
- THE 2014/2015 SEASON DETAILS -
Finding Neverland – WORLD PREMIERE
Music and lyrics by Gary Barlow and Eliot Kennedy
Book by James Graham
Directed by Diane Paulus
Choreography by Mia Michaels
When a faltering playwright meets a widow and her four boys in Kensington Gardens, he embarks on a friendship that inspires one of the most beloved stories of all time. Based on the Miramax film written by David Magee, Finding Neverland follows the real-life relationship between the Llewelyn Davies family and James Matthew Barrie as he writes the revolutionary 1904 play Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up. Staged by A.R.T. Artistic Director Diane Paulus and with music by U.K. pop sensation Gary Barlow (Take That), this new musical explores the power of imagination to open up new worlds, and the pressures put upon those worlds by the prospect of growing up. Finding Neverland is presented by the A.R.T. by special arrangement with Harvey Weinstein.
O.P.C. – WORLD PREMIERE
By Eve Ensler
Directed by Pesha Rudnick
A new play from the author of The Vagina Monologues, O.P.C. (Obsessive Political Correctness) is a wildly funny exploration of consumption and politics that asks, "How are we to survive as a species if we insist on destroying the world we love?" Romi Weil, a dumpster-diving Freegan, is doing just fine squatting in an abandoned apartment. But when her mother, a candidate running for the Senate, tries to make her toe the party line, radicalism comes into comic collision with mainstream liberalism. As Election Day approaches, mother and daughter wrestle with the inconvenient truths at the heart of consumer culture, tossed between political compromise and Obsessive Political Correctness.
Father Comes Home From The Wars (Parts 1, 2, & 3) – WORLD PREMIERE
By Suzan-Lori Parks
Directed by Jo Bonney
Pulitzer Prize winner and The Public Theater’s Master Writer Chair Suzan-Lori Parks’ (The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, Topdog/Underdog, The Book of Grace, The America Play) Father Comes Home From the Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3) is a devastatingly beautiful new play set over the course of the Civil War. Jo Bonney (Small Engine Repair, By the Way, Meet Vera Stark) directs this moving and haunting drama comprised of three plays presented in a single performance. In Part 1, “A Measure of Man,” Hero, a slave who is accustomed to his master’s lies, must now decide whether to join him on the Confederate battlefield in exchange for a promise of freedom. Part 2, "The Battle in the Wilderness" follows Hero and the Colonel as they lead a captured Union solider toward the Confederate lines as the cannons approach. Finally, in Part 3, “The Union of My Confederate Parts," the loved ones Hero left behind question whether to escape or wait for his return - only to discover that for Hero, freedom may have come at a great spiritual cost. A masterful new work from one of our most lyrical and powerful writers, Father Comes Home From the Wars is a deeply personal epic about love and hope in a world of impossible choices.
A co-production with The Public Theater in New York.
The Last Two People on Earth: An Apocalyptic Vaudeville – WORLD PREMIERE
Starring Mandy Patinkin and Taylor Mac
Direction and Choreography by Susan Stroman
It’s the end of the world as we know it. A flood of biblical proportions leaves us with only two people on Earth who discover their common language is song and dance. Together they chronicle the rise and fall and hopeful rise again of humankind through music that runs the gamut from Rodgers and Hammerstein to Sondheim, and R.E.M. to Queen. An Apocalyptic Vaudeville is presented in association with Staci Levine/Groundswell Theatricals.
A New American Opera – WORLD PREMIERE
Music and libretto by Matthew Aucoin
Directed by Diane Paulus
With A Far Cry
Inspired by the diary Walt Whitman kept as a nurse during the Civil War, this world premiere opera by the extraordinary young composer Matthew Aucoin explores how the individual experiences of soldiers are remembered and told. As Whitman listens to wounded veterans share their memories and messages, he forges a bond with a soldier who forces him to examine his own role as writer and poet. Staged by A.R.T. Artistic Director Diane Paulus, this production will feature the Boston-based orchestra A Far Cry, an ensemble at the forefront of a dynamic new generation in classical music. This new opera is produced in association with Music Theatre Group.
- FAMILY HOLIDAY PROGRAMMING -
The Light Princess
Book by Lila Rose Kaplan
Music by Mike Pettry
Directed by Allegra Libonati
Choreography by Jeff and Rick Kuperman
Presented to great acclaim last season, this adaptation of George MacDonald's classic fairy tale follows a young princess cursed to live without gravity. Floating through life unburdened by cares or sorrow, the princess is always just out of reach of everyone around her. If her parents, the King and Queen, don't help her get back to earth by her 16th birthday, the curse will become permanent. Featuring actors from the A.R.T. Institute Class of 2015, this playful production combines wit and humor, music and movement, to delight both children and their families.
- A.R.T. PRESENTS AT OBERON -
pool (no water)
By Mark Ravenhill
Directed by Ianthe Demos
One Year Lease Theater Company presents pool (no water), a visceral play about the fragility of friendship and the jealousy inspired by success. A famous artist invites old friends to her new home for a long awaited reunion. But the celebration comes to an abrupt end when the host suffers a horrific accident. An almost unthinkable plan starts to take shape: could her suffering be the group’s next work of art? This is an unflinching look at the vulnerability of friendship, the power of resentment, and a deep-seated yearning to create something truly memorable.
Book, Music, & Lyrics by Jeannette Bayardelle
Directed by Andy Sandberg
Broadway veteran Jeannette Bayardelle (The Color Purple) returns to A.R.T. after 2010’s Best of Both Worlds with her inspirational one-woman musical, Shida. Set to a soulful score of rock, jazz, R&B, and gospel, Shida is based on the true story of an African-American girl who aspires to become a writer, tracing the ups and downs of her life. Her dreams become sidetracked by hardship until her faith and those closest to her combine to restore Shida’s hope and give her a second chance. Shida is a new musical in development.
Sane New World
Written by and featuring Ruby Wax
Comedian, writer, and mental health campaigner Ruby Wax shows us how our minds can jeopardize our sanity in this one-woman show inspired by her book, Sane New World. Drawing from her own struggles with depression and a Masters in Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy from Oxford, Wax explains how our busy, chattering, self-critical thoughts drive us to anxiety and stress. A manual on how to survive the 21st century, Sane New World helps us understand why we sabotage our own sanity.
The Hypocrites’ Mikado
Adapted and Directed by Sean Graney
The Chicago-based company The Hypocrites (Pirates of Penzance) reimagines this 1885 operetta, infusing the absurdist comedy of W.S. Gilbert's libretto with Monty Python clownishness, and bringing a folk/pop interpretation to Arthur Sullivan's lovely, lilting melodies. Expect zany fun and hip tunes in this vibrant adaptation of one of Gilbert and Sullivan's most beloved works.
The A.R.T.’s popular The Donkey Show continues for its 6th season at OBERON every Saturday night.
Subscriptions for the 2014/15 Season will go on sale April 25 along with select preview performances of Finding Neverland. Subscribers get the best seats at the best prices, with packages starting as low as $99. Subscriptions will be available online at americanrepertorytheater.org or by phone at 617-547-8300. Groups of 10 or more may purchase tickets for the 2014/15 Season performances beginning April 25 by calling 617-496-2000 x8892.
The American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) at Harvard University is a leading force in the American theater, producing groundbreaking work in Cambridge and beyond. The A.R.T. was founded in 1980 by Robert Brustein, who served as Artistic Director until 2002, when he was succeeded by Robert Woodruff. Diane Paulus began her tenure as Artistic Director in 2008. Under her leadership, the A.R.T. seeks to expand the boundaries of theater by programming events that immerse audiences in transformative theatrical experiences.
Throughout its history, the A.R.T. has been honored with many awards, including consecutive Tony Awards for Best Revival of a Musical for Pippin (2013) and The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess (2012), both of which Paulus directed; a Pulitzer Prize; a Jujamcyn Prize for outstanding contribution to the development of creative talent; the Tony Award for Best Regional Theater; and numerous Elliot Norton and I.R.N.E. Awards.
The A.R.T. collaborates with artists around the world to develop and create work in new ways. It is currently engaged in a number of multi-year projects, including the Civil War Project, an initiative that culminates in the staging of new work in the 2014/15 season. Under Paulus’s leadership, the A.R.T.’s club theater, OBERON, has become an incubator for local and emerging artists and has attracted national attention for its innovative programming and business models.
As the professional theater on the campus of Harvard University, the A.R.T. catalyzes discourse, interdisciplinary collaboration, and creative exchange among a wide range of academic departments, institutions, students, and faculty members, acting as a conduit between its community of artists and the university. A.R.T. artists also teach undergraduate courses in directing, dramatic literature, acting, voice, design, and dramaturgy. The A.R.T. Institute for Advanced Theater Training, which is run in partnership with the Moscow Art Theater School, offers graduate-level training in acting, dramaturgy, and voice.
Dedicated to making great theater accessible, the A.R.T. actively engages more than 5,000 community members and local students annually in project-based partnerships, workshops, conversations with artists, and other enrichment activities both at the theater and across the Greater Boston area.
Through all of these initiatives, the A.R.T. is dedicated to producing world-class performances in which the audience is central to the theatrical experience.
For further information call 617-547-8300 or visit AmericanRepertoryTheater.org
March 27, 2014
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