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2021/22 Programming

2021/22 Programming

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It has been a long time since we were all together in a theater, and we need this now more than ever—artists and audiences alike. We have spent the last year in deep learning and reflection at the A.R.T., and we are excited to share our 2021/22 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.

Terrie and Bradley Bloom Artistic Director Diane Paulus

Subscriptions starting at $99 and including three productions or more will be available beginning in July.

Additional information about A.R.T.’s OBERON programming, pop-up performances, and learning and engagement opportunities will be announced at a later date.

A.R.T. continues its collaboration with the Healthy Buildings Program at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health on the Roadmap for Recovery and Resilience for Theater, following its guiding principles to prioritize the health and safety of audiences, artists, and staff. Protocols for in-person attendance based on disease dynamics and state and local guidelines will be communicated to audiences ahead of reopening.

Live & In‑Person Programming

The Arboretum Experience

World Premiere
Created by Kirsten Greenidge, Tim Hall, Jill Johnson, and Summer L. Williams
Produced in collaboration with the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University
Beginning August 21, 2021 at the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University

Visitors are invited to experience the natural beauty of the Arnold Arboretum on an outdoor, self-guided journey that centers resilience, healing, wellness, and joy. Created by a team of artists that includes playwright Kirsten Greenidge, musician Tim Hall, choreographer Jill Johnson, and director Summer L. Williams, this collaboration between the A.R.T. and the Arboretum features audio plays written and performed by artists from Greater Boston and beyond, movement experiences, as well as pop-up music and dance performances, all set against the 281-acre backdrop of one of the jewels of Boston’s Emerald Necklace.

“The Arnold Arboretum was created to be a place where America’s democratic ideals could become manifest, where all members of society could intermingle and enjoy the profound lessons and graces of the natural world.” – William (Ned) Friedman, Director of the Arnold Arboretum

Production support of The Arboretum Experience is provided by The Bob and Alison Murchison New Work Development Fund and the Richard K. Lubin Family Foundation. Development has been supported by the Harvard University Committee on the Arts.

Ayodele Casel: Chasing Magic

Live Premiere
Created by Ayodele Casel
Directed by Torya Beard
September – October 2021 at the Loeb Drama Center

Trailblazing tap dancer Ayodele Casel captures the spark of connection and creation in Chasing Magic, performed live on stage for the first time since its virtual premiere. Exploring the magic of tap dance and everyday life, this joyous production celebrates gratitude, friendship, trust, legacy, culture, ancestors, and collaboration.

“Astonishing! Casel’s joyful and generous spirit is as vivid as ever.” – NY Times Critic’s Pick

Macbeth In Stride

World Premiere
Created and performed by Whitney White
Directed by Tyler Dobrowsky and Taibi Magar
October – November 2021 at the Loeb Drama Center

A dazzling theatrical event created and performed by Obie Award-winning artist Whitney White with a live band, Macbeth In Stride examines what it means to be an ambitious Black woman through the lens of one of Shakespeare’s most iconic characters. The first of White’s five-part series commissioned by A.R.T. excavating Shakespeare’s women, the production uses pop, rock, gospel, and R&B to trace the fatalistic arc of Lady Macbeth while lifting up contemporary Black female power, femininity, and desire. Directors Tyler Dobrowsky and Taibi Magar (We Live in Cairo) co-stage this groundbreaking world premiere.

Production support of Macbeth In Stride is provided by Janet and Irv Plotkin.

Phoenix Rising

Featuring Silkroad Ensemble and Artistic Director Rhiannon Giddens
November 19 – 21, 2021 at the Loeb Drama Center

Silkroad Ensemble debuts Phoenix Rising, a musical rebirth and celebration featuring more than 25 Silkroad artists alongside Artistic Director and Grammy Award-winning musician and vocalist Rhiannon Giddens. Silkroad offers Phoenix Rising as a collective grieving song and a clarion call, uniting audiences through varied cultural experiences to create a more peaceful and just world as we emerge from a long and stunning upheaval.

“One of the most visionary arts initiatives of our time.” – WNPR

Silkroad’s Phoenix Rising is made possible thanks, in part, to the generous support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Alice L. Walton Foundation, the Barr Foundation, and the MAP Fund.

WILD In Concert

World Premiere
Book by V (formerly Eve Ensler)
Music by Justin Tranter and Caroline Pennell
Lyrics by Justin Tranter, Caroline Pennell, and V
With contributions by Idina Menzel
Directed by Diane Paulus
December 2021 at the Loeb Drama Center

WILD is a new musical fable about a single mother struggling to hold on to her family farm and connect with her teenage daughter, whose determination to save the planet endows her and her friends with powers they never knew they had. Created by Tony and Obie Award-winning playwright V (formerly Eve Ensler, O.P.C., In the Body of the World, The Vagina Monologues), Grammy and Golden Globe-nominated songwriter Justin Tranter (Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Imagine Dragons) and songwriter Caroline Pennell (Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez) and directed by Diane Paulus, this concert presentation features Tony Award-winning performer and songwriter Idina Menzel (Rent, Wicked, Frozen) as a parent confronting what it means for her family and her community to survive in a world facing mass extinction.

“I want you to act as if the house was on fire. Because it is.” – Greta Thunberg

Jack and the Beanstalk: A Musical Adventure

Live Premiere
Book, Music, and Lyrics by Julia Riew
Orchestrations and Music Direction by Ian Chan
Directed by Rebecca Aparicio
December 2021 at the Loeb Drama Center

After its digital world premiere in 2020, the beloved Jack and the Beanstalk comes to life onstage! Join Jack on an epic journey up the beanstalk to magical Storyland, where Jack meets the tyrannical King Giant, two Rockstar Mice, the Itsy Bitsy Spider, the Fiddler Cat, and the Grand Storyteller. The vivid imaginations of Harvard undergraduates Julia Riew and Ian Chan (Thumbelina: A Little Musical) transform the classic fairy tale into a contemporary celebration of the power of kindness, courage, determination, and creativity to overcome life’s obstacles.

Production support of Jack and the Beanstalk: A Musical Adventure is provided by The Linda Hammett Ory & Andrew Ory Charitable Trust. Additional production support is provided by Bank of America and Bina and Robin Thompson.

Ocean Filibuster

World Premiere
Created by PearlDamour
Written by Lisa D’Amour
Music by Sxip Shirey
Directed by Katie Pearl
Featuring Jennifer Kidwell
Commissioned and developed through a collaboration with the Harvard University Center for the Environment
February – March 2022 at the Loeb Drama Center

Inside the Senate chamber of a global governing body, Mr. Majority introduces an “End of Ocean Bill” designed to shrink Earth’s oceans into a more manageable (and marketable) collection of inland seas. When the floor is opened for debate, the Ocean arrives to speak in its own defense…and so begins an epic Human-Ocean showdown. A world-premiere, genre-crashing music theater experience created by the Obie Award-winning company PearlDamour and featuring Obie Award-winning performer Jennifer Kidwell playing both Mr. Majority and the Ocean, Ocean Filibuster fuses myth, song, video, stand-up, and science to explore the vast depths crucial to our daily survival.

Known for award-winning site-specific works both intimate and large-scale, PearlDamour is the recipient of the 2011 Lee Reynolds Theater Award given to women theater artists who effect social change.

1776

Book by Peter Stone
Music and Lyrics by Sherman Edwards
Based on a Concept by Sherman Edwards
Directed by Jeffrey L. Page and Diane Paulus
Choreography by Jeffrey L. Page
A co-production with Roundabout Theatre Company
May – July 2022 at the Loeb Drama Center

They knew they would make history, but not what history would make of them. Fed up with living under the tyranny of British rule, John Adams attempts to persuade his fellow members of the Continental Congress to vote in favor of American Independence and sign the Declaration. But how much is he willing to compromise in the pursuit of freedom? And who does that freedom belong to? Jeffrey L. Page and A.R.T. Terrie and Bradley Bloom Artistic Director Diane Paulus direct a new production of the Tony Award-winning musical, reexamining this pivotal moment in American history with a cast that reflects multiple representations of race, gender, and ethnicity.

Following its run at A.R.T., 1776 will play at Roundabout Theatre Company in fall 2022 and begin a national tour in February 2023.

Production support of 1776 is provided by Katie and Paul Buttenwieser, The Linda Hammett Ory & Andrew Ory Charitable Trust, Allison Johnson, and Serena and Bill Lese. Support for education and engagement programming is provided by the Ford Foundation. Additional production support is provided by Jeannie and Jonathan Lavine, Janet and Irv Plotkin, and Professor Mark V. Tushnet. Additional education and engagement support is provided by Bank of America, Fresh Sound Foundation, Klarman Family Foundation, and Mass Humanities. Production support of the run of 1776 at Roundabout Theatre Company is provided by Elizabeth Armstrong.
Mass Humanities receives support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and is an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed here do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Digital Programming

A.R.T. will continue to offer digital programming for audiences to enjoy from anywhere in the world, including:

  • Behind the Scenes, with the writers, directors, composers, and choreographers who are making new work at the A.R.T. Hear new songs and scenes, and learn about the process, research, and development that goes into the creation of new plays and musicals.
  • The Lunch Room, A.R.T.’s virtual talk show featuring the artists, activists, and civic leaders who are shaping our communities.
  • Civically Speaking, featuring virtual conversations, lectures, and performance events on history, politics, justice, and the meaning of democracy.
  • A.R.T. Travels, conversations with A.R.T.-affiliated theater-makers bring fans from both across the country and around the world.
Production support for Behind the Scenes is provided by Alison and Bob Murchison. Additional production support is provided by Maxine Isaacs.
A.R.T. Travels Student Passports sponsored by The Jarrell Family.

A.R.T. in the World

  • Jagged Little Pill (A.R.T. premiere May 2018) opens at the Theatre Royal Sydney, Australia in September 2021 and returns to Broadway in October 2021
  • Waitress (A.R.T. premiere August 2015) begins a UK/Ireland tour in September 2021 and resumes a US national tour in October 2021
  • The immersive phenomenon Sleep No More (A.R.T. October 2009) continues at The McKinnon Hotel in Shanghai and reopens at The McKittrick Hotel in New York City in October 2021
  • 1776 (A.R.T. revival premiere May 2022) will open at Roundabout Theatre Company in fall 2022 and begin a national tour in February 2023
  • Notes from the Field (A.R.T. production August 2016) is currently available on HBO
  • All the Way (A.R.T. production September 2013) is currently available on HBO