Three Pianos, Wild Swans and Futurity Will Join Porgy and Bess in A.R.T. Season

Publication date: 
April 25, 2011
Author: 
Adam Hetrick

The American Repertory Theater has announced its full 2011-2012 season, which will launch with the previously announced production of Porgy and Bess, starring Audra McDonald and Norm Lewis. Also planned are world premieres of Futurity: A Musical by The Lisps and a play based on Jung Chang's Wild Swans.

A.R.T. artistic director will stage the newly explored production of the Gershwins' Porgy and Bess, which will begin previews Aug. 17 towards an Aug. 31 opening. The run will continue through Sept. 30.

In addition to McDonald (Ragtime, Master Class, Carousel) and Lewis (Sondheim on Sondheim, Side Show) in the titular roles, the principal cast will include David Alan Grier (The First, Race, Dreamgirls) as Sportin' Life, Joshua Henry (The Scottsboro Boys) as Jake, Philip Boykin as Crown and Trista Dollison as Clara.

Porgy and Bess is getting a fresh adaptation by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks (Topdog/Underdog, Book of Grace) and Pulitzer Prize nominee Diedre Murray (Running Man) as a musical for contemporary audiences.

The season will continue with the Obie-winning theatrical event Three Pianos, an inventive riff on Franz Schubert’s song cycle "Winterreise," Dec. 7-Jan. 8, 2012. Rick Burkhardt, Alec Duffy and Dave Malloy created the piece, which is directed by Rachel Chavkin. Three Pianos played an extended run Off-Broadway at the New York Theatre Workshop last winter.

The A.R.T./MXAT Institute for Advanced Theater Training Class of 2012 will offer Shakespeare's As You Like It Jan. 13-28, 2012.

The world premiere of Wild Swans, Alexandra Wood's stage adaptation of Jung Chang's acclaimed novel, will run Feb. 11-March 11, 2012. The work, banned in China, spans a century as it chronicles the life of a Chinese family through Mao Zedong’s Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution. It is a co-production with London's Young Vic.

The final production will be Futurity, which will receive its world premiere March 16-April 15, 2012. Sarah Benson will helm the work that has music and lyrics by César Alvarez with The Lisps; and a book by Molly Rice and Alvarez. The quirky musical explores the life of a Union soldier who, in a series of letters to Lord Byron's daughter, attempts to invent a steam-powered brain designed to save the human race and lead the world into a utopian future.

Subscriptions go on sale on April 28. Visit AmericanRepertoryTheater. A.R.T. is located at 64 Brattle Street in Cambridge, MA.

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