A.R.T. and OBERON present SHIDA - A New Musical in Development Written and Performed by Jeannette Bayardelle Directed by Andy Sandberg November 5-7 OBERON

For Immediate Release: October 15, 2014
Contact: Kati Mitchell 617-495-2668


A New Musical in Development
Written and Performed by Jeannette Bayardelle
Directed by Andy Sandberg
November 5-7


Cambridge, Mass. — The American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) and OBERON are pleased to present SHIDA, a new musical in development with book, music and lyrics by Jeannette Bayardelle, directed by Andy Sandberg, and music direction by Kurt Crowley


Performances will take place on November 5, 6, and 7 at 7:30PM at OBERON,

2 Arrow Street, Cambridge.


Ticket prices are $25 General Admission, and can be obtained by calling 617-547-8300 or online at



“An impressive voice. An impressive performance. The work of a quadruple threat!”
— The New York Times

“A heartfelt and affecting work, featuring a robust score and a fearsome suite of characters embodied by the protean, inexhaustible Bayardelle . . . a triumph.”
New York Magazine

A genuine talent for storytelling.”
— TheaterMania


Set to a soulfully contagious score of rock, jazz, R&B, and gospel music, SHIDA is based on the true story of a young African-American girl who aspires to become a writer, tracing the ups and downs of her family, friendships, and love life – from the double-dutch court at St. Mary’s Catholic School in the Bronx to a scholarship at NYU.  Her dreams become sidetracked by hardship and loss until her faith and those closest to her combine to restore Shida’s hope and give her a second chance. SHIDA is a tour-de-force for Jeannette Bayardelle, who takes us through Shida’s powerful, funny, and inspirational story, portraying multiple different roles.


SHIDA had its New York premiere as an Ars Nova Summer Fling in 2013.  Bayardelle won an AUDELCO Award for her performance, and the production received additional nominations for Best Musical, Best Director, and Best Music Direction.


Jeannette Bayardelle was last seen at the A.R.T. as Serena in Diane Paulus’ production of Best of Both Worlds. She received a 2013 AUDELCO Award for her critically acclaimed performance in SHIDA.  She previously starred as Celie in the Broadway and touring companies of Oprah Winfrey’s The Color Purple, for which she received the NAACP Theater Award for Best Lead Actress in a Musical. Ms. Bayardelle went on to play Dionne in Diane Paulus’s Tony Award winning revival of Hair on Broadway.  Her national and international theatre credits include The Color Purple, Deaf West’s Big River, Rent, and Sister Act.  Her voice is featured in the Disney film The Little Mermaid III, and her albums include “I Know Who I Am,” “Praise Report, and “Transferable.” Jeannette is also well known to audiences around the world for her gospel music career.



Andy Sandberg is a director, writer, actor, and Tony Award-winning producer.  He recently directed the critically acclaimed world premiere of Alan Brody’s Operation Epsilon at Central Square Theater (Four IRNE Awards, including Best Play and Best Director; Three Elliot Norton Award Nominations). Sandberg

received a 2013 AUDELCO Award nomination for his direction of SHIDA at Ars Nova.  Other directing credits include the world premieres of Craving for Travel, a new comedy that he co-authored with Greg Edwards (The Peter J. Sharp Theater @ Playwrights Horizons), The Last Smoker in America, an original musical by Bill Russell and Peter Melnick (The Westside Theater), Zelda at the Oasis (St. Luke’s Theatre), R.R.R.E.D. and Bernice Bobs Her Mullet (NYMF).  His producing credits include HAIR (Tony Award), the Broadway revival of Gore Vidal’s The Best Man (Tony nomination), and the recent Broadway premiere of Will Eno’s The Realistic Joneses. www.andysandberg.com


Kurt Crowley’s conducting credits include Bring it On: The Musical (Broadway), 

Natasha/Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 (off-Broadway), In the Heights (National Tour), FLY (world premiere), and Next Thing You Know (original cast recording). Upcoming: associate music director of Hamilton (Public Theater). He is a graduate of Harvard University, and received a Paine Fellowship to study sacred music in India. He worked in Havana, Cuba on a workshop presentation of Carmen Jones: El Amor Cubano, as Music Director and conductor.


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 distinguished awards, including consecutive Tony Awards for Best Play for All the Way (2014), 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 will culminate 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.


The Loeb Drama Center, located at 64 Brattle Street, and OBERON, at 2 Arrow Street, Harvard Square, Cambridge, are fully accessible. ASL interpreted and audio described performances are available at select productions.


For further information call 617-547-8300 or visit AmericanRepertoryTheater.org


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