Menu

Close

Porgy_wide_0.jpg
Porgy_wide_0.jpg

The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess

Subscription Season
Sold Out
Learn more:

This event has passed

In 1935, Porgy and Bess premiered at the Colonial Theatre in Boston. Now, 76 years later, the A.R.T. brings back Porgy and Bess in a new production. This classic American tale is set in the 1930s in Catfish Row, a neighborhood in Charleston, South Carolina. Bess, beautiful and troubled, turns to Porgy, the crippled beggar, in search of safety after her possessive lover Crown commits murder. As Porgy and Bess’s love grows, their future is threatened by Crown and the conniving Sporting Life. This heartbreaking love story boasts some of the most famous and beloved works from the Great American Songbook, including: “Summertime,” “Bess, You Is My Woman,” “It Ain’t Necessarily So” and “I Loves You, Porgy.”

Click here for the interactive Guide to The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess!

Need to know

American Sign Language interpreted performances:

Tuesday, 9/6 at 7:30 pm
Sunday, 9/11 at 2:00 pm

Email the Box Office to reserve ASL-accessible seats.

Please note, Audra McDonald will not perform on October 1 and 2.

This performance is suitable for ages 10 and over.

Notable dates

American Sign Language interpreted performances:

Tuesday, 9/6 at 7:30 pm
Sunday, 9/11 at 2:00 pm

Email the Box Office to reserve ASL-accessible seats.

Please note, Audra McDonald will not perform on October 1 and 2.

This performance is suitable for ages 10 and over.

Discussions

Post-performance discussions were held after the following matinee performances:

Saturday
9/17
9/24

Wednesday
9/7
9/14
9/21
9/28

Press

Credits

Creative team

by

George Gershwin, DuBose and Dorothy Heyward, and Ira Gershwin

Adapted by

Suzan-Lori Parks and Diedre L. Murray

Directed by

Diane Paulus

dp_small_headshot_180x180.jpg

Directed by

Diane Paulus

Diane Paulus is the Terrie and Bradley Bloom Artistic Director of the American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) at Harvard University, and was selected for the 2014 TIME 100, TIME Magazine’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. Paulus is the 2013 recipient of the Tony Award for Best Director of a Musical (Pippin). A.R.T.: ExtraOrdinary, Jagged Little Pill, The White Card, Eve Ensler’s In the Body of the WorldWaitress (currently on Broadway at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, the West End at the Adelphi Theatre, and US National Tour), Crossing (a new American opera with music and libretto by Matt Aucoin), Finding Neverland (currently on US National Tour), Witness Uganda, Pippin (Tony Award, Best Revival and Best Director), The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess (Tony Award, Best Revival, NAACP Award, Best Direction), Prometheus Bound, Death and the Powers: The Robots’ Opera, Best of Both Worlds, Johnny Baseball, The Donkey Show. Her other recent work includes Gloria: A Life at the Daryl Roth Theatre, Cirque du Soleil’s Amaluna, currently on tour in the US, Invisible Thread at Second Stage, and The Public Theater’s Tony Award-winning revival of HAIR on Broadway and London’s West End. As an opera director, her credits include The Magic Flute, the complete Monteverdi cycle, and the trio of Mozart-Da Ponte operas, among others. Diane is Professor of the Practice of Theater in Harvard University’s English Department. She was selected as one of Variety’s “Trailblazing Women in Entertainment for 2014” and Boston Magazine’s “50 Thought Leaders of 2014.”

View full biography

Choreography by

Ronald K. Brown

Choreography by

Ronald K. Brown

A.R.T.: Debut. Founder and Artistic Director of Evidence, A Dance Company, a New York-based contemporary dance ensemble since 1985. Has also created work for the African American Dance Ensemble, Philadanco, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (Grace in 1999, Serving Nia in 2001, IFE/My Heart 2005 and Dancing Spirit during special tribute season), Ailey II, Cinque Folkloric Dance Theater, JenniferMuller/TheWorks and Jeune Ballet d’Afrique Noire. He has collaborated with composer/ designer OmotayoWunmi Olaiya, the late writer Craig G. Harris, director ErnieMcClintock’s Jazz Actors Theater, choreographers Patricia Hoffbauer and Rokiya Kone, and composers Robert Een, Oliver Lake, Bernadette Speech, David Simons and DonMeissner. He created Dancing Spirit in 2010, as a tribute to Judith Jamison. Awards and fellowships include a John Simon GuggenheimMemorial Foundation Fellowship in Choreography, a National Endowment for the Arts Choreographer’s Fellowship, a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in choreography, New York Dance and Performance Award (Bessie), a Black Theater Alliance Award, the American Dance Festival Humphrey/Weidman/Limón Award, and fellowships fromthe Edward and Sally van Lier Fund. In addition, Brown was named Def Dance JamWorkshopMentor of the Year in 2000. In 2003, he received an AUDELCO (Black Theatre Award) for his choreography for Crowns: Portraits of BlackWomen in Church Hats, originally produced by theMcCarter Theater and presented off-Broadway in 2003. In fall 2006, Brown received The United States Artists Rose Fellowship, being one of only four choreographers out of fifty artists to receive the inaugural award. He is amember of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.

View full biography

Scenic Design Riccardo Hernandez
Costume Design ESosa
Lighting Design Christopher Akerlind
Sound Design ACME Sound Partners
Orchestrations William David Brohn & Christopher Jahnke
Wig Design J. Jared Janas & Rob Greene
Music Supervisor David Loud
Conductor Sheilah Walker
Associate Conductor Brian Hertz
Associate Director/Production Stage Manager Nancy Harrington*
Casting Telsey + Company

Cast

Bess Audra McDonald*
Porgy Norm Lewis*
Sporting Life David Alan Grier*
Jake Joshua Henry*
Crown Phillip Boykin*
Mariah NaTasha Yvette Williams*
Clara Nikki Renée Daniels*
Serena Bryonha Marie Parham*
Frazier, the Crab Man Cedric Neal*
Mingo, the Undertaker J.D. Webster*
Robbins Nathaniel Stampley*
Peter, the Honey Man Phumzile Sojola*
Lily Heather Hill*
Strawberry Woman Andrea Jones-Sojola*
Fishermen Trevon Davis*
Wilkie Ferguson*
Roosevelt André Credit*
Women of Catfish Row Alicia Hall Moran*
Allison Blackwell*
Lisa Nicole Wilkerson*
Policeman Joseph Dellger*
Detective Christopher Innvar*

Orchestra

Violin Sasha Callahan
Viola Ashleigh Gordon
Cello Leo Eguchi
Bass Joe Higgins
Piano/Celeste Brian Hertz
Flute/Piccolo Ebonee Thomas
Oboe/English Horn Mie Shiraishi
Clarinet/Flute/ Alto Sax Bob Bowlby
Clarinet/ Bass Clarinet/
Alto & Tenor Sax
Peter Cokkinias
Horn 1 Roslyn Black
Horn 2 Diantha Millott
Trumpet 1/ Flugelhorn John Replogle
Trumpet 2/ Flugelhorn Greg Smith
Trombone Martin Wittenberg
Tuba/Bass Trombone Don Robinson
Tenor Sax/ Bari Sax/ Bassoon Greg Newton
Accordion Roberto Cassan
Percussion Robert Schulz

Additional Staff

Stage Manager Julie Baldauff*
Asst. Stage Manager Sharika Niles*
Dramaturgy Ryan McKittrick, Jenna Clark Embrey
Asst. Director Mia Walker
Asst. Choreographer Arcell Cabuag
Asst. Set Designers Maruti Evans, Andrew Boyce
Asst. Costume Designer Ashley Farra
Orchestra Coordinator Neil Grover
Rehearsal Pianist David F. Coleman
Music Preparation Larry Abel, Supervising Copyist
Music Preparation International
Music Intern Neil Reilly & Nehemiah Luckett
Dialect Coach Denise L. Woods

Porgy and Bess Interns

Directing Charlotte Alter
Music Haley Bennett
Artistic Andrew Boyd
Jacob Brandt
Stage Managment Kayla Ixtlahuac
Dramaturgy Lily Karlin
Costume Margaret Kerr
Production Anh Marie Le
Elizabeth Yun Yeng Mak
Marketing Katherine Olaskiewicz
(*) members of Actors Equity Association