The Lunch Room, formerly known as Lunch with Lunsford, is A.R.T.’s virtual conversation series with the artists, activists, and civic leaders who are shaping our culture and communities. Join members of the A.R.T. staff for curated conversations and interactive Q&As. Free and open access to The Lunch Room and other virtual events is provided by the generous support of A.R.T. Members.
September 29: Chanel DaSilva, Co-Founder and Artistic Director of MOVE|NYC| and Choreographer of Moby-Dick and The Black Clown, explores the process of making movement in our bodies and our culture. This event will be pre-recorded.
October 6: Riccardo Hernandez (over twenty productions with A.R.T.), Mimi Lien (most recently Moby-Dick), and Scott Pask (longtime collaborator with Diane Paulus) sit down for a roundtable discussion about their careers as scenic designers in theater. A.R.T. Technical Director LT Gourzong will co-moderate this discussion.
Chanel DaSilva (she/her/hers) is a native of Brooklyn, NY. Chanel and has been immersed in the field of dance for the entirety of her life. A graduate of LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts and The Juilliard School, Chanel has performed the works of acclaimed choreographers such as Aszure Barton, Robert Battle, Eliot Feld, Jessica Lang, Jose Limon, Lar Lubovitch, Ohad Naharin, and Doug Varone. Chanel was a member of the highly celebrated Trey McIntyre Project based in Boise, Idaho. As a founding member of TMP, Chanel was a muse for the creation of many of Mr. McIntyre’s works. As a choreographer, Chanel is inspired to create works that are rooted in the beauty of artistic expression to reflect the complex and multifaceted experience of what it means to be human. She has been commissioned to create works for Ballet Memphis, Parsons Dance Company, Gibney Company, American Repertory Theater, Harvard Dance Project, Ariel Rivka Dance, The Juilliard School, and LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts. In 2015, alongside her long-time friend and business partner Nigel Campbell, Chanel co-founded MOVE|NYC|, a multi-pillared arts and social justice organization with the mission of creating greater equity and diversity in the dance profession and beyond. Chanel was most recently featured in the cover story of DanceTeacher magazine, “Changing The Face of Dance”. She is also the recipient of the 2019 Martha Hill Dance Fund Mid-Career Award, a 2011 Princess Grace Award, and the 2008 Martha Hill Prize awarded by The Juilliard School. She is a National YoungArts Winner, was named a Presidential Scholar in the Arts, and was featured on the 2004 PBS Documentary “American Talent”. In 2019 Chanel received an IRNE nomination for Best Choreography for The Black Clown which premiered at American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, MA. Chanel is a widely sought after teacher, educator, and mentor having taught master workshops and seminars across the nation for institutions such as The Juilliard School, Harvard University, NYU, LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts, Ballet Hispánico, and New Orleans Ballet Association, among others. Chanel is a notable repetiteur of the works of Trey McIntyre, having set his works on companies such as Parsons Dance Company, Washington Ballet, and Marymount Manhattan College.
Broadway: Jagged Little Pill; Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune; Indecent; The Gin Game; The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess (Diane Paulus director); The People in the Picture; Caroline, or Change; Elaine Stritch at Liberty; Topdog/Underdog; Bells Are Ringing; Parade (Hal Prince director); Noise/Funk; The Tempest. Recent: Claudia Rankine’s The White Card; Toni Stone (Roundabout); Admissions (LCT); Mlima’s Tale (Public Theater); La Traviata (Canadian Opera); Don Giovanni (Santa Fe Opera); La Dame aux Camélias (France); La Mouette (Cour D’Honneur, Palais des Papes – Avignon Festival); Splendids’s (La Colline-Theatre National Paris); Abigail’s Party (Oslo National Theater, Norway). Over 250 productions: US and internationally. Riccardo started his career at the American Repertory Theater in 1992 where he has had the fortune to design over twenty productions with Diane Paulus, Robert Woodruff, Arthur Nauzyciel, Janos Szasz, Sergio Trujillo, Ron Daniels, Liz Diamond and many others. Upcoming: Eugene Onegin at Santa Fe Opera, directed by Arin Arbus; Mes Fréres written by Pascal Rambert, directed by Arthur Nauzyciel. Obie Award for sustained excellence. Associate Professor Adjunct of Design at Yale School of Drama. riccardohernandez.com
Lien is a designer of sets/environments for theater, dance, and opera. In 2015, she was named a MacArthur Fellow, and is the first stage designer ever to achieve this distinction. Mimi is a co-founder of JACK, a performance/art space in Brooklyn. Selected projects include: Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 (Broadway, Tony Award); Fairview, An Octoroon (Soho Rep.); Die Zauberflöte (Staatsoper Berlin); True West (Roundabout). She is a recipient of a Drama Desk, Lucille Lortel, Outer Critics Circle, American Theatre Wing Hewes Design Award, LA Drama Critics Circle Award, Bessie Award, and an Obie Award for sustained excellence.
Scott has designed over 50 Broadway productions, and has won Tony Awards for his designs of the hit musical The Book of Mormon, The Coast of Utopia, and The Pillowman; and he has multiple Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Lucille Lortel, Bessie, and Henry Hewes Awards. Additional recent credits include: The Band’s Visit; The Prom; Mean Girls; Oh, Hello; The Little Foxes; Blackbird; Something Rotten; An Act of God; Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (2020); and American Buffalo set to open upon theater’s return.
He is also a longtime collaborator with Diane Paulus; their many projects together include: Waitress, Pippin, HAIR, The Donkey Show, Johnny Baseball, Finding Neverland, Cirque du Soleil’s Amaluna, and the upcoming production of 1776. Scott also designed OBERON, A.R.T.’s club theater space, which has become a thriving incubator for emerging artists to imagine new projects that could only exist in an exciting club theater environment.
September 22: Arts leader, director, choreographer, and playwright Michael J. Bobbitt talks about arts, activism, and what’s fresh at New Repertory Theatre, where he has been Artistic Director since 2019.
September 15: Cultural organizer and arts administrator Harold Steward (they/he) discusses what’s on the horizon for The Theater Offensive, where they currently serve as Co-Producing Executive Director, in presenting liberating art by, for, and about queer and trans people of color.
September 8: Terrie and Bradley Bloom Artistic Director Diane Paulus and Executive Producer Diane Borger in conversation about A.R.T.’s upcoming civic engagement, public health, and virtual programming, as well as the theater’s recent work on the Roadmap for Recovery and Resilience and to center anti-racism at the theater.
May 26: Special guests Diana Oh, Creator of Clairvoyance, and A.R.T. Line Producer Sophie Ancival, who worked extensively with Diana.
May 19: Special guest Ifeoma Fafunwa, Director of HEAR WORD! Naija Woman Talk True and the founder and creator of iOpenEye, a Nigerian production company driving social change through performance art.
May 12: Special guests Shawn LaCount and Summer L. Williams, the Artistic Director and Associate Artistic Director of Company One Theatre (We’re Gonna Die, Wig Out!, Miss You Like Hell, and Greater Good).
May 5: Special guest Gavin Creel, actor in Waitress (Broadway, West End), Prometheus Bound, and Hello, Dolly! (Tony Award).
April 28: Special guest Maria Manuela Goyanes, Artistic Director of the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company.
April 21: Special guest Zack Winokur, Director of The Black Clown.
April 14: Special guests Whitney White, Taibi Magar, and Tyler Dobrowsky, the creative team behind Macbeth In Stride.
April 7: Special guests Jack Noseworthy and Sergio Trujillo, key members of the team that brought A.R.T.’s 2017 production of Arrabal to the stage.
March 31: Special guests Daniel Lazour and Patrick Lazour, members of the creative team behind We Live in Cairo.
Michael J. Bobbitt
Michael J. Bobbitt (he/him/his) joined New Repertory Theatre as an arts leader, director, choreographer, and playwright in 2019. Michael J. Bobbitt served as Artistic Director for Adventure Theatre-MTC in Maryland since 2007, where he led the organization to be a respected theater/training company in the DC region, as well as a nationally influential professional Theatre for Young Audiences. He led a merger with Musical Theater Center, increased the organizational budget and audience, commissioned new works by noted playwrights, transferred two shows to Off-Broadway, built an academy, and earned dozens of Helen Hayes Award Nominations, including eight wins. Bobbitt has directed/choreographed at Arena Stage, Ford’s Theatre, The Shakespeare Theatre Company, Olney Theatre Center, Studio Theatre, Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Center Stage, Roundhouse Theatre, The Kennedy Center, and the Washington National Opera. His national and international credits include the NY Musical Theatre Festival, Mel Tillis 2001, La Jolla Playhouse, Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, Jefferson Performing Arts Center, and the Olympics. As a writer, his work was chosen for the NYC International Fringe Festival and The New York Musical Festival. He has two plays published by Rogers and Hammerstein Theatricals. He trained at Harvard Business School’s Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management, The National Arts Strategies Chief Executive Program, and other top leadership programs. He earned the Excel Leadership Award (Center for Nonprofit Advancement) the Emerging Leader Award (County Executive’s Excellence in the Arts and Humanities), and Person of the Year Award (Maryland Theatre Guide), among others.
Harold Steward (they/he) is a cultural organizer and arts administrator from Dallas, TX. Harold joined The Theater Offensive in Boston as the Managing Director in June of 2017 and currently serves as Co-Producing Executive Director and oversees fund development, communications, and operations throughout the organization. Harold most recently served as Manager of the South Dallas Cultural Center, a division of the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, which provides instruction and enrichment in the arts with an emphasis on the African contribution to world culture. Harold is a member of the Board of Directors of Theatre Communications Group where he is the Co-Chair of the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee and he is Chair of the Partnership Committee for The Board of Directors of the National Performance Network. He is also a Steering Committee member of the Black Theatre Commons. In 2009, Harold founded Fahari Arts Institute in Dallas after recognizing a gap in the landscape for local LGBTQ artists of color in Dallas. Fahari Arts Institute celebrated, displayed, and produced the work of queer artists from the African Diaspora. Harold is a founding member of NextGen National Arts Network and Founding Partner of Steward Cultural Development Group. Harold serves as a Cultural Equity Facilitator with Equity Quotient and an Affiliate Faculty member in the Department of Theatre Studies at Emerson College. Their current research interests include The Queer Trap Aesthetic in American Theatre and Identity Reclamation—the process in which oppressed individuals reclaim agency over their identity through cultural production.