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The Donkey Show

2018/19 Season

Engaging audiences around vital stories of resistance and resilience from around the globe.
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Subscriptions start at $99

By purchasing three or more tickets for a single season at once, subscribers secure the best seats at the best prices. With our flexible subscription model, you can choose what shows you want to see and when, and can exchange tickets free of charge up to 24 hours in advance of their show, subject to availability.

View a calendar of the season

 

Preview Experience
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A.R.T. 2018/19 Subscription Pricing

3-Play Choose-Your-Own Preview: $99*
4-Play Choose-Your-Own Preview: $132 – $144^
5-Play Choose-Your-Own Preview: $165 – $177^
(6-Play) Preview Experience: $195

3-Play Choose-Your-Own: $192 – $200^
4-Play Choose-Your-Own: $256 – $264^
5-Play Choose-Your-Own: $320 – $328^
(6-Play) Total Experience: $355

*Only available for Barber Shop ChroniclesOthello, and We Live in Cairo.
^Pricing depends on show selection.

The 2018/19 Season is marked by its international scope, lifting up stories from the Harlem of Langston Hughes to the streets of contemporary Cairo, from a small island in South Korea to the barber shops of Accra, Kampala, and Johannesburg. I am thrilled to be celebrating my tenth anniversary at the A.R.T. with a season embodying our commitment to daring new work that expands the boundaries of theater. Featuring multiple world premieres, next season will engage audiences around vital stories of resistance and resilience from around the globe.

Terrie and Bradley Bloom Artistic Director Diane Paulus

Subscription Season

The Black Clown

World Premiere Music Theater Piece
Adapted from Langston Hughes’ poem by Davóne Tines and Michael Schachter
Music by Michael Schachter
Directed by Zack Winokur
August 31 – September 23, 2018 at Loeb Drama Center

The Black Clown is a world premiere music theater experience that fuses vaudeville, gospel, opera, jazz, and spirituals to bring Langston Hughes’ verse to life onstage and animate a Black man’s resilience against a legacy of oppression. The production features Davóne Tines (Crossing and Run AMOC! Festival) in the title role, an ensemble of twelve, and a new score by Michael Schachter (Run AMOC! Festival).

ExtraOrdinary

Music Directed by Lance Horne
Directed by Diane Paulus
November 16 – 30, 2018 at Loeb Drama Center

In celebration of the past ten years of musical theater at the A.R.T., audiences are invited to join returning artists for songs and stories from the past decade of boundary-breaking musicals, including The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, Pippin, Prometheus Bound, Waitress, and Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812.

Barber Shop Chronicles

By Inua Ellams
Directed by Bijan Sheibani
A Fuel, National Theatre, and West Yorkshire Playhouse co-production
December 5, 2018 – January 5, 2019 at Loeb Drama Center

Newsroom and political platform, confession box and stadium—for generations, barber shops have been places where African men gather to discuss the world. Leaping from London to Johannesburg, Harare, Kampala, Lagos, and Accra, Inua Ellams’ dynamic new play traces the global ties between these spaces where the banter can be barbed and the truth is always telling. Barber Shop Chronicles arrives in Cambridge as part of its US premiere tour following critically acclaimed runs at London’s National Theatre and the West Yorkshire Playhouse.

Othello

By William Shakespeare
Directed by Bill Rauch
An Oregon Shakespeare Festival Production
January 13 – February 9, 2019 at Loeb Drama Center

In Shakespeare’s most intimate tragedy, director Bill Rauch (All the WayFingersmith) explores society’s polarizing struggles with difference. Consumed by their bigotry and xenophobia, those who praised the Moorish general Othello for his military successes now reject his marriage to Desdemona. The newlyweds are determined to overcome this resentment, but Othello’s assignment in Cyprus draws them into the web of his lieutenant Iago, whose jealousy knows no bounds. A.R.T. brings the original company of Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s acclaimed production to Cambridge.

Endlings

World Premiere Play
By Celine Song
Directed by Sammi Cannold
February 26 – March 17, 2019 at Loeb Drama Center

On the Korean island of Man-Jae, three elderly women spend their dying days diving into the ocean and harvesting seafood with rusty knives. They are “haenyeos”—sea women—and they have no heirs to their millennium-old tradition. Directed by Sammi Cannold (Violet at A.R.T., Ragtime on Ellis Island), Celine Song’s Endlings follows these extraordinary women both on land and underwater as they swim beneath the waves and reach beyond the shores of their tiny island.

We Live in Cairo

World Premiere Musical
Book, Music and Lyrics by Daniel Lazour and Patrick Lazour
Directed by Taibi Magar
May 14 – June 16, 2019 at Loeb Drama Center

Inspired by the young Egyptians who took to the streets to overthrow President Hosni Mubarak in 2011, this new musical follows six revolutionary students armed with laptops and cameras, guitars and spray cans as they come of age in a contemporary Cairo. Winner of the 2016 Richard Rodgers Award for Musical Theater.

A.R.T. Breakout

Formerly known as OBERON Presents, the A.R.T. Breakout series presents cutting-edge performances that push theatrical boundaries at OBERON and beyond. Tickets to A.R.T. Breakout performances are available as add-ons to subscription packages—single tickets will go on sale to the general public later this year.

Borrowed Cash

Written and Performed by Daniel Jenkins and Melissa van der Schyff
Featuring the songs of Randy Newman and Lucinda Williams
September 13 – 23, 2018 at OBERON

Borrowed Cash is back! The band you know and love with hit songs “Can’t Let Go,” “Passionate Kisses,” “When She Loved Me,” and “Leave Your Hat On.”* And this time, we think band members Ann Marie Mayfield and Harper Stanton just might get through the tour without strangling each other!

Ann Marie and Harper skyrocketed to international popularity with their first hit record Passionate Kisses, but their careers came to a screeching and scandalous halt when the world discovered the shocking truth behind their success. After years of not speaking to each other, living out of cars, bouts of incarceration, appearing as celebrity judges on Japanese game shows, and frequent emotional breakdowns, the dynamic duo is hoping to win back the love and trust of their embittered fans in Borrowed Cash: the Busted Tour. See them together again, for the first time, in this multi-media live concert event featuring surprising and revealing documentary footage of the meteoric rise and fall of America’s sweethearts.

Be the first to see it at OBERON! There’s talk of a Broadway run in 2019—this “talk” is mostly just in Ann Marie’s dreams after an emotional breakdown, but it’s talk nonetheless.

*We are currently unable to comment on claims that these songs are actually by Randy Newman or Lucinda Williams.

Miss You Like Hell

Book & Lyrics by Quiara Alegría Hudes
Music & Lyrics by Erin McKeown
Directed by Summer L. Williams
Presented in collaboration with Company One Theatre
January 11 – 27, 2019 at OBERON

A daughter who gets to stay. A mother who may have to go. The border wall that may come between them. Join this passionate, wild, and unforgettable female duo and the unexpected cadre of American originals they meet en route to mom’s immigration hearing. Miss You Like Hell is a powerful new musical that explores how many miles we can travel with the help of courageous neighbors and beautiful strangers.

An Evening with Justice Ameer and Chrysanthemum Tran

Created and Performed by Justice Ameer and Chrysanthemum Tran
February 8 & 9, 2019 at OBERON

Justice Ameer is a Black trans woman poet. Xe is a Pink Door Fellow and a three-time semifinalist at the national college slam, CUPSI. Xe is the 2017 Providence Grand Slam Champion and a 2017 FEMS Poetry Slam Champion. Xyr work is a practice in becoming unapologetic and unafraid, writing in dedication to xyr community and xyr name.

Chrysanthemum Tran is a Vietnamese American nationally­ touring poet, performer, and educator based in Rhode Island by way of Oklahoma. In 2016, she made history by becoming the first transfeminine finalist of the Women of the World Poetry Slam. Named “Best Poet” at the 2016 National College Slam and a Pink Door Fellow, Chrysanthemum is a 2016 Rustbelt Poetry Slam Champion and 2017 FEMS Poetry Slam Champion.

From Sara Porkalob’s Dragon Cycle

Created and Performed by Sara Porkalob
Directed by Andrew Russell
March 20 – April 6, 2019 at OBERON

After a run at OBERON in the spring of 2018, virtuosic performer Sara Porkalob returns with Dragon Lady, and also turns her attention to another chapter of her family’s history with Dragon Mama, the second piece in her Dragon Cycle.

Dragon LadyReturn Engagement
It is the year of the Water Dragon and the eve of Grandma Maria’s 60th birthday. By the light of the karaoke machine, fueled by pork dumplings and Diet Pepsi, she shares a dark secret from her Filipino gangster past with one lucky grandchild. Traversing 50 years of faulty family memories, Seattle-based performer Sara Porkalob returns to share this timely new musical about what it means to come to America.

Dragon Mama
How does a Dragon earn her wings? Maria Porkalob, Jr. yearns for a gayer, more POC-filled life than Bremerton, WA can offer. When presented with an opportunity to make a quick fortune, Maria must make an important decision: leave her debt-ridden mother, four young siblings, and newborn daughter for the wild unknown of Alaska, or stay close to home, family, and intergenerational trauma. The second play in her Dragon Cycle, Sara Porkalob’s new solo show traverses 25 years of her mother’s life filled with queer love in a barren land, a dope 90s R&B soundtrack, and Filipino gangsters. This is Dragon Mama.

Clairvoyance

Created and Performed by Diana Oh
April 24 – 28, 2019 at OBERON

Diana Oh is a witch. She knows it. So do her closest friends. Clairvoyance runs in her family. She went to a spiritual counselor in the jungle in Thailand, and the spiritual counselor told her to sing and go wild in Boston. Everything else the spiritual counselor said came true, so Diana is doing it. Clairvoyance is an exchange of energy designed to bypass the bullshit and celebrate the knowledge of our bodies. It’s a concert, it’s a party, with moments of divination. Diana Oh performs her original soul, pop, rock, and punk music from journal entries and the beyond. She is one of Refinery 29’s Top 14 LGBTQ Influencers, creator of {my lingerie play}, and the first Queer Korean-American interviewed on Korean Broadcast Radio. Upworthy and The Wall Street Journal call her “Badass.” The New York Times calls her “Irreverent.” You can call her “Friend.”

Black Light

Created by Daniel Alexander Jones
Original Songs by Jomama Jones, Laura Jean Anderson, Bobby Halvorson, Dylan Meek, and Josh Quat
May 15 – 19, 2019 at OBERON

Daniel Alexander Jones performs as the iconic Jomama Jones in a spiritual revival for turbulent times. This intimate journey through the darkness of personal and political upheaval and the shards of shattered illusions is illuminated by spontaneous humor and what The New Yorker calls Jones’ “very particular radiance.” Drawing musical influence from Prince, Sade, Diana Ross, and Tina Turner, Black Light is marked significantly by the Black American Freedom movement, Afromysticism, goddess mythology, and divination. This immersive performance piece removes the barrier between artist and audience through inquiry, story, and song.

Afterglow @ OBERON

Afterglow @ OBERON features playwrights, cabaret performers, and solo artists in a collaborative series curated by Quinn Cox, founder of Provincetown’s annual Afterglow Festival. Past performers include Joey Arias, Erin Markey, Johnny Blazes, and Lady Bunny. Tickets to Afterglow @ OBERON performances are available as add-ons to subscription packages—single tickets will go on sale to the general public later this year.

Tori Scott: Tori Scott is #Thirsty
October 11, 2018 at 8PM
“The Bette Midler of the new millennium” (Provincetown Magazine) performs a shameless musical journey of autobiographical stories.

Taja Lindley: The Bag Lady Manifesta
November 15, 2018 at 8PM
An installation and performance ritual through movement, burlesque, and more for a world that treats Black life as if it is disposable.

Dan Fishback: Dan Fishback Alone!
January 17, 2019 at 8PM
The scrappy singer-songwriter returns to his roots for an evening of songs about tender feelings and global intentions to help you bandage your broken heart for battle.

The Bearded Ladies Cabaret: John Jarboe as Mx. Rogers in a Musical Healing Ritual for Adults: You Can Never Go Down the Drain
March 14, 2019 at 8PM
A goldfish funeral, gay romps into the land of make-believe, and some earnest questions about irony using and abusing iconic songs from Mr. Rogers Neighborhood.

Sven Ratzke: Amsterdam to Mars
April 18, 2019 at 8PM
Featuring songs by Brecht, Bowie, Weill, and Wainwright, prepare to meet pimps, lovers, angels, and devils in this intimate cabaret performance.

Live @ OBERON

Live @ OBERON includes an eclectic array of musical artists for exceptional original performances. Tickets to Live @ OBERON performances are available as add-ons to subscription packages—single tickets will go on sale to the general public later this year. Spring artists will be announced at a later date.

STL GLD
August 3, 2018
The Boston Music Award-winning hip hop group returns to kick off Live @ OBERON.

Camino 84
September 7, 2018
Local disco/funk band brings special guests for an immersive live music experience.

Samora Pinderhughes’ The Transformations Suite
October 6 & 7, 2018
Jazz, theater, film, and poetry combine to examine the radical history of resistance within the communities of the African diaspora.

Billy Dean Thomas
November 2, 2018
Also known as “The Queer B.I.G.”, Billy Dean is a musician who challenges the hip hop game with lyrics that align with #blacklivesmatter and intersectional feminism.

The Sweetback Sisters’ Country Christmas Singalong Spectacular
December 14 & 15, 2018
Back for a third year, The Sweetback Sisters bring their signature take on the Holiday sing-along to OBERON, complete with Christmas trivia.

Additional Programming

Run AMOC! Festival

A.R.T. will present the American Modern Opera Company’s second annual Run AMOC! Festival in December 2018. An opera company comprised of a diverse collective of singers, dancers, instrumentalists, a director, and a composer, AMOC aims to expand the definition and reach of opera in our world through collaborative, interdisciplinary work. Festival programming will be announced at a later date.

The Donkey Show

The long-running hit The Donkey Showdirected by Diane Paulus, continues for its 10th season at OBERON every Saturday night. Delivering the ultimate disco experience, the crazy circus of mirror balls and feathered divas, of roller skaters and hustle queens is inspired by Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The glitter-filled party rages on the dance floor to all the best 70s hits as the show unfolds around the audience. After the show, the party continues into the night so you can live out your fever fantasy.