|Capacity Loeb Drama Center: 556|
Founder Robert Brustein
Director Diane Paulus
|Years active 1980 to present|
Type of business Regional theater
|Address Loeb Drama Center
64 Brattle Street
2 Arrow Street
Headquarters Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
Similar Huntington Theatre Company, New York Theatre Workshop, Second Stage Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Soho Repertory Theatre
The American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) is a professional not-for-profit theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Founded in 1980 by Robert Brustein, the A.R.T. is known for its commitment to new American plays and music–theater explorations; to neglected works of the past; and to established classical texts reinterpreted in refreshing new ways. Over the past thirty years it has garnered many of the nation's most distinguished awards, including a Pulitzer Prize (1982), a Tony Award (1986), and a Jujamcyn Award (1985). In December 2002, the A.R.T. was the recipient of the National Theatre Conference's Outstanding Achievement Award, and in May 2003 it was named one of the top three theaters in the country by Time Magazine. The A.R.T. is housed in the Loeb Drama Center at Harvard University. The A.R.T. houses the Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard University and the Harvard-Radcliffe Drama Club.
- 2016 2017 Season
- 2015 2016 Season
- 2014 2015 Season
- 2013 2014 Season
- 2012 2013 Season
- 2011 2012 Season
- 2010 2011 Season
- 20092010 Season
- FESTIVAL No 01 Shakespeare Exploded
- FESTIVAL No 02 America Boom Bust and Baseball
- 20082009 Season
- 20072008 Season
- Playwrights and directors
- Educational institution
- Loeb Drama Center and other venues
In 2002 Robert Woodruff replaced founder Robert Brustein as the A.R.T.'s Artistic Director. After Woodruff's departure in 2007, Associate Artistic Director Gideon Lester took the reins for 2008-09 season, and in May 2008 Diane Paulus was named the new Artistic Director. Paulus, a Harvard alum, is widely known as a director of theater and opera. Her work includes The Donkey Show, which ran off-Broadway for six years; productions at the Chicago Opera Theatre; and the Public Theater's 2008 production of Hair, which won the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical.
The appearance of the American Repertory Theater at Harvard in 1979 was a groundbreaking event and an unusual act of faith by the administration. It represented the establishment of the only permanent professional arts organization on campus. The ART was also responsible for the first undergraduate credit courses in theatre in Harvard history-in acting, directing, and dramaturgy, given by professional members of the company with teaching experience. These are offered and accepted on the assumption that the best teachers in any artistic field are its practitioners. In the 1920s George Pierce Baker gave his celebrated 47 Workshop Playwriting course at Harvard as an elective in the English department. Baker's dramatic instruction was effective enough to attract the likes of Eugene O'Neill, Philip Barry, and S.N. Behrman to Cambridge. But when Baker requested a space in which to stage scenes from the plays of his students, the administration balked. A wealthy donor from the Harkness family thereupon offered Harvard what was then the munificent sum of a million dollars to build a theatre and a drama department for Baker. In one of the few such actions in its long history, Harvard turned down the bequest. Baker took the money to Yale where he founded what was soon to be called the Yale School of Drama. The American Repertory Theater came to Harvard from Yale in 1979. One of the reasons for the coming of the American Repertory Theater (ART) to Harvard, and Robert Brustein's appointment as director of the Loeb, was to help improve the quality of Harvard-Radcliffe Drama Club (HRDC) shows on the main stage, partly through practical courses in the craft of acting and directing, partly through professional guidance of HRDC production.
Winner of three Tony Awards including for Best Revival of a Musical for its productions of Pippin (2013) and The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess (2012), the American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) 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 founder of the Bay Area Playwrights Festival and 2007 USA Biller Fellow by United States Artists, an arts advocacy foundation dedicated to the support and promotion of America's top living artists. In 2008, Diane Paulus became the A.R.T.'s Artistic Director. The A.R.T. is the recipient of numerous other awards including the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theater, the Pulitzer Prize, and many Elliot Norton and I.R.N.E. Awards. Its recent premiere production of Death and The Powers: The Robots’ Opera was a 2012 Pulitzer Prize finalist.
During its 32-year history, the A.R.T. has welcomed many major American and international theater artists, presenting a diverse repertoire that includes premieres of American plays, bold reinterpretations of classical texts, and provocative new music theater productions. The A.R.T. has performed throughout the U.S. and worldwide in 21 cities in 16 countries on four continents. The A.R.T. is also a training ground for young artists. The Theater’s artistic staff teaches undergraduate classes in acting, directing, dramatic literature, dramaturgy, voice, and design at Harvard University. In 1987, the A.R.T. founded the Institute for AdvancedTheater Training at Harvard University. A two-year, five-semester M.F.A. graduate program that operates in conjunction with the Moscow Art Theater School, the Institute provides world-class professional training in acting, dramaturgy, and voice.
Since becoming Artistic Director, Diane Paulus has enhanced the A.R.T.’s core mission to expand the boundaries of theater by continuing to transform the ways in which work is developed, programmed, produced, and contextualized, always including the audience as a partner. Productions such as Sleep No More, The Donkey Show, Gatz, The Blue Flower, Prometheus Bound, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, Wild Swans, and Pippin have engaged audiences in unique theatrical experiences. The A.R.T.’s club theater, OBERON, which Paulus calls a second stage for the 21st century, has become an incubator for local and emerging artists, and has also attracted national attention for its innovative programming model.
Of the ART's 31st season, Artistic Director Diane Paulus said, "I promise that our 2010/2011 season will be another year of theatrical events — from rock stars to a robot chorus, mosh pits to the geodesic dome, Sophocles to Lewis Carroll — there will be something for everyone."
The A.R.T.'s 30th season, its first under the helm of Artistic Director Diane Paulus, eschews the traditional model and instead offers a series of "festivals" which will encourage audiences to experience productions as parts of larger cultural events.
FESTIVAL No. 01: Shakespeare Exploded
FESTIVAL No. 02: America: Boom, Bust, and Baseball
Playwrights and directors
The A.R.T. prides itself on presenting both American and World premiere productions. Over the years, these have included works by Robert Auletta, Robert Brustein, Anton Chekhov, Don DeLillo, Keith Dewhurst, Christopher Durang, Elizabeth Egloff, Peter Feibleman, Jules Feiffer, Dario Fo, Carlos Fuentes, Larry Gelbart, Leslie Glass, Philip Glass, Stuart Greenman, William Hauptman, Allan Havis, Milan Kundera, Mark Leib, Gideon Lester, David Lodge, Carol K. Mack, David Mamet, Charles L. Mee, Roger Miller, John Moran, Robert Moran, Heiner Müller, Marsha Norman, Han Ong, Amanda Palmer, David Rabe, Franca Rame, Adam Rapp, Keith Reddin, Ronald Ribman, Paula Vogel, Derek Walcott, Naomi Wallace, and Robert Wilson.
The A.R.T. has also engaged a collection of world famous stage directors throughout the years, including JoAnne Akalaitis, Andrei Belgrader, Anne Bogart, Steven Bogart, Lee Breuer, Robert Brustein, Liviu Ciulei, Ron Daniels, Liz Diamond, Joe Dowling, Michael Engler, Alvin Epstein, Dario Fo, Richard Foreman, David Gordon, Adrian Hall, Richard Jones, Michael Kahn, Jerome Kilty, Krystian Lupa, John Madden, David Mamet, Des McAnuff, Jonathan Miller, Tom Moore, David Rabe, François Rochaix, Robert Scanlan, János Szász, Peter Sellars, Andrei Şerban, Sxip Shirey, Susan Sontag, Marcus Stern, Slobodan Unkovski, Les Waters, David Wheeler, Frederick Wiseman, Robert Wilson, Robert Woodruff, Steven Mitchell Wright, Yuri Yeremin, Francesca Zambello, and Scott Zigler.
In 1987, the A.R.T. founded the Institute for Advanced Theater Training, a five semester professional training M.F.A. program which includes a three-month period working and training at the Moscow Art Theatre School in Russia. This program provides training for graduate-level actors, dramaturgs, and voice students. For a time, the Institute included a director-training program, which was discontinued in 2004; the dramaturgy program was simultaneously tripled in enrollment. This joint program has historically conferred an M.F.A. from the Moscow Art Theatre School and a certificate of completion from Harvard. The program is administered and housed by the A.R.T., and training is provided by full-time, part-time, and visiting teachers and artists at the A.R.T. These include Russian teachers affiliated with the Moscow Art Theatre School, who teach in residence in Cambridge as well as in Moscow when the students study there. The Institute is remarkable among conservatory programs for the degree to which it offers the opportunity for exposure to and collaboration with internationally renowned artists of the "avant-garde," particularly those from eastern Europe and Russia.
OBERON (sometimes referred to as Club Oberon) is a club theater venue that opened in August 2009. The venue inhabits the space that was once the Zero Arrow Street Theater. The venue was originally created for the open ended residency of the A.R.T.'s production of The Donkey Show and it was soon decided to convert the theater into a fully functioning club theater venue fitting the revolutionary club theater model and philosophy developed by The Donkey Show's creator Randy Weiner.
Loeb Drama Center and other venues
Before OBERON (which renovated the space of the now defunct Zero Arrow Theater), the A.R.T. used the old Hasty Pudding theater in addition to the Loeb Mainstage. The Institute for Advanced Theater Training formerly uses the sub-basement of The First Parish in Cambridge, Zero Church Street, as a flexible almost black box venue. In May, 2015 the ART staged an opera premier at the Schubert Theater in Boston for the first time.