A new five-person take on an award-winning docudrama from longtime ART collaborator Anna Deavere Smith, and the North American premiere of a new adaptation of Chaucer’s fairy tale The Wife of Bath that celebrates community and the human talent for storytelling, premiered today announced as additions to the 2022-23 program lineup at American Repertory Theater (ART) at Harvard University, directed by Terrie and Bradley Bloom Artistic Director Diane Paulus and Executive Director Kelvin Dinkins, Jr.
Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 will be on view at the Loeb Drama Center in Harvard Square from August 28 to September 23, 2022. It was conceived, written and edited by Anna Deavere Smith (Notes from the Field: Doing Time in Education, Let Me Down Easy, Fires in the Mirror). A five-piece cast is led by Taibi Magar (Macbeth In Stride, We Live in Cairo).
The Wife of Willesden will play at the Loeb from February 25th to March 18th 2023. Adapted by Zadie Smith from Chaucer’s The Wife of Bath, directed by Indhu Rubasingham. The production comes to ART for its North American premiere from London’s Kiln Theatre, where it will resume in December following its acclaimed premiere last year.
As previously announced, ART will also produce the North American premiere of Life of Pi, a stage adaptation of the bestselling bestseller and winner of the 2022 Olivier Award for Best New Play. Life of Pi will play at Loeb from December 4th, 2022 to January 29th, 2023. It is directed by Lolita Chakrabarti, directed by Max Webster and based on the bestselling novel by Yann Martel.
Additional programs, including a title playing at the Loeb Drama Center in May and June 2023, have yet to be announced.
“We have such an exceptional array of must-see theatrical experiences in store for our audiences,” said Diane Paulus, Artistic Director of Terrie and Bradley Bloom. “Anna Deavere Smith’s insightful work has engaged ART audiences for many years, so I am thrilled that we will be producing her new ensemble version of Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992, a kaleidoscopic examination of the 1992 LA riots and their enduring resonance today. We also look forward to inviting audiences to enjoy the stunning puppetry and storytelling of Life of Pi and the brilliant writing of Zadie Smith’s The Wife of Willesden in a boisterous British pub. I’m also excited that ART audiences will have the opportunity to see the national touring production of Jagged Little Pill, which I’m directing, when it comes to Boston in June 2023.”
Subscription packages starting at $99, containing three or four productions, are now available to select ART donors. Bundles will be available for renewing subscribers on Friday, June 24 at 12:00 p.m.; for all ART members on Thursday, June 30 at 12:00 p.m. and for the general public on Thursday, July 14 at 12:00 p.m. Learn more at AmericanRepertoryTheater.org/Subscribe.
The ART 2022/23 program is supported by Harvard University, the Barr Foundation, the Bob and Alison Murchison New Work Development Fund, the Shubert Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the Bank of America, Barton & Guestier, Meyer Sound, and JetBlue.
– 2022/23 PROGRAMMING –
Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992
August 28 – September 23, 2022 | Loeb Drama Center
Conceived, Written and Edited by Anna Deavere Smith
Directed by Taibi Magar
Presented in association with Signature Theatre
In 1992, news of the acquittal of the officers in Rodney King’s police brutality case rang through the streets of Los Angeles. Dubbed “riot,” “revolution,” and “social explosion,” the ensuing events garnered global attention – and inspired playwright, actress, and scholar Anna Deavere Smith (Notes from the Field: Doing Time in Education, Let Me Down Easy, Fires in the Mirror) to analyze the anatomy of civil unrest. Her Tony Award-nominated, Obie Award-winning exploration, culled from interviews with more than 350 Los Angelinos, reveals the fault lines that are setting the city ablaze. “As needed as it was when Los Angeles was actively smoldering” (The New York Times), Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 is a rousing call for reform. Smith revised the play for a five-person cast while he was staying at the Signature Theater, where Taibi Magar (Macbeth In Stride, We Live in Cairo) directed this new production.
Engagement support from Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 is provided by The Crimson Lion / Lavine Family Foundation. Production support is provided by Katie and Paul Buttenwieser.
LIFE OF PI – North American Premiere
Winner of 5 Olivier Awards 2022 including Best New Play
December 4, 2022 – January 29, 2023 | Loeb Drama Center
Based on the bestselling novel by Yann Martel
By Lolita Chakrabarti
Max Webster is directing
Puppetry and motion direction by Finn Caldwell
Set and costume design by Tim Hatley
Sixteen-year-old Pi and his family set out to emigrate from India, but after their ship sinks in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, Pi is left on a lifeboat with just four other survivors — a hyena, a zebra, and an orangutan fest , and a royal Bengal tiger. Time is against them, nature is harsh, who will survive? Described by The Guardian as “extraordinary and unmissable” for its inventive puppetry, this imaginative theatrical adaptation brings one of fiction’s most beloved works to the stage to tell its epic tale of perseverance and hope.
Additional Life of Pi production support is provided by Janet and Irv Plotkin.
THE WIFE OF WILLESDEN – North American Premiere
February 25 – March 18, 2023 | Loeb Drama Center
Adapted by Zadie Smith from Chaucer’s The Wife of Bath
Directed by Indhu Rubasingham
A Kiln Theater production
A true local legend, Alvita tells her life story to everyone in the local West London pub – there’s no shame in her game. The question is: are you ready to hear it? Because this woman has the gift of dialect: she can turn mistakes into triumphs, turn pain into parables. And her love life? It’s an epic poem. They call her the wife of Willesden. Join her for an evening celebrating the human talent for telling artistic stories, particularly about our own lives. Critically acclaimed and multi-award-winning bestselling author Zadie Smith, winner of the 2022 Critics’ Circle Theater Award for Most Promising Playwright, transforms an excerpt from Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales into the incredible – and unforgettable.
– DIGITAL PROGRAMMING –
ART will continue to offer digital programming that audiences can enjoy from anywhere in the world, including:
● Civically Speaking, with virtual talks, lectures and performance events on history, politics, justice and the importance of democracy.
• Behind the scenes, with the writers, directors, composers and choreographers creating new works at ART. Hear new songs and scenes, and learn about the process, research, and development that goes into the creation of new plays and musicals.
• The Lunch Room, ART’s virtual talk show featuring artists, activists and civil society leaders who are shaping our communities.
– ART OF THE WORLD –
● 1776 (ART Revival premieres May-July 2022) will premiere at the Roundabout Theater Company in September 2022 and begin a national tour in February 2023.
● Jagged Little Pill (ART world premiere May 2018) returns to Sydney, Australia in July 2022; returns to Boston in June 2023 as part of a 30-city US National Tour beginning in August 2022; and will open in London’s West End in Autumn 2022.
● Ocean Filibuster (ART World Premiere February 2022) continues its fall 2022/spring 2023 nationwide tour.
● Waitress (ART World Premiere August 2015) continues US tour in Cleveland, OH through June 2022 and continues UK and Ireland tour through August 2022.
● The immersive phenomenon Sleep No More (ART production October 2009) continues at The McKinnon Hotel in Shanghai and The McKittrick Hotel in New York City.
● Notes from the Field (ART produced August 2016) is currently available on HBO.
● All the Way (ART Production September 2013) is currently available on HBO.