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Anna Deavere Smith in her play "Let Me Down Easy" at American Repertory Theater in 2008. (Photo by Michael Lutch)

American Repertory Theater Announces 2016–17 Season

Anna Deavere Smith, Bill Rauch, and Jo Bonney will return to the theatre to perform and direct.

CAMBRIDGE, MASS.: American Repertory Theater (ART) has announced its 2016–17 season, featuring six mainstage productions and three shows at its second stage, Oberon.

“Our 2016–17 season features work that will engage our audiences in current conversations around gender, class, and identity; pivotal moments in Irish and Argentinian history; and the crisis in our American education system,” said artistic director Diane Paulus in a statement.

The season will start with Notes From the Field: Doing Time in Education (August), created, written, and performed by Anna Deavere Smith and featuring music composed and performed by Marcus Shelby. The show explores the connection between America’s education system and its mass incarceration crisis.

Next up will be the Abbey Theatre’s production of Sean O’ Casey’s The Plough and the Stars (September), presented in association with Cusack Projects Limited. The play is about the revolution in Ireland and the 1916 Easter Rising. Sean Holmes will direct.

Following will be Alexa Junge’s Fingersmith (December), based on the novel by Sarah Waters, about a pickpocket in Victorian England who is tasked with helping a con man cheat a young heiress out of her fortune. Bill Rauch will direct.

The season will continue with Trans Scripts, Part 1: The Women (January 2017), by Paul Lucas, a play crafted from dozens of interviews with transgender women from around the world. Jo Bonney will direct.

Next will be The Night of the Iguana (February 2017) by Tennessee Williams, about a group of travelers on the edge of the Mexican jungle seeking shelter from a storm. Michael Wilson will direct.

The mainstage season will conclude with Arrabal (May 2017), with book by John Weidman and music by Gustavo Santaolalla, about one woman’s quest to understand the violence that took her father and disrupted a nation. Sergio Trujillo will co-choreograph and direct.

ART’s second stage season at Oberon, the company’s “club theatre,” will include Our Carnal Hearts, a solo show by British performer Rachel Mars about dark urges.

Next in the Oberon season will be A Ride on the Irish Cream by Erin Markey, a coming-of-age musical about a girl and her family’s pontoon boat.

Following will be ONTHEFLOOR  by the Dance Cartel, a performance featuring bass, glitter, and dance theory.

Also part of the season will be the Sound Society at OBERON, a new music series co-created by musician and producer Sam Kassirer. The series will feature one-night-only events, and artists will be announced at a later date.

The Donkey Show directed by Diane Paulus, will continue for its 8th season every Saturday night with disco balls, circus arts, and roller skates.

American Repertory Theater, founded in 1980, is the resident theatre at Harvard University. The company produces innovative shows and develops new works through the club theatre, Oberon.

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