By Tommy Tobin
Now that the winter has finally departed and the sun shines again on the Kennedy School, the American Repertory Theatre (A.R.T.) has announced its upcoming 2014/2015 season. This playhouse brings world premiere theatre to Cambridge just a few minutes from our campus.
Theatre at the A.R.T. and its second stage, The Oberon, provides fodder for further discussion in and out of class. At a School of Government, we have several popular classes on political communication and ethics. At the A.R.T., they have “Obsessive Political Correctness” (also known as OPC). In this world premiere of Eve Esler’s newest comedy, a dumpster-diver named Freegan and her mother wrestle between political compromise and consumer culture.
To get your creative juices going, the A.R.T. is also offering a world stage premiere of the real-life story behind Peter Pan. “Finding Neverland” is the for-stage adaptation of a Miramax film profiling the relationship between the Llewelyn Davies family and James Matthew Barries. Mr. Barries wrote the original Peter Pan in 1904 and later credited Peter Llewelyn Davies as the inspiration for his iconic main character. “Finding Neverland” will showcase the tension between the power of imagination and the pressures of growing up.
For the musically-inclined, A.R.T. will offer two new performances that bring creative destruction to the stage. Exploring the end of the world through song and dance, “The Last Two People on Earth: An Apocalyptic Vaudeville” features the music of Queen, R.E.M. and Sondheim. Walt Whitman’s journal during the Civil War is the inspiration for “A New American Opera.” The opera explores Whitman’s bonds with wounded soldiers and his role as poet on the frontlines.
For those looking for more avant-garde theatre, the Oberon plays host to the weekly “Donkey Show” and two productions new to the A.R.T. The “Donkey Show” is a wacky romp through Shakespeare, involving dances, the audience, and even some intrigue. In the “Sane New World,” Ruby Wax presents a one-woman show on how our minds can sometimes sabotage our sanity. The Oberon also plays host to the Chicago-based company The Hypocrites who are bringing their pop-folk version of “Mikado” to the A.R.T.’s second stage.
If you’re looking to take a stroll to a world-class stage production, consider the A.R.T. this season. All the details are available at 617-547-8300 and AmericanRepertoryTheater.org.