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World Premiere of WAITRESS, Mark Rylance's NICE FISH, 'THE GREAT COMET OF 1812' & More Set for A.R.T.'s 2015-16 Season

American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) announced its 2015-16 season today, including the world premiere of the new musical WAITRESS, Mark Rylance's NICE FISH, NATASHA, PIERRE & THE GREAT COMET OF 1812, and more.

"I am thrilled to have A.R.T. friends return this season - Mark Rylance, Eve Ensler, Dave Malloy, Rachel Chavkin, and the TEAM to name a few," stated Diane Paulus. "It's also a delight to welcome Sara Bareilles and the UK's Headlong theater ensemble, among others." She continued, "The insights and the talents which these artists will bring to the A.R.T. offer a range of new perspectives. In their radical, dynamic stagings of history, song, literature, and memory, these artists share a form of theater actively engaged with how we understand and conduct our lives as human beings on this planet."

As the A.R.T. explores its mission to expand the boundaries of theater on its stages in Cambridge, the work of the A.R.T. can be seen elsewhere in the United States and the world. Last season's Finding Neverland continues previews on Broadway and opens on April 15. Aaron Posner and Teller's magical adaptation of The Tempest will be presented at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater this fall. The immersive phenomenon that originated in the 2009/10 Season, Sleep No More has marked its 4th anniversary Off-Broadway. In addition, Once continues its US tour and returns to Boston's Citi Shubert Theatre in December 2015 while the A.R.T.'s Tony Award-winning revival of Pippin will return to Boston in February 2016 under the auspices of Broadway in Boston.

- 2015/16 SEASON -

Book by Jessie Nelson
Music and lyrics by Sara Bareilles
Based on the motion picture written by Adrienne Shelly
Directed by Diane Paulus
Loeb Drama Center

Jenna, a waitress and expert pie maker, is stuck in a small town and a loveless marriage. When a baking contest in a nearby county offers her a chance at escape, Jenna must choose between her commitments and her dreams. Her customers, co-workers, and the town's handsome new doctor all offer her conflicting recipes for happiness - but Jenna ultimately has to decide for herself. Featuring music and lyrics by Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles ("Brave," "Love Song") and directed by Diane Paulus (Pippin, Finding Neverland), this poignant and uplifting new musical celebrates talent hiding in the most unlikely places.

Music and Libretto by Dave Malloy
Directed by Rachel Chavkin
Loeb Drama Center

Natasha is young, Anatole is hot, and Andrey isn't here...But what about Pierre? Based on a scandalous 70-page slice of War and Peace, this electropop opera is Tolstoy like you've never experienced him before. Step into a glamorous, romantic world of chandeliers, vodka and caviar in the salons and opera houses of 19th century Moscow, where passions ignite as Napoleon's war rages outside the city. With the cast and musicians swirling among audience members, this new musical brings to life the heart of literature's most epic tale of love and fate.

The Great Comet will be presented in a new immersive staging at A.R.T., continuing the show's development from its premiere at Ars Nova and its critically acclaimed run in a pop-up venue in New York City.
Composer, writer, orchestrator, sound designer, and performer Dave Malloy (Three Pianos, Beowulf: A Thousand Years of Baggage, Ghost Quartet) is one of the most innovative musical theater creators working today. His multi-disciplinary, critically acclaimed and award winning compositions break the boundaries of style and form, giving literature's classic characters voice in the vibrant, eclectic style of a new generation.

The Great Comet is directed by two-time Obie Award-winner and Drama Desk nominee Rachel Chavkin (Three Pianos) whose critically acclaimed work as Artistic Director of Brooklyn based theater company the TEAM includes RoosevElvis.

Conceived, Written, and Adapted by Mark Rylance and Louis Jenkins
Directed by Claire van Kampen
Loeb Drama Center

On a lake in frozen Minnesota, the ice is beginning to creak and groan. It's the end of the fishing season, and two men are out on the ice one last time, angling for answers to life's larger questions. A play woven together from the acclaimed prose poems of Louis Jenkins, Nice Fish reflects nature with a wry surreality. As Jenkins writes, they "are after something big, something down there that is pure need, something that, had it the wherewithal, would swallow them whole." Written and adapted by Louis Jenkins and Mark Rylance, Nice Fish brings a groundbreaking collaboration to the A.R.T. and St. Ann's Warehouse in Brooklyn.

In his prose poems about life in northern Minnesota, Louis Jenkins places ordinary events - a game of catch, a trip to the supermarket - into cosmic perspective using a signature mix of humor and honesty. The author of 14 books of poetry, Jenkins' work has been featured on This American Life, Prairie Home Companion, and The Writer's Almanac.

The winner of numerous Olivier Awards, TONY Awards, and the first artistic director of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London, Mark Rylance has brought generation-defining excellence to his work as an actor, director, and playwright. Known for roles in Jerusalem, Boeing Boeing, and Richard III / Twelfth Night on Broadway, and most recently Thomas Cromwell in Wolf Hall on PBS, Rylance blends an extraordinary talent for transformation with a trademark warmth and openness. He last appeared on the A.R.T. stage in Hamlet and The Seagull during the 1991/92 season. Playwright, director, and composer Claire van Kampen, who staged the original production of Nice Fish at The Guthrie Theater in 2013, directs this revised new production.

By George Orwell
A New Adaptation Created by Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan
Presented in association with Headlong, Almeida Theatre, and Nottingham Playhouse
Loeb Drama Center

April, 1984. Comrade 6079, Winston Smith, thinks a thought and starts a diary. But Big Brother is always watching, and the door to Room 101 can swing open in the blink of an eye. The definitive book of the 20th century is re-examined in a radical, award-winning adaptation exploring surveillance, identity and why Orwell's vision of the future is as relevant now as ever. This ground-breaking production comes direct from the UK and an extended smash-hit run in the West End - and continues Headlong's commitment to interrogating the most important cultural texts, following productions of Six Characters In Search Of An Author, King Lear and Romeo and Juliet.

Written and Performed by Eve Ensler
Directed by Diane Paulus
Farkas Hall at Harvard University

In this world-premiere adaptation of her critically acclaimed 2013 memoir, Eve Ensler (The Vagina Monologues, Emotional Creature, The Good Body, O.P.C.) celebrates the strength and joy that connect a single body to the planet. As an activist and artist, Ensler has spent her career speaking about the female body. While working in the Congo, where war continues to inflict devastating violence on women, she was diagnosed with stage III/IV uterine cancer. This diagnosis erased the boundaries between Ensler's art, her work, and her own body. In this raw, humorous, and bold performance, Ensler charts the connections between the personal and the public, inviting and challenging all of us to come back into our bodies, and thus the world.

Created by the TEAM
Directed by Rachel Chavkin

On a hallucinatory road trip from the Badlands to Graceland, the spirits of Elvis Presley and Theodore Roosevelt battle over the soul of the painfully shy meat processing plant worker, Ann, and over what kind of man or woman Ann should become. Set against the boundless blue skies of the Great Plains and endless American highway, RoosevElvis is a new work about gender, appetite, and the multitudes we contain. Mixing athleticism with artistic experimentation, celebrated theater troupe the TEAM has explored American myths from Gone with the Wind to Howl with a zany, irreverent theatricality. The TEAM returns to A.R.T. after their production Particularly in the Heartland was featured in the 2010 Emerging America Festival.


Book by Lila Rose Kaplan
Music by Mike Pettry
Directed by Allegra Libonati
Featuring Actors from the A.R.T. Institute Class of 2016
Loeb Drama Center

From the creators of the A.R.T.'s beloved production of The Light Princess comes a swashbuckling adventure on the high seas. When a giant sea monster destroys their ship, seafaring twins Violet and Victor are separated. Lost in a world of rowdy pirates and lovesick royals, the siblings must be crafty and brave to reunite. Along the way, they learn a lot about love, and a little bit about painting and the ukulele. Adapted from Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, this family musical is appropriate for all ages.


A.R.T.'s second stage is a destination for theater and nightlife on the fringe of Harvard Square. The 2015/16 Season features headline performances including:

· Dave Malloy's critically acclaimed, haunted song cycle, Ghost Quartet
· Courtney Love and Todd Almond star in Kansas City Choir Boy, a theatricalized concept album by Todd Almond, directed by Kevin Newbury
· Song of a Convalescent Ayn Rand Giving Thanks to the Godhead (In the Lydian Mode), a comic, moving and philosophic show created and performed by Michael Yates Crowley and Michael Rau of Wolf 359
· One Child Born: The Music of Laura Nyro, performed by Kate Ferber and directed by Adrienne Campbell-Holt
· Sean Graney and The Hypocrites (The Mikado, Pirates of Penzance) return with their final installment of the Gilbert & Sullivan trilogy H.M.S. Pinafore, performed with zany splendor
· Ubu Sings Ubu, a raucous mash up of Alfred Jarry's Ubu Roi, starring Tony Torn and Julie Atlas Muz, with music by Pere Ubu, co-directed by Tony Torn and Dan Safer, who also doubles as choreographer.

And don't miss A.R.T.'s popular The Donkey Show directed by Diane Paulus, continuing for its 7th season at OBERON every Saturday night.

2015/16 Season subscriptions will be available for renewing subscribers on May 6 and for the general public on May 26. Additional information about tickets to all of these productions can be found online at

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