A.R.T. Adds Sensory Friendly Performance Of Bedlam's SENSE AND SENSIBILITY

A.R.T. Adds Sensory Friendly Performance Of Bedlam's SENSE AND SENSIBILITY

The American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) at Harvard University, under the leadership of Artistic Director Diane Paulus and Executive Producer Diane Borger, will offer a sensory friendly performance of Bedlam's Sense & Sensibility on Tuesday, January 9 at 6:30PM. The performance for adults and children ages 12 and up will be specially modified for individuals with sensory needs, including people on the autism spectrum and their families and caretakers. This expansion of the theater's access performances, which include ASL interpreted, audio described, open captioned, and family-friendly sensory friendly performances, reflects A.R.T.'s commitment to providing quality arts experiences for all.

The January 9 performance will be adapted to allow for patron movement, and staff and actors are trained to accommodate patron needs so neurodiverse audience members can experience theater in a safe, non-judgmental environment. More information about sensory friendly modifications can be found at americanrepertorytheater.org/sensory-friendly. This performance is open to the general public.

Tickets to all performances, including the January 9 Sensory Friendly performance begin at $25 and can be purchased by phone at 617.547.8300, in person at the Loeb Drama Center Ticket Services Office (64 Brattle Street, Cambridge), and online at americanrepertorytheater.org/sense. Discounts are available for A.R.T. Subscribers and Donors, students, seniors, Blue Star families, EBT card holders, and others.

The following Access performances of Bedlam's Sense & Sensibility will also be offered:

  • ASL Interpreted performances: Wednesday, January 3 at 7:30PM and Saturday, January 6
    at 2PM
  • Audio Described performances: Friday, January 5 at 7:30PM and Sunday, January 7 at 2PM
  • Open Captioned performances: Thursday, January 4 at 7:30PM and Sunday, January 7
    at 2PM

WGBH praises Bedlam's Sense & Sensibility as "ingenious and inventive," WBUR's The ARTery says it is "delightfully exuberant," and The Boston Globe calls it "very much a story for our time."

Eric Tucker's exuberant, inventive staging of Jane Austen's classic novel follows the adventures (and misadventures) of the Dashwood sisters-sensible Elinor and hypersensitive Marianne-after their sudden loss of fortune. Bursting with humor, emotion, and bold theatricality, Bedlam's Sense & Sensibility asks: when reputation is everything, how do you follow your heart? A.R.T. has transformed its main stage in the Loeb Drama Center for this production, seating audience members on two sides of a long playing space to bring them closer to the action as scenery and actors traverse the stage throughout the fast-paced comedy. Performances continue through January 14, 2018.

The cast includes Bedlam's Sense & Sensibility veterans Jessica Frey as Marianne, Violeta Picayo as Margaret, and Benjamin Russell as John Willoughby/John Dashwood from the run at Gym at Judson; Nigel Gore as Mrs. Jennings from the Sheen Center run; and Lisa Birnbaum as Mrs. Dashwood/Anne Steel, Maggie Adams McDowell as Elinor, James Patrick Nelson as Colonel Brandon, and Jamie Smithson as Edward/Robert Ferrars from the Folger Theater that received the 2017 Helen Hayes Awards for Outstanding Production and Direction. Ryan Quinn (Bedlam's Dead Dog Park, 59E59) plays John Middleton, and Katie Hartke (Imogen in Cymbeline, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival) plays Fanny / Lucy Steel.

Bedlam Artistic Director Eric Tucker (Wall Street Journal Director of the Year 2014) helms the production with choreography by Alexandra Beller (Bedlam's Sense & Sensibility, 2017 Helen Hayes Award winner for Outstanding Choreography) scenic design by John McDermott (Bedlam's Peter Pan, Off-Broadway), lighting design by Les Dickert (Bedlam's Peter Pan, Off-Broadway), costume design by Angela Huff (the film Little Women), and sound design by Alex Neumann (Going to See the Kid, Merrimack Repertory Theatre).

Committed to the immediacy of the relationship between the actor and the audience, Bedlam creates works of theatre that reinvigorate traditional forms in a flexible, raw space, collapsing aesthetic distance and bringing viewers into direct contact with the dangers and delicacies of life. In this new, fresh, active environment, storytelling becomes paramount, and the result is a kinetic experience of shared empathy.

The American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) at Harvard University 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. Diane Paulus began her tenure as Artistic Director in 2008. Under the leadership of Paulus and Executive Producer Diane Borger, the A.R.T. seeks to expand the boundaries of theater by programming events that immerse audiences in transformative theatrical experiences.

Throughout its history, the A.R.T. has been honored with many distinguished awards, including the Tony Award for Best New Play for All the Way (2014); consecutive Tony Awards for Best Revival of a Musical for Pippin (2013) and The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess (2012), both of which Paulus directed; a Pulitzer Prize; a Jujamcyn Prize for outstanding contribution to the development of creative talent; the Tony Award for Best Regional Theater; and numerous Elliot Norton and IRNE Awards.

The A.R.T. collaborates with artists around the world to develop and create work in new ways. It is currently engaged in a number of multi-year projects, including a new collaboration with Harvard's Center for the Environment that will result in the development of new work over several years. Under Paulus's leadership, the A.R.T.'s club theater, OBERON, has been an incubator for local and emerging artists and has attracted national attention for its innovative programming and business models.

As the professional theater on the campus of Harvard University, the A.R.T. catalyzes discourse, interdisciplinary collaboration, and creative exchange among a wide range of academic departments, institutions, students, and faculty members, acting as a conduit between its community of artists and the university. The A.R.T. Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard University, run in association with the Moscow Art Theatre School and the Harvard Extension School, offers graduate training in acting, dramaturgy, and voice. A.R.T. also plays a central role in Harvard's newly launched undergraduate Theater, Dance, and Media concentration, teaching courses in directing, dramatic literature, acting, voice, design, and dramaturgy.

Dedicated to making great theater accessible, the A.R.T. actively engages more than 5,000 community members and local students annually in project-based partnerships, workshops, conversations with artists, and other enrichment activities both at the theater and across the Greater Boston area.

Through all of these initiatives, the A.R.T. is dedicated to producing world-class performances in which the audience is central to the theatrical experience.

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