A.R.T. Announces 'HEAR WORD!' Act II Speaker Series And WOC Support Circle

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American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.), under the leadership of Terrie and Bradley Bloom Artistic Director Diane Paulus and Executive Producer Diane Borger, announces a series of Act II post-performance conversations with cast members, scholars, creative team members, and additional guests in conjunction with its production of HEAR WORD! Najia Woman Talk True. The following events are free and open to ticket-holders of any HEAR WORD! performance, subject to availability.

Visit americanrepertorytheater.org/act-ii for speaker bios and additional events, and to listen to recordings of past discussions. For more information, please contact Ticket Services at 617.547.8300. Please note: schedule subject to change.

February 1, 7:30PM

Conversation with Ifeoma Fafunwa, Director of HEAR WORD!; Jacob K. Olupona, Professor of African Religious Traditions, Harvard Divinity School; and Susan Cook, Executive Director, Cambridge Office, Harvard University Center for African Studies.

February 3, 2PM

Conversation with Joke Silva (Ensemble, HEAR WORD!)

February 4, 2PM

Conversation with Uzodinma Iweala, author, Speak No Evil, Our Kind of People, Beasts of No Nation; Editor-in-Chief, Ventures Africa and Ifeoma Fafunwa, Director of HEAR WORD!

February 6, 7:30PM

Conversation with Ufuoma McDermott (Ensemble, HEAR WORD!)

February 8, 7:30PM

Conversation with Caroline Elkins, Professor of History and African American Studies at Harvard University and Ifeoma Fafunwa, Director of HEAR WORD!

February 9, 7:30PM

Conversation with Ifeoma Fafunwa, Director of HEAR WORD!, and Timothy Patrick McCarthy, Director of Culture Change & Social Justice Initiatives at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, Harvard Kennedy School

February 10, 2PM

Conversation with Daniel Jordan Smith, Royce Family Professor of Teaching Excellence; Professor and Chair of Anthropology, Brown University. Moderated by Susan Cook, Executive Director, Cambridge Office, Harvard University Center for African Studies.


February 5, 6:30PM, Loeb Drama Center

February 12, 6:30PM, Dudley Square

Join a conversation for women of color after seeing HEAR WORD!

Ifeoma Fafunwa, creative director and founder of iOpenEye and director of HEAR WORD!, invites the world to think critically about gender inequality, and she encourages us through her empowering and informative show to come together in conversation, refuse to accept the status quo, and take control of our own destinies. Host Destiny Polk, A.R.T.'s Community Programs Assistant and founder of art-activist platform Radical Black Girl, will create a space where women of color who see HEAR WORD! can gather to have deeper conversation about the issues brought up in the play, while also receiving support and accountability for moving towards change within our communities. Sign up at amrep.org/HearWordCircle.


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 as the Terrie and Bradley Bloom Artistic Director 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, and sixteen other Tony Awards since 2012; 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 collaboration with Harvard's Center for the Environment that will result in the development of new work over several years. Under Paulus' 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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