American Repertory Theatre and OBERON's Fall Season to Include POOL (NO WATER), SHIDA, and RUBY WAX: SANE NEW WORLD

The American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) has announced fall programming at OBERON, featuring limited engagements of exciting work by groundbreaking artists. The lineup for October and November includes POOL (NO WATER) by Mark Ravenhill, created by One Year Lease Theater Company and directed by Ianthe Demos; SHIDA, a new musical in development, written and performed by Broadway powerhouse Jeannette Bayardelle and directed by Andy Sandberg; and RUBY WAX: SANE NEW WORLD, written and performed by the incomparable comedienne and actor Ruby Wax.


By Mark Ravenhill, Directed by Ianthe Demos

Production by One Year Lease Theater Company

October 15 - 18

A famous artist invites old friends to her new home for a long awaited reunion. But the celebration comes to an abrupt end when the host suffers a horrific accident. An almost unthinkable plan starts to take shape: could her suffering be thegroup's next work of art? This is an unflinching look at the vulnerability of friendship, the power of resentment, and a deep-seated yearning to create something truly memorable.

Ianthe Demos directs a cast that includes Estelle Bajou (Once, National tour), Christopher Baker (James Cameron's Sanctum), Nick Flint, and Richard Saudek. The production features choreography by Natalie Lomonte, music by Estelle Bajou, set design by James Hunting, lighting design by Mike Riggs, and multi-media design by Scott J. Fetterman.

Mark Ravenhill is an internationally acclaimed playwright whose first full-length play, Shopping and F*cking, opened at the Royal Court Theatre Upstairs in 1996. His more recent works include Mother Clap's MollyHouse (National Theatre, 2001); Product(Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, 2005); The Cut (Donmar Warehouse, London, 2006); Citizenship (National Theatre, 2006); pool (no water) (Lyric Hammersmith, 2006); Shoot/Get Treasure/Repeat (Edinburgh Festival, 2007); Over There (Royal Court / Schaubühne, Berlin, 2009); A Life in Three Acts co-written and performed with Bette Bourne (Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh / Konninklijke Schouwburg, The Hague / Soho Theatre, London, 2009 and St Ann's Warehouse, New York, 2010); Nationadapt. from the Terry Pratchett novel (National Theatre, 2009); Ten Plagues, a libretto for a new opera by Conor Mitchell (Royal Court, 2010 / Traverse Theatre 2011); Ghost Story (Playhouse: Live, Sky Arts, Riverside Studios 2010); The Coronation of Poppea, a new English version libretto co-written with Alex Silverman (OperaUpClose, Kings Head Theatre, 2011). Mark is currently under commission to the RSC and Hampstead Theatre and is writing a new libretto for the Norwegian National Opera. His plays are performed all over the world.

One Year Lease Theater Company (OYL) premieres bold international works of theater in New York City. OYL advocates physically powerful, ensemble-based theater while creating worlds that are raw, poetic and visceral.


A new musical in development

Written and performed by Jeannette Bayardelle, Directed by Andy Sandberg

November 5, 6, and 7

Broadway veteran Jeannette Bayardelle (The ColorPurple) returns to A.R.T. after 2010's Best of Both Worlds with her inspirational one-woman musical, Shida. Set to a soulful score of rock, jazz, R&B, and gospel, Shida is based on the true story of an African-American girl who aspires to become a writer, tracing the ups and downs of her life. Her dreams become sidetracked by hardship until her faith and those closest to her combine to restore Shida's hope and give her a second chance. Shida is a new musical in development.

Jeannette Bayardelle (Book, Music, Lyrics; Shida) is the winner of the 2013 AUDELCO Award for Outstanding Solo Performance for SHIDA and the NAACP Theater Award for Best Lead Actress in a Musical for her performance in The Color Purple. In addition to starring as Celie on Broadway and originating the role on the national tour of The Color Purple, Jeannette Bayardelle played Dionne in the Tony Award winning revival of Hair on Broadway, and she has performed Off-Broadway and at A.R.T. in Diane Paulus' The Best of Both Worlds. Her national and international theatre credits include The Color Purple, Deaf West's Big River, and Rent. Her voice is featured in the Disney film The Little Mermaid III. Her albums include "I Know Who I Am," "Praise Report," and "Transferable."

Andy Sandberg (Director) recently directed the world premieres of SHIDA at Ars Nova (Four AUDELCO Award Nominations, including Best Director and Best Musical), Operation Epsilon at Central Square Theater in Cambridge, MA (Four IRNE Awards, including Best New Play,Best Director, and Best Ensemble; Three Elliot Norton Award nominations), The Last Smoker in America (Westside Theatre - Off-Broadway), and Craving for Travel, which he co-authored with Greg Edwards (Peter J. Sharp Theater - Off-Broadway). Sandberg is the co-author of the upcoming Application Pending, also with Edwards. He has been represented on Broadway and London's West End as a producer of HAIR (2009 Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League, Outer Critics CircleAwards), the Broadway revival of Gore Vidal's The Best Man (2012 Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League, Outer Critics Circle Nominations), and currently Will Eno's The Realistic Joneses. Other New York directing credits include Zelda at the Oasis (St. Luke's Theatre), R.R.R.E.D. and Bernice Bobs Her Mullet (NYMF), Into the Woods and A Funny Thing...Forum (Blue Hill Troupe), "Eli's Comin' to Broadway," a BC/EFA benefit hosted by Nathan Lane (Lincoln Center), and multiple workshops, benefits, and readings. As producer: A Perfect Future (Cherry Lane Theatre); Paradise Found (Menier Chocolate Factory, London; dir. Hal Prince and Susan Stroman); and Vigil (DR2 Theatre). Sandberg worked with Hal Prince on the Broadway production of LoveMusik. B.A. Yale University. Proudmember of SDC / AEA.

Ruby Wax: Sane New World

Written and performed by Ruby Wax

November 18 through 23

Comedian, writer, and mental health campaigner Ruby Wax shows us how our minds can jeopardize our sanity in this one-woman show inspired by her book, Sane New World. Using knowledge from her psychotherapy degree and recent Masters Degree in mindfulness-based cognitive therapy from Oxford University, Ruby helps us understand why we sabotage our sanity with our thinking. She gives a tour of the brain and how to tame it: "We know so much about how the world works, but so little about how our own minds work. It's like having a Ferrari on top of your shoulders but no one gave you the keys." This is Ruby's candid, comedy-spiked manual about neuroscience, mindfulness, and life, and how to survive the 21st century.

Ruby Wax arrived in Britain from the U.S. in 1977 and began her acting career with the Royal Shakespeare Company. She wrote and performed in her ownwidely popular BAFTA nominated television shows on BBC for 25 years, and was Script Editor on the entire run of the hit series "Absolutely Fabulous." Her Global TED Talk "What's so funny about mental illness?" has received nearly 1.4 million views, and she has become a respected campaigner for mental illness in the UK. She might not be sane herself but she does a pretty good imitation.

OBERON is located at 2 Arrow Street at the corner of Mass. Ave in Harvard Square, Cambridge.

Tickets are $25 and available at

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