The Playgoer: New AD for ART

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Monday, May 19, 2008

New AD for ART

And so the American Repertory Theatre of Cambridge, MA, chooses as their next artistic director...

...Diane Paulus?

An occasionally interesting director, yes. I actually quite enjoyed The Donkey Show myself. Otherwise, since she directs mostly regionally--and opera now--I haven't seen as much of her work as I'd like.

What strikes me is that this is an interesting way to go if your idea of Artistic Director is just a cool director you want to showcase, to be your "flagship" talent, as it were.

But what will she be like as an administrator and leader of a large institution, a collaborator with other artists and other such responsibilities.

Interesting note from the Globe article:

The appointment ends an exhaustive and at times turbulent search that has stretched well over a year, during which one top candidate turned the job offer down.
Hint: back in January, the word was the two top contenders were Brian Kulick and Anna Shapiro. Interesting to think about why one of those more established directors would decline. Not enough money? Is ART a wreck of an institution? Limits on outside directing?

Well, quibbles aside, I suppose it is good news that an artist of the "younger" generation (Paulus is 41) will be running such a prominent institution, and that she brings something quite other than the usual safe aesthetic. ART is a theatre with a reputation of risk taking (for better or for worse) and so we can rest assured that will continue, I bet.

And with new leadership at both big houses, Boston theatre may be brewing again on the national stage. Of her friend Huntington AD-designate Peter DuBois, Paulus says:
"It's amazing to me that Peter is also coming to Boston," she said. "Between Peter and me, we are going to make Boston the most important theater city in America."
Game on, Diane. Game. On.


Anonymous said...

Shapiro did turn it down according to the press in Chicago. I have no idea why she did. I can only surmise, why go to Boston, which will always be second fiddle to New York, when you have roots in Chicago at Steppenwolf and teach at Northwestern? It seems like a no-brainer to me.

Anonymous said...

Paulus did a guest stint at Barnard while I was in school. My friends in the theater department were, um, not particularly nurtured. I hope she works better with adults.

But weren't we technically adults? I'm still a bit angry.