ART Season Includes Waitress Musical, Great Comet of 1812, Plus Mark Rylance in Nice Fish | Playbill

News ART Season Includes Waitress Musical, Great Comet of 1812, Plus Mark Rylance in Nice Fish The American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) at Harvard University, which is under the leadership of artistic director Diane Paulus, has announced its 2015-16 season, which will include the new musical Waitress, based on the motion picture of the same name.

The upcoming season will also include Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812, an electropop opera inspired by Tolstoy’s epic novel "War and Peace"; Nice Fish, written by and featuring Mark Rylance, about an ice-fishing expedition where the ordinary and the unbelievable collide; 1984, a stage adaptation of George Orwell’s novel by Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan; In the Body of the World, a stage adaptation of Eve Ensler’s critically acclaimed memoir about the strength and joy that connect a single body to the planet; RoosevElvis, a madcap road-trip through American masculinities created by the TEAM; and The Pirate Princess, a new musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night for children and their families.

"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 Paulus. "It’s also a delight to welcome Sara Bareilles and the UK’s Headlong theater ensemble, among others…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."

Season details, according to A.R.T., follow:


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."


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."


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."


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."

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."


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."

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

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