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Locally Grown Theaters


Gabi Logan
Published June 03, 2014

American Repertory Theater


American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) at Harvard University is dedicated to bringing world-class theater to a wider audience through its partnership with the Moscow Art Theater School and its mandate to create immersive and transformative theatrical experiences.

With Tony Awards, a Pulitzer and many regional theater awards under its belt, A.R.T. runs a packed schedule with many star-studded shows coming through on limited engagements.

“I think it’s just about always checking in,” said Ari Barbanell, director of special projects at A.R.T. “We do so much more than our mainstage productions, between Oberon, special events and special projects. If you don’t see something on your dates, you should just give us a call.”

In recent years, A.R.T. has expanded to the Oberon theater right in the middle of Harvard Square’s restaurant area and adjacent to Grafton Street Pub and Grill, one of A.R.T.’s restaurant partners that is large enough to accommodate large groups — something that can be rare in historic Harvard Square.

A robust education program that can include receptions with a dramaturgical lecture and the “lobby experience,” the theater’s new pop-up shopping and gallery installations, round out an evening at A.R.T.


Oregon Shakespeare Festival

Ashland, Oregon  

Though the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) as we know it began in 1935, its roots trace to performances on the site dating back to 1893. It originally featured only Shakespearean productions, but it now stages classics by other authors, as well as premieres new works.

According to audience development manager Freda Casillas, more than 1,000 groups visit the festival each year.

“It’s best to book in November for the upcoming year. We announced the 2015 shows in March, and we’re not doing group bookings yet, but you can get the paper order form and get in the queue,” she said.

In July, OSF will world premiere a new show called “The Great Society,” the second part of a historical drama, the first part of which recently premiered on Broadway starring Bryan Cranston of “Breaking Bad” fame. For those visitors later in the season, Casillas recommends “Cocoanuts” for comedy lovers and “A Wrinkle in Time” and “Into the Woods” for families.

As it is a destination theater, the OSF staff also connects groups to local activities, such as art gallery and winery visits, golfing and hiking.

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