Theater & art

Bringing magic to ART’s ‘Tempest’

Iris Roberts as Marion and James McArdle in title role in “The Heart of Robin Hood.”
Eggert Thor Johnson
Iris Roberts as Marion and James McArdle in title role in “The Heart of Robin Hood.”

What happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas. Sometimes it comes to Cambridge.

The American Repertory Theater is teaming up with the Smith Center, a performing arts center in Las Vegas, to coproduce a world-premiere adaptation of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest,” with magic designed by the illusionist Teller — as in “Penn and” — and music by Tom Waits. Adapted and directed by Aaron Posner and Teller, who previously collaborated on a production of “Macbeth,” the show will begin in Las Vegas and come to the Loeb Drama Center in May 2014. Teller will not perform in the production, which has attracted the interest of other regional theaters and may become a touring production, the ART said.

In addition to the previously announced Robert Schenkkan political drama “All the Way,” which will begin performances in September, and Matt Gould and Griffin Matthews’s world-premiere musical “Witness Uganda,” due to start its run in February 2014, the ART’s 2013-14 season will include a new take on “Robin Hood,” a world-premiere dance-theater piece, and a family show for the holdiays.


“The Heart of Robin Hood,” written by Royal Shakespeare Company associate director David Farr and originally produced by the RSC, will get a new production at the ART, beginning performances in December at the Loeb Drama Center. It will be directed by Gisli Örn Gardarsson, who caused Boston critics to swoon earlier this year at ArtsEmerson with his star turn in “Metamorphosis,” a play he and Farr adapted and directed together. The show will have much of the same creative team as the RSC “Heart of Robin Hood” but will be cast on this side of the Atlantic.

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“The Shape She Makes,” a dance-theater piece about alcoholism’s effect on a family, will have its world premiere at Oberon in April 2014. Conceived by Susan Misner and Jonathan Bernstein, it will be choreographed by Misner. Bernstein is the writer and director.

The holiday production, to begin performances in December, is “The Light Princess,” with a book by Lila Rose Kaplan and music and lyrics by Mike Pettry. Allegra Libonati will direct the musical, which is adapted from the George MacDonald short story and tells the tale of a young royal who has no gravity, physically or otherwise.

Laura Collins-Hughes can be reached at