Woodruff Named ART Artistic Director

Robert Woodruff will succeed Robert Brustein as artistic director of the American Repertory Theatre (ART), President Neil L. Rudenstine...

Robert Woodruff will succeed Robert Brustein as artistic director of the American Repertory Theatre (ART), President Neil L. Rudenstine announced at a news conference in late May. Brustein, the ART's founding director, said Woodruff, who will serve as artistic director-designate until August of 2002, is "one of the most imaginative and visionary directors in the world."

ART directors designate: Robert Orchard, Robert Woodruff, and Lester Gideon. The trio will assume new duties in 2002.

Kris Snibbe/Harvard News Office

The dual question of how to replace Brustein (who brought the company to Harvard in 1980) and how to tweak the governance structure of the professional company and its home stage--the Loeb Drama Center--has been answered at last with a tripartite solution. The results of a 1997 administrative and faculty review of the ART--an independent nonprofit corporation affiliated with the Faculty of Arts and Sciences--were never made public. But last year, when Brustein signaled his impending retirement, his position as director of the Loeb went to then managing director Robert Orchard, an ART cofounder.

Under the new arrangement, Orchard will become the Loeb's executive director, a new position, in 2002. Lester Gideon, a graduate of Oxford University and the ART Institute, will assume another new position, that of associate director. Gideon has served as dramaturge and overseen the ART's seminars and academic programs. His presence is intended to strengthen the pedagogical role of the ART in undergraduate education. Orchard, the only one of the three with extensive administrative experience, will lead the new ART triumvirate. Under Woodruff's artistic leadership, observers expect vigorous, cutting-edge, and controversial theater, like this spring's production of Richard II, to dominate the Loeb mainstage.


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