For Yale Rep, a season of firsts

The Yale Rep’s December production of “POP!” centered on Andy Warhol’s 1968 shooting.
The Yale Rep’s December production of “POP!” centered on Andy Warhol’s 1968 shooting. Photo by Karen Molokach.

The most famous pair of star-crossed lovers will take the stage in New Haven next year.

The 2010-’11 season of the Yale Repertory Theatre, announced two weeks ago, includes both classics, such as William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” and original, new works such as “Bossa Nova” by an up-and-coming playwright.

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James Bundy DRA ’95, the Yale Rep’s artistic director and dean of the School of Drama, said he worked closely with a team of senior administrators and artists around the country to plan the season.

“The plays are by writers who are new to our audiences and also by giants of world theater,” Bundy said. “We’re always looking to vary the experience of the audience throughout the year so that there is a mix of dark and light, changing perspectives and modes of theater-making.”

But budgetary issues were also a concern in the selection process, Bundy added: The Rep planned carefully with respect to the cost of production materials and the availability of labor — a concern they had for the 2009-’10 season as well, after the University-wide budget cuts implemented last year.

The season includes many firsts for the Yale Rep, such as the first musical commissioned by the troupe — “We Have Always Lived in the Castle” by Adam Bock and Todd Almond— which Yale Rep managing director and School of Drama deputy dean Victoria Nolan said might be produced in collaboration with the School of Music.

“[Commissioning a musical] is big for us — huge,” Nolan said.

Another first will be the Yale Rep’s own translation of famous Swedish writer and director Ingmar Bergman’s “Autumn Sonata,” which has been translated before, but never actually presented in the United States.

Some of the plays have been in the works for some time. The Yale Rep has been working on “We’ve Always Lived in a Castle” for almost two years, doing workshops and providing the writers with time to work with actors and musicians.

Rachel Loof ’13, who has seen plays at the Yale Rep this season, said she is excited about the prospect of a musical next year.

“I am excited that there are so many plays that I haven’t heard of before, but I am particularly intrigued by the musical,” Loof said.

Although the selection has been carefully thought out, it is not meant to bring forth a dominant message and is not curated around a theme, Bundy said.

The Yale Rep office is already busy preparing for the new season, which kicks off with “We Have Always Lived in the Castle” on Sept. 17.

“The office is slammed right now,” said Nolan. “We are even hiring some of the actors and making offers to designers.”

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