New Repertory Theatre is excited to announce the Directors for each of the plays of its 2023 Season, as the company continues to build on its nearly 40-year legacy of excellent, provocative theatrical productions that speak to the vital issues of our time.
Shira Helena Gitlin will direct Larry Kramer’s Tony Award winning autobiographical drama, The Normal Heart, opening June 22 for a three-week run through July 9. Set in New York City in the early 1980’s, Larry Kramer’s powerful, passionate and controversial play was the first to treat seriously the poignant and devastating subject of AIDS. Shira is a trans nonbinary, Boston-based director, dramaturg, gender consultant, and musical theatre enthusiast. They have directed for the National Women’s Theatre Festival, Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, Moonbox Productions, Flat Earth Theatre, Sparkhaven Theatre, Playwrights’ Platform, the Boston Theatre Marathon and more. Shira is a graduate of the Arden Professional Apprentice Class 26, was an Artistic Fellow at SpeakEasy Stage, and is an alumni of Directors Lab North in Toronto, Canada. Says Shira: “The Normal Heart is a perfect example of a part of our history that is already being erased by the history books. It is vital that we remember and engage with the challenges that the LGBT+ community has faced in the past to help us move forward against the most recent attacks on our human rights.”
Lorraine Hansberry’s masterpiece drama, A Raisin in the Sun, will be directed by Lois Roach. A searing and timeless portrait of a family on Chicago’s South Side, and an American classic, A Raisin in the Sun opens September 6 through October 1. Lois is a writer, award-winning producer and stage director, and Resident Artist at New Rep. She received the IRNE Best Director Award for the Lyric Stage production of The Old Settler which also received the IRNE Award for Best Production and the Elliot Norton Award for Best Production (Small Theater). In addition to the New Rep, Lois has worked with the Lyric Stage Company, the Black Folks Theatre Company, Company One Theatre, the Opera Providence, RI, Our Place Theatre’s African American Theatre Festival and the Wellesley Rep Theater. Lois says “A Raisin in the Sun is one of the hallmarks in Black American theatre and therefore American theatre. It is vital to acknowledge and honor that so much of today’s storytelling is rooted in this classic tale of family, home life and the conflicts that arise with the questfor ones’ dreams.”
Pascale Florestal will direct the world premiere of Phaedra Michelle Scott’s DIASPORA!, running concurrently in repertory with A Raisin in the Sun, opening September 14 through October 15. Pascale is a first generation Haitian American Queer Woman. She is an Elliot Norton Nominated Director, Educator, Dramaturg, Writer and Collaborator based in Boston, MA. Recent directing Credits: Fairview with SpeakEasy Stage, Spring Awakening at Brandeis University, The Colored Museum with The Umbrella Performing Arts Center, This Girl Laughs, This Girl Cries, This Girl Does Nothing with Emerson Stage, and Everybody with Boston Conservatory. Her production of Once On This Island with SpeakEasy Stage received six Elliot Norton Nomination including Outstanding Direction and Outstanding Musical Production. Pascale currently serves as the Associate Director for The National Broadway Tour of Jagged Little Pill. Pascale was named one of the WBUR ARTery 25 Artists of Color Transforming the Cultural Landscape in Boston. She is a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society. “I’m excited to direct DIASPORA!, a play from a new voice about multi-dimensional, relatable, young people of color in the city of Boston, from different vantage points in history, and their intersection with the world around us.” says Pascale.
“We believe the themes of these works are as timely as they are powerful, and offer a beautiful reminder that history has given us plenty of answers on how to build our future. Addressing activism in the time of an epidemic, and an exploration of home and displacement, these plays enlighten us in how to love in the face of terror, how to forgive in the face of betrayal, and how to connect in a time of isolation.”
– Artistic Directors Michael Hisamoto, Lois Roach, Maria Hendricks
Tickets are on sale now, available at newrep.org. All productions will be in the Black Box Theater of the Mosesian Center for the Arts, 321 Arsenal St., Watertown, MA.