Every day is opening night.

The A.R.T. Presents Clifford Odets’ “Paradise Lost” Beginning Saturday, February 27

Rick Miramontez / Jon Dimond / Andy Snyder
rick@oandmco.com/ jon@oandmco.com/ andy@oandmco.com
(212) 695-7400


“ P A R A D I S E L O S T ”


Cambridge, Mass. (2/25/2010) — The American Repertory Theater (Diane Paulus, Artistic Director) continues its landmark season with its production of Clifford Odets’s drama Paradise Lost, directed by Daniel Fish, beginning performances on Saturday, February 27 and scheduled to run through Saturday, March 20 at the Loeb Drama Center (64 Brattle Street, Cambridge, MA). Written by one of the greatest twentieth-century playwrights, Paradise Lost is a poetic, humane and distinctly American drama that examines the impact of money and greed on family business and love. Paradise Lost is the second production of the A.R.T.’s festival America: Boom, Bust and Baseball which explores the hopes, disappointments, and triumphs of the past American century from the roaring twenties to the Great Depression, to the Boston Red Sox’s stunning 2004 World Series victory.

In Paradise Lost, the American economy is on the edge of catastrophe and futures are at risk. The Gordon family, losing all they have worked for, strive to preserve their trust in each other and in the promise of their nation. Odets considered Paradise Lost to be the favorite of his plays. First produced by the Group Theatre in 1935, the play voices the suffering, hope, and shattered dreams of a country in the throes of financial crisis. Three-quarters of a century later, Americans are still wrestling with the demons of nihilism and idealism, charity and greed, self-interest and compassion.

Paradise Lost features scenic design by Andrew Lieberman, costume design by Kaye Voyce, lighting design by Scott Zielinksi, sound design by Clive Goodwin, video design by Joshua Thorson, and a cast of fourteen including David Chandler (Leo Gordon), Sally Wingert (Clara Gordon), Hale Appleman (Ben), T. Ryder Smith (Julie; Mr. May), Therese Plaehn (Pearl), Thomas Derrah (Gus Michaels), Merritt Janson (Libby Michaels), Jonathan Epstein (Sam Katz), Adrianne Krstansky (Bertha), Karl Bury (Kewpie), Michael Rudko (Mr. Pike), Cameron Oro (Felix), Remo Airaldi (Phil Foley) and Anthony Gaskins (ensemble).

Tickets are priced from $25-$75 and are available in person by phone at (617) 547-8300 and online at www.americanrepertorytheater.org. The performance schedule is as follows: Tuesdays at 7:30 P.M., Wednesdays at 7:30 P.M., Thursdays at 7:30 P.M., Fridays at 8:00 P.M., Saturdays at 2:00 P.M. and 8:00 P.M. and Sundays at 2:00 P.M. and 7:30 P.M. Please note: there will be no 2:00 P.M. matinee on Saturday, February 27 and no 8:00 P.M. evening performance on Sunday, February 28.

American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) is one of the country’s most celebrated resident theaters and the winner of numerous awards, including the Tony Award, the Pulitzer Prize and numerous local Elliot Norton and I.R.N.E. Awards. In 2002 A.R.T. was the recipient of the National Theater Conference’s Outstanding Achievement Award and in May of 2003 it was named one of the top three theaters in the country by Time magazine.

Founded by Robert Brustein in 1980, over its twenty-nine-year history the A.R.T. has welcomed major American and international theater artists, presenting a diverse repertoire that includes new American plays, bold reinterpretations of classical texts, and provocative new music theater productions. A.R.T. has performed throughout the U.S. and worldwide in twenty-one cities in sixteen countries on four continents. It has presented over two hundred productions, over half of which were premieres of new plays, translations and adaptations.

A.R.T. is also a training ground for young artists. The theater’s artistic staff teaches undergraduate classes in acting, directing, dramatic literature, dramaturgy, design and playwriting at Harvard University, and in 1987 the A.R.T. founded the Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard University. In conjunction with the Moscow Art Theater School, the Institute provides world-class graduate level training in acting, dramaturgy and voice.

Last fall A.R.T. welcomed its new Artistic Director, Diane Paulus., who is currently represented on Broadway with her direction of the Public Theater’s Tony Award-winning production of Hair. Under her leadership, and with major funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Theater has developed a new initiative, EXPERIENCE THE A.R.T., which seeks to revolutionize the theater experience through a sustained commitment to empowering the audience. This initiative recognizes that theater is not just a play on the stage, but also a social occasion for people to come together and experience community. This audience-driven vision speaks directly to the A.R.T.’s core mission — “to expand the boundaries of theater.” By expanding its focus to include the audience’s total theater experience, the A.R.T. seeks to give audiences a voice, a sense of ownership and a feeling of importance in the theatrical event.

To learn more about the A.R.T. and its season visit www.americanrepertorytheater.org or call the A.R.T. InfoLine at (617) 547-8300.


Clifford Odets (Playwright) was born to Jewish immigrant parents in Philadelphia, in 1906. He was one of the original members of the New York City-based, avant-garde, left-wing ensemble Group Theatre formed in the early 1930s. Now considered the most influential American theater troupe of its time, Group was committed to radical revolutions in theater and focused on pressing social issues of the day. The Group Theatre also shunned celebrity and made their productions true collaborations, following the views espoused in their plays. After joining the American Communist Party in 1934, Odets used a taxi drivers' strike from that year as the inspiration for his first play, Waiting for Lefty, produced in 1935. The play, starring future legendary film director Elia Kazan, was a huge success, thrilling its audience to the point of pandemonium. Odets also perfected the Company’s ambition to write plays in the authentic language of its working-class characters; his crackling, pitch-perfect dialogue brought an unprecedented level of social realism to the theater. Odets quickly followed the success of Waiting for Lefty with what many consider his masterpiece, Awake and Sing!. Paradise Lost soon followed, as well as Rocket to the Moon, Golden Boy, Night Music, and Clash by Night. He also wrote screenplays, including the adaptation of the novel The Sweet Smell of Success, a classic investigation into the cutthroat world of fame. Additional stage plays include Till the Day I Die, The Big Knife and The Country Girl. Odets died from cancer in 1963. Odets was the model for the idealistic titular playwright in the Coen brothers' 1991 film Barton Fink, and is considered the defining American playwright of the 1930s and revered as one of drama's greatest crusaders for social justice.

Daniel Fish (Director) has directed productions at theaters across the country and abroad. Recent work includes Tartuffe at McCarter Theatre/Yale Repertory Theatre; The Elliott Smith Project at True Love Productions/Bard Summerscape; and Clifford Odets’ Rocket to the Moon at Long Wharf Theatre, Bard Summerscape. Off-Broadway credits include the premieres of Charles L. Mee’s True Love at Zipper Theatre and Paradise Park at Signature Theatre; Ghosts at Center Stage; and the US premiere of The Woman Before by Roland Schimmelpfenning at German Theatre Abroad. He directed the premiere of Poor Beck by Joanna Laurens for the Royal Shakespeare Company (Stratford and London); Hamlet, Loot, The Importance of Being Earnest and The Learned Ladies at McCarter Theatre; Twelfth Night and The Merry Wives of Windsor at the Shakespeare Theatre, Washington DC; The Merchant of Venice, Measure for Measure, and Cymbeline for California Shakespeare Theatre. His work has also been seen at Yale Repertory Theatre, The Wilma Theatre, Baltimore Centerstage, Great Lakes Theatre Festival, Court Theatre, The Intiman Theatre, and The Juilliard School. He has worked as Associate Director to Sir Peter Hall and Michael Kahn and has taught at The Yale School of Drama and Princeton University.