American Repertory Theater announces plans to move across the river

The American Repertory Theater reports it will be moving from Cambridge to Allston thanks to a $100-million donation to Harvard to build "a state-of-the-art research and performance center" in Allston - although it will remain in its current home in the Loeb Drama Center for several years.

The money comes from David and Stacey Goel. He is a co-founder of Matrix Capital Management Company LP, and a Harvard alumnus.

As part of the University’s plan for its expanding campus, and adjacent to the athletic facilities on North Harvard Street, the new center will anchor Harvard’s arts presence in Allston alongside the Business School, the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and the transformative science, entrepreneurship, and discovery activities already underway. The ArtLab, a new hub for arts innovation on North Harvard Street in Allston, was completed in January. It will complement arts programming offered through the Harvard Allston Ed Portal and the Office for the Arts’ ceramics studio on Western Avenue. ...

The University will continue to assess its design, fundraising, and planning needs in the coming months, and the A.R.T. will continue to produce work at the Loeb for several years while plans develop.

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Comments

With a $100M gift (and I'm

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With a $100M gift (and I'm guessing more to come), ART could have stayed in their own building in Harvard Square. Looks like they wanted to be in Allston instead.

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One of my favorite theater companies

A.R.T is one of my favorite theater companies in the Boston area. It's always good to see donations that allow theaters to pursue capital improvements . I do like the Cambridge space and location though.
As Harvard develops the Allston campus further I hope the new location for A.R.T. blends into the fabric of the city much like the Cambridge space.

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Voting closed 13

That part of Allston will

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That part of Allston will never have any urban fabric, let alone some as good as Brattle Street.

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Wait 25-40 years

It takes time for things to change. Cambridge wasn't always the way it is today either.

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It's a different world today.

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It's a different world today. Even if people wanted to build another Harvard Square, zoning wouldn't allow it, and you'd never get a subway station.

And Harvard Square wasn't created by Harvard buying a rail yard and building hundreds of thousands of square feet at once.

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fire trap

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I volunteered to usher a few years back. Some of the productions had sets which extended beyond the stage and into the front of the house. Seating was routinely extended into aisles. There was no consideration of additional space needed to accommodate wheelchairs and mobility equipment. The house manager couldn't have cared less and let me know it. Front of house staff had no idea about basic fire safety. I never went back.

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Voting closed 6

"Research"

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What research does a theater company do?

"a state-of-the-art research and performance center"

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Voting closed 5

theatre research

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history and comparisons of versions of the plays
costume history and context
set design
actors, role interpretations
historical context
effect of the play on society

music
composers
instrumentation

societal taboos addressed

just for starters

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Voting closed 34

I'm kind of dissapointed.

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I like how the theater is now in the midst of the square and near many restaurants. But, I'll keep an open mind.

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My thoughts exactly. The

My thoughts exactly. The current location is convenient for college students, Cambridge residents and anyone with access to the Red Line or the dozens(?) of bus lines that terminate in Harvard Square.

The business school campus is much more isolated from public transit and residential neighborhoods.

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Voting closed 4

Bright arena and Lavietes

Bright arena and Lavietes Pavillion are both in that area of Allston. Lavietes will be sold out this weekend for basketball, doesn't hinder students from going to that area.

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two thoughts

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Taking a cultural institution away from its connection to transit and other things to do

What exactly is the motivation to donate to an institution that is already cash-soaked?

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Voting closed 7

In the end, I wonder what the

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In the end, I wonder what the net will be.

That must be a reasonably-valuable chunk of land there on Brattle Street.

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sad but change is inevitable

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Best of luck to them in their new home, I really loved the intimacy and quiet interest of that building. They were kind of hidden, and the new location is an opportunity to widen their influence and expand their ambitions.

I hope someone is able to reuse that building--if memory serves it's an early Hugh Stubbins design (Boston Federal Reserve, Citicorp Tower in NYC). Would be a sad loss for cambridge modern architecture if it were lost

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