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Posted March 1, 2006

Bostonís New Repertory Theatre Has New Home

Last season, the Boston-based company New Repertory Theatre celebrated its twentieth anniversary, and this year New Rep has arrived at an even bigger milestone: its move to the Arsenal Center for the Arts, Bostonís newest performance space. New Rep is now in residence at a 340-seat venue that has won raves from Bostonís theatrical and architectural critics alike.

Under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Rick Lombardo, New Rep has grown by leaps and bounds over the past four seasons. Subscriptions have risen steadily and, with a string of hit productions, the box office has continued to break its own record for single ticket sales. With this growth spurt, however, came growing pains. For fourteen years, New Rep performed in a cramped 150-seat venue inside a church in Newton Highlands, MA. Houses were consistently sold out, and, with small dressing rooms and virtually no wing space, backstage was literally bursting at the seams.

Photo from the New Rep's 2005 production of ROMEO AND JULIET, directed by Rick Lombardo. Lucas Hall (Romeo) and Jennifer Lafleur (Juliet). Photo by Richard Feldman.

All that has changed, with New Repís residency at the Arsenal Center for the Arts. Not only does the new performance space offer resources such as state-of-the-art lighting and sound and spacious dressing rooms, but the seating capacity has more than doubled, allowing New Rep to accommodate its growing audiences. With the move, New Repís subscriptions are up by 20%, and single ticket sales continue to rise.

With all this growth, the company continues to offer more work for the areaís Equity performers. This winter, New Rep added an extra production to its normal five-show season, staging a large-scale production of CHARLES DICKENS' A CHRISTMAS CAROL that employed seven Equity actors. Additionally, New Rep On Tour Ė a program that takes professional productions onto the stages of local high schools Ė employed its first Equity performer this season, taking its first steps toward an eventual TYA contract.

New Rep currently operates under a NEAT (New England Area Theatres) contract. Rick Lombardo has served as president of NEAT for the past eight years; he has also acted as the chief negotiator with Equity during the last three contract cycles. ďThe NEAT contract offers fair wages to Boston artists, while also promoting growth for small and mid-size theatres,Ē he explains. ďNEAT has fuelled the growth of Boston-area theatres, while dramatically increasing the number of available Equity jobs in the region.Ē

New Repís season continues through May, 2006. For more information, visit www.newrep.org or call 617.923.8487.

Bostonís New Repertory Theatre
Photo of Artistic Director Rick Lombardo in New Rep's new home at the Arsenal Center for the Arts
photographer Gretje Ferguson

Bostonís New Repertory Theatre
Photo of the New Repertory Theatre's new home, the Charles Mosesian Theater in the Arsenal Center for the Arts
photographer Gretje Ferguson





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