American Repertory Theater celebrates upcoming return of live performances

The virtual event was hosted by A.R.T. artistic producer Mark Lunsford and Brittney Mack, who performs the role of Anna of Cleves in the Broadway production of “Six” 

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Splash photo Courtesy of American Repertory Theater

Broadway’s Brittney Mack (right) and A.R.T’s Mark Lunsford were co-hosts for the Spring Celebration put on by the American Repertory Theater on June 5, 2021.

Katherine Schick, Watertown Splash staff

On the evening of June 5, musical sensations from singer/songwriter Sara Bareilles to Broadway star Brittney Mack gathered online for Harvard University’s American Repertory Theater’s Spring Celebration. The event was a tribute to A.R.T. producer Diane Borger, who is leaving the A.R.T. after 12 years of producing masterpieces.

American Repertory Theater

Under Borger’s lead, the A.R.T., founded in 1980, has become one of the country’s premier regional theater companies. The theater has claimed 18 Tonys since 2012, including Best New Play All the Way” (2014) and Best Revival “Pippin” (2013). Notable shows such as “Six,” “Jagged Little Pill,” “Waitress,” and “Finding Neverland” debuted at the A.R.T. before hitting the stages of Broadway.  (“Six” and “Jagged Little Pill” are returning to Broadway and will be opening to the public in October.)

The virtual event was hosted by A.R.T. artistic producer Mark Lunsford and Brittney Mack, who performs the role of Anna of Cleves in the Broadway production of “Six.”  The event’s performers included Brandon Michael Nase, Lance Horne, and Broadway cast members of “Jagged Little Pill.” Bareilles joined the event to tell Borger that she is “so grateful for all the love and light and laughter you bring into the world.” She ended her message with a ballad for Borger and the words, “I love you dearly.”

Harvard president Lawrence S. Bacow noted how Borger has enriched the school’s arts program and helped the community understand “what theater and arts can do.”

In a similar vein, Mack highlighted the A.R.T.’s efforts to be a center of antiracism and inclusivity.

“It’s time to talk about the things that have been pushed aside,” Mack said.

“There really is no recovery without the arts,” Lunsford added.

The event included songs from productions of the upcoming 2021-22 A.R.T. season, including “Macbeth in Stride” (“Hellelu,” performed by Whitney White), “Wild” (with an early demo sung by Idina Menzel), the family musical “Jack and the Beanstalk,” and “1776.” Mack will run the “How To Slay” workshop that focuses on people’s high self-esteem and “builds artists from the inside out.” 

The event closed with final messages of thanks to Borger.

“To have so many speak so highly of someone just shows their impact,” Mack said. She ended the night with a reference to “Six” saying that Diane is “the ultimate queen of the castle.”

[video credit="American Repertory Theater" align="right"]
American Repertory Theater

–WMS–