New Rep Theatre Plans to Relaunch After Suspending Operations During Pandemic

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Watertown-based New Repertory Theatre announced it plans to return to the stage after going dormant for several months.

The company, which is based at the Mosesian Center for the Arts, halted operations in July after losing half of the 2019-20 season and all of the 2020-21 season due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. The Mosesian Center for the Arts was also unavailable during much of that time while main lobby was being renovated.

This week, the New Rep Board of Directors sent out a letter that said the company plans to relaunch and will “prioritize new work, community partnerships that bring forth underrepresented voices, and experimental approaches to bold, innovative, and creative programming.” They may also expand performances beyond the Mosesian Center.

New Rep faced financial problems, having a budget deficit even before the pandemic. However, the Board said that financial concerns were not the reason for the suspension.

“We are happy to report that, thanks to your support, our team, PPP loans, and a Shuttered Venues grant, our financial situation remains stable,” the Board said in the letter.

See the entire letter below:

Dear New Rep Friends,

As 2021 draws to a close, we want to send you a quick update:

Are we relaunching? You bet we are! During our pause, we have been reflecting on our identity, our history, and our place here in the greater Boston theater community. From this work, the Board has decided to relaunch New Repertory Theatre into a new chapter. 

Our goal is to evolve New Rep into an operational and artistic model that incorporates inclusion, diversity, equity, accessibility, and accountability (IDEAA) in every aspect of our organization, including programming and operational structure. We also hope that the next version of the organization will be one that deepens community ties and offers exciting opportunities for you to connect with the creative work that is being done here in Boston and beyond.

Where are we headed? Over the last several months, we have had numerous conversations with local artists, members of the BIPOC community, arts advocates, advisors, and supporters. The ideas that have emerged from those discussions have been incorporated into a relaunch framework that represents a renewed version of our mission “to speak powerfully to the vital ideas of our time.” We will prioritize new work, community partnerships that bring forth underrepresented voices, and experimental approaches to bold, innovative, and creative programming. We are committed to continuing these conversations. If you would like to talk to us, we are here to listen. You can email us at info@newrep.org.

Our partnership with the Mosesian Center for the Arts will continue once we relaunch. The MCA continues to be unwavering in their support of New Rep. In addition to the MCA, we are also exploring the possibility of staging productions in novel locations appropriate for specific artistic projects.

Thank You! We appreciate you hanging in there with us. The decision to suspend operations this past summer was difficult, but the confluence of the pandemic, and uncertainty on whether we could mount a new season meant that the decision to suspend and regroup was practical and necessary. The suspension was not about financial distress, and we are happy to report that, thanks to your support, our team, PPP loans, and a Shuttered Venues grant, our financial situation remains stable.

We have heard from so many of you about the importance of our work, and it has buoyed us as we pursue the challenging, but necessary efforts to create an inclusive, sustainable theatre company.

Stay tuned for more news in the coming months; we look forward to telling you more about what’s next for the “new New Rep”!

Sincerely,
Board of Directors, New Repertory Theatre

One thought on “New Rep Theatre Plans to Relaunch After Suspending Operations During Pandemic

  1. I certainly hope that any new shows at the Center represent better verbiage than the last show I saw there, HAIR. I was truly disappointed in HAIR as every other word in the show was F–K this and F–K that and was filled with the constant smoking of pot. It was so distracting that I and my friend really didn’t enjoy the show. I had gone to the original show in Boston many years ago and they didn’t find the need to constantly fill the performance with such language. They were much more creative with their script. Even though this word has become more acceptable today, using it incessantly as they did in that show was a turn off and I vowed not to go back to a show there again until I felt that their artistic writers had higher aspirations. I hope they do that with their new shows. If you want to be inclusive and have a positive identity, you need to consider a more comprehensive audience and appeal to all people in the community, not a particular clientele.

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