CMU School of Drama

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Company That Launched Broadway’s Great Comet Reveals the Key to Finding Groundbreaking Art

Playbill: Ars Nova has earned a reputation for developing groundbreaking new work that defies the boundaries of traditional theatre—think Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812, which the company debuted Off-Broadway four years before it hit Broadway’s Imperial Theatre this past fall.

Since its founding in 2002, the organization has continued to showcase emerging artists with fresh voices and produce innovative new theatre. Last week, Ars Nova paired with WP Theater to present Rachel Bonds’ new play with music, Sundown, Yellow Moon, which opened Off-Broadway to critical acclaim.


Delaney Johnson said...

When first seeing the title of this article I assumed I would write a rant about there being more than "one key" to groundbreaking art. Yet, I discovered upon reading the Playbill article that this title is very incorrect for what the author is really trying to say. Instead of enforcing a one way or the highway escape to make art, Playbill is actually interviewing a unique and extraordinary individual who in making groundbreaking art. Ars accomplishes this by giving young, innovative and out of the box artists a chance, and I think that is so important So often in the theatre industry we spend more time trying to make a hit that we forget about creation. We always want to see something that amazing and unique yet we don't fund artists that are doing just that. For that reason I support Ars for giving a chance to the forgotten "weird" artists that are thinking outside the box and toward our future as a theatre industry.

Vanessa Ramon said...

It's cool to hear that such an established theater like Ars Nova takes risks like these in order to keep theatre evolving and relevant. I like what Emily Shooltz said about how their theater likes to help artists make their crazy ideas come to life because that is how great art is found. It is cool how they have such an open mindset when it comes to projects.I can't imagine how many new challenges this places on not only the artists, but also the production team. As I have been learning, many of the planning and budgeting are based off of similar shows and sizes of productions and with such new pieces as the Ars Nova produces every year, the work of the production team must be very critical and creative itself.I also like what Emily said about how at Ars Nova, the best ideas rise to the top. This sounds like a benefit of being such an open minded theater. While many other theaters might choose a show because it will bring in the money, Ars is staying true to its mission statement.

Antonio Ferron said...

Ads Nova has had amazing success with Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812. It was awesome to read this article and get an understanding of just how the company feels about the work they produce. For such a large company it amazes me that they put so much time, effort, and money into such weird and inpredicatable concepts, but it is so necessary. Groups with missions like Ars Nova are what keep theatre and art alive and growing. The Public Theatre is very similar in the way they choose their productions. It's somewhat a risky way to run a business, but the chance of success has to be weighed against the chance of failure. These companies realize how much rewarding a successful production like Hamilton or Great Comet can be, and are willing to risk that at the expense if producing some less than successful productions. I can't wait to see what Ars Nova produces in the future.