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A.R.T. and Art

Shall Ever the Twain Meet?

By Vladimir Zelevinsky

The American Repertory Theatre is, as it is generally known, at the cutting edge of modern theatre. Their adherence to classical tradition, paired with their innovations in theatrical language, combine to ensure that the audience gets to see productions there that can’t be witnessed anywhere else.

Usually speaking, that is. Lately, A.R.T seems to have entered some kind of creative slump; even the tiny Boston Playwrights’ Theatre provides more enjoyable productions. This season at A.R.T. started with the generally listless We Won’t Pay! We Won’t Pay!, hitting its high point with the dazzling Ivanov. Now, things are again less than encouraging. Neither of the two productions running now -- Loot and Full Circle -- is all that remarkable; even considering the infrequent moments of brilliance, present in both of these productions, the general impression is rather befuddling. Even the rationale behind picking these two plays is murky. Let’s look at them separately.