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Rob Orchard

In October 2009, theatre producer and educator Rob Orchard became Emerson College's first Executive Director for the Arts and Stephen G. Langley Chair in Theater Management and Production. Orchard was Managing Director of the Yale Repertory Theatre and School of Drama, where he also served as associate professor and co-chair of the MFA Theatre Administration Program. Following his time at Yale, Orchard was the Founding Managing Director of the American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) and subsequently Executive Director, and was the architect for the A.R.T. training Institute and its relationship with the Moscow Art Theatre School, as well as Director the Loeb Drama Center at Harvard. At the A.R.T. he produced more than 200 works, including premieres by Nobel prize winners Dario Fo and Derek Walcott; composers Philip Glass, David Byrne, Liz Swados and Galt MacDermot; playwrights Robert Brustein, Marsha Norman, Christopher Durang, Milan Kundera, Susan Sontag, Charles Mee, David Mamet, Anna Deavere Smith, David Rabe, Paula Vogel, Sam Shepard and Lisa Kron, among others. He has also worked with many of the world's most respected directors, among them: Andrei Serban, Robert Brustein, Peter Sellars, Joanne Akalaitis, Robert Wilson, Richard Foreman, Anne Bogart, Robert Woodruff, Janos Szasz, Andrzej Wajda and Martha Clarke.

Orchard has served as chairman of both the Theatre and the Opera/Musical Theatre Panels at the National Endowment for the Arts, on the Board and Executive Committee of the American Arts Alliance, the national advocacy association for the performing and visual arts, and as a trustee of Theatre Communications Group (TCG). In addition, he has served on the Board of the Cambridge Multi-Cultural Arts Center and as President of the Massachusetts Cultural Education Collaborative. In 2000, Orchard received the Elliot Norton Award for Sustained Excellence. He is currently on the board of the Boston Arts Academy.

man speaking in front of a crowd
How to Have a Successful Thirty-Five Year Career
Essay

How to Have a Successful Thirty-Five Year Career

Rob Orchard and Joe Melillo in Conversation

16 December 2018

Joe Melillo, BAM’s outgoing executive producer, talks to Rob Orchard about his thirty-five-year-long time at the company, continuing his work with emerging artists, and more.

How To Prep A Staff For An Organizational Pivot
Essay

How To Prep A Staff For An Organizational Pivot

Rob Orchard and Susan Medak in Conversation, Part 2

2 December 2018

Susie Medak, managing director of Berkeley Rep Theatre, talks to Rob Orchard about how to best prep staff for a major leadership change, how an outgoing artistic director can work with the incoming one, and more.

Two people smiling in front of a theatre
How To Prep A Board For An Organizational Pivot
Essay

How To Prep A Board For An Organizational Pivot

Rob Orchard and Susan Medak in Conversation, Part 1

25 November 2018

Susan Medak, managing director of Berkeley Rep Theatre, speaks with Rob Orchard about a board’s involvement with changing leadership, reevaluating a company’s artistic mission in the lead up to hiring someone new, and more.

Thunder in Blunderland
Essay

Thunder in Blunderland

10 June 2016

Rob Orchard writes about Robert Brustein’s career of writing political theatre, and shares an audio recording of a new satirical skit.

The Center for the Theater Commons
Essay

The Center for the Theater Commons

Why Emerson? Why Now?

16 April 2012

Rob Orchard reflects on his professional career at the Yale Repertory Theatre and the American Repertory Theatre, leading to his new position and excitment for Emerson's Office of the Arts.

Emerson College
Series

Emerson College

A series on HowlRound's partner, Emerson College.