Wednesday, July 17, 2024

A rendering of Arrow Street Arts when it opens this year. (Image: TruDesign)

Arrow Street Arts officially opens its Black Box Theater – what was once the American Repertory Theater’s Oberon – with the Boston Opera Collaborative’s April 4-7 production of “Carmen.” After that, several groups move in for performances throughout the spring and summer to a space that has seen more than a year of renovations.

What happened to the weeklong festival planned for late March to launch the space?

It will take place in the fall, the result of an installation delay with the venue’s bespoke telescopic seating system. Produced by Cambridge-based theater ensemble Liars and Believers, the festival still promises to offer a variety of performances, events and gatherings, but now that’ll be between Sept. 7-14. The performer lineup will be announced this spring.

Arrow Street Arts is a nonprofit founded by David Altshuler aiming to accommodate organizations and artists needing space to practice and perform with the 4,500-square-food black box theater and a 1,100-square-foot studio that was previously a clothing boutique. The street-front studio has been open since January, hosting classes, rehearsals, workshops and performances.

A range of companies are scheduled into the studio and black box theater. Five are recipients of funding through the Arrow Street Arts Fund at the Cambridge Community Foundation:

Arrow Street Arts’ resident theater company, Moonbox Productions, presents “The Manic Monologues” through Feb. 25. The play, about what it means to be touched by a mental health condition, is the first studio production. 

Boston Opera Collective shows “La Tragédie de Carmen,” the classic Bizet opera about obsession, April 4-7 in the Black Box Theater. It’s trimmed by Peter Brook to 90 minutes and four people with a 15-piece chamber orchestra. 

Harvard Square’s Longy School of Music of Bard College shows “The Little Prince,” its spring opera production, April 13-14 in the Black Box Theater, before Moonbox Productions returns April 26-May 19 with a Black Box Theater run of “The Mermaid Hour,” about the journey of parenting a trans tween.

Jessica Roseman Dance works with Black mothers from Cambridge in partnership with the Cambridge Center For Families through the Nourish project, which inspired Jessica’s choreographed work, also called “Nourish.” There will be open rehearsals over the next months, plus a series of lunchtime community showings Feb. 28, April 24 and May 29 with performances in the Studio on June 21-22.

Jo-Mé Dance puts on “Guilty Until Proven Innocent (The Sean Ellis Story)” in the Black Box Theater in June. Choreographed by Joe González and danced by majority Bipoc Boston and Cambridge contemporary dancers, the show is based on the story of Sean Ellis, a 19-year-old Black man wrongfully imprisoned in Boston for 22 years. 

The Midday Movement Series brings funding to six artists and companies to participate in monthlong teaching residencies with a final informal showing of works in progress during two performances in the Black Box Theater on July 13. 

The Janelle Gilchrist Dance Troupe, a women-led and Black-owned ballet company, will rehearse and perform “Journeys 2018” and “Danzas y Canciones” July 19-21 in the Black Box Theater.