Paramount main stage renamed for ArtsEmerson founder

by Ross Cristantiello / Beacon Staff • September 28, 2016

1475118779 paramount stage.jpg
The Paramount Center main stage.
The Paramount Center main stage.

Despite the giant neon sign on Washington Street, the main stage inside the Paramount Center will soon bear a new name.

Starting next week, it will now be known as the Robert J. Orchard stage, President Pelton announced in an email. Orchard founded ArtsEmerson, the Office of the Arts’ professional theater production company, in 2009. He now serves as a creative consultant to the organization.

Orchard began his almost 40-year career in theater management at Yale Repertory Theatre and eventually became the executive director of the American Repertory Theater at Harvard in 1979. He is known for bringing international performances to Boston. Orchard developed shows that have toured in Japan, China, the United Kingdom, and beyond.

“It’s our honor to recognize Rob in this way,” David C. Howse, executive director of ArtsEmerson, said. “He has made a huge contribution to the theater community here.”

This contribution will be commemorated not only by the new name but also by an event at the Jackie Liebergott Black Box theater on Oct. 6. The gala, called World Alive, will include food and also a performance by Irish theater group Gare St Lazare. All proceeds will go towards the World On Stage Fund, an ongoing ArtsEmerson fundraising effort that Orchard has continuously supported, according to a press release from the college.

“The fund is our way to honor and secure Rob’s legacy,” Howse added.

The name change will officially take effect Oct. 10.