Go Inside the Rehearsal Room for Life of Pi at American Repertory Theater | Playbill

Photo Features Go Inside the Rehearsal Room for Life of Pi at American Repertory Theater

The play makes its North American premiere beginning December 4 ahead of a Broadway bow.

Puppeteers Nikki Calonge and Celia Mei Rubin as “the Hyena,” Daisuke Tsuji, Sonya Venugopal, Mahira Kakkar, puppeteers Andrew Wilson, Jonathan David Martin, and Betsy Rosen as “the Orangutan” in rehearsal for The Life Pi Lauren Miller

With scripts and puppets in hand, the cast and creative team of Lolita Chakrabarti's Life of Pi at American Repertory Theater at Harvard University prepare for the play's North American premiere. Performances will begin December 4 at the Cambridge, Massachusetts theatre for a run through January 29, 2023 ahead of its Broadway debut. Go inside the rehearsal room with the pictures below.

Based on Yann Martel's best-selling and Man Booker Prize-winning novel, Life of Pi follows five survivors of a cargo ship sinking in the Pacific Ocean who have found temporary safety in a lifeboat. Among the lifeboat's five passengers are 16-year-old boy Pi, a hyena, a zebra, an orangutan, and a 450-pound Royal Bengal tiger.

Starring in the production are Adi Dixit as Pi, Brian Thomas Abraham as Cook/Voice of Richard Parker, Rajesh Bose as Father/Ghost Father, Avery Glymph as Father Martin/Admiral Jackson, Mahira Kakkar as Nurse/Amma/Orange Juice, Kirstin Louie as Lulu Chen, Salma Shaw as Mrs. Biology Kumar/Zaida Khan, Sathya Sridharan as Mamaji/Pandit-Ji, Daisuke Tsuji as Mr. Okamoto/Captain, and Sonya Venugopal as Rani/Ghost Rani.

Sathya Sridharan, Rajesh Bose, and puppeteers Avery Glymph, Andrew Wilson, and Betsy Rosen as “the Zebra” with Brian Thomas Abraham (behind) in rehearsal for The Life Pi Lauren Miller

Bringing the four animals to life for the production are puppet captain Fred Davis, Nikki Calonge, Rowan Magee, Jonathan David Martin, Betsy Rosen, Celia Mei Rubin, Scarlet Wilderink, and Andrew Wilson.

Rounding out the ensemble are Usman Ali Ishaq, Mahnaz Damania, Uma Paranjpe, and David Shih.

Sathya Sridharan in rehearsal for The Life Pi Lauren Miller

The London creative team helms the A.R.T. production under the direction of Max Webster, with scenic and costume design by Tony Award winner Tim Hartley, and puppetry and movement direction by Finn Caldwell, who designed the puppets along with Nick Barnes. The creative team also includes lighting design by Tim Lutkin, video design by Andrzej Goulding, sound design by Carolyn Downing, original composition by Andrew T. Mackay, and dramaturgy by Jack Bradley.

The work's West End production, currently playing Wyndham's Theatre, took home five 2022 Olivier Awards, including Best Play and Best Supporting Actor, the latter awarded collectively to the team of puppeteers who play the tiger.

For tickets and more information, visit AmericanRepertoryTheater.org.

Check out the full gallery below.

Step Inside the Rehearsal Room for A.R.T.'s Life of Pi


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