Emerson College and ArtsEmerson announced today that the Paramount Mainstage at the Emerson/Paramount Center will be renamed the Robert J. Orchard Stage. The naming will be celebrated at The World Alive special event, Thursday, October 6, at 6 p.m. at the Jackie Liebergott Black Box, located at the Emerson/Paramount Center at 559 Washington Street in Boston’s historic theatre district. Tickets are limited, cost $350, and include cocktail reception, dinner, performance of Here All Night, and a post-show dessert reception with the cast. All proceeds benefit The World On Stage Fund.

The World On Stage Fund. The celebration marks an important milestone in the capital campaign aimed to raise funds to support artistic excellence and ensure ArtsEmerson’s commitment to putting the world on stage. To honor Orchard who founded ArtsEmerson (and serves as Creative Consultant currently), Emerson College will name the Paramount Mainstage the Robert J. Orchard Theatre. The initial phase of the campaign raised $3 million from loyal and new patrons to ArtsEmerson and includes anonymous gifts. The new stage name will take effect officially on October 10, 2016, after the run of Here All Night, which brings the acclaimed theatre company Gare St Lazare Ireland to the ArtsEmerson stage for the third time.

"Rob has been a driving force in Boston's theatre scene since the late 1970s,” says ArtsEmerson executive director David Howse, “and we are honored to salute his vision and secure his legacy in two ways: first by establishing The World on Stage Fund which, as it grows, will ensure ArtsEmerson's ability to continue to present innovative international theatre; and second, by re-naming the Paramount Mainstage as the Robert J. Orchard Stage."

Regarding his original vision for ArtsEmerson, Orchard says he wanted the community to have the opportunity to experience the evolving signature of seminal artists from around the world by presenting their work often and making Boston one of said artists’ artistic homes. “From the start, ArtsEmerson has offered resources to help develop the work of these artists by inviting audiences to experience their creative process. Emerson College's focus on the intellect, arts, communications and most importantly, creativity, makes it a perfect home for an ambitious performing arts organization with a robust international and local profile. Further, the ever-evolving energy of our students and the enormous talent of our faculty is a huge resource,” he said.

“It is a pleasure to honor Rob Orchard for his many contributions to Emerson College and Boston's theater community. Because of his enthusiasm for the arts and knowledge of the vast global theater landscape and emerging artists, he has brought extraordinary productions to Boston from around the world. Under his leadership, Rob created opportunities for students to engage with visiting artists and for audiences of all ages, in Boston and beyond, to access wonderfully diverse theater experiences," said Emerson College President Lee Pelton.

“Rob committed ArtsEmerson to a focus on The World on Stage right from the outset,” said ArtsEmerson Co-Artistic Director David Dower. “This commitment has been critical to shaping both the early success of ArtsEmerson and our distinctive role in Boston’s cultural landscape. It is through this international lens that Boston audiences can grapple with the changing identity of our own city.”

“As our city and our country become ever more diverse and increasingly international, it is more important than ever for us to come together in the magical space of live theater to connect around our shared humanity, “ said ArtsEmerson Co-Artistic Director P. Carl. “Rob saw the future and founded a theater that could be responsive to historic shifts in our own country.”

When asked about the stage naming, Orchard shared, “I am enormously honored by this unnecessary, but deeply appreciated gesture.”

Media Contacts

  • Ami Bennitt, 617.797.8267, ami [at] motormmm.comtitle="Email ami [at]"
  • Carole McFall, 617.824.8415, carole_mcfall [at] emerson.edutitle="Email carole_mcfall [at]"

About Robert J. Orchard

Robert J. Orchard has spent 36 years dedicated to developing works of national and international significance in and for Boston audiences, and has extended the reach of these works by touring them to over 100 cities on four continents including major festivals in Edinburgh, Avignon, Belgrade, Paris, Madrid, Jerusalem, Venice, São Paulo, Tokyo, Taipei, Singapore, Moscow, New York, Los Angeles, London and Hong Kong, among others. He joined Emerson College in 2009 and founded the College's Office For The Arts and ArtsEmerson: The World on Stage in part to fill the void for local audiences in the international programming he experienced elsewhere and to engage with artists and institutions from this country and abroad whose work has never been seen in Boston. Prior to his retirement in 2015 ArtsEmerson produced or presented at the Paramount Center and the Cutler Majestic Theatre 85 multi-genre stage works from 13 countries, programmed numerous films also from around the world, hosted workshops for developing projects for future seasons, and brought the distinctive online platform HowlRound to Emerson College, dedicated to the sharing of ideas and resources for the theatre field and community worldwide. He also held the Stephen G. Langley Chair in Theatre Management and Production and continues with ArtsEmerson as Founder and Creative Consultant today. Prior to his work with Emerson, over a thirty year period, Orchard served as founding managing director of the American Repertory Theatre (A.R.T.) and the Institute for Advanced Theatre Training and director of the Loeb Drama Center at Harvard. During his tenure the A.R.T. earned the first Pulitzer Prize awarded to a play based on a production outside of New York, a special Tony Award in 1986, and in 2003 was named by Time Magazine as one of the top three theaters in the country. Before that he served as managing director at the Yale Repertory Theatre and School of Drama (from which he received an MFA in Theatre Administration) as well as associate professor and co-chair of the theatre administration program. He is a graduate of Middlebury College.   Orchard has served on many national theatre and arts boards, and in 2000 received the Elliot Norton Award for Sustained Excellence as well as a special citation in 2015 "for bringing the world's best theater to ArtsEmerson while nurturing the best of Boston theater" from the Boston Theatre Critics Association. He also recently received the Morozov Diamond Award, the Moscow Art Theatre's highest honor for distinguished service. He has lived in Milton, MA since 1979. 

About ArtsEmerson

ArtsEmerson is the professional presenting and producing organization of the Office of the Arts at Emerson College, and aims to address gaps in Boston’s cultural landscape by putting the world on stage and inviting diverse audiences from across the region into its historic downtown venues. Founded in 2010 by Robert J. Orchard under the auspices of Emerson College, ArtsEmerson quickly established a reputation for putting great work from diverse cultures on its stages — work that emanates from the language of theater, yet pushes the boundaries into dance, music, and opera.  The organization is committed to building a cultural institution that embraces and reflects the changing demographics of the City of Boston. ArtsEmerson operates from the core belief that the arts are for everyone. In 2015, Orchard moved into the role of Creative Consultant. Currently ArtsEmerson is led by Co-Artistic Directors, David Dower and P. Carl, and Executive Director, David Howse. This shared leadership model reflects the organization’s values — that multiple voices are essential to leading a 21st century arts organization. For more information, visit  

About the College

Based in Boston, Massachusetts, opposite the historic Boston Common and in the heart of the city’s Theatre District, Emerson College educates individuals who will solve problems and change the world through engaged leadership in communication and the arts, a mission informed by liberal learning. The College has 3,780 undergraduates and 670 graduate students from across the United States and 50 countries. Supported by state-of-the-art facilities and a renowned faculty, students participate in more than 90 student organizations and performance groups. Emerson is known for its experiential learning programs in Los Angeles, Washington, DC, the Netherlands, London, China, and the Czech Republic as well as its new Global Portals, with the first opening last fall in Paris. The College has an active network of 51,000 alumni who hold leadership positions in communication and the arts. For more information, visit