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History of The Nora

The Nora Theatre Company began in 1987 with a production of Edna O’Brien’s play, Virginia, about the celebrated author Virginia Woolf. Since that time we have staged 55 mainstage productions, including 30 professional Greater Boston-area premieres.

Martha Mitchell CallingOur first two seasons were spent at the former Lyric Stage space on Charles Street, and from 1989 to 1996 we resided at the Harvard Freshman Union, where we continued mounting our own productions and established an internship program with Harvard students through an affiliation with the Harvard College Freshman Dean’s Office. From the beginning we have sought plays that jostle our hearts and minds and have attempted to produce them in ways that reveal our common humanity.

During its 20-year history, The Nora has received many media citations for the high quality of its work. In 1994, the company’s production of Death of a Salesman was recognized as the “Outstanding Production of 1994 by a Small Resident Company,” and its director, Eric C. Engel, as the “Outstanding Director” of that year. The Nora’s production of Equus was cited by The Boston Globe as one of the “best of 1996” and garnered an Elliot Norton Award for Stephen Largay as “Outstanding Actor, Small Resident Company”; The Boston Globe honored Bed and Sofa as one of the “best of 1997”; Molly Sweeney was named in both The Boston Globe and Boston Phoenix as being among the “best of 1998” and received an Elliot Norton Award for its director Scott Edmiston; The Swan received an Elliot Norton Award for its sound designer, J. Hagenbuckle in 1999; As Bees in Honey Drown received two IRNE Award nominations in 2000; and Stop Kiss was noted as one of the highlights of the 2000 season in both The Boston Globe and The Boston Herald. The Nora’s production of Betrayal won the Elliot Norton Award for “Outstanding Production, Small Resident Company” and was cited as one of the 2003 ten “Best of the Boards” by the Boston Phoenix. Betrayal also garnered one IRNE Award nomination and an IRNE Award for Anne Gottlieb, who played the role of Emma. The Nora’s production of Richard McElvain’s adaptation of Antigone was named one of “Boston’s Best Theatre 2004” by EDGE Boston. The company’s production of Buried Child received 2007 IRNE nominations.

In July 2008 The Nora Theatre Company, in partnership with Underground Railway Theater, moved into its new state-of-the-art theater facility in the heart of Central Square, Cambridge - Central Square Theater - which is the first permanent residence for both companies.

The Nora Theatre Company, Inc. is a non-profit theater operating under the NEAT Agreement with Actors’ Equity Association. The Nora is a member of StageSource, the Alliance of Theatre Artists and Producers; ARTS/Boston; NEAT, the Producers’ Association of New England Area Theatres; TAMA, Theater Arts Marketing Alliance and MAASH, Massachusetts Advocates for the Arts, Sciences and Humanities.