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ART’s Diane Borger is stepping down

Co-leader of Cambridge theater will return to England, where she’d spent much of her career

American Repertory Theater executive producer Diane Borger
American Repertory Theater executive producer Diane BorgerLiza Voll

Diane Borger, the co-leader of Cambridge’s American Repertory Theater for more than a decade, will step down at the end of June.

According to the ART’s announcement late Monday, Borger plans to return to London, where she had previously worked for many years, including lengthy stints as general manager of the Royal Court Theatre and deputy head of the National Theatre Studio.

Borger initially came to the ART in the autumn of 2009 as the executive producer of “Sleep No More,” by the British theater troupe Punchdrunk. Borger went on to hold that same title at the ART, a capacity in which she jointly led the company with artistic director Diane Paulus.


Borger was not available for an interview Monday, but in a statement said “it has been a privilege and a joy to serve as the executive producer of the ART,” calling her tenure at the ART “twelve of the most extraordinary years of my career,” and citing her “incredible partnership with Diane Paulus.”

“A producer’s work is rooted in relationships, and I have the most enormous appreciation for the remarkable students and artists with whom I’ve been lucky enough to collaborate,’' she added.

In a prepared statement, Paulus described Borger’s impact on the ART as “transformational.” She praised Borger’s “genius in understanding the creative process, from her dramaturgical insights to her steady guidance in delivering a production,” and lauded her “remarkable ability to build relationships with artists.”

That included British theatermakers like director John Tiffany, who developed the musical “Once” at Oberon, the ART’s club theater near Harvard Square. After it opened on Broadway in 2012, “Once” went on to win eight Tony Awards, including best musical. Tiffany directed a revelatory 2013 revival at the ART of Tennessee Williams’s “The Glass Menagerie,” which also was presented on Broadway.


The traffic between the ART and Broadway has been brisk during the Paulus-Borger era, with productions like “Jagged Little Pill,” “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess,” “Pippin,” “Waitress,” and “All the Way” heading off to New York after engagements in Cambridge.

(Disclosure: Borger was involved in the ART’s 2015 premiere of “Crossing,” an opera by this reporter’s son, Matthew Aucoin).

According to the Monday announcement of Borger’s departure, a search committee of ART staffers and board members will choose a search firm and “lead the process to identify” her successor. The ART’s board of trustees Monday voted to appoint Borger to the theater’s Board of Advisors, which she will join this summer.

Don Aucoin can be reached at donald.aucoin@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeAucoin.