The American Repertory Theater at Harvard University (A.R.T) continues to ignite Cambridge’s cultural scene with its riveting and inventive programming. Founded in 1980 by Robert Brustein and led since 2008 by Tony Award-winning Artistic Director Diane Paulus, A.R.T. turns out plays and musicals that garner national praise before they’ve even graced Broadway. Cambridge audiences have been some of the first to see Broadway darlings like Waitress, All The Way to Pippin and Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess. The A.R.T. stage consistently draws in actors in the prime of their career including Audra McDonald, Norm Lewis, David Alan Grier, and Bryan Cranston. The Oberon theater, part of the A.R.T community, gives visibility to emerging talent and is an important resource for Harvard’s new undergraduate concentrations in Theater, Dance, and Media. It also hosts the cult-hit Donkey Show on Saturday evenings, a circus-like performance meets Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream set in a 70s disco, that continues to draw rave reviews. See students from the A.R.T. Institute for Advanced Theater’s 2018 class in Charlotte’s Web, based on the story by E.B. White and directed by alum Dmitry Troyanovsky, from December 17 through January 7, 2018. The 2017-2018 A.R.T. season at the 540-seat Loeb Drama Center promises to be just as entertaining as previous seasons with performances like playwright Kate Hamill’s take on Sense and Sensibility, running from December 10-January 14, 2018, and the world premiere of The White Card, which examines race issues during at a cocktail party over the course of an evening in Manhattan, from February 24-March 18, 2018. The A.R.T.’s location just outside of Harvard Square makes it ideal to enjoy a dinner at one of the area’s restaurants (try Alden and Harlow or Giulia) before seeing a show this season.