Staging a Coup

The city’s sedate theater scene could use a pick-me-up, and two venerable institutions have chosen the same remedy: Hand the stage over to a young, ambitious veteran of New York’s Public Theater. (Yes, New York. Try to disengage your inferiority complex, Boston.)

This month Peter DuBois, 38, begins his first season as the Huntington’s artistic director, while Diane Paulus, 42, is taking over the American Repertory Theatre and planning for next season. Each must draw new audiences without alienating longtime subscribers. Paulus wants “visceral” music theater, in line with the A.R.T.’s Philip Glass and Peter Sellars productions. DuBois, meanwhile, is bringing cabaret to the Huntington’s Calderwood Pavilion, and workshops so Bostonians can follow a play’s evolution. And, of course, both project optimism you can hear from the back row. Says DuBois: “We can create new work that has an impact on the rest of the country.”