Best of Boston

2012 BEST Theater

ArtsEmerson

With its three venues—the Cutler Majestic, the Paramount Mainstage, and the Jackie Liebergott Black Box—ArtsEmerson certainly dominates the Theater District, but its artistic reach goes far beyond the city. This year, executive director Rob Orchard landed the following: Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, reimagined by Brooklyn company Mabou Mines; a musical about the Shakers called Angel Reapers, co-conceived by Pulitzer Prize and MacArthur grant winners; and The Speaker’s Progress, which used Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night as the basis for a satire about the Arab Spring. The organization’s biggest coup, though, was convincing Cambridge’s reclusive John Malkovich to star as a serial killer in The Infernal Comedy.