About Arin Arbus
Arin Arbus is, according to critic Charles Isherwood of The New York Times, the “most gifted” new theater director to emerge in New York in the last year. Her off-Broadway production of Othello, he wrote, handled Shakespeare with the “kind of artistry we always hope for and rarely find.”
Arin Arbus is originally from Los Angeles and is the daughter of actors (her father is Allan Arbus, familiar to readers as the character Sidney Freedman in M*A*S*H). After graduating from Bates as an art major, Arbus considered a career as a visual artist and painter but veered away. She instead embraced the theater after a summer at the Williamstown Theater Festival, where she directed two productions.
Arbus has been with Theatre for a New Audience for six years, and was promoted to associate artistic director after Horowitz saw her Woodbourne adaptation of Of Mice and Men. She directs one TFANA play of several done annually. She followed 2009’s Othello with Measure for Measure last winter.
Her career shift from visual art to the theater happened because she felt “alone with my ideas” when she painted. “I found that isolating.”
It also left her feeling creatively ineffective. “What you can invent together in the theater is going to be far more complex and more interesting than anything I could invent alone. There’s something basic in us that wants to build shared meanings — it’s primal.”