"As we rose from our seats after the opening-night performance of New Repertory Theatre’s “The Kite Runner,’’ my companion exhaled three words: “What a journey.’’

Indeed. Directed by Elaine Vaan Hogue from Matthew Spangler’s adaptation of Khaled Hosseini’s best-selling novel, the New Rep’s “Kite Runner’’ is a compassionate, deeply moving, event-packed journey across eras, cultures, national boundaries, and the emotional terrain of tumultuous lives. The fact that the trip also includes a detour into melodrama and hard-to-swallow coincidence doesn’t diminish its overall power.

With his bookish ways, Amir is a disappointment to his sternly forbidding, business-minded father, Baba (the estimable Ken Baltin). The boy hopes to change that by winning the kite contest, and he does indeed prevail in the tournament, which is ingeniously staged by Vaan Hogue in a swirl of color and action on the stark stage designed by Paul Tate dePoo III."

- The Boston Globe

"With dialogue and narration pulled largely from the novel, The Kite Runner evokes the worlds of protagonist Amir with music—including a live performance of a boxed-shaped percussion instrument called a cajón—and a rock and gravel set designed by Paul Tate dePoo III (CFA’10). “It’s part of the landscape of Afghanistan, but it’s like our playground,” says Vaan Hogue. The impressionistic set “can become any place,” including California, the home of the adult Amir, where much of the play is set."

- BU Today

"The New England premiere of Matthew Spangler’s stage adaptation of the book is currently being presented by The New Repertory Theatre. Buoyed by the astute direction Elaine Vaan Hogue, effective set design by Paul Tate dePoo III, and an energetic cast that pivots around a strong central performance by Nael Nacer, the company does justice to its literary source."

- The Arts Fuse

"David Reiffel’s sound effects, Mary Ellen Stebbins’ dramatic lighting, and Paul Tate dePoo III’s dark, war-tinged set create marvelous transitions from Amir’s peaceful neighborhood, to wartorn streets, Amir and Baba’s terrifying escape to bordering Pakistan in a rickety, overcrowded truck, then to sunny, hippy-go-happy California, and back to Pakistan and Taliban-ruled Afghanistan."

- The Theatre Mirror

"Paul Tate dePoo III’s set captures Kabul with a stark patio and the mountainous landscape suggested by a beautifully sewn piece of hanging fabric. 'Kite Runner' is definitely worth seeing. "

- Metro West Daily News





Elaine Vaan Hogue

Scenic Design:

Paul Tate dePoo III  

Costume Design:

Adrienne Carlile

Lighting Design:

Mary Ellen Stebbins


* Based on the 2003 best-selling novel, this epic drama follows boyhood friends Amir and Hassan in 1970s Afghanistan. After witnessing terrible brutality and betraying Hassan, Amir immigrates to the U.S. with his father, his regret, and his shame. When Amir is summoned home to Afghanistan thirty years later to help an ailing friend, secrets are uncovered. This beautiful and complicated story shares an inside view of Afghani culture, while exploring the price of loyalty and friendship, the desire for integrity, and hope for redemption.