A bit of Argentinian history is hitting the stage in Cambridge this summer. The American Repertory Theater at Harvard University is putting on the "Evita" musical revival from May 17 to July 30.

The show is directed by Sammi Cannold, whose devotion to the Tony Award-winning musical helped guide her career.

“I first saw 'Evita' when I was a teenager, and I was knocked out by the show. I’d heard some of the music previously. I think everybody knows 'Don’t Cry for Me Argentina.' I was so captivated by it, and when I went to college I said all that I want to do is direct a production of 'Evita' for my thesis — and they let me,” Cannold said on Boston Public Radio on Thursday. "And then when I moved to the city, became a professional director, I got to direct a production in New York City in 2019. Then that evolved into the production that’s at the A.R.T. now."

Cannold's relationship with the Cambridge theater started when she was an intern at the age of 18. "Evita" marks the 11th production she's been involved in at the A.R.T.

“I feel like I grew up with the A.R.T.,” she said, “and so to be coming home, so to speak, with the piece of art that means the most to me is very meaningful and full circle.”

The musical "Evita" tells the story of Eva Perón, the first lady of Argentina from 1946 to 1952. The narrative explores Perón's rise to becoming a powerful and controversial political figure in the mid-20th century.

“There has never been a production of 'Evita' in Argentina. I think the reason is because she still so unbelievably polarizing in that country today that everybody is concerned about what might happen if there is,” Cannold expressed.

Cannold said she wanted to involve as many Argentinians in the production here as possible to embody that history on stage. One of those people is the show’s costume designer, Alejo Vietti.

“I think it was so exciting — particularly in the world of costumes — to have someone who so intimately understands this world, understands this history, understands what it means to people of Argentina today,” she explained, “and they’ve been involved in every step of the process.”

The production also has a truly passionate cast, much like Cannold's own experience and connection to the show.

“We had a beautiful moment first day of rehearsal where Sammi asked the entire cast what our connection to 'Evita' is, and [there were] incredible stories all around,” said Caesar Samayoa, a Guatemalan Broadway actor who was cast to play the role of Juan Perón. “Mine was that it was my first cast album on a cassette, that I listen to front and back and fully understood. I grew up in the '80s, so that picture of Patti LuPone behind the mic with her arms up is embedded in my mind.”

Cannold and Samayoa both credit A.R.T. for making the production a success.

“There’s an incredible connection to the community here,” Samayoa said. “[A.R.T.’s] outreach to the community is unbelievable. We just experienced a student matinee yesterday where I saw firsthand students' lives being changed because of live theater. These are moments that I don’t think people really see or understand that are happening because of organizations like A.R.T.”