Berkeley Repertory Theatre
BerkeleyRep.jpg
Address2025 Addison Street
Berkeley, California
United States
Coordinates37°52′16.06″N 122°16′9.47″W / 37.8711278°N 122.2692972°W / 37.8711278; -122.2692972Coordinates: 37°52′16.06″N 122°16′9.47″W / 37.8711278°N 122.2692972°W / 37.8711278; -122.2692972
Public transitBay Area Rapid Transit Downtown Berkeley
TypeRegional theater
CapacityThrust Stage: 401
Roda Theatre: 600
Opened1968 (company)
1980: Thrust Stage
2001: Roda Theatre
Website
www.berkeleyrep.org

Berkeley Repertory Theatre is a regional theater company located in Berkeley, California. It runs seven productions each season from its two stages in Downtown Berkeley.

History

The company was founded in 1968, as the East Bay's first resident professional theatre. Michael Leibert was the founding artistic director, who was then succeeded by Sharon Ott in 1984. The company won the Regional Theatre Tony Award in 1997. The theater added the 600-seat proscenium Roda Theatre next door to its existing 400-seat asymmetrical thrust stage in 2001, as well as opening its Berkeley Rep School of Theatre the same year. Its current Artistic Director is Johanna Pfaelzer, who took on the position in September 2019. Managing Director Susan Medak is a board member and former President of the League of Resident Theatres.

Productions are a mix of classic modern plays such as Henrik Ibsen's Ghosts and Terrence McNally's Master Class, the latter featuring Rita Moreno as opera diva Maria Callas, and significant recent plays with many West Coast premieres such as Moisés Kaufman's The Laramie Project and Tony Kushner's Homebody/Kabul and even world premieres such as Kushner's Hydriotaphia and Charles Mee's Fetes De La Nuit.

The Roda Theatre
The Roda Theatre

In the past decade alone, Berkeley Rep has premiered new works by Culture Clash, David Edgar, Francesca Faridany, Leigh Fondakowski, Lillian Groag, Jordan Harrison, Geoff Hoyle, Naomi Iizuka, Charles Mee, and Stew. The Theatre has recently created a string of successes that transferred from Berkeley to Manhattan: Artistic Director Tony Taccone staged Sarah Jones' Tony Award-winning Bridge & Tunnel on Broadway in 2006, and helmed Tony Kushner and Maurice Sendak's Brundibar in 2007. That summer, Sarah Ruhl's Eurydice and Stew's Passing Strange both enjoyed extended off-Broadway runs. Passing Strange opened on Broadway in March 2008.

Berkeley Rep bolsters its commitment to new works through The Ground Floor (Berkeley Rep's Center for the Creation and Development of New Work)[1] and year-long Fellowship Program [2] aimed at training the next generation of theatre professionals.

In 2001, the theatre opened Berkeley Rep School of Theatre, which offers training in various theatrical disciplines for all ages and abilities.[3] Located next door to Berkeley Rep's two stages, the School of Theatre also provides a home base for the company's outreach education programs with local teachers and classes.[4] The Berkeley Rep School of Theatre also has a Teen Council made for bay area high school students interested in theatre. The Berkeley Rep Teen Council is most noted for its annual Teen One Acts Festival, completely written, directed, produced, and acted by students.[5]

The theatre opened their 2009–10 season with the original stage production of the Green Day-inspired musical American Idiot, based on the band's concept album of the same name. The hugely popular show was originally scheduled to run from September 4 through October 11, but was extended twice, finally ending on November 15.[6] The show subsequently opened on Broadway at the St. James Theatre on April 20, 2010.

The musical Ain't Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations, a jukebox musical based on the story of the Motown group The Temptations, started performance at Berkeley Rep August 31, 2018. It was originally scheduled to run through October 8, but was later extended through October 22 and again through November 5.[7] The musical was the highest-grossing production in the theatre's history.[8] The show had runs at other regional theaters before transferring to Broadway, opening at the Imperial Theatre on March 21, 2019.

Premieres

1994

1995

1998

2002

2003

2005

2006

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

See also

References

  1. ^ "The Ground Floor: Berkeley Rep's Center for the Creation and Development of New Work". Berkeley Repertory Theatre. 2015. Archived from the original on 2015-06-15. Retrieved 2015-06-06.
  2. ^ "Berkeley Rep Fellowship Program". Berkeley Repertory Theatre. 2015. Retrieved 2015-06-06.
  3. ^ "School of Theatre: Classes". Berkeley Repertory Theatre. 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-05-21. Retrieved 2008-05-30.
  4. ^ "School of Theatre: Classroom Visits". Berkeley Repertory Theatre. 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-07-05. Retrieved 2008-05-30.
  5. ^ "School of Theatre: Teen Council!". Berkeley Repertory Theatre. 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-05-26. Retrieved 2008-05-30.
  6. ^ Crooks, Peter. "Green Day to debut American Idiot at Berkeley Rep" Diablo Magazine, March 2009.
  7. ^ "BERKELEY REP ANNOUNCES FULL CASTING AND CREATIVE TEAM FOR WORLD PREMIERE OFAIN'T TOO PROUD—THE LIFE AND TIMES OF THE TEMPTATIONS" (PDF). Berkeley Repertory Theatre. August 16, 2018. Retrieved Feb 9, 2020.
  8. ^ "AIN'T TOO PROUD — THE LIFE AND TIMES OF THE TEMPTATIONS SETS NEW BERKELEY REP BOX OFFICE RECORD World-premiere musical becomes highest-grossing show in 50-year history" (PDF). October 5, 2017. Retrieved Feb 9, 2020.
  9. ^ Harmetz, Aljean (5 June 1994). "THEATER; It's Tough to Get Ghosts to be Human on Stage". The New York Times.