Berkeley Repertory Theatre facts for kids
|Address||2025 Addison Street
|Public transit||Downtown Berkeley|
|Capacity||Thrust Stage: 401
Roda Theatre: 600
1980: Thrust Stage
2001: Roda Theatre
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.
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) and year-long Fellowship Program 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. 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. 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.
The theatre opened their 2009–10 season with the first stage production of Green Day's 2004 rock opera American Idiot. The hugely popular show was originally scheduled to run from September 4 through October 11, but was extended twice, finally ending on November 15, 2009. 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. The musical was the highest-grossing production in the theatre's history. The show had runs at other regional theaters before transferring to Broadway, opening at the Imperial Theatre on March 21, 2019.
- The Woman Warrior
- Ballad of Yachiyo
- Continental Divide
- Fetes de la Nuit
- The People's Temple
- Passing Strange
- American Idiot
- In the Next Room
- How to Write a New Book for the Bible (co-production with Seattle Repertory Theatre)
- Rita Moreno:Life Without Makeup
- Ghost Light (co-production with Oregon Shakespeare Festival)
- Emotional Creature
- The White Snake (co-production with Oregon Shakespeare Festival)
- Black n Blue Boys (co-production with Goodman Theatre)
- Troublemaker, or the Freakin Kick A Adventures of Bradley Boatright
- The House that will not Stand (co-production with Yale Repertory Theatre)
- An Audience with Meow Meow
- X's and O's (A Football Love Story)
- Amélie, A New Musical
- It Can't Happen Here
- The Last Tiger in Haiti (co-production with La Jolla Playhouse)
- John Leguizamo: Latin History for Morons
- Monsoon Wedding
- Imaginary Comforts, or The Story of the Ghost of the Dead Rabbit
- Ain't Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations
- Fairview (in association with Soho Rep.)
- Paradise Square: A New Musical
- Kiss My Aztec!
- Becky Nurse of Salem
- Swept Away
- It Can't Happen Here (Radio Play format)
Berkeley Repertory Theatre Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.