BERKELEY REPERTORY THEATRE Overview
Target demographics: Born in a storefront on College Avenue, Berkeley Rep has moved to the forefront of American theatre—and is still telling unforgettable stories. Founded in 1968 by Michael Leibert, the Theatre quickly earned respect for presenting the finest plays with top-flight actors. In 1980, with the support of the local community, Berkeley Rep built the 400-seat Thrust Stage where its reputation steadily grew over the next two decades. It gained renown for an adventurous combination of work, presenting important new dramatic voices alongside refreshing adaptations of seldom-seen classics. In recognition of its place on the national stage, Berkeley Rep was honored with the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre in 1997. The company celebrated by unveiling a new 600-seat proscenium stage in 2001, the state-of-the-art Roda Theatre. It also opened the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre, a permanent home for its long tradition of outreach and education programs. The addition of these two buildings transformed a single stage into a vital and versatile performing arts complex, the linchpin of a bustling Downtown Arts District which has helped revitalize Berkeley. In four decades, four million people have enjoyed more than 300 shows at Berkeley Rep, including 50 world premieres. In the last five years, Berkeley Rep has helped send eight hit shows to New York: Bridge & Tunnel, Brundibar, Eurydice, Passing Strange, Taking Over, Wishful Drinking, In the Next Room or the vibrator play, and American Idiot.
Direct beneficiaries per year: The Theatre now welcomes an annual audience of 200,000, serves 20,000 students and hosts dozens of community groups, thanks to 1,000 volunteers and more than 400 artists, artisans and administrators.
Geographic areas served: San Francisco Bay Area