BERKELEY REPERTORY THEATRE

Rating: 4.86 stars   22 reviews

Issues: Arts & Culture

Location: 2025 Addison St Berkeley CA 94704 USA

Mission: Berkeley Repertory Theatre seeks to set a national standard for ambitious programming, engagement with its audiences and leadership within the community in which it resides. We endeavor to create a diverse body of work that expresses a rigorous, embracing aesthetic and reflects the highest artistic standards, and seek to maintain an environment in which talented artists can do their best work. We strive to engage our audiences in an ongoing dialogue of ideas, and encourage lifelong learning as a core community value. Through productions, outreach and education, Berkeley Rep aspires to use theatre as a means to challenge, thrill and galvanize what is best in the human spirit.
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
2010 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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EIN 94-1679756
510.647.2900
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Community Reviews

Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

Seeing "An Iliad" was a great theatre experience for myself and my guest. The person I attended with is an expert on ancient Greek literature, and a theatre goer who appreciates good productions. And, as a former stage, TV, and film director, my standards for determining good theatre are pretty high as well. Both of us enjoyed the production and were in awe of the actor's ability. We can honestly say that it was one of the best theatre experiences we've had a long time, and easily the best ever in the Bay Area. Congratulations, and our thanks!

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 4 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Berkeley Rep is one of the top theatre companies in the Bay Area. Excellent play selections and acting. Innovative new works premiered. Wonderful guest artists doing solo shows. The smaller of the two theaters is an intimate space which, depending on the production, can make you feel part of the play. I especially appreciate the collaboration with Oregon Shakespeare Festival to bring commissioned works to the Bay Area.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Unsure

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 4 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

BRT has been the theatre leader in the Bay Area for many years, challenging traditions and providing audiences with a rich experience. BRT is at the forefront of stagecraft and uses both of its stages at their best. Many professionals in the region just dream of working there some day, and that's why it's important to support this organization (everyone will benefit).

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

plays that marry the richness of text with acting, visual effects, and subject matter.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

how audiences aren't bored during intermission!

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

smart.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-2-01

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Rating: 4 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I have subscribed for over 20 years. I am a donor and have named BRT in my estate plan. I am a trustee. All of my involvement grew out of my long, favorable experience as an audience member. BRT puts on challenging works that address the issues of our time and give me much to think about. They do not play to the lowest common denominator, but to the highest part of the audience's intelligence. BRT supports new artists through its commissioning program.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

numerous thought-provoking stage performances. Most recently, Athol Fugard's play "Coming Home" dealt with the problems of AIDs, racism and illiteracy in South Africa.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

hard working, intelligent, dedicated.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Commission many new plays and support many emerging playwrights.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-2-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I have been going to performances at Berkeley Rep for over 20 years. Uniformly, I have been impressed with the Rep's venturesome approach. They are not afraid to take risks. This year, for examply, their production of American Idiot was mesmerizing. A rock opera/play/happening which compared well to Tommy. Superb.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

in instilling in me a whole new, non-traditional way of experiencing theatre.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

buy its own practice rooms, thus increasing the quality of its performances.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-2-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Berkeley Rep has become a magnet for the most interesting playwrights, directors and theater artists from around the country. And the audiences are smart and appreciate the fact that BRT takes artistic risks, challenges what you're thinking about and always entertains. We used to think it was the best thing going in the arts in the East Bay, but folks from across the country have heard about it and are talking about it. Berkeley Rep is a Very Big Deal, and a theater to watch.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

seeing what happens on stage and in the community. Audiences love what they see, keep coming back, and bring their families and friends. Have also seen incredible growth and maturing of BRT as an institution during the many years I've been on the Board.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the great work I've seen on stage - and what goes on behind it. BRT has incredibly talented staff - both management and artistic leadership and staff at all levels. They're the reason for the theater's success.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-1-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Berkeley Rep has brought exciting, excellent theatre to the Bay Area for over 40 years, creating a wonderful sense of community! Subscribers benefit from top quality productions of a wide range of theatre experiences which add up to much more than the sum of its parts. It's a "happening" place.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

It's a place for stimulating ideas and interesting people

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-1-01

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

The experience before, during and after the performance is fun and entertaining. I know I can count on this well run theatre to put on a great perfromance and make it a great night out.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

enthusiastic, smart and truely care about the success of the theatre.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-1-01

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

An excellent producing theater and great place to work. This is not only an important place for theater locally, and in California, but for the whole country, and globally now too. But never losing integrity or quality as it grows and fame spreads.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

build the existing complex up to have all staff and facilities directly on site with actor housing as well. Plus an awesome onsite restaurant. An incredible theater campus all on the same block.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2007-11-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Berkeley Rep provides intelligent, engaging, fearless theatre. Willing to take risks. Beautifully well-managed. It has become the heart-beat of the regional theatre scene. Strike that: it is a national powerhouse.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

bringing work to a wider audience. Of 7 shows in the Berkeley Rep 2009-2010 season, 4 of them are world premieres.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Have it think out of the box in terms of donors.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Expanding the embrace of theatre. Seeing 10 year olds and 90 year olds at American Idiot.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Awesome! The dedication, the commitment are inspiring.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Expand the in-school teaching program.

Ways to make it better...

They could provide a spa experience (OK, just kidding). Can't think of anything at this point in time...

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Trying to survive the financial constraints of the next year or two.

One thing I'd also say is that...

I've been to a lot of theatre. Berkeley Rep is ALWAYS reaching forward. Doesn't go for the easy solution.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-1-01

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