Michael Leibert, Founding Director
in its 38th season, Berkeley Repertory Theatre is the recipient of the 1997
Tony Award for outstanding regional theatre. Founded in 1968 as the East
Bays first resident professional theatre, Berkeley Rep has established
a national reputation for the quality of its productions and the innovation
of its programming. In 1980 Berkeley Rep marshaled significant public support
to move from its converted storefront theatre on College Avenue to a newly
constructed modern facility in downtown Berkeley, where it has since remained.
Michael Leibert was the founding artistic director, succeeded by Sharon
Ott in 1984. In 1990 Susan Medak became Managing Director, following Mitzi
Sales 18 years in the position. Tony Taccone, formerly the Theatres
Associate Artistic Director, was appointed as the Theatres third Artistic
Director in 1997.
Under the leadership of Artistic Director Tony Taccone and Managing Director Susan Medak, Berkeley Reps choice of material and bold, vivid style of production reflect a commitment to diversity, excitement and quality. The company is especially well known for its fresh adaptations of seldom-seen classics, as well as its presentation of important new dramatic voices. Berkeley Rep has attracted internationally acclaimed theatre artists such as Tony Kushner, Mabou Mines, Anna Deavere Smith, Tadashi Suzuki, Culture Clash, Theatre de la Jeune Lune, Sarah Jones, Stephen Wadsworth, Mark Wing-Davey, George C. Wolfe and Mary Zimmerman, and such musicians as Paul Dresher, Jon Jang, Joshua Redman and Max Roach. Berkeley Rep has produced the world premieres of plays by Neal Bell, Francesca Faridany, Philip Kan Gotanda, Lillian Groag, Geoff Hoyle, Naomi Iizuka, Quincy Long, Heather McDonald, José Rivera, Alice Tuan and Laurence Yep, as well as the world premiere of The Woman Warrior, Deborah Rogins celebrated adaptation of Maxine Hong Kingstons novels that moved to the Huntington Theatre in Boston and the Center Theatre Group/Doolittle Theatre in Los Angeles and was named the Best Play of 1994 by USA Today.
In March 2001, Berkeley Rep opened The Roda Theatre, a 600-seat proscenium theatre that complements the existing 400-seat Thrust Stage. In December 2001, the company opened an accompanying theatre school housed next door in the Nevo Education Center, offering classes and activities for youth and adults. The addition of these two buildings transformed what was once a single stage into a vital and versatile performing arts complex.
Tony Taccone, Artistic Director
Susan Medak, Managing Director