Today we honor the #1 ranked arts and culture nonprofit in the Bay Area: Berkeley Repertory Theatre.
Robert Hurwitt wrote this review of the Rep last year:
Berkeley Repertory Theatre is fast emerging as one of Broadway’s most important “farm teams,” and that’s good news not only for the East Bay theater, but perhaps for Bay Area theater in general. In the past few years, the Rep has sent seven shows to Broadway and off-Broadway.
Asked how he explains the Rep’s success, [Artistic Director Tony] Taccone offers a qualification: “Whatever I say is going to sound irrationally coherent.”
The reasons he comes up with range from the company’s adventurous programming and the flexibility provided by its second, larger stage, the 8-year-old Roda Theatre, to experience, “the whimsy of fate” and being in Berkeley with “a unique audience and staff that’s excited by new ideas and new work.”
Others cite a factor Taccone omits. “Tony’s increasing presence as a director on the national scene” is a big part of it, playwright Tony Kushner says.
“Between Tony and Les, you’ve got two highly respected, major artistic leaders tied to the same regional theater,” says Oskar Eustis, artistic director of New York’s Public Theater, which co-commissioned “Passing Strange.”
“I would be hard put to point to another company with that kind of artistic firepower, which makes for a really attractive place for people like me because I know I’ve got some really good eyes and real colleagues paying attention to the show out there,” he says.
According to our experts, Berkeley Repertory Theatre repeatedly produces high quality, ground-breaking work in theatre. This organization has raised the Bay Area’s stature on the national theater scene and is seen as one of the top regional theaters in the country. They are a leader in the development of new work that reflects the diversity of the East Bay. Their educational programs in high schools make theater accessible to youth (and at-risk youth) and involve students in playwriting and acting. They have a very engaged and challenging audience that allows them to take risks in ways that other theatre companies of their budget size cannot.
To learn more about Berkeley Repertory Theatre and their impact locally and nationally, read more expert reviews here.