Berkeley Repertory Theatre in California has spent a year and a half building a new theatre, and March 13, 2001, the Tony Award-winning company will be ready to unveil it. With a gala dinner and the first performances of Aeschylus' The Oresteia, the Rep will celebrate the addition of a 600-seat proscenium theatre to their 401-seat thrust stage theatre.
The new three-story structure, set to include a 171-seat balcony, an 80-foot fly tower, a trap door, dressing rooms, a donor room, expanded restrooms and an outdoor courtyard, between the original thrust stage and the Nevo Education Center, the Rep's theatre school. The project, begun in August 1999, cost some $16 million, augmented by gifts from the City of Berkeley ($4 million) and the Ask Jeeves Foundation ($2 million).
The grand opening on March 13 begins with dinner overlooking the theatre and ends with dessert and dancing in the newly expanded Narsai David courtyard. Robert Fagles' translation of The Oresteia, directed by Stephen Wadsworth and the Rep's artistic director Tony Taccone, has never been performed in its entirety until this production.
On March 17, in honor of the City of Berkeley's support of the theatre company, Berkeley Repertory will host a free community open house from noon to 5 PM. A tour and entertainment by local artists will be featured during the event.
For information on the Opening Gala Dinner, call Lynn Eve Fortin at (510) 647-2900. To schedule a tour time on March 17, call (510) 647-2900. Berkeley Repertory Theatre is on the web at http://www.berkeleyrep.org.